During the spring of 2002 after the tragedy that hit our nation on September 11th, young people across Hampton Roads decided to change Virginia for the better. They realized that giving back was a priority for them.
The Making A Difference Foundation started the Tidewater Youth Enrichment Coalition (TYEC) to give young people between the ages of 12 and 18 the chance to show that they can make a difference in their community. Over 2,000 hours of community service have allowed for this group to mentor, tutor, help build decision making skills for young people, office work assistance, publication assistance, youth advisory board capacity building and much more. These youth have proven to Southeast Virginia residents that young people can give back and make a positive impact on meeting community needs.
All 47 of the young adults involved in the project have been given no stipend or money; they are strictly community servants. TYEC have volunteered each day of the week providing services for children in Kindergarten through 12th grade who are in need of mentoring, tutoring and one-on-one care to handle educational and social service issues.
When the youth in the community face an empty home after school, the TYEC provide a safe place for them to come. There they can do homework and have a tutor available if necessary. The youth can also find a friendly face who will also listen to the concerns the child may have during that time. Weekly, 1,000 children have been assisted in various capacities due to the dedication of the volunteers in the TYEC.
Parents drop off their children at the Making A Difference Foundation’s facility during the week as well as the weekends. The TYEC volunteers are available to assist in whatever way needed. In addition to befriending, listening to and tutoring the children, the TYEC volunteers also sort through donated clothing items for the homeless and indigent families of the area. They also help with food donations given to the Foundation, and they distribute the clothing and food donations to those in need. TYEC volunteers also went the extra mile and helped to create various publications to educate the community.