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Our History

Funding for youth development historically has been fragmented and unstable.  Government has the responsibility of safety net services such as the Department of Children & Family Services and Juvenile Court, which both are mandated services and serves children and youth that are the highest risk.

Education has been focused on education funding typically within the school during school hours

The non-profit community provides many of the youth development services focused on all children which is funded by multiple funders—government, United Way of Greater Cleveland, and private funders at the local, state/regional and national/federal  levels.  Each funder has their own set of criteria, measures and program strategy. 

In 1999, the Cleveland Foundation in conjunction with County government and private funders created the early childhood initiative now known as invest in children.  This $40M,  3-year public-private partnership created a common lens to view children’s development, service delivery and outcomes thus creating an early childhood system.  The Cleveland Foundation was a lead funder and helped to raise additional dollars for the initiative as well as.

In 2006, the Cleveland Foundation undertook research to identify and evaluate existing programs and services for youth in Greater Cleveland. Based on its findings, the foundation convened many key community partners to create an effective system to support our young people. The results were the same as the research--lots of programs but lots of fragmentation, lack of coordination, lack of information,  lack of standards, no youth engagement/input, lack of accountability, lack of awareness/education around who does what, when.

Today, MyCom prepares Greater Cleveland's young people to enter early adulthood with the ability to foster healthy relationships throughout their lives and the skills to compete in a global economy.

We believe that youth development is community development and by building a network of support and growth opportunities for our youth we are strengthening our broader community.

MyCom's work is neighborhood based; focused around our youth, building partnerships, bringing in new and leveraged resources to create opportunity and meet neighborhood identified strategies and needs. Additionally,  MyCom takes a systems-based approach as we engage large community wide systems; education, law enforcement, libraries, Metroparks, as well as others to work towards a future where are youth are successful, productive community members.

Our Network is centered on our youth.

The Network convenes city and county government, United Way services, family and youth focused agencies, school officials, philanthropic leaders and young people.

We believe that youth development is community development. When we, collectively, take the time to engage youth, work to build their strengths through education and opportunities our community will benefit and be a thriving place for all to live.


Testimonials

  • “MyCom Youth Development Initiative aims to engage via education, such amazing out-of-school opportunities as they recognize that youth who are bullied are more likely to feel disconnected from school."
    Curtis Benjamin
  • "MyCom has extended hundreds of youth exceptional opportunities to grow, expand their knowledge and express their voice in so many ways. I can honestly say that the youth are not the only ones who are learning, growing and having wonderful exposure opportunities. This adult is a beneficiary of countless blessing as well."
    Brenda Pryor
    MyCom Coordinator
  • "It was amazing, and really made me think of my community more, and how I can change it"
    Brandan Newton
    Anton Grdina FLOW Participant

MyCom will enact our mission with race and equality at the forefront of our work as we always have. We will use our thought-leadership, funding, advocacy, and network to redesign service delivery. Together we will rethink infrastructure and create solutions that eliminate access to healthcare, cyclical poverty, access to quality education, housing stability, and other barriers that have impacted black lives.

13815 Kinsman Rd, Suite 104
Cleveland, OH 44120
P: (216) 905-0803
info@mycomcle.org

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