From the Executive Director

From the Executive Director

See below for the latest from Executive Director Michael Roberts.

June 2, 2020

“Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.”

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This is an unprecedented time in our city and our country. It is imperative at this moment for each of us to reflect on how we can best be of service to our students.

Comprehensive Youth Development has been a reliable beacon of support and information for this city’s young people for 25 years, and at this time that remains our most important role. Our goal is to help keep our students safe and provide them with information and a place to process what they are seeing and feeling.

It is a time for us all to listen and educate ourselves so we can best serve our children. At CYD we are supporting our students by listening, and trying to understand the many points of view. We are helping students express their concerns and needs and examining ways we can work together to de-escalate fear and conflict and begin the process of effective change.

We must be allies. That’s the only way healing can begin. Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.

We still believe the future can be fruitful and productive for the young people we serve and we are want to keep them informed, educated, and uplifted.


Michael Roberts
Executive Director, Comprehensive Youth Development

May 7, 2020

It’s the eighth week since NYC has closed due to the COVID-19 emergency, and many of us would like to start getting back to our daily routines. But caution is our friend! Patience and perseverance will help us navigate this time until we reach a safe shore and once again begin building our futures.

At Comprehensive Youth Development, the staff and I are encouraging our students to use this time creatively and focus on their immediate futures – to do all they can to get promoted to the next grade, sharpen their résumés, and spend time on the internet learning new things about their colleges and researching options for training and employment. Preparation meets opportunity. We want our students and graduates to be first in line when the city and country begin to reopen.

One of the most important skills we can help our young people develop is the ability to advocate for themselves. We are working hard to help students advance their self-agency by researching and preparing for their goals at this crucial time.

During this unprecedented time of crisis, people – especially young people – feel that everything is out of their control. But we want them to know there are still many areas they have control of, particularly when it comes to their futures. They can speak to power and gather information to support their plans looking ahead. This crisis shall pass, and when it does, we want young people to be ready to move forward.

Our COVID-19 resource page contains a number of helpful resources for students and their families, including jobs, training, and tips.

Finally, I’d like to thank all of you who have made a donation to Comprehensive Youth Development on this Giving Tuesday Now 2020. For those of you who still wish to donate, please click here.

Please stay safe and healthy.

Michael Roberts
Executive Director, Comprehensive Youth Development

May 4, 2020

Join us for #GivingTuesdayNow!

May 5, 2020 | Give Now >>

April 27, 2020

We may be socially distancing at this time but at Comprehensive Youth Development we are not emotionally distancing.

In this seventh week of New York City’s schools’ closure due to COVID-19, our primary concern at Comprehensive Youth Development in all our interactions, even as they are remote, has been to promote the value of human connection and provide consistent outreach and support services to our students and families.

Our students and alumni are working hard to keep up with their school work, planning for life after high school, and discussing employment opportunities now and post COVID-19. I am proud of the dedication and creativity of our staff who are in daily contact with the young people we serve, helping them stay on course toward graduation, college enrollment, training and work opportunities, and connecting them and their families with helpful resources in this time of acute need.

I hope that the directory of COVID-19 resources that we’ve developed and update frequently in areas of healthcare, food, housing, employment, legal services, and more can be helpful to you and your family as well.

Please stay safe and healthy.

Michael Roberts
Executive Director, Comprehensive Youth Development

March 27, 2020

COVID-19 Response and Resources

A month ago we updated our name from CDI to Comprehensive Youth Development to better identify what we’ve always believed – that youth are at the center of our mission, along with their families and the world that impacts their lives.

Since that time, COVID-19 has turned the world upside down, not just for the young people and families we serve, but for all of us. With the many changes affecting our schools, CYD staff and partners have come together like never before. Our schools have gone to remote education and CYD is also providing remote services at the same time. Our priorities include the following.

• Working closely with our schools’ leadership to design a work plan that meets the needs of every student. To that end, CYD staff has remote access to all pertinent information to assist students and their families.

• We are identifying and working closely with our most vulnerable clients including students in temporary housing, older youth who are out of work, our immigrant families, and families who are experiencing job loss.

• Our executive team is meeting with our foundation, city, and state partners to make sure we are sharing the most up to date information and support services.

• College and career advisors and student support advisors are conducting meetings via Zoom, Google meet, FaceTime and the telephone – calling students daily to assist them for preparing for life after high school as well as with their present needs.

• Monitoring our finances closely and examining possible impacts from the COVID-19 crisis.

• Engaging and updating our board and working together to plan forward.

Students have now experienced their first week of remote learning, which overall has gone very well. We look forward to using this unprecedented time to grow and to help all those we serve move forward in a constructive and positive way. One way we are doing that is by creating a resource directory that will be continually updated, These resources are meant for all of us – so if you or a colleague, friend or family member have need please share:

COVID-19 Resources for our Students & Community >>

We will continue to keep you updated over the next weeks.

Stay safe and healthy.

Michael Roberts, MSW
Executive Director