For most teenagers in New York City, hands-on job training and opportunities to work are scarce. College is also a lofty goal that appears hard to achieve. Urban Dove is the game changer that makes these dreams a reality. Our results prove it. We energize, educate and empower through sports and recreation, comprehensive college prep (including SAT prep, and financial aid guidance), professional Youth Staff training, scholarships, and youth-to-youth mentorship. Our high school programs include:
Urban Dove Youth Staff
The elementary school HiRisers program is organized and run by high school students – the Urban Dove Youth Staff. Through a unique combination of interactive activities, and by using sports as a “hands-on” learning tool, UD Youth Staff teach the younger participants important life skills such as communication, teamwork and leadership. UD Youth Staff prepare and facilitate workshops, organize and coach games, and act as real-life role models for the younger kids.
The College All Stars (CAS) program enrolls students in their sophomore year of high school to help them begin their journey to GET INTO, GO TO, and STAY IN college. Through workshops, fun educational events, and college-focused activities, the program familiarizes students and their parents/guardians with the language and requirements of the college application process. CAS offers all-inclusive support, from application assistance to college selection, all the way through college admittance, enrollment and acclimation into school. Additionally, CAS provides comprehensive and intensive SAT prep and testing; workshops on financial aid, scholarship eligibility, career exploration, college applications, interviews, and college life; numerous campus visits and tours; and guidance from Urban Dove Alumni.
Weekend Leadership Retreats
Each semester we take our teens on a weekend leadership retreat that promotes their ability to think outside the box, work together towards a common goal, and interact outside their comfort zone. It also gives them a change of scenery from the city and allows them to be self reflective. This strengthens the bond and commitment to themselves, their team and their personal development.
We guarantee all participating teens paid employment as Urban Dove Camp Counselors during our 6-week summer day camp. Although a Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) application must be completed and submitted to Urban Dove by the required deadline, eligible students are guaranteed a job regardless of whether they are selected by the SYEP lottery or not. Eligible students also receive community service credit by serving as Youth Staff in the Urban Dove After School Programs and in the College Prep Program.
Students receive up to 120 community service hours per semester when they serve as Youth Staff in Urban Dove’s After School Programs. Teens are coaches and role models for elementary and middle school students. For our youngest kids, the HiRisers, our teen Youth Staff are responsible for teaching sports skills, running games, facilitating life skill workshops, helping with homework and being positive role models. For our middle school kids, the Junior All-Stars, Youth Staff help to guide, direct and mentor them to navigate their own social and emotional landscapes and prepare them for what is coming down the pipeline in the way of high school and higher academic expectations and responsibilities.