MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR
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.
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. 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 2016 with you, our supporters, stakeholders, business partners, and the citizens of the City of Memphis:
- Rebranding the division as the Memphis Office of Youth Services (MOYS) with new logos for our premier programs: MPLOY Youth Summer Experience and Memphis Ambassadors Program (MAP)
- Introduction of the MOYS mantra, “Empowering Our Youth for Positive Results,” and the MOYS staff motto, “Our work will reflect that we are trying to save every child”
- MPLOY Youth in conjunction with Memphis top businesses offered 1,000 teens and young adults internships and training opportunities, while MAP continued to service more than 400 students in a year-round enrichment program.
The Memphis Youth City Council entered its first year of service, and created a platform that will ensure the youth of Memphis are an unwavering voice in our city.
- Implementation of Operation Restart (Pilot Program), in collaboration with Memphis Public Works and Neighborhoods Running Neighborhoods (NRN): 20 young men, between the ages of 14-18, earned money beautifying the community by cleaning blighted areas within the City of Memphis.
- Financial Literacy Seminar for Youth at Lindenwood Christian Church encouraged teens to take a proactive approach to learn the basics of finance. The topics included budgeting, banking, investing, earning, spending, and saving.
Creation of a new website with user-friendly features.
- A successful 2016 Southern Heritage Classic College Fair servicing over 2,800 students from Shelby County Schools, charter schools, private schools, and Mississippi, with over 76 colleges and universities participating; this year, we held the first reception for college recruiters.
- The White House selected Memphis as one of the 16 cities to participate as a Summer Impact Hub. The Memphis Office of Youth Services was assigned a federal summer Ambassador to assist MOYS in expanding youth programs.
- Created a four-month Professional Development Series for teens and young adults: The sessions included job readiness training such as career planning, writing a winning resume, searching for a job, preparing to interview, and developing a wellness plan.
Held the first Youth Empowerment Conference at White Station High School with the Memphis Urban League and the Workforce Investment Network (WIN). Students attended classes that presented the Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media, Relationships, Career Pathways, Respect for Authority, Financial Literacy, Gang and Violence Prevention, and Work Ethics.
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