In 1976, the Mayor and staff of the City of New Haven met with leaders of youth-serving programs in New Haven to address concerns about how youth would fare during the idle summer months and increase the availability of summer programming. After the initial meeting, leaders galvanized additional community-based organizations and organized weekly meetings to plan summer activities, expand playgrounds, run summer camp programs and urge for more funding for youth development. Through on-going organizing efforts, in the 1970s and 1980s, a free school breakfast program was started as well as a summer feeding program for youth, and funding for youth-serving programs to hire school buses for summer field trips. Securing funds for summer jobs for youth was a huge accomplishment in New Haven. CWYC disseminated funds to youth-serving organizations to community-based organizations to employ youth. In the 1990s and 2000s, CWYC focused on coalition-building activities. In March 1992, Citywide Youth Coalition incorporated to secure youth services funds and support coalition-building within the community around the needs of youth. In 1993, the Youth Development Training and Resource Center was founded in partnership with The Consultation Center and CWYC. In September 1994, CWYC was designated as a 501(c)3 private nonprofit corporation. CWYC has worked to expand the capacity of youth-serving organizations with training opportunities, networking and advocacy.
I have realized my calling early in life and have dedicated myself to that calling. I realized this calling by becoming involved in the CWYC, a nonprofit organization geared towards creating a safe and successful future for all youth. The CWYC has led me to become extremely involved in my community. It has taught me how to break glass ceilings; ceilings that would be there my whole life if I didn’t shatter them piece by piece. I’ve become a strategic organizer that fights for both policy change and a say in legislation. I’ve become a leader in my community who enables her fellow youth to fight, organize, and take initiative. It’s something I would love to spend my life doing.- Cowiya Arouna, Youth Advisory Board Member
The Cwyc has been the platform that has brought me to where I am today. I wouldn't do the work I do if I wasn't guided by the amazing people at CWYC. They have showed me what true youth activism is and the power we hold. -Jeremy Cajigas, Youth Advisory Board Member
CWYC along with youth and collaborative partners are committed to improving the lives of young people ages 16-24 in Greater New Haven who are disengaged or disconnected from school. This Collaborative is currently developing and implementing innovative and collaborative evidence-based solutions; including the design of a Youth Cooperative model offering individually tailored wrap-around services, opportunities for youth leadership development, with student centered education and employment opportunities. Through the Youth Cooperative model, youth will be offered immediate employment opportunities. This model will allow youth struggling with systemic barriers to meet their immediate financial needs to earn a wage while gaining financial literacy and focus on their educational goals. The Youth Cooperative will provide youth a pathway to success when they are currently facing barriers due to homelessness, young parenthood, anti-LGBTQ discrimination, immigration system, child welfare system, and juvenile/criminal justice systems. Inspired by the successful JUMA Ventures model, the Youth Cooperative will be a comprehensive , results-oriented program that empowers low-income youth to reach the American dream by earning wages, gaining financial literacy with a matched savings account, and obtain tutoring support for College Access.
Addys Castillo is a juvenile/criminal justice practitioner with over 20 years of comprehensive experience as a public administrator working with our most vulnerable populations. Throughout her career, Addys has worked with numerous state agencies and non-profits including but not limited to LEAP (Leadership, Education and Athletics in Partnership), State of Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families, Project Model Offender Reintegration Experience (MORE) Inc., The California Endowment and The Children’s Aid Society. Her passion for social justice and commitment to leadership led her to the Elm City Children and Families Fellowship with Annie E. Case/Casey Family Services and the National Urban Fellows program.
Through her involvement with Casey Family Services, Addys embraced Results Based Accountability (RBA) becoming an RBA Coach/Consultant assisting organizations in embedding the RBA framework as a tool to measure impact and program effectiveness. As National Urban Fellow, Addys worked at The California Endowment as a Subject Matter Expert in the areas Criminal/Juvenile Justice programing and Trauma Informed Care, providing insight and recommendations to further the work of the Boys and Men of Color (BMoC) Initiative. In her formal role as Director of Youth Justice Services for the Children’s Aid Society, Addys was responsible for the administration and oversight of numerous programs working with New York State’s Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), New York City’s Department of Probation (DOP) and Administration of Children Services (ACS).
Addys is most passionate about working towards creating sustainable systems reform that improve outcomes for children and build community trust. As the Executive Director of the Citywide Youth Coalition, Inc. in New Haven, CT she organizes and convenes youth, community members and youth serving organizations towards building a youth-led grassroots activism that will result in systems reform as it impacts young people’s ability to succeed.
Addys holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociology from Central Connecticut State University; a Masters of Science in Criminal Justice and Professional Certificate in Forensic Psychology from the University of New Haven; along with a Masters of Public Administration from the City of New York Baruch College’s School of Public Affairs.
Building relationships, partnerships and collaborations is central to the work and mission of CWYC including the City of New Haven Department of Youth Services, United Way Boost Initiative, New Haven Promise Roundtable, New Haven Collaborative, Local Interagency Service Team (LIST), Youth Development Training and Resource Center, New Haven Public Schools, CT After School Network, CT Association of Nonprofits and all our member and partner organizations. The CWYC staff serves on many community planning committees.
With all of these partnerships, it is critical that Citywide Youth Coalition serves as a clearinghouse for the many events and activities by entities that serve the non-profit sector broadly, and that serve aspects of the youth-service sector with a more specific focus. CWYC brokers these relationships. In all of our efforts, members and partners make the decisions about forward planning for the Coalition through monthly coalition meetings, surveys, event evaluations, and one-on-one conversations.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
When families, schools and communities take the view that children and youth are valued and respected assets to society, they necessarily support environments that nurture youth development. Children raised to embrace positive social values, to seek self-understanding, and to value their self-worth grow to become community-minded young adults with a sense of belonging and a belief in their resiliency. See how you can help our community's children grow into tomorrow's leaders.
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