Since 1997, IOY has worked with parents, schools, community leaders, businesses, and faith-based organizations to educate and empower youth for future success. Our direct service activities include mentoring and social empowerment for youth, community engagement, collaborative health initiatives, juvenile diversion programs, and improving the education and financial literacy of youth and their families. Through community partnerships, we also provide workshops and events on topics such as health and well-being, social empowerment, and leadership. Our programs provide opportunities for career readiness and linkage to employment and community services. In addition, our community organizing efforts are centered around youth advocacy and access to services. We work to ensure our community provides opportunities for participants to develop healthy relationships with forward-thinking individuals.
HISTORY OF IOY:
Ms. Alma began meeting with young girls in her community twice a week. The girls named their group “Girls With Power”. They went to the movies and out to eat to celebrate their achievements. The girls’ parents were pleased with the changes they saw in their daughters. As a result of the “Girls With Power” success growth and personal development, Alma was determined to help youth overcome the societal ills and shortfalls rural youth encounter. Therefore, Alma Venisee, Executive Director, organized and incorporated a nonprofit, “INVESTING IN OUR YOUTH”, serving both girls and boys and opened a second center in Atlanta, Georgia in 2012.
In addition to working with girls and boys, our efforts include working with families who need assistance with housing and career readiness. We collaborate with school districts, local organizations, faith-based communities, and businesses. We have served youth and families for over 20 years. There are many barriers which tend to hinder youth to achieve success. Despite this, many of our participants have graduated school, veered away from the juvenile justice system, become amazing and in-tuned parents, and moved into successful careers. We are grateful for the volunteers and mentors who help us to maintain our mission.
MEET OUR PARTNERS & PRESENTERS:
We appreciate our partners and presenters who assist in providing services, mobilizing the community, and facilitating outreach programs:
New Life Community Center
Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition
Gadsden County School District
Florida Dept. of Health
Florida Dept. of Education
Florida Dept. of Juvenile Justice
Gadsden County Healthy Start
Upkudo Martial Arts
Gadsden County Sheriff’s Dept.
Mt. Moriah MBC
FAMU School of Social Work
FAMU School of Business
FSU School of Social Work
JDI, Galveston Georgia
Valdosta State University Grad Students
OMNI International School – Atlanta, GA
OUR MENTORS, TUTORS, PARENTS & VOLUNTEERS:
We appreciate the parents and community members who assist in ensuring youth in our community grow to become productive citizens. IOY has also provided services to parents and grandparents of our students throughout the region.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION
IOY is committed to creating and preserving an inclusive space welcoming to people of all backgrounds. This commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion applies to how we interact with and provide opportunities for our staff, volunteers, program participants, community members, and other stakeholders. IOY is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of religion, race, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.