Urban Youth Development was founded in 2003 by former National Basketball Association player, NBA analyst and NBA Developmental League head coach Darvin Ham and wife Deneitra, an educator, to address issues affecting youth in various communities. Urban Youth Development’s first project was a free Basketball Life Skills Camp held in Darvin’s hometown of Saginaw, Michigan. The inaugural camp consisted of 450 participants. Free meals, beverages, t-shirts, basketballs, certificates and awards were provided to camp participants. Urban Youth Development continues to strive to provide free Basketball Life Skills programs.
Thus far, Urban Youth Development has impacted communities in Saginaw (MI), Dallas (TX) metropolis area, Kansas City (MO), and Rio Rancho (NM). The organization strives to instill in youth the importance of positive youth development in our communities. Urban Youth Development prepares youth to set short and long term goals, to be equipped with the tools to achieve those goals, and embrace the motivation to accomplish those goals. UYD partners with local public schools and communities to provide athletic activities and reading initiative programs to encourage literacy among the participants.
Urban Youth Development’s guest speakers have included National Basketball Association (NBA) players, affiliated city mayors, superintendent of public schools, NCAA and NBA coaches, police, firemen, actors, dieticians, psychologists, computer engineers, career specialist and military personnel.
Urban Youth Development emphasizes the development of youth through physical, intellectual, emotional and social development. Our goal is to establish challenging programs and projects that focus on, but not limited to the following:
Youth Development: Skill Development, Educational Enrichment, Steps Toward Adulthood, Higher Learning, Adolescent Programs- Soldiers for Brotherhood, G.L.O.W. and S.T.A.R.S (programs geared specifically to focus on character building, conflict resolution, self-esteem, drug prevention, teenage pregnancy, sexual awareness and image projections)
Physical/ Health Development: Wellness, Physical Development, Basketball Activities
Public and Community Engagement: Engage Public in Perceptions of Youth, Parents Leading the Way (advocate child’s learning), Advocacy Efforts, Community Involvement (youth as valued contributors to society, supporting family and neighborhood vitality).
Urban Youth Development continues to impact the lives of youth through its various programs that enhance social, athletic, educational and cultural development.