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YouthVille Detroit to Open

First of its Kind Youth Development Center in Midwest

DETROIT, Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- YouthVille Detroit, the largest, comprehensive youth development center in the Midwest, will open its doors to serve the young people of Detroit and southeast Michigan.

YouthVille Detroit, a program of the Detroit Youth Foundation (DYF), is located at 7375 Woodward in the New Center area. The $15.8 million facility will combine youth and family services, mentoring, leadership development, health care, arts and crafts, fitness programs including sports, dance and exercise, music and drama, technology and a cyber cafe all under one roof in an impressive, completely renovated 75,000-square-foot leadership development facility.

To mark the Grand Opening of YouthVille Detroit, DYF will host two events. A ceremonial grand opening is scheduled for Thursday, October 6 at 11 a.m. with key community leaders. This event will include DYF officials, tenant and program partners, funders, elected officials, students and parents.

YouthVille Detroit then opens to the public with a community open house Saturday, October 8 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at which for the first time parents will be able to register their child to become a YouthVille Detroit member. All young people ages 11-19 will be welcome.

"The concept for YouthVille Detroit begins with a vision to create a world-model community of healthy neighborhoods where citizens can nurture Detroit youth -- beginning with a facility for and about youth," said Dr. Gerald K. Smith, President and CEO of Detroit Youth Foundation. "By providing support and opportunities for young people, YouthVille Detroit offers youth a way to avoid delinquent behavior and develop leadership skills for life. Thus, the facility will provide an atmosphere of support and circumvent risky behavior by focusing on youth assets and their environment; promoting alternative activities; addressing the needs in children's lives; and building social competencies.

"This is truly a collaborative effort and we are thrilled to offer this magnificent gift to the youth of Detroit and surrounding areas."

Smith said to our knowledge there is no facility like YouthVille Detroit in Michigan or in the Midwest with its youth-focused programming that has been developed with the active involvement of young people who will be served by the facility. A Youth Steering Committee, a group of exceptional young adults, was involved every step of the way in planning and building the facility right down to such details as deciding on the carpet, furniture and paint color of the facility.

"I really enjoyed picking out the furniture," said Ahmed Heath, a junior at Martin Luther King Jr. High School and steering committee member. "YouthVille Detroit is really a youth center built by youth."

YouthVille Detroit is equipped and staffed to offer a variety of activities including:

* Technology including computer labs and training for academics and leisure from basic skills to digital photo and movies

* Recording studio and Web-based radio

* Musical training including choral, string instruments, rap & hip hop, classical, jazz improvisation and rhythm & blues

* Studio and instructional classes in ceramics, art, drawing and painting
* Dance studio and classes for modern jazz, ballet, ballroom and hustle
* Performance space for dance, choirs, bands and theatre
* Henry Ford Health Clinic for students and their families

* Fitness facilities and instructional classes for aerobic & exercise, body building, etiquette, basketball, volleyball, fencing, archery, tennis, track and golf

* Academic support including homework help and SAT and ACT preparation

"YouthVille Detroit has the capacity to service 250 to 300 young people a day," said Lynn Burdell-Williams, Director of Programs of YouthVille Detroit. "There is something for every young person from fencing, to art, to music, to fitness and learning."

YouthVille Detroit will be home to DYF and collaborative tenant partners in addition to more than a dozen community and program partners including:

Tenant Partners
* Big Brothers Big Sisters
* Black Family Development Inc.
* Children's Aid Society
* Detroit Parent Network
* Don Bosco Hall
* Henry Ford Health System
* Sylvan Learning Center
* United Negro College Fund
* YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit

Program Partners
* Elite Archery
* Henry Ford Health System
* Inside Out, Inc.
* Legacy Associates Foundation
* Luther "Big Lu" Campbell
* Mosaic Youth Theatre
* Motor City Dance Factory
* Pewabic Pottery
* REACH, Inc.
* Roeper School
* Tyrone M. Simmons Fencing Academy, Inc.
* Universities - Marygrove College and University of Michigan

Major donors to YouthVille Detroit include W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Skillman Foundation, Comerica Charitable Foundation, Non-Profit Facilities Center, DTE Energy Foundation, Microsoft Corporation, General Motors Foundation, SBC Foundation and Kresge Foundation (pending challenge grant).

Architects for the building are Hamilton Anderson Associates and White Construction is the general contractor. The facility is comprised of three buildings and a fourth newly constructed building with an urban look and is designed to be environmentally friendly, with certification pending by The U.S. Green Building Council. Part of the DYF logo, which consists of images of young people holding hands will be etched onto the gymnasium and the north side of the building city permitting will signify a facility that will be for youth and about youth.


On Saturday, October 8, 2005 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. young people ages 11- 19 for YouthVille Detroit. All young people must have the following items to register:

* They must be accompanied by a parent or guardian
* Must have an official birth certificate and
* Annual memberships are $25 per youth. Subsidies are available for families that qualify. (DYF will accept the following methods of payment: Check or Money Order)

YouthVille Detroit is a program of the Detroit Youth Foundation. DYF was formed in 1999 as an outgrowth of The Kellogg Foundation's highly successful 20-Year Youth Initiatives Program in the Northern High School service area. Today, DYF encourages positive youth development through collaborative partnerships and funding strategies that help create a healthy community environment. The Foundation works to provide programs and activities at the community level that support children and guide positive youth development. DYF's primary service area reaches from the Detroit River, north to Six Mile, Wyoming to the West and Conner to the East but expands to serve citywide. No youth will be excluded based on residency. DYF is a 501 (c) (3) and a 509 (a) (1) public charitable foundation and tax exempt organization.

Source: YouthVille Detroit

CONTACT: Ana Tackett of Berg Muirhead and Associates, +1-313-872-2202,
ext. 204

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