Dear Friends,

I would like to start by thanking my wonderful staff for their endless work under my leadership. Embracing our mantra, “Empowering Our Youth for Positive Results,” we have accomplished much in making that phrase a true statement and not an apology. In addition, I would like to thank our Mayor, Jim Strickland, for being a strong advocate in empowering our youth to reach their full potential.

ike_griffith_directorspageWe at the Memphis Office of Youth Services (MOYS) are dedicated and committed to shaping our young people to be productive individuals in society by providing opportunities for their success. I know this work will continue to be a challenge; however, the intention of the staff at MOYS will reflect our efforts to save every child. With that being said, my staff and I need the support of businesses, the faith-based community, and most of all, parents, to assist us with the development of our youth.

Now, I would like to share some accomplishments from 2017 with you, our supporters, stakeholders, business partners, and the citizens of the City of Memphis:

  • MPLOY Youth in conjunction with Memphis top businesses offered 1,250 teens and young adults internships and training opportunities in addition to the 1,000 teens in MPLOY Youth during the 2016 year.
  • Implemented a call to action program, JOY – Just One Youth, asking all Memphis businesses and churches to commit, employ, and compensate one child over the course of six weeks during the summer. 58 students were provided job opportunities, in addition to, the teens and young adults who received internships and training with the MPLOY Youth program this summer.
  •  MAP Program continued to service more than 400 students in a year-round enrichment program. MAP also hosted Leadership Institute Camp where over 300 students learned what ambassadorship is and the core values of MAP along with college tours and a culminating performance piece at the end of the summer in partnership with Barry Jackson with Positive Note.
  • MOYS hosted annual Classic College and Career Fair where over 80 colleges/universities, businesses and organizations provided information to over 3,100 students in the Memphis and surrounding area.
  • MOYS held 1st city wide Memphis Youth Got Talent Competition where youth ages 14-21 competed in a talent competition for a 1st place prize of $1,000, 2nd place prize of $500, and 3rd place prize of $250.00. Admission cost was 3 can goods or 1 can of peanut butter and 1,067 pounds of food was raised and given to the Food Bank. The event was sponsored by Memphis Youth Coalition, Synergy Technology Group & Park Place Recycling.
  • Held first “Hear Me Out” youth forum series at local churches in Memphis to give youth the opportunity to express any issues and concerns that affects them and the community as well as giving solutions and ideas to problems. Following the “Hear Me Out” listening forums, the “We Heard You” forum was held to give solutions to student’s concerns and issues.
  • MPLOY, Memphis Music Matters, and Hard Rock Heals Foundation collaborated to have the “Believing in Memphis Youth” Teen Summit where city youth gathered to discuss education, social media, entrepreneurship, and more.
  • MPLOY hosts Youth Excellence Awards Ceremony at the Levitt Shell to award youth for outstanding performance.
  • MOYS hosts Youth Empowerment Conference at Melrose High School where students learned the essentials of work ethics, career development, and gang violence within the communities.
  • Neckties and Pearls Drive was held where gently loved business accessories were donated to participating students of the MPLOY Summer Youth Program and Memphis Ambassador Program.

As you can see, MOYS has been truly busy. None of these accomplishments could have been made possible without a great staff that supported my vision.

In closing, the Memphis Office of Youth Services will continue our mission that is so vital to this great city. We need your unwavering support and prayers as we advance the youth of this city to become responsible productive citizens.



Ike Griffith, Ed.S
Special Assistant to Mayor Jim Strickland
Director of the Memphis Office of Youth Services