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.
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 provide 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 250 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, Image Circle, and Ideal Development, as well as many other local businesses. NFL star Tony Richardson has showed his support as a special guest at YALD events.
YALD is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization.