South Florida Competition
Aetna Voices of Health Competition

Overtown Youth Center



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Overtown Youth Center

Overtown Youth Center (OYC) is a year-round youth development organization with deep community roots that offers comprehensive, wrap-around services to promising youth ages 8-25 in Miami's Overtown neighborhood and its surrounding communities.

It is the mission of Overtown Youth Center (OYC) to inspire and empower youth and families by fostering hope through enrichment services.

For more than 15 years OYC has served as a safe haven for children living in the under resourced Overtown neighborhood. OYC was established to provide wide-ranging programming which helps at-promise youth avoid falling victim to poor education, poverty and crime. To this end, OYC's continuum of intervention services has consistently impacted the determinants of education and wellness by bridging academic and socio-economic gaps across generations.

The "OYC Experience" moves students and their families from desperation, through hope and on to an optimistic future by offering community youth a fighting chance in society. OYC is continuously dedicated to ensuring 100% of OYC students develop into positive contributing citizens (PCCs) as demonstrated by graduating from high school and proceeding to post secondary education (college or vocational) or the military, and a life of gainful employment.

OYC delivers a provision of services through five distinct program components: in-school support, after school enrichment, summer programs, post high school assistance, and family engagement. Student program services include 24-hour case-management, academic support, character development, college and career preparation, cultural enrichment, exposure opportunities, health/wellness, sports, and STEM skill building. OYC also offers opportunities for increased parental/caregiver engagement in support of their children's overall development.

In School Component

  • Academic & Behavior Monitoring
  • Academic Guidance
  • Full time Coordinators

After School Component

  • Enrichment (art, music, culinary, photography, etc.)
  • Case Management
  • Character Developmentv
  • College & Career Preparation
  • Work readiness
  • Health & Wellness
  • Homework Assistance
  • Mentoring
  • Sports
  • Tutoring

Summer Program

  • Academic Support
  • Enrichment (art, music, culinary, photography, etc.)
  • Athletics & Fitness
  • Exposure Trips
  • Health & Wellness
  • Internships & Jobs

Parent Program

  • Community & Agency Resources
  • Linkages and Referrals
  • Family Support
  • Workshops
  • Training

High School & Post High School Program

  • College and Career Readiness
  • College Tours
  • Internships
  • Scholarships

OYC has been extremely effective at activating transformational change among the thousands of youth and families served to date. Recent successes include:

  • 100% high school graduation rate
  • 97% elementary and middle school promotion rate
  • 96% of OYC alumni (2 years post-secondary) are enrolled in post secondary education programs and/or gainfully employed
  • Implementing an agency-wide Trauma Informed Care Initiative to identify and address the socio-emotional needs of more than 400 students in partnership with behavioral health partners.

(US Census-American Community Survey 2016, Florida Department of Education and OYC Parent Survey 2016 & 2017).

The Overtown Youth Center (OYC) was founded in 2003 by NBA Hall-of-Famer Alonzo Mourning and real estate developer Martin Z. Margulies to create a safe haven for children living in the Overtown neighborhood of Miami, Florida. OYC provides holistic programming to help promising youth avoid falling victim to poor education, poverty and crime often found in the under resourced communities. OYC's continuum of intervention services has impacts the determinants of education and wellness bridging gaps across generations. OYC currently partners with the Miami-Dade County Public School District to extend holistic program services at eight schools.

The Overtown neighborhood, (52% Black, 45% Hispanic), is a historic Miami community poised to overcome generations of poverty and lack of access to vital services. While the community has seen incremental growth in social and economic sectors, the youth and families OYC serves continue to face barriers to education, employment, family resources and safety that includes obstacles such as;

  • a high unemployment rate (53%),
  • low median income ($20,000),
  • high poverty level (47%),
  • high free/ reduced lunch rate (93%),
  • an OYC family unemployment rate that exceeds 50%, and;
  • high school dropout rate is currently 12.8% higher than the rate district-wide.

Now in the 15th year of operation there is an even stronger commitment to inspire, empower and enrich lives. OYC recently launched a $10 million capital campaign to meet the changes and growth the community is experiencing. The plans for deepening community impact include serving an additional 3000 youth in 5 years, expanding services to new areas/communities, and increasing program offerings/services. (US Census-American Community Survey 2016, Florida Department of Education 2017 and OYC Parent Survey 2016 & 2017).

Our contact info:

Overtown Youth Center

Contact Name: Yance Torres, Development Director
Telephone: (954) 860-5991, Extension 228

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