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Behind the Discussions


MISSION: With love and respect, we partner with regional YouthBuild programs and Opportunity Youth to build the skillsets and mindsets that lead to lifelong learning, livelihoods, and leadership.

We believe that the goals, dreams, and aspirations of every young person are real; they are important and can be achieved. Young people do not need fixing, they need champions who see them for who they really are, and who they can become. Every young person has leadership potential and should have the opportunity to exercise it.

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At first our collaborative served mostly as a peer support group for hard-working YouthBuild directors, but little by little, the Collaborative grew to excercise substantial collective clout, resulting from YouthBuild's compelling mission and the broad unity of purpose among the members. By now, the Collaborative connects and serves ten distinct YouthBuild programs in the five NYC boroughs and Long Island.

Since 2014, the NY City Council has designated stopgap funding each year to ensure that all YouthBuild sites will remain viable, whether or not they receive federal YouthBuild grants from the US Department of Labor.

The strong local commitment from the NYC government, combined with the federal YouthBuild grant program, has allowed steady expansion of YouthBuild coverage, reaching more neighborhoods and doubling the number of youth served. Retaining these funding lines is one of the central goals, and successes of the Collaborative.


Despite the high level of success, the Collaborative has remained committed to a small budget, community-based approach, focused on meeting the needs of the member-agencies, strengthening and expanding services, promoting YouthBuild and Opportunity Youth, improving lives.

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