Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. is one of 38 organizations selected to receive grants as part of the NBA Foundation’s fourth round of funding totaling $11 million, which is the most-awarded grant round to-date. The grants advance the NBA Foundation’s goal to further employment, career advancement, and economic empowerment opportunities for Black youth.
A national high-impact social justice nonprofit in 32 states and the District of Columbia, YAP provides safe, effective community-based alternatives to incarceration, group homes, congregate care/treatment facilities and other out-of-home placements. About two thirds of YAP’s program participants are children of color, most of whom are Black. The nonprofit’s culturally competent, primarily neighborhood-based Advocates and other employees are trained to help program participants see their strengths and connect them with economic, educational, and emotional tools to achieve their goals while providing their parents/guardians with resources to firm their foundation.
The nonprofit’s NBA Foundation grant will enable the organization to expand YAPWORX employment readiness and YAP Supported Work programs. Among the tools available to its program participants, YAP partners with employers, many of whom are neighborhood-based Black and other minority business owners, to provide pre-employment services and jobs. YAP, which compensates program participants for their training and work, will use the NBA Foundation grant to expand these innovative employment services in Charlotte, Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Milwaukee.
“This gift from the NBA Foundation aligns with YAP’s belief that when the community rallies around young people and families facing complex challenges, we can all help make a difference in ensuring that they remain safely home with tangible tools needed to thrive and have a great future,” YAP President Gary Ivory said. “The NBA Foundation’s support is extremely valuable in strengthening YAP’s work to empower youth and families who most benefit from community-based wraparound services, particularly Black youth, who are disproportionately represented in youth justice, child welfare and other social services systems. I want to thank the NBA Foundation for their vision, courage and generosity, and we look forward to partnering with them.”
Guided by the nonprofit’s “no reject, no eject” policy, YAP serves many young people whose histories include serious offenses, multiple arrests, and lengthy out-of-home placements. John Jay College of Criminal Justice research found 86 percent of YAP participants remain arrest free, and six – 12 months after completing the program, nearly 90 percent of the youth still lived in their communities with less than five percent of participants in secure placement. Learn more about YAP at www.yapinc.org.
Launched in August 2020, the NBA Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to creating greater economic and career advancement opportunities for Black youth. The Foundation invests in local and national organizations that promote school-to-career and workforce development opportunities. Its eight-person Board of Directors includes NBA players, Harrison Barnes, and Tobias Harris; Governors, Gayle Benson, Michael Jordan, Tony Ressler, and Larry Tanenbaum; NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts. Learn more about the NBA Foundation at https://nbafoundation.nba.com.