Today marks a monumental day in the history of the Durham Children’s Initiative (DCI). Not only have we officially changed our name to reflect our county-wide work with families and our support of the development of the Durham County Early Childhood Action Plan (ECAP), but we have also signed on the dotted line to merge with Partners for Youth Opportunity (PYO). Since 2014, PYO has been partnering with Durham youth to ensure their access to the educational, economic, and social assets they need to experience a self-determined and sustainable life. Together with PYO, we will continue to partner with our community, families, and youth to create opportunities and disrupt systemic inequities. The Durham Children’s Initiative is now the one of the most comprehensive cradle to college/career ecosystems in North Carolina!
From meeting developmental milestones to increasing kindergarten readiness to summer learning gains to improving attendance and academics, DCI and its partners are already leading the way in Durham, providing families, children, and young people with the support and opportunities they need to thrive. Similarly, PYO is a leader when it comes to helping Durham youth build the assets they need to sustainably transition from high school to college and/or career. Over the last five years, 95% of PYO youth have graduated from high school and enrolled in post-secondary education while saving over $100,000 in their own savings accounts. We believe that this unified pipeline of family, child, and youth support will deliver compounding benefits, ensuring that Durham young people can build the assets they need to sustainably pursue their goals after high school.
We have a lot of exciting things happening, but as we enter year 10 of implementation, we have work to continue to do, together. While Durham is doing well, there are still families, children, and youth being left behind. To make large scale change, we must remain laser-focused on our “why” - to break the inequitable cycles of generational poverty bringing families and youth to us in the first place.
Thank you for being a part of our journey and for your commitment to our mission, our families, our staff and our community – none of our success would be possible without your support and an incredible team.