The African American Youth Harvest Foundation (AAYHF) emerged in 2006, after founding executive director, Michael Lofton and other community members recognized that youth and their families were encountering barriers when they needed services in order to become self-sufficient. These barriers included lack of transportation to different locations scattered throughout the city of Austin to fulfill requirements to access services, disproportionate suspension rates among minority students, and costly criminal violation fines. Michael Lofton stepped in the forefront of creating a “one stop shop” approach that would benefit families. Our mission is to provide resources to under-served, at-risk youth and their families comprehensively focused on self-sufficiency. AAYHF’s vision is to be Austin’s leading local provider of free social service support, with a tangible measure of hope.
Since AAYHF’s inception we have provided supportive services, including helping vulnerable families transition from brokenness to wholeness, for almost a decade; reaching 8,775 individuals to date. Our goal is to enrich the lives of the Austin community and provide a safe haven in which they can access, learn, and grow.
Demographically, AAYHF serves low-income and high-need youth and adults, ages 16 and older. Service delivery is to individuals and families that typically reside in Northeast and East Austin where there are large numbers of minorities and low-income residents. Since 2006, approximately 70% of individuals served have been African American, 25% Hispanic, and 5% Caucasian.
Supported both by research and our experience, initially we targeted three critical needs in the low-income, under-served community: truancy prevention, society reintegration for juvenile offenders, and eliminating the digital divide through STEM & STEAM programming. As resources allowed, we increased the breadth of our programming in order to make youth and their families more workforce-ready. In addition, our programs supporting children and youth have broadened to include a Family Academy initiative, as well as other wrap around services designed to provide stability for families who are in crisis.
AAYHF's mission is to provide free resources to at-risk youth and their families with an end goal of self-sufficiency.
The African American Youth Harvest Foundation (AAYHF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency. Our mission is to provide free resources to underserved, at-risk youth and their families with an end goal of self-sufficiency. AAYHF has ten years experience providing intensive human services to 8,775 youth to-date. Other AAYHF programs include:
1. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) training.
2. SHIFT Ascension-Social Emotional Learning and Truancy Prevention.
3. Substance Abuse Counseling.
4. Juvenile Justice Mentoring.
5. BEACON Workforce Development-Job Placement and Basic Skills Training.
Our mission is to provide free resources to low-income, at-risk youth and their families with an end goal of self-sufficiency.
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