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School-Age & Adolescent Youth Development
The Family & Children First Council’s youth development efforts are collaborations among schools, families, and community partners to develop healthy communities that lead to the academic success, safety, and well-being of youth to enable them to transition into productive and responsible citizens.
We support two major initiatives for young people from kindergarten to high-school graduation:
Through these efforts, the Family & Children First Council is helping coordinate resources, opportunities and partnerships for families and young people throughout Cuyahoga County. This includes youth development work in neighborhoods through MyCom, and strategies to address student success through Family and Civic Engagement (FCE).
- Family and Civic Engagement (FCE)
- MyCom – My Commitment, My Community
Family and Civic Engagement (FCE)
Family and Civic Engagement (FCE) is a collaboration among schools, families, and partners to develop healthy communities that lead to the academic success, safety, and well-being of youth to enable them to transition into productive and responsible citizens. Six local school districts, plus four specific neighborhoods within the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, have partnered with Family & Children First Council, submitting five-year plans that prioritize school-family-community partnerships, creating a shared vision and responsibility for the education and well-being of local students. Cuyahoga County’s goals for FCE are to increase awareness of social agencies, dissolve silos between education and agencies, enhance coordination of services and programs to address non-academic and academic needs, and to expand partnerships.
Additional resources about Family and Civic Engagement can be found at the Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County or the Ohio Department of Education. General questions or inquiries can be directed to Denise Pietrzak, Family & Children First Council, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MyCom is a network of people who believe youth development is a direct path to healthy, safe communities for everyone. We build strengths in young people and their neighborhoods by connecting existing programs and resources, and funding opportunities for positive growth. We also encourage all sectors of society to take responsibility for children’s development and transition into productive adulthood.
Visit MyCom's site at www.mycom.net to learn more.
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. Cuyahoga County stepped up early and in a big way, with $3.4 million and a commitment to manage day-to-day operations of MyCom through its Family and Children First Council.
Today, this youth movement - MyCom - aims to inspire and prepare Greater Cleveland’s young people, kindergarten through graduation, to reach their full potential and become good citizens. It exposes kids to a variety of activities and experiences that allow them to explore new interests and learn new skills. It connects them to a network of caring and committed adults - teachers, mentors, employers, and others - who offer guidance and encouragement. 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.
There are five components of the MyCom that support the goals of the Family & Children First Council Child Wellbeing Plan. The components are: Advocacy, Out-of-School Time, Neighborhood Capacity, Youth Engagement and Youth Employment. These components are also in line with other County initiatives such as System of Care and Healthy Communities.
Voices for Ohio’s Children has been identified as the lead agency in the area of Advocacy. Voices works with various partners to provide MyCom with advocacy, communications materials, media relations and training. They develop an administrative and budget advocacy agenda and timeline. Voices works with various programs and the selected neighborhoods to identify stories for storybanking.
Starting Point has been identified as the lead agency to develop the repository of services, identify gaps and barriers to services and provide technical assistance to struggling programs. In the early stages, the plan focuses on activities for youth when they are not in school such as recreation, tutoring, leadership and civic opportunities, job training and employment readiness. A resource and referral service for afterschool and summer youth programs is now available to the public by calling 216-575-0061.
Neighborhood Leadership Institute has been identified as the lead agency for Neighborhood Capacity. MyCom is currently in 8 neighborhoods: Central, Cudell, Mt. Pleasant, Parma, St. Clair/Superior, Shaker Heights, Slavic Village, and West Park.
The Partnership for Safer Cleveland has been identified as the lead agency for youth engagement. Partnership facilitates the engagement of a diverse group of youth leaders from Cuyahoga County to be involved in the planning, implementation, communications, outreach, and evaluation of MyCom. Partnership plans and initiates strategies for various levels of youth involvement and leadership. Partnership is responsible for the recruitment, orientation, training, and support of youth leaders. In addition, Partnership provides training for Lead Agencies and as well as capacity building for these agencies that includes supporting youth in their decision making processes. Special training will be given that will promote the development of equitable partnerships among youth and organizations. MyCom has taken special care that there are a number of ways to gather input from the young people and to actively involve them in all aspects of this movement.
While the lead agency for Youth Employment has not been identified, an emphasis for this component is summer employment, year-round employment, career development and exploration. The Cleveland Foundation, County and City partners, businesses, and Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.) have worked together to leverage dollars for summer youth employment.
Learn more about MyCom partners.
Quick MyCom links:
Search for youth programs in our Positive Activities database
Find a youth council
Donate to make opportunities available for children
Complete this form to add your youth programming to our Positive Activities database