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 for empowering our youth to reach their full potential.

We 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. 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 MOYS provided 1,250 teens and young adults jobs, internships and training opportunities. This was an increase from the 1,000 teens that participated in 2016.
  • MOYS implemented a call to action program called JOY (Just One Youth), asking all Memphis businesses and churches to commit to employing and compensating one child over the course of six weeks during the summer. An additional 58 students were provided job opportunities over the summer.
  •  MAP continued to service more than 300 students in a year-round enrichment program. The program also implemented a Leadership Institute Camp during the summer where students learned about ambassadorship and the core values of MAP. College tours were provided to students to continue their post-secondary education.
  • MOYS hosted the annual Classic College and Career Fair during the Southern Heritage Classic weekend where over 80 colleges/universities, businesses and organizations provided information to over 3,100 students in Memphis and the surrounding area.
  • MOYS held the first citywide Memphis Youth Got Talent Competition, where youth ages 14-21 competed in a talent competition for a first-place prize of $1,000, second place prize of $500, and third place prize of $250. Admission cost was 3 can goods or 1 can of peanut butter that netted 1,067 pounds of food that was given to the Food Bank. The event was sponsored by Memphis Youth Coalition, Synergy Technology Group & Park Place Recycling, and Memphis Urban League.
  • MOYS held the first “Hear Me Out” youth forum series at local churches in Memphis to give youth the opportunity to express their issues and concerns that affect them and their community. Following the “Hear Me Out” listening forums, the MOYS Taskforce held the “We Heard You” forum to give solutions to students’ concerns and issues.
  • MPLOY hosted the first Youth Excellence Awards Ceremony at the Levitt Shell to recognize students of the MPLOY Summer Youth Experience for their outstanding performance.
  • MOYS held the second annual Youth Empowerment Conference at Melrose High School where students learned the essentials of work ethics, career development, and financial literacy that will help them become productive individuals in society.
  • MOYS held another successful Neckties and Pearls drive to provide students with business accessories during employment.

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