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Connecting NYC youth to support and opportunities



Connecting NYC Youth to Supports and Opportunities:
New York City has a wealth of resources and opportunities that are underutilized. Youth from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods often share that they never travel beyond a few blocks from where they live, resulting in them missing out on the numerous supports and opportunities available in their boroughs and across the city.


There are many sources of information about these resources; however, there is no one easy way for youth to access this information. DYCD operates the Youth Connect hotline, which receives over 50,000 calls each year from youth interested in accessing services. In addition, DYCD has thousands of followers on social media. DYCD and youth-serving agencies also have partnerships that could benefit youth, such as colleges and businesses that offer youth discounts. A technology solution is needed to combine these information sources in one system that youth and families can access across NYC.

Specifically, features might include:
(1) Youth Profiles: Youth save a personal profile to allow them to sign up for opportunities, get targeted texts, emails, discounts (based on neighborhood, interests, age, etc.)
(2) Youth Connect: Integrate the Youth Connect database
(3) Business Discounts
(4) Link to Neighborhood Map
(5) Link to Calendar Function
(6)Government Agencies, Nonprofits, Businesses can update it themselves
(7) Youth Can Report a Problem


The Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) was created in 1996 to provide the City of New York with high-quality youth and family programming. DYCD supports New York City youth and their families by funding a wide range of high-quality youth and community development programs. As the designated Community Action Agency for New York City, DYCD also supports a wide variety of programs that address the conditions of poverty.

DYCD is committed to building and expanding on partnerships that generate innovative and practical programs for youth, their families and communities. Over the past year, for the fourth time, DYCD was selected by the America’s Promise Alliance and ING as one of the country’s 100 Best Communities for Young People. The award is an acknowledgement of the tremendous work of this agency and its partners to cultivate research-based, quality programs to engage young people and put them on a path to success.

Target Audience

NYC Youth – DYCD serves a diverse population of youth, from elementary school programs through early adulthood, up to 24 years old. In many programs, DYCD targets neighborhoods with high poverty rates and significant numbers of youth who did not complete high school or are unemployed. The primary audience for the technology tool is youth, age 10 through 24. According to the 2000 Census, the total number of youth in this age group in NYC was 1,641,288.

Appropriate Platforms

  • SMS
  • Mobile App
  • Social App


Ways to measure success might include: A large percent of youth in community programs with profiles in the system; an increase in the number of youth accessing multiple services and opportunities; regular updates from nonprofits to the technology tool calendar or list of resources; and more frequent communication with youth using the tool.

Resources & Assets

DYCD’s network is vast—with hundreds of service providers that partner with the agency and over 200,000 youth served each year, there is the potential for mass distribution and use of the technology tool. DYCD already has strong communications systems in place to promote use of the tool through multiple channels, with thousands of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and YouTube fans/followers. DYCD also hosts many large events throughout the year. Finally, DYCD has IT staff who would be able to support use of the tool after it has been developed and implemented.