Improve Your Tomorrow

Monthly Newsletter

December 2022

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pictured: Our university program at Sacramento State held its final All Member Meeting before the holiday break.

Read more about it and other stories from this month's programming below!

Letter from Ceo & Co-founder,

Michael Lynch

All of us at IYT would like to wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy holiday season!

We have  A LOT to be grateful for this year as our organization grows to serve even more ambitious, intelligent, and passionate young men of color across the Bay Area, Central Valley, Humboldt, and Sacramento. This holiday season, we’re raising funds for our emergency grants. These funds help our community college and university members cover challenging and unexpected financial hardships that can delay or derail their enrollment. We've found that 92% of our E-grant recipients remain enrolled in our program until graduation. This year, we’re serving over 240 community college and university students and we want to see all of them transfer, graduate, and pursue their dreams.

Thank you for your consideration, 

Michael Lynch

CEO & Co-Founder

I'll be a Holiday Hero!

Winter Camping Trip Fuels College-bound Friendships

We've been able to take over 170 of our members and mentors on weekend camping trips this year thanks to our partners over at Sierra Nevada Journeys.

Getting out into nature is one of the best ways to stimulate both personal and interpersonal growth. With no access to devices or wifi, these trips help our members break out of their comfort zones, strengthen their confidence, and build leadership skills that can help them work with others and pursue their passions.

Here's a look at some of our favorite moments from the most recent trip:

Members were knee-deep in the snow on the latest camping trip in November, affording everyone the chance to make a few snowmen and of course, have a snowball fight!

We took full advantage of the few moments of full sunlight we had

before the snowstorm rolled in!

There wasn't much downtime between all the team builders, workshops, and nocturnal hikes but it was clear, the Brothers and our program staff were loving every second of it! Big shout out to Sierra Nevada Journeys for designing such enriching and engaging programming!

Spotlight: Community Events Help Grow College Readiness in the Northern Central Valley

IYT's Co-founder Michael Lynch and the Northern Central Valley team had the chance to meet with school district leaders and elected officials in Tracy this past month. This is our first year providing services for the young men of color at West High and Williams Middle School. We've been able to take dozens of these new members on college trips all over the region and to our annual youth conference in Sacramento. This investment in Tracy's college-bound young men of color is thanks to Superintendent, Robert Pecot, and his team!

"I was excited to see key leaders from Tracy like the City Manager, the Mayor, and nonprofit leaders attend our first IYT community meeting. Stated Jesus Andrade, IYT's Director of Development. Continuing he said, "They were engaged and left the meeting committed to helping IYT succeed in Tracy. We look forward to their continued support!"

IYT's Northern Central Valley team also had the opportunity to meet with Modesto's Black Chamber of Commerce and other Black leaders in Stanislaus County to discuss our program and mission in the region. Over the last year, we've been able to serve over 100 young men of color at two of Modesto City schools, Evelyn Hanshaw Middle and Thomas Downey High. Modesto members have been able to go on college trips across the state and took part in an innovative college and career readiness program this past summer, where they earned a stipend and developed important leadership and collaboration skills.

On Dec 15th, over a 100 of our members and their families will join us for a gift card giveaway where we'll provide them with groceries gift cards to help with the rising costs of everyday items. Stay tuned and follow us on social media for more info!

Event Recap: Sac State vs UC Davis Football Game

We had a blast hosting a tailgate for our Davis, Sac State, and high school brothers earlier this month! Check out our pictures from the event over on our Instagram page, taken by one of our Sacramento State members and former mentor, Ismael Lepe!

Sac State vs UC Davis Tailgate

IYT U Member Meeting

Our members at Sac State held a high-energy all-member meeting before the break. IYT U Program Manager, Jeff Towey wanted the last meeting of the year to focus on building a stronger community through some friendly team competitions, a method that works.

For years, Towey has supported dozens of members at Sac State and UC Davis through both crises and major achievements. Towey's compassion, dedication, and approachable demeanor have helped him cultivate a strong sense of brotherhood among IYT U members, 60% of whom are first-generation college students.

Member meetings are a chance for brothers to not only connect but grow their community. During this meeting, the brothers spent time brainstorming campus events for next year.

Sneak Peek:

Brotherhood Conference Recap Video

Here's an exclusive sneak peek at our upcoming Brotherhood Conference Video. Thank you to our sponsors and speakers that helped make this a truly historic year for our members! Check out more photos from the conference here: Brotherhood Conference Photo Gallery

New Wellness Workshops Bring IYT's Foster Youth and Project Rise Brothers Together

Thanks to our partners at The Health Education Council, we'll be launching a weekly wellness workshop called Safety, Health, Opportunity, Practice (SHOP) for our Project Rise and foster youth scholars. The program focuses on building financial literacy, communication skills, anger management techniques, health and nutrition, stress reduction/coping mechanisms, as well as job readiness. The goal of these SHOP talks is to instill confidence in our brothers and foster a community of growth.

Reflecting on the first workshop, Gio said, "I loved SHOP, today we learned how to budget and save money and the difference between credit cards, credit union, banks and debt cards. I'm looking forward to learning how to save money and know how to budget and spend it."

Stay tuned for more SHOP reflections!

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