Welcome to The Youth Connection

The Youth Connection is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Southeast Michigan connecting youth to a brighter future. We are committed to providing high-quality youth programs, advocacy and supportive services. We provide programs such as our Career Academies, Nutrition Education, Substance Abuse Prevention, and our Ticket to Float Summer Kayaking Program. We connect youth, young adults and their families to resources and opportunities that enrich their lives, with special attention to those who are underserved.

2018 Chiefs Cooking for Kids Event is Heating Up!

The Youth Connection and Associated Food and Petroleum Dealers Foundation are partnering once again to bring you the 2018 Chiefs Cooking for Kids Event at the Max Fisher Music Theater on Thursday, October 11, 2018!


This year's event will be a fantastic event filled with fun, food and plenty of great company. Guests can enjoy a buffet of delicious recipes, a silent auction, entertainment, cash bar, and a great competition of our favorite law enforcement and public safety officials. Whether the competition features city versus city or blue versus red, one winner will be crowned 2018 Chief Chef!


For information on tickets, sponsosrships, or how you can support your favorits police or fire chief, please click here!


To see pictures of previous year's events, go to Special Events!

Save Our Graduating Seniors (S.O.S)

Dr. Grenae Dudley (President & C.E.O of The Youth Connection) speaking to a group of high school students about the S.O.S campaign.

The Youth Connection, Love Detroit Prevention Coalition and Dr. Dudley were featured on the afternoon news broadcast of WWJ AM 950 on May 21st as part of our Save Our Graduating Seniors (S.O.S) campaign. The campaign took place at the Detroit Police Department 11th Precinct and educated high school seniors and students about the dangers of underage drinking, the use of marijuana and non-medical use of prescription pills while driving during prom season. Listen below!

TYC IS KBP FOODS/KFC  "Charity of Choice!"

A monthlong coupon drive at 38 Flint, Detroit, and Toledoarea KFC stores benefitted metropolitan Detroit youth in a big way – a donation of $39,712 to support youth programming! The fundraiser by KBP Foods, the largest KFC franchise in the U.S., is part of a brand new partnership in the Detroit area that is providing funding for The Youth Connection, which produces youth and family programming and events for thousands of families each year. KBP Foods has also committed to working with The Youth Connection to provide volunteer and mentoring opportunities for its employees.


This year’s coupon drive began Feb. 26 and ran through March 31 at KBPowned KFC stores in Michigan and Ohio. The coupon books sold for $1 each (more than $40 in savings) and all proceeds in the Detroit market benefitted The Youth Connection.


“We were thrilled to be selected by KBP Foods as their Charity of Choice in Michigan,” said Dr. Grenaé Dudley, President and CEO of The Youth Connection. “Their strong support of The Youth Connection is vital to provide the type of quality youth programming our kids need.”


“It is our privilege to support The Youth Connection through our biannual charity coupon book drive,” said Dwayne McIntyre, Senior Director of Operations at KBP Foods. “We passionately support The Youth Connection’s mission to empower youth, and we look forward to continuing to grow our partnership.” Stay tuned for the next campaign, which will take place later this year! Thank you for your support in connecting youth to brighter futures!    

TYCCA Youth Visited Action 7 News WXYZ Detroit! 

Youth from The Youth Connection Career Academies took a tour of the WXYZ studios thanks to TYC Board Member Jennifer Sulik. The students learned about different jobs in the studio, met on-air talent and even got to sit in the anchor chair! We appreciate the entire staff at WXYZ for their hospitality!

The Youth Connection P3: Progress, Partnership, and Prevention!

The Youth Connection & The Public Health & Safety Standing Committee

In collaboration with The Love Detroit Prevention Coalition, Dr. Grenae Dudley (President & CEO of The Youth Connection) William Matthews (Community Youth Organizer) and youth from our Youth Leadership Council spoke in front of City of Detroit Council Member Scott Benson and The Public Health & Safety Standing Committee on February 19, 2018. Topics discussed were the dangers of legalizing recreational marijuana in the City of Detroit, alcohol and tobacco availability for middle and high school students, and where marijuana dispensaries or “stations” and liquor stores are located within a mile radius of a school or church. Watch the video below!

Thank you Michigan First Credit Union!

The Youth Connection would like to thank Michigan First Credit Union for their unexpected visit to our offices and donating $1,500 to The Youth Connection to support our youth programming.We appreciate their generosity and willingness to work with us and our youth in the future! Thank you!

The Youth Connection Is Featured In BABES Around The World Newsletter!

The Youth Connection is honored that our Substance Abuse Prevention program is featured in the Newsletter for BABESWORLD, a primary prevention program that enables children to learn and practice living/loving skills and make positive early decisions about alcohol and other drugs. A big thank you to Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority for funding this training for our staff! Read the BABES World Blog by CLICKING HERE!

The Youth Connection's R.I.S.E Program! A Healthy Home Manual!

The Youth Connection Resources for Independent Skills Enhancement (R.I.S.E) program is funded by The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

Tonia Jones, a MPH-PHP Candidate from Wayne State University School of Medicine collaborated with The Youth Connection Career Academies to launch  The Youth Connection Resources for Independent Skills Enhancement (R.I.S.E) program, sponsored by The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). This program is targeted toward individuals with closed foster care cases ages 18-21 and the program offer services such as case management, housing assistance, employment assistance, and life skills enhancement.

Enjoy The Great Outdoors! Participate in our "Play In The Park" CAMPaign!" 

Here are some examples on how to take your picture in front a park sign, Thanks to our President & CEO of The Youth Connection, Dr. Grenae Dudley!

Our Play In Th Park CAMPaign project was funded by Detroit-Wayne Mental Health Authority

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) teamed up with The Youth Connection in June 2017 to receive feedback on their newest 5-year Statewide Comprehensive Recreation Plan. The Youth Connection distributed surveys and conducted focus groups to determine, among other things, how satisfied participants were with the state parks and how far they would be willing to travel to a park or recreation area. A summary report of the surveys and focus groups showed Detroit participants were unaware of many of the nearby state parks and recreation sites and that they would be willing to travel on average up to an hour away to visit a park. Armed with this information, The Youth Connection’s I2D2 program is encouraging youth and families to go out and stay active in order to increase physical activity and decrease screen time while enjoying the great outdoors.

To encourage you further we have implemented our Play in the Park Campaign. The state of Michigan has many beautiful local, county, and state parks to see and The Youth Connection would like to invite you to go out explore and Play in the Park! To be eligible for the contest, visit any five (5) city, county, state or national parks (including the ones listed above), take a picture of yourself by a park sign, and post it on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #TYCCAMPaign. The campaign will end August 18th, 2018. The more parks you visit and pictures you post, the better chance you have to win the grand prize at this year’s annual After School/Back-to-School/College Fair!

Thank You UHY Cares For The Donation of Bike & Helmets For Our Youth!

Deb O' Rah Mitchell, our Substance Abuse Prevention Program Manager, awarding a representative from UHY Cares their certificate of appreciation.

The Youth Connection would like to thank UHY Cares for their donation of 5 BRAND NEW BIKES for our youth and families who participated in our I2D2 and Strengthening Families Program. At The Courtyard Marriott in Downtown Detroit, youth recieved a cool bike, helmet, also art supplies with scrap paper to create unique sayings on their helments. 

Dr. Grenae Dudley: Michigan Chronicle Women of Excellence Honoree!

Dr. Grenae Dudley & Nadine Cook

Dr. Grenae Dudley was honored at this 2017's Michigan Chronicle Women of Excellence Ceremony on April 20th! The Michigan Chronicle celebrates local African American women who inspire others through vision and leadership, exceptional achievements, and participation in community service. Dr. Dudley and many honorees that have been selected have shown exceptional success in business, community involvement, and philanthropy. A special thanks to TYC Board Member Nadine Cook, for nominating Dr. Dudley for this prestigious award. Congratulations Dr. Dudley!

Thank You Best Buy & Microsoft! 

We would like to thank the volunteers from Best Buy and Microsoft for exposing youth to creative, fun and innovative tech projects in their Technology Event held at our TYC office on Tuesday, September 12th, 2017! Youth from The Youth Connection, Martin Luther King Jr. High School, and The Rhonda Walker Foundation participated in educational activities such as Stop Motion Animation, creating their own apps, and played “Makey-Makey” where youth use non-traditional materials (play-doh, bananas, etc) as a mouse. We appreciate the folks at Break a Difference for partnering with us on a great event!

Thank You Northridge Church Woman's Ministry!

The Youth Connection would like to give a special thank you to Northridge Church Woman’s Ministry for their donation of board games, cleaning and hygiene products, and toys for the families and kids in our I2D2 Fit ‘N’ Fun Family Club and Substance Abuse Prevention program!

Hula Hoops, Baseball Bats, and more outdoor activities items Northridge Church Woman Ministry donated for our I2D2 program.
Board Games, Hygiene and Cleaning products donated for our families in our Strengthening Families Program.
Tissue, Baby Wipes, Body Wash and Paper Towel products donated for our families.

Detroit mayor Mike Duggan announces 2017 'Grow Detroit's Young Talent' program !

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan launched the 2017 enrollment campaign for Grow Detroit's Young Talent program and challenge area companies and foundations to support the summer job program for youth, ages 14 - 24. The Mayor kicked off this year’s campaign during a breakfast at the headquarters of DTE Energy, which hosted the event and has been a major program sponsor since its inception.


Our very own DeAna Gardner, a participant of The Youth Connection Career Academies (TYCCA), was the emcee and speaker of the event. DeAna, you are Detroit’s Feature Leader and we are so proud of you! Watch the video below to hear her wonderful speech about the GDYT program! 

Video courtesy: WDIV-Local 4 Detroit

2016 Career Academies Youth Summer Program with the DNR!





 Strengthening Families Program 10-14!

CALLING ALL FAMILIES! Sign up for our upcoming Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14 Session! For more infomation or to sign up, call 313-826-7099 and ask for Deb Mitchell or fill out our online form!

 The Youth Connection Is A Superstar!

The Youth Connection has been vetted (since 2015) by GlobalGiving’s rigorous due diligence process (Submit project reports in a timely manner and before deadlines, thank you letters send to donors, etc.)
The Youth Connection has demonstrated a high level of engagement with the GlobalGiving community and a commitment to effectiveness via GG Rewards. (Attending webinars, participation in bonus day, contests, and other campaigns, number of recurring donors,

TYC Earned badges from GlobalGiving based on our hard work and dedication! Support our programs and donate to our project "Connecting Detroit Youth to Brighter Futures"

Transformation Thursday Stories

Get to know our youth!

Read about our current and former youth and their accomplishments throughout our Career Academies (TYCCA) program.

I2D2 Fruit/Vegetable of the Month: Bananas & Cucumbers

Bananas & Cucumbers

Check out the Fruit/Vegetable of the Month where The Youth Connection features produce tips, facts, and healthy recipes that you can share with the entire family!

Support TYC On AmazonSmile!

Shop at AmazonSmile and select The Youth Connection as your charitable organization, and Amazon will donate 0.5% of your  purchase to TYC each time you order!

             Our address to send

Donations payable to The Youth Connection by mail is:

The Youth Connection, Inc.

4777 E. Outer Drive

Suite 1340

Detroit, MI 48234

(Phone): 313-826-7099

Our Sponsors

We would like to thank The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) for sponoring our 16th Annual After School Fair!


Check out our Events page to find out information and photos of prior events and what we are organizing in the near future.

TYC On Social   Media

The Youth Connection




TYC In The News

The Youth Connection is in the News! Click on the picture above for our latest press releases, news clippings and links to stories about TYC!

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