Youth Development Program

HFC’s Youth Development Program offers safe, structured, year round programming for youth ages 5 to 19. The Youth Program focuses on social competencies, educational support, physical activity, and positive values in an environment where youth can form healthy relationships with peers and staff. Activities and enrichment experiences are developed to enhance cognitive, social, and physical development. Services provided include afterschool programs for youth and teens, full-day summer program, case management and mentoring for youth at high risk for school failure, juvenile delinquency, or involvement in the criminal justice system. All services are provided free of charge to youth and families.


Refugee Youth and Family Support Program

The Refugee Youth and Family Support Program (RYFS) is a comprehensive youth development program serving refugee children and teens. The program offers orientation to the American school system, academic enrichment, leadership development, and support services. Each year, approximately 450 refugee children from around the world begin new lives in the city of Syracuse. The objectives of this program are to prepare refugee youth for academic success, to assist their integration into the community, and to facilitate progress of refugee youth toward a high school degree. The RYFS Program has provided services for 25 years.

Refugee Resettlement Program

The Refugee Resettlement Program welcomes men, women, and children to the United States when they are forced to flee their own countries because of war, oppression, or persecution. In 2016, the largest resettlement populations were from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, and Somalia. Despite the hardships inherent in the forced migration experience, refugees are extremely motivated people who want to be self-supporting. The Refugee Resettlement Program strives to provide newly arriving refugees with a safe place to start a new life and with the skills and supports necessary to achieve economic self-sufficiency through employment.


Community Wide Dialogue to End Racism – Starting Small Program

Established in 2000, Starting Small operates through Seeds of Peace, which are weekly dialogue and action clubs in each Syracuse high school where native and non-native born Syracuse high school students work together on peace-building projects in schools and communities; and the School Exchange, which brings together diverse youth from elementary, middle, and high schools in Syracuse and in Onondaga, Madison, and Oswego Counties. The Program creates a safe space for dialogue about structural racism; learning conflict resolution skills; building alliances; and breaking down stereotypes.


Exploring Your World Inclusive Preschool

Exploring Your World is an inclusive preschool that provides early education to children with disabilities and their typically developing peers. The school serves children starting at eighteen months and until they leave for kindergarten. The inclusive nature of the school results in a high student to staff ratio as the school has dedicated speech, occupational and physical therapists who work alongside classroom teachers. Approximately 50 percent of students are diagnosed with a developmental disability. The school’s location on the Northside of Syracuse attracts a diverse population.


Preschool Program

The Preschool Program provides accessible year-round early childhood education at no cost. The program enhances cognitive, emotional, social, physical, and linguistic development so children are developmentally on track when entering kindergarten. The target population is comprised of vulnerable families with children three to five year olds living in high-need neighborhoods of the city of Syracuse. Participants represent the city’s growing ethnic and linguistic diversity with many children being English Language Learners (ELLs). The program provides transportation and educational opportunities to support and engage parents. Operating since 1972, the program now provides Universal and Expanded Pre-K (UPK and EPK) and is adding Three-Year-Old Pre-K (3PK), all in partnership with the Syracuse City School District (SCSD).


Preschool Program

The Preschool Program engages children from eighteen months to five years old in an exciting, high quality educational program, designed to meet their cognitive, social, emotional, and physical needs. It is a low cost program specifically designed to equalize and maintain educational resources for those children who are socially, economically, or developmentally disadvantaged. Special events, field trips, and literacy activities are prearranged to encourage parental involvement and family interaction.


Pyramid Model Scholarship Program


Family Support Network

Family Support Network is a year round parent education program for parents and caregivers of all learning abilities. The program strives to offer a wide variety of learning opportunities and group experiences with an emphasis on hands on learning. The goal is to improve the overall functioning of families by helping parents and caregivers increase knowledge and awareness, gain/ retain essential skills, insights and abilities to care for their children and themselves, and raise awareness of additional community supports and services.


Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) is a partnership with the community to mentor youth. Community members are the heart of the program – school personnel, human services agencies, churches, businesses, high school student volunteer mentors, college student volunteer mentors and adult volunteer mentors. PEACE, Inc. has two BBBS mentoring programs – each based in community and school. Children ages six through 12 are recruited through outreach efforts and referrals from partner agencies. The community-based program recruits mentors from the local community, while the School-Based program mentors are high school and college students.


Education Advocacy

ARISE’s Education Advocacy provides services to parents who have children with disabilities enrolled in the Syracuse City School District. Our Education Advocate provides parents with the information, resources, skills, and support needed for them to more fully engage with and participate in their child’s education. This leads to collaborative relationships between parents and school staff that ensure children with disabilities receive an appropriate education, which gives them the ability to succeed in school, and to live independent and self-directed lives as adults.


Transition Coach Program

CCA’s Transition Coach Program provides transitional support services to students grades K-12 returning to Syracuse City School District mainstream schools after a long-term out-of-school suspension, placement in a juvenile residential facility, juvenile detention or adult incarceration. The objective is to ensure students returning to mainstream schools make a successful academic and behavioral transition in accordance with the District’s Code of Conduct, Character and Support, and are positive citizens in their communities. The two United Way proposed positions would service TCP eligible 15-20 year olds, separated by gender, whom are returning from a juvenile residential facility, juvenile detention, or adult incarceration.


Primary Project

Primary Project is a school-based prevention and early intervention program for students enrolled in grades kindergarten through three who have been identified as at risk for school maladjustment and/or failure. Contact Community Services, Inc. partners with the Syracuse City School District, the East Syracuse-Minoa Central School District, Southside Academy Charter School and Liverpool Central School District to provide Primary Project services to help identified students become more emotionally resilient, develop better social skills, and improve school adjustment and learning. Outcomes for participating students include increased task orientation, behavior control, assertiveness, and peer social skills.


Vocational and Employment Services Program

AURORA’s Vocational and Employment Services Program equips youth and adults with vision or hearing loss or both with the skills to secure and maintain educational and vocational success. This program provides specialized job readiness and vocational skill building through pre-vocational (soft-skills) and assistive technology training, pre-college preparation and career exploration and work readiness workshops and training, in an experiential, community-based context that specifically addresses the unique needs of workers with vision or hearing loss.


EPIC (Education, Preparation, Involvement, and Community)

EPIC is an employment program within the structure of our Residential Treatment Program that provides a variety of employment education and services to youth 14 years and older. EPIC stands for Education, Preparation, Involvement and Community. During each stage, youth will be provided with education, skill development and experiences toward work readiness, life skills and eventually employment. Our goal is for each youth to take the skills and experiences they have gained at Elmcrest and begin to apply them when returning to their home communities and continue on the path of success to graduate high school, gain employment and foster strong connections within their communities.


Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection

Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection, an evidence informed model, works with middle and high school students in the Syracuse City School District who are at-risk for dropping out of high school. Students are paired with a professional, full-time Youth Advocate who serves as their mentor and works with them to ensure their graduation from high school. Additionally, students who qualify academically are trained and placed in after-school/summer jobs. Other critical services provided include: academic tutoring, Regents preparation, social, life skill, and leadership development, and college and career preparation and support. On average, 97 percent of HW-SC seniors graduate on-time every year.


College Access & Success

On Point for College’s College Access & Success Program informs older youth/young adults that college is possible; and then advises them how to enroll in, persist at and complete college. Services include outreach at 12 community centers, advisement about college and financial aid applications, campus tours, transportation, last dollar grants for housing deposits, textbooks, and basic needs, college orientations and follow-up advisement such as visits at college campuses. For 17 years, On Point has established caring relationships with our students, providing a support network, like no other organization in its breadth of outreach, advocacy, advisement and resolution concerning academic, financial, and personal challenges.


Day Care Services

The Salvation Army Day Care Services Programs provide quality childcare for low-income families at three licensed day care centers located in the downtown area of Syracuse. The programs offer families access to quality childcare for their children, ages 6 weeks to 12 years and promote the development of children in a safe and nurturing environment. The program provides opportunities for enhanced on-site programming, including Early Head Start, Head Start, and Expanded Pre -K, Universal Pre-K, homework help and an integrated learning environment for children with special needs. Our services help prepare children for school success and pro-social interactions.


Community Child Care Scholarship Program

Reliable child care is a necessity for parents who must work outside the home to support their family. Children’s physical, emotional and cognitive development is impacted by the quality of the care they receive, but high quality child care is expensive and often unaffordable for moderate-income families. Since 2005, Child Care Solutions has provided financial assistance through the Community Child Care Scholarship Program to help moderate-income working parents in Onondaga County enroll their children in NY State regulated child care centers for quality care and early learning.


Adult English Language Instruction

LiteracyCNY will enroll 30 adult refugees and/or immigrants in three small group English classes each year, targeting those with the most limited English. Instruction will be provided in small group classes held at the SEOC and supplemented with one-to-one tutoring and oral English practice in conversation groups led by trained volunteers. Students will be placed into classes depending on their English proficiency as measured by the BestPlus assessment test. Students will make learning gains on the BestPlus and/or achieve self-identified goals, e.g. participating in their children’s education, obtaining employment, improving family health, achieving U.S. Citizenship, and participating in community life.