PS Youth Outreach Positively Impacting Our Community
By Investigative Reporter, Mercus Manley…
PS Youth Outreach Center, Inc., the brainchild of CEO Paula Scott, was founded in 2007 and has received an “Excellent” rating from the Florida Department of Education. This organization’s outstanding track record in making a determined effort to provide academic enrichment, life skills, and career development to students in need cannot be questioned.
As an established youth counselor Ms. Scott witnessed too many students being advised to drop out of school, and was determined to provide alternatives that would instead encourage them to stay out of trouble and to stay in school or drop back into school. Serving primarily youth 15-22 (older youth) at first, PS Youth Outreach Center was determined to work with at risk students one by one to help them turn their lives around. The very first student was a Haitian immigrant who did not know much English. He was provided with one-on-one educational and life skills services which eventually helped him to complete his college education. Today, PS Youth Outreach Center is still standing, ensuring competence in all subject areas, and most importantly in self-confidence.
Over the years it has efficiently served over 600 students through various programs which include: Career Development for Transitioning Foster Youth; Free Tutoring for students in need; and an After-school program for students within the community. The main programs currently provided include tutoring and an after-school program which caters to students from Kindergarten to high school. Volunteer opportunities (a graduation requirement and highlight on college applications) are also facilitated for qualified high school students.
PS Youth Outreach Center stands out as an organization which goes above and beyond to accommodate each student individually. As a smaller community program, it provides a family type environment where PS Youth’s parents, students, staff, and volunteers readily address issues and work together to insure that issues are properly addressed.
Ms. Scott emphasized, “Communication with teachers, collaborations with key stakeholders, and adequate monitoring of our programs allow us to view and treat our students and families as much more than just a number. Where most non-profits seem to meet targets by numbers served, we assess our effectiveness by measurable improvements, student/parent surveys, teacher attestations, and overall, witnessing vast improvements in our students’ level of confidence.”
Ms. Scott continued, “The target population would choose our non-profit because of the personable feel we offer at our Center. We take pride in being consistent in the services we provide to the community. Families can expect transparency, professionalism, and effectiveness through PS Youth. Three characteristics that differentiate PS Youth are: 1) Family-oriented; 2) Professional; and 3) Effective.”
In the current economic, social, cultural, and financial environment, the main challenge facing PS Youth is competition for grant funding among so many agencies vying for funds. A situation further aggravated by Broward Public Schools’ decision to stop underwriting the free after-school tutoring program. Demonstrating innovative initiative, PS Youth host events and avidly seeks corporate and individual sponsors in order to maintain the affordability of its quality programs for more families in need of consistent dependable assistance.
Please support PS Youth’s Jamaican Independence Dinner and Dance on Saturday, August 15 in Plantation, Florida.
Contact PS Youth Outreach Center: 4103 North State Road 7, Lauderdale Lakes, FL 33319