Listed below are the annual signature programs that the Division of Youth Services organizes. To keep up to date and receive information on the commencement of each signature program, sign up for the Youth First Weekly Newsletter! Youth First Virtual Network
Kids & Jobs Program
Each spring, Birmingham youth are invited to apply for age-appropriate employment opportunities through the Kids & Jobs Program. DYS and Fox 6 put hundreds of Birmingham youth to work each summer. Kids & Jobs is designed to help cultivate the professional development necessary for youth and young adults to become an integral part of the workforce. For details on how to request an application, call DYS at (205) 320-0879.
- EXPOSURE (14 & 15-Year-Old)
Participating students will receive first-time exposure to the workplace. The Exposure Component of the Kids & Jobs Program gives deserving Birmingham youth, who might otherwise not be given the chance, an opportunity to experience the workplace for the first time.
- FUTURE EXECUTIVE (16 – 24 -Year Olds)
Participating students are provided with an introduction to the workforce and a chance to explore one of the various professions offered. The benefits of the Future Executive component are unlimited. Students who qualify are provided with valuable work experience and companies gain much needed summer help.
Applicants must live in the city of Birmingham to participate in the Kids & Jobs Program.
Each summer, DYS hosts its Youth First Summer Sports Series that consists of a wide range of camps and clinics focused on various sports including football, basketball, and volleyball. Youth are taught the fundamentals of each sport, as well as different exercises and drills designed to cultivate skills and improve performance. DYS partners with experienced coaches and various professional athletes and their foundations to facilitate the camps.
- The Next Level Volleyball Camp focuses on athletic and life skills. During the camp, Girls 12 to 18 years of age, will learn the fundamentals of volleyball technique, which include: serving, passing, setting, and blocking.
- The Next Level Football Camp features former NFL player Jeremy Towns, other former NFL greats, along with a coalition of former and current college football players from Samford, UAB, and Birmingham-Southern. The players give instruction and basic skills training to Birmingham youth at the camp.
- The Life After Basketball Camp focuses on athletic and life skills to prepare young players for a healthy transition between the various levels of basketball and the real world. Birmingham youth who attend the camp receive instruction from ACC and SEC basketball Coach of the Year, Cliff Ellis, and Daymeon Fishback, former National Player of the Year in Kentucky and Auburn University graduate. The clinic offers insight into the competitive world of basketball and what it takes to succeed.
Youth First Summer Movie Series
The Youth First Summer Movie Series is a partnership between DYS and local theaters which encourages learning throughout the summer. To recognize young people involved in summer enrichment programs and activities, DYS rewards youth with tickets to new Blockbuster movies. To earn tickets, Birmingham youth and or youth service providers must meet one of the select criteria below:
Operate or lead Birmingham youth in a structured enrichment program (youth service providers only)
Must participate in a summer enrichment program in the City of Birmingham this summer (must show proof of enrollment)
Present a book report on one book that you have read this summer (must use DYS’ Book Form). Book reports must be in the child’s handwriting. For children six and under, parents may fill out the Book Form on a book they have read to their child this summer. One book report provides two FREE tickets for only one movie.
Youth First Holiday Giveaway Campaign
The act of giving is important throughout the year, but giving peaks in significance during the holiday season. To help create happy holiday memories for hundreds of less fortunate Birmingham youth, the City of Birmingham’s Division of Youth Services (DYS) created the 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. Local news affiliate CBS 42 has served as a dedicated partner towards this initiative.
Harvest Festival is a safe and fun alternative to Halloween for all Birmingham youth ages 2 to 10 years old. There are games, face painting, rides, the DYS Fun House, food and much more at this fall frenzy. This event is FREE and youth are encouraged to wear costumes.
Take a Child & Teen to the Doctor Day
Each fall, DYS partners with the healthcare community to provide FREE screenings for uninsured and underinsured Birmingham youth. Attendees are also treated to healthy snacks and beverages, education on living a healthier lifestyle, and take part in interactive games that encourage movement and exercise. Services are provided by medical staff from Children’s of Alabama and UAB Health Systems – Department of Pediatrics. Doctor Day is like going to the doctor in the middle of a carnival!