Last weekend, I had the pleasure of breaking ground on New Directions for Youth's (NDY) Health and Recreation Center in North Hollywood. This was a special event for me because I have long supported NDY's work with at-risk youth. For more than 43 years, NDY has transformed tens of thousands of young lives by creating a positive atmosphere for children in the San Fernando Valley. NDY serves 3,000 youth each year and has provided free services for a whopping 90,000 people in our communities.
In 2009, NDY purchased their own building on Lankershim Boulevard to expand operations due to need. As their efforts progressed, they realized that even the new facilities weren't enough to accommodate all the great things NDY sought to accomplish. They wanted to be able to house even more programs targeted at changing the social environment for underserved youth.
When NDY's executive director and guiding light, Monica Austin-Jackson, shared with me all the things they could do if they had a new facility, I immediately scoured the funding sources that are reserved for and available to projects like this. I am proud to say that, with the support of my City Council colleagues, I was able to secure $600,000 toward building NDY's Health and Recreation Center. This funding, along with generous donations from private individuals and foundations, is now allowing NDY to bring their bold vision to life.
The new 5,000-square-foot NDY Health and Recreation Center will house numerous programs, such as a music development and recording, dance, yoga, a fitness gym and outdoor sports, all targeting kids in need. This will augment NDY's current programs including, afterschool tutoring, counseling, computer skills, coding, robotics, art therapy, life skills, recreational activities, summer camp and so much more.
I will keep you updated on the progress of NDY's Health and Recreation Center in the months ahead. If you would like to support this critical community organization, please visit their website: www.ndfy.org.