The Youth Development Program provides children and teens with a positive alternative to the risky situations and environments prevalent in low-income neighborhoods like Portland. Our program is educationally focused, providing children with activities and cultural opportunities that support school (and life) success!

How We Make a Difference

  • Teens who participate in after-school programs like ours are nearly three times less likely to skip classes or use drugs than their peers.
  • Working mothers report that they are most worried about their children’s safety between the hours of 3pm and 6pm.
  • The hours from 3pm to 6pm are the peak hours for teens to: commit crimes, become victims of crime, or be in or cause a car crash.
  • 76% of youth who come to Neighborhood House 3 or more times per week improve their grades and performance in school.
  • Last year we served over 400 youth through our Youth Development Program!

Activities provided through our Youth Development Program include:

Cheers for Careers – Middle and high school youth learn about economic and financial literacy, receive job skills training and career exploration and receive short term jobs for “on the job training.”

Louisville Urban College Alliance (LUCA) – Professional college advisors/volunteers help young people plan for the steps needed to go to college or attain other post-secondary training. This includes ACT preparation and securing financial support for college.  Visits to college campuses expose young people to a wide array of possibilities and help them set goals for their futures.

Literacy-Inspired Arts – This program focuses on improving literacy skills through activities that link reading and the arts. Examples include musical theater, a puppet-making workshop, and a poetry jam session. Young people may also participate in music lessons and chorus.

Academic Tutoring – Our youth benefit from tutoring and computer access that give them the one-on-one assistance and extended learning they need to succeed in school. As a Jefferson County Public Schools designated “Learning Place” we provide access to online education tools that reinforce lessons students learn in school.

Entrepreneurial Youth Gardening Project – Through a partnership with Food Literacy Project teenagers learn gardening skills and how to raise and sell their produce at the Farmers Market.

Summer Dreamers’ Academy – During this innovative summer program, youth are inspired to dream about their futures and develop specific plans to help them achieve those dreams.


0753squareLaToya “grew up” in our Youth Development Program. Today, LaToya is a 21 year-old high school graduate. The following is her letter to us:

My name is LaToya Braddox, and I have been coming to Neighborhood House since I was 11 years of age. My family and I have received so much help from the people here. To be honest, I don’t know where I would be if not for the love and encouragement that I have been given by so many of you. … (read more)

Hear directly for Dominque, T’uana and Deasia on what they like about Neighborhood House’s Youth Development Program.

Your Dollars at Work

  • $50 provides a child or teen 10 weeks of music lessons
  • $100 provides a child or teen 1 week of educational programs
  • $250 provides educational instruction for the entire summer for a child or teen who is falling behind in reading or math
  • $500 funds job skills training and career exploration for a teen in Cheers for Careers
  • $750 provides 14 children and teens the opportunity to visit a museum, arts venue or college or university

Items Most Needed

  • College gear (banners, flags, etc.)
  • School supplies
  • Art supplies
  • Movie theater/Sports tickets
  • Gardening supplies

Donate Now!

For more information, contact Ryan Christian, Youth Development Director at 502.774.2322 or