The City of Birmingham Mayor’s Office-Division of Youth Services continues to develop programs for the betterment of Birmingham’s youth. Below is a list of some of the programs and services that we offer. For more specific details, call 205-320-0879.
Birmingham Young Advisory Commission (BYAC)
BYAC is for college students and young professionals 19-25 years old who would like to represent the voice of youth in matters that directly impact their future. Participation criteria are available through the DYS office.
Bridging the Gap: Conversations with Living History
Bridging the Gap allows youth to witness oral presentations made by some of Birmingham’s living legends. Participants get to hear about each legend’s historic contributions to the City of Birmingham and also take part in up-close-and-personal conversations with living history.
“Caught Doing Good!”
Caught Doing Good spies from DYS and the Birmingham Police Department are out to catch youth in the act of doing good deeds. Youth who receive a Caught Doing Good citation can redeem it for a prize, a Caught Doing Good t-shirt and a certificate of recognition. Winners also take a photo for the DYS "Hug Shot" gallery.
Cultural Sampling Tours
The Youth First Cultural Sampling Tour is a joint venture between DYS, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and the Birmingham Cultural Alliance Partnership. Tours expose youth and their families to various cultural amenities available throughout the city. The tours are FREE, and transportation is provided.
DYS 411 Crew
Our youth face many challenges that may cause them to react negatively to instances of violence and/or peer pressure. The 411 Crew uses a “dramatic” approach to show them how to apply positive choices to difficult situations. To find out how you can have the DYS 411 Crew perform at your school, church, or youth organization, contact DYS.
Equal Access Network
Equal Access is an information-sharing effort that targets youth who reside in communities managed by the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District. The initiative encourages involvement in programs and events facilitated by DYS and other local youth service providers.
Faith in Our Future
Our city is filled with faith-based organizations that provide a variety of positive outlets for youth. Organizations that are recognized for their exemplary efforts receive an award from DYS.
Each fall, DYS hosts a fall festival for Birmingham youth. The event features fun characters, games, prizes, and snacks. If your organization is planning to host a fall festival for children, DYS may be able to help you get the word out to the public. To find out how, contact DYS.
FOODIE Camp ("From Garden to Grocery to Gourmet!")
DYS partners with the Jones Valley Urban Farm for this hands-on camp that takes place at their unique organic teaching farm. Participants learn about growing plants, and about preparing and eating healthy food.
For Youth By Youth (FYBY)
Youth in our city have fresh, innovative ideas. Unfortunately, the great young minds that hold Birmingham’s future don’t often have the opportunity to see their visions brought to fruition. To give local youth a chance to turn their innovative dreams into tangible realities, DYS created the FYBY initiative. FYBY participants are selected through a competitive process. Those selected are given an opportunity to develop and facilitate their vision using DYS resources.
There are 52 weeks in a year and there ARE always things to do right here in the Magic City! That’s “52” weeks “FULL” of youth programming – something every week of the year for young people to do. Citizens can learn more about youth-related programs, activities and events through DYS’ information-sharing network. For details about current activities and events, contact DYS.
Give-2-Get Incentive Program
The Youth First Give-2-Get Incentive Program promotes community service while offering great incentives to youth who are giving back. Birmingham youth between the ages of 6 and 17 years old are invited to participate in the program.
He's First is for young men and their adult male mentors. The initiative is comprised of two components: (1) The He’s First Summit Series is designed to be informative and enlightening and features special breakout sessions that cover topics that are sensitive to young men; (2) Boys 2 MENtor is entertaining and engaging and guests participate in activities like the Wii Challenge, rock wall climbing, basketball, chess, and more.
Hidden Heroes Awards
DYS highlights individuals who are working hard to increase opportunities and improve the quality of life for Birmingham’s youth. Each quarter DYS honors Hidden Heroes with an award during a luncheon held in their honor.
Kiddie Club (All New: Up to 10 in 2010!)
By popular demand, DYS has increased the maximum age limit for Kiddie Club membership to 10 years old. Birmingham youth can now join the Kiddie Club as young as age 2 and remain active until they turn 10 years old. Membership is FREE! Activity participation is FREE and new members receive a FREE Kiddie Club t-shirt! Contact DYS for registration details.
Kids & Jobs Program
Each spring, Birmingham youth are invited to apply for age-appropriate employment opportunities through the Kids & Jobs Program. Students between the ages of 14 and 21 are put to work in public, private and nonprofit sectors of the business community. Youth who are hired through the program go to work during the summer months.
McWane Science Center Project
DYS and the McWane Center partner to offer opportunities that are educational and exciting! Youth take part in activities that combine science, technology, and fun. Mini camps, overnight stays, and more are provided as a part of this initiative.
DYS mentoring initiatives provide youth with information about quality mentoring programs and assists organizations with their mentor recruitment efforts. DYS also hosts events like Birmingham CARES to help match youth and mentoring organizations with much-needed assistance.
Olive Branch Project: Information-Sharing Network
DYS extends a collaborative arm to local youth service organizations to help provide exposure to their programs and events. DYS also reaches out to organizations through its information-sharing network to provide updates about its initiatives.
Programs That Work
DYS highlights grassroots, community-based programs that are making a tangible difference in the lives of Birmingham’s youth. If you know of a great 501(c)(3), youth-related program that deserves public recognition, we invite you to nominate that program for our Programs That Work Award.
She's First is for young ladies and their adult female mentors. The initiative is comprised of two components: (1) The She’s First Summit Series is designed to be informative and enlightening and features special breakout sessions that cover topics that are sensitive to young women; (2) She’s First: The SHEquel is entertaining and engaging and features fun activities like facials, manicures, arts & crafts, line dancing, and more.
“Step in the Name of Love” Step Extravaganza
The Step Extravaganza is a component of DYS’ Youth First Holiday Campaign. Step teams from churches, schools, and Greek organizations perform at the event to help DYS collect food and gifts for needy Birmingham youth and their families.
Summer Enrichment Camp
DYS partners with various camp sites to offer constructive summer activities for youth who live in the City of Birmingham. Camp activities are age-appropriate and are designed to promote positive peer interaction, while offering a safe and fun environment.
Take a Child to the Doctor Day
Each fall, DYS partners with the health care community to provide FREE screenings to uninsured and underinsured youth. Attendees are also treated to healthy snacks and beverages, helpful information, and take part in interactive games that encourage movement and exercise.
They're not puppets! They're not Muppets™! They're Wazzuppets. These tiny characters help to teach younger children how to apply positive choices to difficult situations. Contact DYS to find out how you can have the Wazzuppets come to your church, school or youth organization to perform.
Youth Advisory Council (YAC)
DYS is encouraging youth 12-18 years old to get involved with YAC. Youth who have ideas that they believe can make Birmingham a better place to live are encouraged to contact DYS to learn about membership opportunities.
Youth First Holiday Campaign
DYS’ Youth First Holiday Campaign assists needy Birmingham youth who live in low-to-moderately low-income households, shelters, and residential living facilities by providing food for Thanksgiving and toys for Christmas.
Youth First Sports Network
The Youth First Sports Network is a collaborative effort between community-based sports organizations and DYS. The goal of the partnership is to serve notice to the public about sports programs and events that are accessible to Birmingham youth.
For more information about DYS programs, call 205-320-0879.
For information on other city-sponsored youth initiatives,
go to www.birminghamal.gov, or feel free to contact the following:
Birmingham Park & Recreation Board
Birmingham Police Department
Youth Services Division
Birmingham Department of Community Development