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Overtown Youth Center Looks to Expand Programming and Services

Overtown Youth Center Programs to Impact More Youth and Families
Overtown Youth Center Looks to Expand Programming and Services to Impact More Youth and Families
Overtown Youth Center Funday with a visit from Drake.

MIAMI – The Overtown Youth Center (OYC) will host their groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, February 26th, 2020, at 11 AM-1 PM at 450 NW 14th Street-– Entrance on 3rd Avenue and 14th Street.

For the past 17 years, Founder Alonzo Mourning, along with his Chief Executive Officer Tina Brown and her amazing team of 50+ staff, have inspired and nurtured students to reach their full potential and to become contributors to a healthy, thriving community.

The goal of the Overtown Youth Center (OYC) is to serve as an integral part of the community that promotes lifelong learning and success for our inner-city youth and citizens.

OYC’s Capital Campaign will raise over $17 million dollars to demolish and rebuild the center to serve not just the Overtown community but also be able to service other urban communities such as Little Havana, Little Haiti, Wynwood, and Allapattah.

The OYC is programmatically and fiscally sound as a result of a sound vision, hard work, unwavering community, and donor support.

The Overtown Youth Center building that was built by Martin Marguiles opened its doors in 2002 and went from servicing a little over 100 children and families to providing services to close 1500 children and families on an annual basis.

Overtown Youth Center Looks to Expand Programming and Services
OYC Demolition Party Funday

OYC’s primary goal is to bridge educational, social, and emotional gaps; while providing family services to include housing, financial assistance, health care, and employment.

The Overtown Youth Center provides in school, after school, summer, family, and post-high services, as well as providing hot catered meals to over 500 students daily across four different locations in Miami-Dade County.

“Although we keep having to prove ourselves, I am committed to showing the world that we are more than capable of taking care of children and families within urban communities. I am committed to ensuring that the necessary resources are secured to allow this new facility to provide highly impactful services that will transform the lives of thousands, impacting their trajectory for thousands of generations to come. My goal is to take pages from the history books of those who have successfully ratified oppression and mitigated poverty by investing in education; investing in the community, and never forgetting to pay it forward. It is proof of this concept that drives my motivation to break ground for a new facility that one day will be replicated across urban cities all over the world.” Alonzo Mourning, Founder of the Overtown Youth Center.

This capital campaign was the vision of and collaborative effort of Alonzo Mourning, founder of the Mourning Family Foundation and Tina Brown, CEO of the Overtown Youth Center.

Overtown Youth Center Looks to Expand Programming and Services
OYC Holiday Party
The Capital Campaign will allow OYC to:
  • Serve as an economic empowerment center providing a holistic approach to eliminating barriers to success for both children and families.
  • Expand services to more youth in Overtown as well as other areas in need such as Wynwood, Allapatah, Little Haiti, Little Havana, and eventually throughout Miami- Dade County and beyond.
  • Expand youth and family services, vocational training opportunities, collaborative programming, family empowerment services, alternative educational solutions, counseling, therapy, etc.
OYC Track Record and Success
  • OYC’s participant enrollment has increased over 500% over the past six years
  • OYC’s budget has grown from $1.8million six years ago to $3.9 million today
  • OYC graduates 97% of participants on an annual basis
  • 100% of all high school students receive college and career readiness program services
  • OYC has been recognized best practice model organization for other non- profits
  • OYC maintains an 80% retention rate year over year
  • OYC employs 52 full and part-time staff that delivers a high-quality program
  • OYC employs over 100 youth each summer

OYC provides scholarship support for 100% of its graduates.  Blake Denson was in the program since 2nd grade when he started; he was indeed a shy kid, the very recluse kid who wore big glasses.

Over the years, our staff worked with him to break down academic, social, and emotional barriers. By middle school, Blake had demonstrated academic excellence received a full scholarship to Ransom Everglades. Fast forward, Blake just graduated Ransom, and OYC played an instrumental role in cultivating existing donor relations to ensure Blake received a 90% expense paid financial aid package to Tulane University, and now Blake will spend the next four years pursuing in Business. Similarly, OYC was able to secure a full scholarship for Blake’s sister, Rae Rae, who is now a graduate of FAMU University and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree.

When we talk about a holistic approach, we engaged Blake’s mom to serve on the Board for the past four years and has been an active parent in the program.

South Florida Caribbean News

The SFLCN.com Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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