Answering the Call​

Answering the Call​

Our Commitment to Social Justice

Our Commitment to Social Justice

If CYC has learned anything from our founders, volunteers, families and students it is that Social Justice is not a buzz word but a moral and ethical imperative. Far too many human beings have and continue to suffer tragically as a result of injustice, inequitable systems and discriminatory policies and practices. The practices have been pernicious and have robbed marginalized people of their inalienable right to better lives. It has also robbed many of life itself. People in Cincinnati and across the globe are responding in a clear united voice to fight against these systemic inequities and for our country to transform into a land of liberty and justice, for all. The Cincinnati Youth Collaborative is, and will always be, in the center of that fight until the much needed change is realized.

Deconstructing systems that blatantly obstruct the success of America’s youth, particularly those of color, is inherent to the mission of CYC. Although we have come a long way in helping our most vulnerable students achieve their dreams in spite of the many challenges they face, we stand in solidarity with all in our community who seek to ensure that our young people don’t have to face those inequities in the first place. It is painfully clear that so much more needs to be done. It is also equally clear that the only way to get it done right, is for all of us to do it together.

For our part, Answering the Call means supporting our youth with compassion, empathy and resources and often the unfortunate benefit of experience, as they peacefully protest for change. It also means working with our District Partners to ensure that we address inequities in our educational systems and help to dismantle broken systems with a collective commitment to never return to the status quo. Answering the Call also means supporting the social emotional health of our students, many of whom had to forgo important milestones in their lives, which have been replaced by the need for activism and courageously creating sustainable change. These students need our mentors, staff and resources, now more than ever, to help them process the trauma that this year has produced.

All of the students that CYC serves, regardless of race and socio-economic status, deserve a brighter future, and every CYC team member, volunteer, partner and friend remains dedicated to the collective pursuit of achieving this goal. Unequivocally, Cincinnati Youth Collaborative stands against racism and discrimination in any form. Not only do we stand against racism and discrimination, we boldly and fearlessly stand for diversity, equity, inclusion, justice and change. This has been our pledge since our inception and we will continue to live out this mission until we create a city, a state and a world where all of our mentees, mentors, families, partners and friends are able to work together to reshape our collective destinies for the better.

Ericka Copeland


A Proven Solution

Empowering youth for over
30 Years

CYC was founded upon a game-changing model that unites volunteers, school districts, and local businesses to create a network of support for our students. 

CYC empowers vulnerable children and young adults to overcome obstacles and succeed in education, career, and life.

In the 2017-18 academic year:

95% of high school students in CYC programs were promoted to the next grade
94% of senior students in CYC programs graduated on-time from high school
71% of senior students in CYC programs transitioned to college
92% of senior students in CYC programs successfully transitioned to college, job or military

What the Impact Data Shows

Impact data that covers the lifetime of CYC. CYC is constantly growing, serving more students, recruiting more volunteers, and working with more organizations every year.



Students Served




School Districts


Partner Organizations

A Community Crisis

Cincinnati faces a crisis in childhood poverty. Over 44% of our city's youth are confronted with overwhelming obstacles like incarcerated parents, abuse, and homelessness. This year alone, it is estimated that 24,000 students in Ohio will drop out of high school. These vulnerable youth face an uphill battle that can plague them throughout their entire lives. CYC students are saddled with serious obstacles that can impede their academic success and put them at tremendous risk for dropping out of high school.


Core Services

CYC offers a number of services to students and their families.

College and Career Success

College & Career Preparing Students for College and Career Success The Impact Preparing students to graduate high school and succeed in college.  Beginning in junior high and continuing through college, advisors guide students to plan and

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Success Pathways The Impact Research shows that mentored students have better academic and attendance records, higher promotion rates/lower dropout rates, and increased levels of self-esteem. In just one hour or less a week, CYC mentors provide encouragement and

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Work Readiness

Work Readiness Empowering All Students to Reach Their Full Potential The Impact 95% of CYC seniors successfully transferred to job, college, or military in the 2016-2017 school year. Through a one-credit high school elective, CYC career specialists keep at-risk students,

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Overcoming Obstacles on Their Path to Success!


Become A Volunteer

Our team really needs volunteers to work with our students. Those who are willing and have the desire to help those in need. If you are ready to change the world for the better, we look forward to having you join us!


Thanks to a Few of Our Funders

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