During the summer of 1996, Joyce Madyun saw a for sale sign in front of an old nearly abandoned church hidden behind overgrown bushes and trees. The building had been sitting for years on the corner of 14th and Farragut Streets, NW and was considered a huge eye sore in the community. Mrs. Madyun’s vision for a Center where she could provide programs and services to parents in the community was born. She and her husband, Qaadir Madyun decided to purchase the building in addition to renovating it to make this dream a reality. That building, seen below, is now the home of the Youth Organizations United to Rise (Y.O.U.R.) Community Center. The community has been extremely appreciative for both the beautiful renovation of the building that now stands on the corner and for the program that have been offered.
In 1997, (Y.O.U.R.) Community Center’s opened its doors with the mission to enhance family and community life by providing services aimed at enriching the lives of school-aged children, teens and young adults. Prior to founding Y.O.U.R., Executive Director, Joyce Madyun worked in the DC Public School System’s Special Education Program and founded the West Enrichment Center (a before and after school program). Her volunteer involvement with DC Public Schools spans over 20 years. Y.O.U.R. Community Center has grown from the before/after care center serving students in elementary school to providing career exploration, leadership and mentoring, Life Issues and abstinence training for our high school population. During the summer of 2008, the high school students participated in an annual cotillion and produced a quarterly hip hop magazine which was published in the fall of 2009.
Since its incorporation in 1997, Y.O.U.R. has served over 1,000 students in the before and after care program and Camp-On-The-Go, teen center, A Leadership Program for Adolescent Girls, and NovelTeens Ink Journalism program. The organization promotes student development during out of school time to assist urban learners and bridges the digital divide using a state of the arts computer lab. The facility provides a homework center and an environment that builds self-esteem and confidence in the classroom.
Y.O.U.R. Community Center and its staff are committed to maximizing after school safety and to creating a positive learning environment that teaches strategies for violence prevention and emphasizes high expectations for student conduct, responsible behavior, and respect for others.