Youth Opportunities Unlimited


After the horrifying news last week about the kidnappings in Cleveland, here’s something in the city to feel good about.

An unsung organization, Youth Opportunities Unlimited (aka Y.O.U.), provides services to youth ages 14-19 who are at risk of dropping out of high school.  They get work and life skills as well as help with job development, recruitment, and placement.

In an economy that prizes post-secondary skills, the prospects for those who don’t even have a high school diploma are bleak.  Yet, many low-income kids who are susceptible to drugs and/or violence are inclined toward dropping out.

Y.O.U. intervenes at a critical juncture in these kids’ lives, pairing each with a mentor who provides academic support and access to job skills while showing them how to plan for their future.  This relationship builds kids’ resilience.

Here are some indicators the organization is making a difference!

  • 85% of youth in grades 9-11 will advance to the next grade
  • 85% of youth in grade 12 will graduate on time from high school
  • 80% of graduates will go on to college, other post-HS study, military, and/or employment.

There are many ways to get involved and donations are greatly appreciated.