PFY Merging with YO:Durham

Partners For Youth is pleased to announce a new partnership with YO:Durham!

After nearly a year of discussions, Partners for Youth (PFY) and YO:Durham (a program of Durham Congregations in Action), have made the decision to merge. The two organizations that serve youth in Durham, NC expect to finalize a merger agreement during the second quarter of 2014.

Partners for Youth and YO:Durham complement each other in mission and operations. The proposed mission of the combined organization will be “(to) partner with the community to provide Durham youth with opportunities to connect, develop, and contribute through mentoring, employment and educational support.”

Currently, PFY strives to provide Southwest Central Durham teenage students with educational and professional enrichment opportunities and positive relationships that will enhance each student’s life skills and aspirations for the future. YO:Durham’s mission is to empower youth and prepare them for the 21st century workplace by providing teens with a year of opportunity to impact the course of their lives.

Zane Shelter, PFY Board Chair said, “The key benefit of the merger is to bring together two organizations to provide more opportunities for students and better outcomes for all stakeholders, while creating a more stable and resilient organization.”

PFY was originally founded by Duke University as part of the Duke-Durham Neighborhood Initiative. Although today PFY is an independent nonprofit, Duke continues to support it in a variety of ways. “Duke has provided the funds for the merger assessment process. We affirm our commitment and ongoing support to both organizations” said Sam Miglarese, Director of Community Engagement, Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership, Office of Durham Regional Affairs.

Dr. Ginger Brasher-Cunningham, Duke Congregations in Action (DCIA) President said, “This is a merger in spirit that formalizes a stronger partnership by blending the two organizations. The new Board (and supporting committees) will contain members from both organizations and the proposed new program will contain all of the important elements of both heritage organizations.”

YO:Durham is an initiative of DCIA, which has frequently served as an incubator for start-up nonprofit initiatives since 1969. YO:Durham was always intended to be spun off from DCIA. After seven years as a DCIA program, YO:Durham was poised to become a stand alone organization. It was at this point that merger talks began between PFY and YO:Durham. “We are excited at the possibility of bringing the two organizations together,” said Spencer Bradford, DCIA Executive Director.

Julie Wells, currently Executive Director of Partners for Youth, will become Executive Director of the new agency. “Julie truly has the ability to bring together and energize those around her. She sees the big picture,” said Lee Wollman, PFY Vice Chair.

Dr. Susan Blackmon, Program Director of YO:Durham plans to retire in on May 31, 2014. “The proposed merger gives me the opportunity to go on to the next chapter of my life without compromising the program I care so much about,” said Blackmon.

Once merged, the organization will operate under a new name. No job loss is expected due to the merger.

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