Highlighting Positive Community News and Stories from the Greater Coatesville Area

Empowering Coatesville Youth: OIC’s Impactful Youth Program

Nov 9, 2023 | Coatesville

COATESVILLE—While smiling, seven Coatesville students helped pick up trash along city streets as part of the Chester County Opportunities Industrialization Center’s, OIC, Youth Leadership and Discovery Program. This was no the first program OIC created while empowering Coatesville youth. The students graduated Saturday from a three-week mentorship that also included a visit to Cheyney University. As part of the program, students were tutored in workforce skills, conflict resolution and diversity awareness. Javonna Wylie is the OIC director of reintegration and said that through mentorships youth learn skills that make them employable, while earning a stipend.

“They are getting positive engagement from peers and adults,” Wylie said.

OIC President and CEO Joyce Chester said the nonprofit was anxious to invest in local area youth since a move to Coatesville in 2018.

“The Youth Leadership and Discovery Program graduates affirm that the future is bright, we just have to light the match to spark the hopes, dreams and interests in our young people,” Chester said. “Seeing them fulfill this three-week program was the best community investment ever.”

The OIC has been busy. “Months back we co-facilitated a townhall with Coatesville NAACP to address the issues of youth fighting in the community,” Chester said. “We created a few professional development opportunities throughout the summer months to get to know the youth and give them positive adult and peer interactions.That set the tone for this youth pilot program as we asked ‘What else can we do for and with you?’ With the support of the Alliance for Health Equity, Ms. Amanda Winkey and Ms. Javonna Wylie, YLDP was launched. We look forward to continuing this type of programming for the benefit of our local youth.”

Coatesville student Kanya Phipps helped by picking up trash.

“It’s a cleaner community,” she said, “and there is a lot of mental positivity.”

Suriya Anderson wants a better Coatesville.

“It’s great to know that people are here for my future,” she said.

David Day is an OIC labor resource associate and facilitated beautifying the community. “They are giving back,’ he said, about the students. “They are helping make Coatesville look nice and clean like it should. There are different ways for them to use the gifts and the talents they have, combined with education. Their potential is limitless.”

To get the full unedited article on how the OIC is empowering Coatesville youth, visit this Daily Local article written by Bill Rettew. Never miss a downtown initiative with 19320GO!

Posted by Monica Ferguson

Monica is a senior at West Chester University studying Digital Marketing. She is excited about moving to Chester County and eventually starting her career there after graduation.

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