| OUR TEAM | YOUTH
BOARD OF DIRECTORS | ANGEL
Launched in Delray Beach, Florida, ACCESS Youth began as a non-profit
organization dedicated to underprivileged teens in the community,
providing them access to the resources of the more fortunate.
In 2007, the
President of ‘Mad Dads’ approached the Delray Beach
Police Advisory Board. As a group of fathers who walked the streets
of tough neighborhoods to clear them of drug dealers and potential
criminals, ‘Mad Dads’ informed the Board that there
were no community summer camps, playgrounds or programs available
to teens between 12-18 years of age in Delray Beach. Coming from
homes with limited resources, these teens were generally unsupervised
during the day. They were unlikely to be hired in summer jobs and
rarely had the opportunity to participate in a summer camp or program.
With no alternatives, these youth ended up spending their time on
the streets, vulnerable to crime, drugs and violence.
a member of the Police Advisory Board, went home troubled that night.
She was struck by the dichotomy in her own community of the affluent
teens she saw in her therapy practice and the kids who had no place
to turn. She began approaching her friends and colleagues with the
query, “Will you contribute two hours of your summer or a
hundred dollars?” Most gave both. The Delray Beach Police
Department and the Bermill Foundation generously donated time and
money to ensure the program’s success. Ms. Frances Carter,
considered a local community “institution” on her own,
shared her wisdom, resources and knowledge of the children to connect
ACCESS programs to the teens in need.
Under the guidance
of Annette Annechild, these volunteers came together and formed
ACCESS Youth. Afternoon summer workshops gave youth instruction
in finance, law, goal setting, photography, cooking, nutrition,
art, exercise, ethics, and etiquette. Special “Career Days”
introduced ACCESS youth to professionals as diverse as acupuncturists,
entrepreneurs, green architects, lawyers, chess masters, psychotherapists,
marine biologists, and fitness trainers.
From the beginning,
ACCESS Youth committed itself to ensuring that all teens are given
equal access to education, skill building, and career resources.
COMING TO THE CAPITOL
ACCESS Youth in Washington, DC builds on the foundation established
in Florida connecting community based volunteers with at-risk juveniles.
Building on the belief that small contributions from many people
can make incalculable changes in the lives of children, ACCESS Youth
opened its organization to the children of Washington, DC in 2009.
fifteen year relationship, Annette Annechild and Jodi Ovca,--founder
of ACCESS Youth in DC— have shared a commitment to building
a future of possibilities for youth. By giving juvenile offenders
access to mediation with their victims and the community, mentoring
activities, tutoring and educational opportunities, family strengthening
workshops, internships, community service opportunities, workshops
and career counseling, all ACCESS Youth programs are designed to
offer juveniles an alternative to crime.
YOUR WAGON TO A STAR
ACCESS Youth staff have been dedicated to DC youth for twenty years.
Having worked with a range of professionals in diverse sectors,
the ACCESS Youth Team draws on its vast experience in Washington,
DC with numerous programs including:
- Balance and
Restorative Justice, an initiative of the District of Columbia
Court of Social Services
- Summer of
Success: Metropolitan Police Department Youth Investigations Division
2009 Youth Outreach
of Columbia Office of the Attorney General Youth Mediation Program
- Peer Mediation
for District of Columbia Public Schools
TO THE FUTURE
As ACCESS Youth continues to expand its programs, its inspiration
will always remain the same:
We believe that
each child has unlimited potential and that with access to empowering
resources, support and services, they will choose alternatives to
crime and transform themselves and their community.
we will build a peaceful future.