Grenaé D. Dudley, Ph.D.

President and CEO


A professional advocate of children’s welfare for more than 20 years, Dr. Grenaé D. Dudley is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Youth Connection, Detroit’s effort under the Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) Foundations’ Urban Health Initiative. RWJ funded the Urban Health Initiative in five cities in order to address the health and safety of children across an entire urban area. From its inception as The Youth Connection in 1996, Detroit’s initiative was to create “systems change” or establishing lasting change in policy, funding and procedures in order that 50% of the school-aged population in Detroit, Mt. Clemens and Pontiac are involved in quality after-school programs. Dr. Dudley was named to her position on May 4, 1998.


In 2003, with the formation of a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, the organization’s name was changed to Mayor’s Time. The initiative is a public and private partnership on behalf of children and youth, with access to city departments and employees – partnerships that will continue to help focus attention of the community on the importance of after-school programming in the future. In November of 2008, Mayor’s Time returned to its original name, The Youth Connection, to more adequately describe our focus of connecting children in foster care to the resources they need to improve their lives and career outlooks.


Prior to assuming her present position, Dr. Dudley had been Deputy Director of The Children’s Center of Wayne County, an organization which she joined in 1977. A licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Dudley is well versed in the issues related to youth surrounding after-school programs – the reduction of youth violence, substance abuse and early sexual activity – and brings invaluable experience and insight to its mission. At The Children’s Center, Dr. Dudley began as a clinician and was promoted to Director of Foster Care in 1980, transitioned to Residential Division Director in 1983 and was promoted to Associate Director in 1986 and Deputy Director in 1988. It was there that she designed a “Specialized Foster Care Program” which won the Innovative Foster Care Program of the Year Award from the Michigan Federation of Private Child and Family Agencies in 1986. In addition, Dr. Dudley’s abstinence program received the Governor’s Community Service Award. It was at The Children’s Center that Dr. Dudley realized the growing need for a prevention initiative, when she lost one of her foster care children to a senseless killing.


Dr. Dudley has designed, developed and implemented numerous programs that address the needs of children and their families and has served as a consultant to the Oakland and Wayne County Juvenile Courts’ psychological clinics, the Pistons Panasonic Speakers Bureau, and the Selfridge Air Force and National Guard Base Family Advocacy program.


In addition, Dr. Dudley has co-authored a book, Sankofa Ceremonies and Celebrations in the African American Church, with Reverend Carlyle Fielding Stewart III. As a community leader, Dr. Dudley was chairwoman of the City of Southfield Parent Youth Guidance Commission; has served on the State Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board, State Board of Education Full Day/Full Service Task Force, and is currently President of the Southfield Community Foundation.   Dr. Dudley was re-appointed by the Oakland County Board of Commissioners to the Board of Directors for Oakland County Department of Human Services, where she serves as Chair, serves on the National League of Cities After-School Policy Advisors Network and Education Policy Advisory Network, is a member of the National Cross Cities Network and the City of Detroit Youth Violence Prevention Steering Committee, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Black United Fund.  She is a charter member of the Southfield Community Foundation’s Women’s Fund and serves on the advisory committee. Dr. Dudley regularly attends Northridge Church and serves as a lead usher, sings in the choir and is active with the church’s prison ministry.


Dr. Dudley holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Wayne State University.

The Youth Connection Contact / Hours of Operation

*** Special Note """

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, The Youth Connection Offices are closed for face-to-face meetings until further notice. Staff are available by phone at (313) 826-7099 or by email at

Services may be available for youth aging out of FOSTER CARE

To determine eligibility, click HERE!


 For more infomation and how to sign-up click here!

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 Strengthening Families Program 10-14!

CALLING ALL FAMILIES! Sign up for our upcoming Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14 Session! To register, fill out our online form by clicking here!

 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).
GlobalGiving recognizes The Youth Connection for our due diligence efforts to learn, improve, and grow their impact.

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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

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!

             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.

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