The mission of Youngstown Promise Neighborhoods is to bring together public and private partners to break the cycle of inter-generational poverty by coordinating comprehensive education, economic, health, safety and family support services for children and families in Youngstown neighborhoods.
Youngstown Promise Neighborhoods received recognition for its dedicated efforts to community service in August 2019: official 501c3 nonprofit organization status from the Internal Revenue Service.
The purpose of our organization stems from this guiding principle by then-presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008; "If poverty is a disease that infects an entire community in the form of unemployment and violence, failing schools and broken homes, then we just can't just treat these symptoms in isolation. We have to heal the entire community. And we have to focus on what works." Taking inspiration from the cradle-to-career solutions developed by the Harlem Children Zone, Obama campaigned on developing these solutions through a Promise Neighborhood model. Between 2010-2012, communities across the United States received multi-year, multi-million implementation grants; Youngstown was not one of them.
According to the US Department of Education, "the vision of the program is that all children and youth growing up in promise neighborhoods have access to great schools and strong systems of family and community support that will prepare them to attain an excellent education and successfully transition to college and careers."
Our ultimate goal, and the mission of promise neighborhoods, is to transform struggling communities by:
• Developing strong community partnerships that work together to improve outcomes and achieve measurable results of children/families
• Building and implementing a continuum of cradle-to-career solutions of educational and family support services w/ great schools at the center
• Integrating programs and eliminating barriers so solutions can be implemented effectively and efficiently
• Developing a system of resources needed to sustain and increase proven solutions across a broader region outside your specific neighborhood
• Evaluating the overall impact and sustainability of individual programs and potential partnerships through quantitative and qualitative measuring tools
When YPN first launched, it was first referred to as the Taft Promise Neighborhood with the vast majority of programs and services offered at Taft Elementary School on the city’s south side. This was in 2014. When our organization first started, it had no full-time staff and sustained itself through only a few dedicated volunteers working in conjunction with the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley. Six years later and after receiving official 501c3 nonprofit status, YPN now maintains an executive director, four full-time AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers and expanded resource capacity. Also, our services expanded to cover Wilson Elementary as we continue to focus on improving educational outcomes for students and families through literacy programs, parent engagement events, and after-school resource assistance.
We’ve increased our community outreach through collaborative efforts across the region. YPN develops programs and works with partnering organizations through our four different councils:
• Health & Wellness
• Neighborhood & Safety
• Jobs & Economy
Through these different councils, YPN works to research, develop and implement programs to benefit community residents. As we continue to expand our programming and plan additional community engagement events, YPN will need the work of community volunteers dedicated to helping us achieve common goals!
The mission of Youngstown Promise Neighborhoods is to bring together public and private partners to break the cycle of inter-generational poverty by coordinating comprehensive education, economic, health, safety and family support…