What We Do

Our Mission

To improve the quality of Detroit-area youth-serving organizations to maximize their impact on youth and to advocate for accessible high-quality youth development opportunities. See our values here.

Our Vision

To connect all Detroit-area youth to high-quality youth development opportunities that grow their capacities to thrive in school and life.

YDRC supports 100s of Detroit youth development providers with a holistic approach to quality, networking, advocacy, and adult learning to expand youth provider skills and capabilities. 

Our programs strengthen the individual and collective impact on youth by giving the youth providers the tools they need to increase program quality and produce measurable results.

Many YDRC programs are free and include:

  • Shared Data Measurement
  • Professional Development
  • Learning Communities (Acting with Data and Equity Accelerator for Youth Development)
  • Networking Events

Each program is designed to help grow and increase the positive outcomes of the Detroit area programs and the youth they serve.

How We Do It

Measure Quality and Impact

We provide access to standardized data, best practices and common measurement tools to help providers assess how many youth they are serving, how much service they are providing, how well the service is delivered, and what difference they are making in terms of the youth skills and outcomes.

Improve skills for effective youth work and management

We provide and connect youth development professionals to professional development designed to promote quality standards and best practices, giving providers the knowledge and skills they need to implement high-quality youth programming that is safe, supportive, engaging, and skill-building.

Connect providers to each other and to professional development opportunities.

We convene networking and peer-learning opportunities for professionals to build relationships and partnerships, connect to local resources and national best practices and share lessons learned.

Advocate for quality programming for all Detroit youth

We champion quality and equity so that more children across the Detroit area can access high-quality youth development opportunities.

Looking Ahead — Our Strategic Plan

The Youth Development Resource Center supports a network of hundreds of Detroit area youth development providers offering afterschool or summer programs. We seek to strengthen their individual and collective impact on youth, giving them the tools they need to increase program quality and improve youth outcomes.

YDRC Reporting

Our  2022-2023 Impact Report highlights the data-driven work of providers who engage in continuous improvement, delivering programs that help youth build the skills they need.

The Youth Development Resource Center (YDRC) conducted a study to better understand the Detroit youth development ecosystem and the role of the YDRC in supporting the adults who provide programming to children and youth in Detroit.

History

The Youth Development Resource Center has supported Detroit area youth-serving organizations since 2013. We began as a part of the Skillman Foundation’s Good Neighborhoods Initiative and later merged with the Initiative’s Youth Development Alliance. Since our founding, we’ve continued to grow, refine and standardize practices to support a growing network of youth-serving partners in and around Detroit. In 2023, YDRC began a fiscal sponsorship relationship with Allied Media Projects, Inc.

Staff

Yvonne Mejias

Yvonne Mejias

Co-Executive Director, Operations & Development

yvonne@detroitydrc.org

As the former Program Director for Detroit Horse Power, Yvonne Mejias has a firsthand understanding of the challenges and rewards of implementing quality standards in programming. Her career opportunities have provided her with experience in schools, working with parent groups, and developing and implementing curricula centered on social-emotional learning to support academic and life outcomes for youth.  She is a certified external assessor, coach for program quality assessment, and youth work methods trainer.

Yvonne holds a Master of Education in Education Policy and Leadership from Marquette University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California.

Alandra Chuney-Jackson

Alandra Chuney-Jackson

Co-Executive Director, Partnerships & Programs

Alandra@detroitydrc.org

Alandra Chuney-Jackson is a native Detroiter who graduated from Cass Technical High School. Alandra studied psychology at Michigan State University and then went on to receive her Masters in Social Work from Wayne State University.

With over 10 years of experience in mental health and youth development, Alandra is passionate about using her tools and education to serve the community she grew up in. Prior to joining the Youth Development Center, Alandra worked as the Director of Student Support for the Midnight Golf Program and most recently she worked as a Senior Program Associate for the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality.

Tammy Miller

Tammy Miller

Operations and Data Manager

Tammy@DetroitYDRC.org

Tammy is responsible for the data management and daily operations support of the organization.

While working in the Dean’s Office at the University of Michigan School of Social Work (UM-SSW), Tammy was offered an opportunity to collaborate with the Detroit Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as their Data Technician/Administrative Coordinator. Her work with Detroit’s UM-TAC led her to YDRC. Tammy is also the owner of Miller Business Solutions, an administrative outsourcing company serving organizations with database, operations, and special project needs. She has 25+ years of business experience working in university, private, and non-profit settings, and has been engaged with the YDRC since its inception.

Tammy holds an Associate in Applied Science (Business Management) degree from Washtenaw Community College. She has also studied at Eastern Michigan University.

Albi Taipi

Albi Taipi

Senior Program Associate

Albi@DetroitYDRC.org

Albi is responsible for network engagement, advocacy efforts, data and improvement coordination, and communications with the YDRC to support Detroit area youth-serving professionals.

He is a recent graduate of Wayne State University, where he studied Political Science and Spanish. Albi is passionate about youth services, Michigan politics, and community development. He is an Albanian-American immigrant and longtime resident of Metro Detroit.

Prior to working at the Youth Development Resource Center, Albi was a Challenge Detroit fellow at Detroit Public Schools Community District, where he worked in Government and Community Affairs.

Von Ellis

Von Ellis

Program Associate

Jovon@DetroitYDRC.org

Jovon Ellis is a highly motivated Challenge Detroit Fellow from the Eastside of Detroit. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the esteemed Jackson State University. JSU has equipped Von with a strong foundation in scientific principles.

From a young age, Von has actively participated in various athletic endeavors, consistently seeking opportunities to enhance his skills in many sports. During his free time, he finds solace in pursuing knowledge and personal growth. Engaging in the art of reading not only broadens his horizons but also stimulates his intellect. Additionally, Von indulges in coloring activities, embarks on invigorating bike rides, and embraces the tranquility of yoga and meditation, nurturing a balanced and harmonious lifestyle.

Von is privileged to serve as the head basketball coach at Brenda Scott Academy. This role allows him to share his passion for the sport, inspire young athletes, and foster a culture of excellence within the team.

Von is driven by an unwavering dedication to personal and professional growth and is ready to seek new challenges and opportunities to impact the world positively.

Consultants

Kiylise Lowe

Kiylise Lowe

mskcrutchfield@gmail.com

Kiylise Lowe has worked in the out-of-school time youth development field for over 15 years. She is passionate about racial equity, inclusion, and social, emotional, and cognitive skills for youth and adults. Combining her passions with design work, she has a creative role in implementing programs and facilitating communities to achieve desired goals. 

As a full-time consultant and thought-partner, her experiences working with leaders, intermediaries, managers, point-of-service staff, and youth have contributed toward opportunities that prepare all to thrive.

Assessors  /  Coaches  /  Trainers

Nickole Fox

Nickole Fox

Improvement Coach and Facilitator

Dana Robinson

Dana Robinson

Improvement Coach

Kelly Rossi

Kelly Rossi

Assessor and Facilitator

Yolanda Scarborough

Yolanda Scarborough

Improvement Coach and Facilitator

Kristine Uyeda

Kristine Uyeda

Improvement Coach and Facilitator

Vanessa Vela

Vanessa Vela

Improvement Coach

Steering Committee

Alise Alousi
Meg Blinkiewicz
Sirrita Darby
Maria Franklin
Shuna Hayward
Antoine Jackson

Monica Marie Jones
Cyekeia Lee 
Andrea Meyer
Alissa Novoselick
Yolanda Scarborough
DeLashea Strawder