October 2016 News from PYO

This fall PYO has been partnering with the Triangle Land Conservancy, a Durham-based nonprofit also serving as an internship work site, to provide opportunities for our students and mentors to get outside together. In September mentors, mentees and their families visited Johnston Mill Nature Preserve in Chapel Hill to learn more about native natural habitats in our backyards. Other PYO events coming up with TLC include a campfire workshop in October and mountain biking later in the season.

This fall PYO has been partnering with the Triangle Land Conservancy, a Durham-based nonprofit also serving as an internship work site, to provide opportunities for our students and mentors to get outside together. In September mentors, mentees and their families visited Johnston Mill Nature Preserve in Chapel Hill to learn more about native natural habitats in our backyards. Other PYO events coming up with TLC include a campfire workshop in October and mountain biking later in the season.

Dear PYO Community,

Here’s what’s been going on lately…

PYO Does It 100 Percent

Every college student returns to school

Dosali Reed-Bandele, PYO's academic director and current Durham Tech freshman Xochitl Cahua.

Dosali Reed-Bandele, PYO’s academic director and current Durham Tech freshman Xochitl Cahua.

According to information from U.S. News & World Reports published in January, at public institutions only an average of 64.2 percent of full-time, first-time college freshmen return for their sophomore year. The average rate at private schools sits at about 70 percent.

Causes of poor student retention is attributed to several factors including academic struggles, lack of finances or loneliness. Other causes include choosing the wrong school or family problems back home.

Of PYO students that began their first year at a college last year, 100 percent returned this year as sophomores.

Students have said the one-on-one attention and ongoing support they receive from PYO’s academic team – director Dosali Reed-Bandele and college support specialists Amy Daubert and Susan McCraw – is a significant reason they return. The academic team checks in with each college student regularly, sometimes making on-campus visits, to make sure course loads and personal issues do not prevent a student from doing well.

Parents and guardians of high school seniors, if you have not done so, make an appointment with Amy to make sure your child is on track to enroll and stay in a college or some form of higher education.

Students Share Voices on Youth Panel

PYO youth present “whole picture”

PYO college sophomore Samantha Trejo (with mic) and high school sophomore Qaadir McFadden (next to Trejo in blue) speak frankly about being a Durham teenager. (Courtesy of DurhamCares)

PYO college sophomore Samantha Trejo (with mic) and high school sophomore Qaadir McFadden (next to Trejo in blue) speak frankly about being a Durham teenager. (Courtesy of DurhamCares)

Recently a group of nonprofit leaders and two PYO students spoke about the challenges facing Durham teens and the resources that already exist in town to attempt to identify gaps and foster collaboration on the issue.

The event, “Youth in Durham: The Whole Picture,” was hosted by DurhamCares and included other service providers like Durham County’s Project BUILD, ReCity Network, BUMP the Triangle, Grace Park Church and Dj Pdogg. The panel discussed ways to better connect youth to services available.

PYO students spoke to a crowd of about 50 attendees concerning the advantages and what it is like to be a part of an organization like PYO, what makes a valuable mentor and the realities of growing up in Durham. A recurring theme discussed is the problem of ongoing youth violence in Durham and how to address teen mental health services and creating collaboration between faith communities, nonprofit organizations and businesses.

Arm Wrestlers to Host Fundraiser

Women’s arm wrestling to benefit PYO

LUEWWD arm wrestler Libby Liberty. (courtesy of LUEWWD)

LUEWWD arm wrestler
Libby Liberty.
(courtesy of LUEWWD)

Looking for a little adventure out of the norm on a Saturday night? Come hang out with PYO and the women arm wrestlers of the League of Upper Extremity Wrestling Women of Durham (LUEWWD) as they compete to raise funds for the girls of our organization.

The event is Saturday, Oct. 15 at The Bar at 711 Riggsbee Ave. in Durham. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the event begins at 9:00 p.m. You must be at least 21-years-old to enter and admission costs $5. Proceeds from the event will go towards PYO’s Girls Empowerment Project.

Even audience members will have the opportunity to compete against wrestlers (if they dare) for a small donation. To learn more about LUEWWD, this event or to view pictures and bios of the wrestlers visit their website.

Fall Retreat Provides Future Insight

Get-together creates organizational bonding

The Maya family works on vision boards.

The Maya family works on vision boards.

Every season PYO gives students and their families time to bond with each other during several gatherings. The fall sees our annual Fall Retreat in which everyone groups together for learning sessions, games and food.

Bhaby Banks (far left) speaks with the Hargraves family during the Fall Festival.

Bhaby Banks (far left) speaks with the Hargraves family during the Fall Festival.

This year the retreat was held at ReCity and included activities like a scavenger hunt in downtown Durham and building “vision boards” or posters on which students draw and paste future goals or aspirations such as colleges they want to attend, businesses they want to start, hopes for their families or other attainable objectives.

The day and vision board creation was headlined by Bhaby Banks, a Ph.D in Health Behavior and Health Education. Banks is the owner of consultant group Pillar Consulting, LLC, which specializes, among other projects, in focus group recruitment, guide development and facilitation as well as workshops and training development. Throughout the day she shared her story of attending college without paying a dime out-of-pocket and empowered students to reach for their own college and scholarship opportunities.

Dates to Remember

On a recent employment site visit Elisabeth Chadbourne, owner of Lo & Behold Natural Body Care, speaks to students about the rewards and challenges of being a Durham-based entrepreneur.

On a recent employment site visit Elisabeth Chadbourne, owner of Lo & Behold Natural Body Care, speaks to students about the rewards and challenges of being a Durham-based entrepreneur.

Parents Meeting

Mon., Oct. 10
6:00 – 7:30 p.m. @ Lyon Park

Museum of Life & Science Volunteer Day

Sat.,Oct. 15
9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. & 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Contact Adam or Koonce

Senior College Check-In

Wed., Oct. 19 @ Lyon Park
Seniors make an appointment with Ms. Amy

Alston & Bird Site Visit

Wed., Oct. 19
3:00 p.m. @ Lyon Park
Contact Koonce to go

Family/Mentor Outing

Sat., Oct. 22
10:00 a.m – Noon @ Horton Grove Nature Preserve

College Prep Workshop

Sat., Oct. 22
9:30 a.m. – Noon @ Ivy Community Center

Academic Review Meetings

Fri., Oct. 28
3:30 – 5:30 p.m. @ Lyon Park
Contact Ms. Dosali

Girls’ Group

Sat., Oct. 29
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. @ Lyon Park

PYO College Tour

Mon., Oct. 31
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Touring Charlotte area schools!

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” – Frederick Douglas

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Get in Touch

Partners for Youth Opportunity  
1309 Halley Street
Durham, NC 27707 USA

Mail : [email protected]
Phone : (919) 536-4230