About us
Mission Statement

YALD is a sports-based youth development non-profit committed to providing underserved young people with the skills and confidence they need to achieve their dreams and become a positive force for change in their communities.

At YALD we believe that physical activity is key to the health and development of our youth, contributing to their physical, social, and emotional well-being. Using team sports as an entry point for holistic youth development, YALD engages young people ages eight to 17 in a range of activities including life skills development, nutrition education, academic support, and community service. Our vision is to provide young people from underserved communities with the resources and mentorship they need to succeed in school and on the field, and to become healthy, well-rounded individuals who can effect positive change for their communities.

About Us

YALD (Young Adult Leadership Development) is a sports-based non-profit committed to providing underserved young people with the skills and confidence they need to achieve their dreams and become a positive force for change in their communities. Founded as a start-up flag football league by Washington Heights native Carlos Castellanos in 2011, YALD has grown into a holistic youth development program that seeks to provides mentorship, supplementary education, and encouragement to help youth succeed in all aspects of their lives.

Using sports as an entry point to reach young people, YALD engages participants in a range of life skills topics, including health and nutrition, emotional well-being, healthy relationships, responsible decision making, and respectful behavior. Participants also receive mentorship to support their academic achievement and to help them balance sports with school.

YALD’s philosophy is that all young people have the ability to effect positive change in their own communities, and all youth participants take part in community service projects. Not only does this instill in our youth the value of giving back to the community, but community service also teaches each young person that they have something of value that they can share to make the world a better place.

Since 2011, more than 200 underserved young people throughout the New York City have participated in YALD’s sports and youth development programming, with participant numbers growing each year. YALD’s retention rates are high, with over 90% of YALD participants remaining engaged in YALD programming for two or more years. More than 90% of YALD alumni go on to pursue continuing education after high school.

Over the years, YALD has received growing recognition in the community for its work with underserved youth. YALD’s sponsors include Macy’s, Just Energy Foundation, State Farm, Presbyterian Hospital, Ice-Air, Tread’s Bike Shop, and Image Circle, as well as many other local businesses. NFL start Tony Richardson has showed his support as a special guest at YALD events.

YALD is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

YFFL Initiative
YALD Flag Football League (YFFL) - ages 12-17

YALD Flag Football League (YFFL) is 20-week program for high school-aged students. YFFL brings together students to build friendships, skills, and confidence on and off the field. Participation is not only fun, but encourages physical fitness while teaching responsibility, respect, and teamwork in an environment of healthy competition.

YFFL currently has eight teams who train and compete during the 20 week program season. Mid-season, YALD hosts its annual All Star Game and barbeque for all participants and their families. They finish off the season with an awards ceremony highlighting the achievements of the youths and recognizing the accomplishments and growth of participants.

YALD Youth Clinic (YYC) - ages 8-11

YALD Youth Clinic (YYC) is a 10 week program that introduces children ages eight to 11 to fundamental football drills. YYC is an opportunity for pre-teen children to come together to have fun and learn the basics of football in a supportive and encouraging environment that emphasizes teamwork, mutual respect and self confidence. This program also emphasizes parental involvement, this is in an effort to get the parents actively involved in their child’s interests outside of their day to day parental duties.

YALD Dance Club - ages 8-11

YALD Dance Club provides an outlet for physical activity and expression among children ages 8 to 11 through dance. Participants learn basic choreography in a range of dance styles, including modern dance and hip hop. Once students have learned the fundamentals, they create their own choreographed dances.