AUGUSTINE CHRIS BACA
Youth Development, Inc. (YDI), founded in 1971, is a nationally recognized youth service organization that provides educational, developmental, and humanitarian assistance to children, youth, and families in central and northern New Mexico.
Over the past 40 years Youth Development, Inc. has evolved from a small neighborhood drop-in center to a multi-county comprehensive youth service organization. In the beginning, no one envisioned this small program would become a major social service provider for the State of New Mexico; a life line to tens of thousands of youth and families; and a leader in the youth development field at the National and International level.
This growth and longevity has been driven by the core mission of YDI: “to help children, youth and families achieve their full potential.” It has maintained a cutting edge approach due to the frontline work of its’ professional workers whose dedication and commitment to the betterment of individual lives has served as the backbone of the organization.
Throughout this history, YDI has never lost the vision of our founders which was to keep families and neighborhoods central to the work we do. As such, nearly 70% of our staff comes from the neighborhoods we serve and our leadership continues to reside in areas that are considered at risk. In these communities, survival is the reality of daily life. From this perspective, YDI never loses touch with the issues that confront our most vulnerable populations. More so, it drives a holistic view on solutions and sees families and neighborhoods as true partners in developing, delivering, and guiding our work. Thus our work is community driven and we believe true and lasting change comes from within the people whom we serve. YDI offers a broad range of programs that address each child’s needs while helping families face the challenges that impact them the most.
Our programmatic elements emphasize education, employment, and economic empowerment to turn around individuals, families and whole communities. The key to breaking the cycles of poverty, crime, unemployment, and underemployment are these coordinated, concentrated, and comprehensive efforts. Our vision is for communities to thrive and not merely survive.
America stands at a crossroad in its history and in the history of the world. A great Nation rises to face difficult situations; it provides opportunity for all citizens; it cares for the most vulnerable; it values the individual no matter race, religion, or life circumstance.
Organizations like YDI are critical to maintaining this greatness because we serve at the forefront in keeping our people healthy, strong, and able to face the challenges of the future. “As we enter and celebrate our forty years of existence we recommit ourselves to that work and we call on other dedicated individuals and organizations to join us in this important work.” To do less would only compromise the hope for a better tomorrow for our children and for our beloved Country.
Youth Development Inc. Developing Lives