FYC has operated a program for children and youth ages 6-18 years old in the communities of East Baltimore since 1985. Since then, we have been sharing the Franciscan values with the children and families we serve. The significance of the years of consistent operation has created two striking opportunities: first, the ability to observe how the program contributed to and impacted the lives of children who are now successful and productive adults; and second, the ability to nurture and impact the lives of current community children enrolled in the program to help them improve the quality of their lives, thereby becoming productive citizens of the Baltimore community.
The Voices of FYC
FROM A GRATEFUL FATHER TO THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF FYC:
“I am forever grateful to you for your kindness and the abundant support you so often offer my family. To this I add the work you do through FYC. You have been a beacon of hope, nurturing my two daughters to become healthy young adults. You have played a big part in their development. It is for this reason I am letting you know that my oldest daughter was admitted to Western High School for the Honors College Preparatory Program: we could not have done it without you, FYC and associates, and all the other things remembered and cherished. You opened the doors!
Thanks a mill, from our family!”
FROM A LONG TIME COMMMUNITY RESIDENT:
“I know a young man who benefited a great deal from going to the Center. He used to go to the Center after school. We met when I went to the neighborhood school to volunteer after retirement. He was very, very bright, and so far above the other students, so the principal asked me, would I challenge him more in reading and writing everyday. He then participated in a summer program at Georgetown Prep and they offered him a scholarship. None of this would have happened if he did not go through the Center. The Center is the one place that I know where the kids in the neighborhood can go, the one place that children want to be after school. They go there and have good examples for them to follow.
FROM A FORMER FYC STUDENT, NOW A TEACHER:
“It was my Uncle, a volunteer at the Center, who opened me up to a wonderful opportunity when I was 6 years old. Once I was 7 and old enough to attend, I found myself at the center whenever possible, among friends from the community. The Center, although small, provided an ambiance and sense of family as well as a safe environment that was absent from most of our lives. While the Center offered help, there were students who hit some rough spots and I was one. The Center continued to help me through high school and college. Once out of college, I became a teacher, a job which would allow me to pass on the roots I felt so necessary to young teens like I once was.”
FROM A FORMER FYC STUDENT AND COLLEGE GRADUATE, NOW WORKING FOR THE MTA:
“Looking back I realize that FYC saved me. I would have been in a lot of trouble had it not been for the Center. Growing up in a neighborhood full of drugs and violence wasn’t easy. The Center provided me and others with a safe place to get away from all that. They welcomed me with open arms and really helped me grow up and mature over the years. It wasn’t always fun and games there. We had time to hang out, but also spent time getting tutored in math and reading. The center gave opportunities to inner city kids that would not have come from anywhere else. I saw friends that didn’t stay at the Center and were lost to the streets. It could have been me. The staff always offered a helping hand, or an encouraging word. They deserve much credit for making a difference in so many children’s lives.