CYD is a long-term, youth enrichment program dedicated to nurturing the talents and dreams of students living in underserved areas of Atlanta.


CYD is unique — our approach is long-term and personal.  Students enter in the third grade in groups of 10-12 students and stay with CYD until they graduate high school.  Each program within CYD contributes to the development of the whole child, giving them the support and encouragement missing at home or within their communities.  CYD has five core programs students attend year-round, 7 days a week, along with two funds that together they provide the vital wraparound services students living in poverty need to succeed. All CYD programming is free of charge to students and all activities include meals and transportation.

AfterSchool Program:  CYD’s Afterschool Program provides a structured curriculum to fortify students’ academic development, as well as a safe, enriching and nurturing environment to support their social and emotional development. Through this curriculum we promote creativity, leadership and self-awareness in our students, in addition to fostering good decision-making, hard work and the development of critical life skills. Curriculum topics include:

  • Creative writing
  • Youth Power + Activism
  • Financial Literacy
  • Community Service
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Music + Culture
  • Personal Health + Wellness

Tutoring Program:  CYD’s individualized tutoring program supports our high academic expectations by requiring tutoring for any student who does not maintain a “B” average in any subject.  We also provide optional tutoring for all CYD students. Our tutoring program improves students’ academic skills and grades and exposes them to positive role models through our volunteer tutors.

ExtraHours Program:  CYD’s ExtraHours Program provides evening, weekend and school break activities for students, including book club, art club, fitness club, community service projects and field trips.

College Dreamers Program:  Beginning in 9th grade, students focus on college-readiness activities, such as essay writing, application preparation, standardized testing and career development.  CYD assists will all the college application costs, including application fees, SAT/ACT fees and transcript fees. Most CYD students are the first in their families to attend college.  Our students look towards us to lead the way as they apply to college and create career goals.  We provide the necessary adult mentors and curriculum they need to succeed through this process.

College Dreamers is vital to the success of students. Many CYD students do not have computers at home, access to a credit card or the cash to pay their schools to send their transcripts.  At times, our students also have to endure the emotional upset in their home when they prepare for college.  Change is not always easy on a family as we continue to break through the barriers, emotional and financial when trying to create a better future for our students and their future families.

Summer Camp: We provide four weeks of supervised fun activities for students. Students have the opportunity to swim, camp, hike, visit museums, roller skate, etc.

Student Needs Fund:  Resources in this fund increase the quality of life for students and enable them to participate fully in school.  We provide funds for fieldtrips, track shoes, musical instruments, eyeglasses, winter clothes, dental care, school supplies and other items our students need to reach their full potential.

College Needs Fund:  Resources in this fund assist our college-bound students with tuition, meal plans, transportation, books and dorm fees.  All of our students receive full financial aid and take out loans, and CYD bridges the gap with resources and knowledge low-income, first generation college students need.


CYD employs a personal, multi-tiered approach in helping students achieve their goal of a brighter future.  Through multiple programs & funds, we strive to:

  • create long-term strong relationships with and among our students
  • provide a safe, loving environment for all of our students
  • encourage self-confidence and leadership to help our students set goals and make smart, healthy decisions
  • help our students build important skills necessary to excel in academics
  • enrich our students’ lives by helping them explore their interests
  • expose our students to a variety of opportunities and resources
  • prepare our students for a productive, adult life by teaching them about careers and professionalism
  • teach the importance of service to others and giving back to the community

Students & volunteers share what CYD is… 100+ volunteers partner with CYD staff to provide the programs, mentors and leadership students need to reach their potential. Together, we build the foundation students need to grow into self-sufficient adults, breaking the cycle of poverty.