Today we’d like to introduce you to Dynasty Taylor.
Hi Dynasty, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was 23 years old when I founded my non-profit, “Dynasty’s United Youth Association” (DUYA), while attending the University of Southern California for my master of social work program. I noticed a need for quality afterschool programs in impoverished communities due to the juvenile delinquent lifestyle I encountered in my teenage life that once led me down the wrong path. So I reached out to the local library in my community and proposed a weekly Saturday program to provide free educational, career, and mental health programs to youth in grades K- 12. I started with just two students and one college volunteer. During the first six months of programming, we extended our services to a larger network by servicing one library location to five library locations per week. Over the past eight years, DUYA has helped over 2,000 students pass onto the next grade level, recruited over 175 tutor volunteers, provided employment and internships opportunities, assisted over 80 students with the college matriculation process, provided college textbook grants for high school graduates, and 90% of our students return each year as a result. In July 2021, DUYA established its first brick-and-mortar location in the heart of Inglewood. My goal was to close the gap in educational inequalities, expose career opportunities, advocate for resources, and keep youth off the streets.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The road to success is never easy, but it’s definitely rewarding. Some of the main struggles I faced while building my foundation included finding funding, building a team, recruiting board members, and creating a curriculum that serves all types of students. I still face some of these barriers, but I am more experienced and able to respond, cope, and build differently. In tough times you have to remember your “why.” You must remember your purpose and know that what you have to contribute to the world is valuable.
We’ve been impressed with Dynasty’s United Youth Association, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
DUYA’s mission is to enable children and youth from disadvantaged communities to break the cycle of poverty by providing equitable access to education, mental health, and supportive programs that help them thrive, become self-sufficient and socially responsible. DUYA provides tutoring, homework assistance, job- readiness, college and career advisement, and mental health counseling. We continuously strive to enter the most vulnerable and neglected neighborhoods and build a bridge of resources that helps students find a sense of purpose that brings meaning to their lives. To accomplish our mission, we partner with other local non-profits, recreation parks, detention centers, libraries, and schools to strengthen the resources in our community. We have an open-door policy here at DUYA, where we welcome youth and children from all races, genders, and ethnicities.
We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
I don’t technically believe in luck. However, I believe that if you put good energy and vibes into the world, you will receive the same in return. Since my journey of being a philanthropist and entrepreneur, I have impacted multiple students’ and families lives. In return, I feel good knowing I am making a difference in my community. When people recognize my work, it reminds me of my worth ethic and adds value to my life.
- Non-profit consultation is available starting at $150.00
- Student services are free. However, there are paid options for families to upgrade their free membership if needed.
- Website: https://dynastysyouth.org/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dynastysunitedyouthassoc/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dynastysunitedyouthassoc
- Youtube: https://youtu.be/WGyihHU-YXI
Dynasty’s united youth association