For every family and child ages birth to 18 to know that they have a safe place they can count on to celebrate who they are, develop their dreams and be empowered to achieve success.
The Youth Development Company will serve as the ultimate resource for youth and families in communities as we help connect family and academic needs with solutions.
The Youth Development Company/Police Athletics Activities League was developed through a merger of two organizations with a similar purpose: to provide support to local youth.
Youth & Company was originally established as a 501(c-3) organization in 1997 by a group who wanted to create a place with activities and support services that would cater to the specific needs of youth 5 to 14 years old. Youth & Company/PAL also ran a summer park program for approximately 100 local and visiting youth in South Haven, MI.
South Haven Area Youth Development (SHaYD) was founded in 2005 and offered a low cost after school program to families and included over 200 youth, spanning from 4th to 12th grade. In 2009, SHaYD began serving dinner and a snack to after school program participants every night, providing more than 10,000 meals in the first year.
The fusion of these two organizations in 2010, established the Youth Development Company/PAL (YDC). Our newly developed organization, with combined resources, provides us the position it needs to pursue broader resources and continuously support the mission of the organization. In 2011, Youth Development Company/PAL achieved State of Michigan Licensing for non-school aged and school aged child care, allowing state funded reimbursement for approved parents.
Building a Better Tomorrow
The Youth Development Company/PAL is the largest independent youth organization in Van Buren County, MI and plays a vital role in the lives of children and young adults in Bangor, Covert and South Haven school districts; which account for 10% of Van Buren County’s total youth population.
Committed to growing and adapting our services to meet the emerging needs of students and communities, we consistently monitor the needs of the children in these three cities as they have been reported to have approximately 79% of students who are “economically disadvantaged.”
In addition, year after year, YDC/PAL continues to carry on the legacy by providing high-quality, focused and well-rounded youth programs. For instance, participants of our out-of-school program reliably receive access to a variety of enriching activities and an opportunity to build meaningful relationships with peers and adults. These have both been proven to be socially, emotionally and academically beneficial in health development and we encourage this in our safe and nurturing learning environment. Studies suggest that youth who spend their out-of-school hours in project-based programs are at significantly less risk for truancy, emotional stress, poor grades, substance misuse and crime.
We facilitate this optimum program environment with our team, which is comprised of highly-qualified individuals with the passion for empowering youth. All staff have credentials and expertise appropriate for the positions and sufficient staff is planned for the number of registered students, in compliance with the Department of Health and Human Services licensing requirements. Our employee focus includes high-quality staff who have been trained in positive youth development strategies including paraprofessionals, who work within the schools, high school and college students. All staff receive extensive training to facilitate programs where students can gain valuable transferable skills and develop employable work ethics and integrity.
As evidenced by our 98% approval rating from our school districts, families and youth, our programs are making a positive impact. Thus far, our success and growth have been achieved through the development of successful partnerships, impactful programs and a consciousness of the changing demographics in our service areas. We plan on continuing this and working to build a better tomorrow for the youth growing and developing today.