Youth Creating New Beginnings Aims To Empower Philadelphia Youth

In the heart of Philadelphia, a non-profit organization is making significant strides in empowering the city’s youth to forge their own paths toward success. With a high school dropout rate of approximately 14% in Philadelphia and only 10% of students earning a college degree, there is an urgency to create change. Youth Creating New Beginnings (YCNB) is dedicated to providing essential support, mentorship, and resources to young individuals, ensuring they are well-equipped for the challenges of college, career, and civic engagement. The organization’s vision is that every young person in Philadelphia, especially those in low-income neighborhoods, should have the opportunity to create their own new beginning.

YCNB’s founder, Milaj Robinson, experienced many hardships growing up in North Philadelphia, including gun violence, police brutality, and drug abuse. “Those experiences caused psychological warfare that led me to have a lack of hope for our future,” said Robinson. “However, I came to the realization that the root cause is because my people don’t have proper resources and guidance. That made me strive to make an impact and change the perspective of being the product of my environment.”

The organization’s services span two critical areas: College and Career Readiness, and Civic Engagement, Mentorship, Leadership, and Community Service. Under College and Career Readiness, YCNB offers two programs tailored to prepare young people for success. The College Readiness Program focuses on college essay writing, choosing the right institution, SAT preparation, and exploring potential majors. Simultaneously, the Career Readiness Program empowers students to develop essential skills, including goal setting, elevator pitches, resume building, confidence building, and career planning.

In the Civic Engagement, Mentorship, Leadership, and Community Service program, YCNB facilitates opportunities for youth to excel as leaders in the civic space. The organization emphasizes the significance of mentorship, connecting youth to civic engagement initiatives, and leadership positions across Philadelphia. Mentorship plays a crucial role in offering guidance and support, instilling confidence, and helping young people acquire new skills.

Since its founding, YCNB has expanded to three chapters across the country, particularly at Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs). Led by young individuals from Philadelphia, these chapters aim to give back to their communities and address the specific challenges faced by the youth. What sets YCNB apart is its 100% youth-led approach, driven by individuals with direct experience of the challenges youth face. The peer-to-peer mentorship model plays a critical role in this, ensuring a relatable and supportive environment for those seeking guidance.

Youth Creating New Beginnings is dedicated to reshaping the future of Philadelphia’s youth. Through education, mentorship, and civic engagement, YCNB is paving the way for a generation of empowered and resilient individuals who will undoubtedly create positive change in their communities.

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