To empower and encourage disconnected youth/young adults through academics, service, entrepreneurship and athletics to become leaders and good stewards of the community.
For the past 10 years, D3 Community Outreach, Incorporated has been helping to build on the potential of youth in the community while achieving success. Our mission is to empower and encourage disconnected youth/young adults through academics, service, entrepreneurship and athletics to become leaders and good stewards of the community.
In 1998, founder Malcom Reed, found himself able to navigate through elements that cause most youth to be disconnected without supports. Why, however, did he have to learn on his own? Why did he have to use the process of trial and error and self-education to move forward towards his goals? Reflecting on his experiences and recognizing that no young person should have to walk the same path that he did, the idea of building a non-profit organization where young people had supports to be successful in life turned into D3 Community Outreach, Incorporated in 2006.
“At the end of the day my goal is to have an organization with people, including myself, that are touchable. I believe that being touchable allows for us to foster true relationships with our young people that ultimately build on their potential and help them pave their own road to success,” Reed once said. And that is exactly what D3 Community Outreach does today.
We are an organization that serves youth and helps them to succeed in life, despite their reason for disconnection or mishaps that they may encounter along the way. We are dedicated to improving outcomes for youth through the delivery of high quality services from our programs, as well as, inter-agency and corporate partnerships.
“Opportunity youth” are defined as young people ages 14-24 who are not in school, lacking a high school degree, not working or connected to a legitimate job, and are disconnected from community supports. This group of young people also includes students performing below grade level, unprepared for work, living in poverty, or at-risk for entrance into the criminal justice system. Our program focus areas are academics, service, entrepreneurship and athletics. Any young person who would benefit from the objectives of these programs is welcome to participate.
Our programs are designed to put opportunity youth on a path to productive adulthood. By focusing on resilience, caring & positive adult role models, and responsive community programs, we can guide youth to overcome their barriers and connect in positive ways with self, home, work, and the community.
The transition to adulthood is no longer linear and predictable. Autonomy, financial independence, self-control, and personal responsibility emerge at will in the lives of youth and young adults. Knowing just how to make the transition to adulthood is not always clear. A lack of stability in the home, growing up in financial burden, family or foster care dynamics, parenthood, institutional separation and inadequate preparation and experiences related to adult social transitions are only a few of the factors that contribute to premature adulthood by youth and young adults. The time that it takes to make a smooth transition to adulthood is not always available as it was in the past when there were identifiable developmental and societal phases. Having an adult role model to guide youth and young adults along the way is sometimes half the battle.
Each young person has talent and potential which may just need to be developed. Learning is what transforms our lives at home, work and in our communities. Barriers to learning for young people in our community include: lack of assistance with academic subjects, lack of available resources, minimal enrollment in institutions of higher learning and a lack of proper supports to engage and support disconnected youth. For example, a young adult who is living in unstable conditions, has changed schools frequently and who is truant is most likely to be labeled a delinquent and therefore affects resources and supports that are provided to that student. Economically, students who are not given the opportunity to practice skills and trades that currently exist in the labor market are placed at a disadvantage even for entry level positions because of the changing needs of industry.
All young people deserve an equal opportunity to get an education and to prepare to enter and advance in the workforce. The lack of job opportunities available and the skill set by the job seeker continue the cycle of poverty for many disconnected youth. The 2012 poverty rate in Durham County was 19.8%, with 37% of Durham residents having incomes below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. For African Americans in Durham, the poverty rate averaged 26%, however some largely African American, inner-city neighborhoods have poverty rates that are staggeringly higher. These “distressed” areas, based on Census tracts, have poverty rates above 50%, with child poverty in these areas as high as 79%. Durham is home to nearly 4000 “disconnected” youth – young people ages 16-24 who are not in school, not working, and who maybe struggling with other social and mental health issues. A lack of African American students meeting state testing standards in Durham Public schools contributes to the likelihood of graduation and overall successful transition to adulthood. Poverty leads to unhealthy behaviors and unhealthy lifestyles for those who are impoverished.