The volunteers of Inner City Youth Opportunities are a vital part of the organization and have been a major support over the last twenty-three years. With their support, ICYO can continue making a positive difference in the lives of inner city children.
For this very reason, Inner City Youth Opportunities formed Youth Boosters. Youth Boosters is a group of dedicated volunteers who continually devote their time to ICYO through:
- teaching tennis during the summer tennis camp
- homework assistance and tutoring at the after-school program
- helping in the after-school computer lab
- helping with a writer’s club
- chaperoning youth at social, cultural and sports field trips
- helping with fundraising ideas and events
- helping with graphic design and the ICYO newsletter
- helping with arts and crafts for holidays and summer tennis camp
Volunteering is one of the best ways to have first – hand knowledge of Inner City Youth Opportunities and how its programs work to help inner city children. Join Youth Boosters and network with other dedicated people to help our youth go from “Struggling Students to Successful Students” and to become good citizens
If you are interested in volunteering please call us at 513-731-7312 or send an email to Jeanne Bell at email@example.com.
We are very grateful for your interest in supporting Cincinnati’s inner city youth.
ICYO is currently located in Cincinnati, Ohio only. If you are in the area, we would love to hear from you. If you are not living in this area, we thank you for your interest, and encourage you to please keep up with our progress and consider additional avenues of support. Please check out how you can help by supporting Inner City Youth Opportunities which provides low income inner city children an important life changing opportunity!
Growing up in the inner city (sort of)
Written by: Nick Lazaro
I should start this off by introducing myself, I am Nick Lazaro, 14 years old, and Jeanne and Phil Bell’s grandson, founders of ICYO (inner city youth opportunities). From a very young age I began going to ICYO, and when I say young I mean I was in the pumpkin seat witnessing everything.
Growing up in ICYO was a very, very, very special experience. I learned many life lessons. I learned things about humanity and kinship that you can’t very easily learn at this young of an age. From being raised in the program I befriended many kids who were in the program, which to me is very amazing. I broke all sorts of barriers that many kids who are in the upper class just don’t break this early on. My best friends as a kid were all inner city born and raised. Some of them were older than me and even mentored me. From my perspective everything was great, all the kids were happy and nice and welcoming, it was not until I was older that I saw the harsh reality.
As I grew up I started to help my grandparents in the program, specifically in the tutoring area. This was when I started getting confused. I started tutoring when I was about in 2nd or 3rd grade. Where I grew up in the suburbs of North Carolina the school system was not bad at all, in fact it was good. I remember the first time I sat down with a kid from ICYO after my grandmother had asked me to read with them. I thought it would be just like what I had experienced while reading to kids in North Carolina, it was nothing like it. I remember we were reading a Dr. Seuss book, and we opened it and the kid who I was working with asked me if I could read the first page for him, I thought to myself “of course, he probably just wants to get comfortable with me considering I had never met him”. So, I read the first page and I asked him if he could read the next one. He said no. I was confused on why he didn’t want to. So, I said okay well let’s do your homework and never thought anything more about it. It wasn’t until I grew older that I realized it is not that he didn’t want to read, it was that he couldn’t. This was so surreal to me, because where I was from reading was taught to everyone until they learned how to, and it seems as if in their school system they had been given up on. It was heartbreaking. But then I saw why my grandparents were doing what they were doing, it wasn’t just a place for kids to hang out and get some school work done like I had thought it was when I was a kid. It was a program to ensure there truly was no kid left behind.
I bonded with many of the kids and still do when I go to visit. I think and hope that being on the program for so long I have taught kids good morals, and good lessons in life. I truly do owe it to them just for all the amazing things that they have taught me in life. Being in the program has changed my perspective on life drastically. It taught me not to discriminate or to have prejudice. If I never had been involved in ICYO I would not be the same person that I am today. My heart goes out to every family in the inner city and my grandparents and their staff who do what they do to make the world a better place.