YouthBridge-NY is a nonprofit leadership development organization that convenes, trains, and prepares young people to meet the challenges of an extremely diverse New York City.
YouthBridge-NY is devoted to improving the atmosphere of respect and diversity in our city and the schools and community organizations in which our youth leaders live and learn. YouthBridge-NY youth leaders are proactively involved in the leadership and diversity landscape of our city and are dedicated to improving the quality of life for all.
YouthBridge–NY was founded as Bridge to Brotherhood in 1997 by several New York City non-profit organizations representing and serving youth in the Asian, Latino, African American and Jewish communities. The organization facilitated opportunities for high school teens from these groups to meet and dialogue about diversity in New York City.
Following the exacerbated tension and stereotypes that minorities found themselves facing after 9/11, Bridge to Brotherhood began working with the intergroup and community building division of the Jewish Community Relations Council of NY (JCRC-NY). They convened over 400 high school students for a conference where the teens talked openly about the conflicts that occurred after the tragic events of 9/11. At the conference, it became alarmingly clear that many young people lacked the ability to effectively navigate New York City’s increasingly complex diversity. Seeking to address this critical gap and provide teens with high-quality diversity and leadership training, Bridge to Brotherhood reinvented itself as YouthBridge-NY.
Today, YouthBridge-NY is a highly-regarded initiative that convenes and trains young people to meet the challenges of an extraordinarily diverse New York City. Each year, YouthBridge-NY selects an outstanding cadre of 35 high school students and, through a two-year program, trains them in the core competencies of leadership and diversity. By engaging these teens in workshops, site visits, lectures, and experiential learning opportunities, YouthBridge-NY ensures that future leaders from the myriad faith, ethnic, and racial groups that compose New York City are equipped to work collaboratively to enrich their neighborhoods and advance the City as a whole.