Description & History

Every day, the children living in public housing on the Lower East Side struggle to learn and grow amidst poverty and violence. Three out of four never graduate high school. At the Jeanne Otter Memorial Youth (J.O.Y.) Center, we do whatever it takes to help them beat the odds and succeed. This results in much higher graduation rates for those kids who come to our center. Of the children and youth we served last year, most were Latino, one-quarter received food stamps, and two thirds lived in single-parent households. 

Run by the Greenwich Village Youth Council (GVYC), the J.O.Y. Center provides a second home for the 20-25 at-risk children who come to us after school for four hours every weekday and all day in the summer.   We provide them with homework help, one-on-one and group counseling with licensed social workers, arts and recreational activities, two meals a day, and above all, a safe haven.  Our program is characterized by a small, nurturing environment with an excellent staff-to-child ratio and consistently available counseling.

About the organization

Greenwich Village Youth Council

John Pettinato
Executive Director
Yvonne Feiger
Program Director
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