Mission

Brownsville Youth Association (BYA) is a community-based, non-profit organization located in Brooklyn, New York dedicated improving quality of life in Brownsville through youth empowerment. 

BYA works Brownsville residents of all ages, faith-based organizations, tenant associations, educational institutions, business owners and health care providers to offer services and intergenerational programming.

History

BYA was founded in 1997 by Kyle Hollins, who grew up in the neighborhood.

BYA was established to create comprehensive programing that would provide essential skills needed from cradle to grave.

Committed to working with local agencies and organizations, BYA has helped strengthen the community's safety net and promote camaraderie between service providers.

BYA now works with over 300 Brownsville youth. Programs include mentoring, sports, GED preparation,  job placement, and community education.

About Brownsville

Brownsville is located in central Brooklyn, bordered by Bedford-Stuyvesant, East Flatbush and Canarsie. With a reputation as one of the most violent neighborhoods in New York City, social concerns stemming from poverty include high rates of infant mortality, drug abuse and gang violence.  

Over half the Brownsville population lives below the poverty line and receives public assistance. Residents are predominantly African American, West Indian, and Hispanic.

The neighborhood is dominated by eighteen New York City Housing Authority developments or "projects." Many are named for famous Black Americans, including Langston Hughes and Marcus Garvey. Local pride runs deep. 

Many notable figures grew up in Brownsville, including Otis Wilson of the Chicago Bears and Mike Tyson.

Brownsville is a neighborhood of proud people who lack educational and economic resources to improve their lives. BYA is dedicated to the youth of Brownsville. We know they can succeed and will!

 

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Brownsville Youth

Young men in Brownsville are turning their lives around with the support of BYA.

 

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Young Women in Brownsville

Teens in Brownsville face many challenges. BYA offers workshops, information, sports teams and other programs to support young women in becoming the best they can be!

 

 

Director Kyle Hollins on BYA

 

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Where It All Started

It was here in the heart of the Van Dyke Houses that Kyle Hollins, Allen Thomas and others played basketball tournaments in their youth. The dream of BYA was born here in the early 1990s.

 

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Coach Thomas

BYA offer basketball programs for youth from early elementary ages to high school. Coach Thomas supports youth on and off the court.

 

 

Basketball Changes Lives

Coach Allen Thomas on youth, life and basketball.

 

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Streets of Brownsville

Brownsville is a bustling community, but residents never forget the threat of violence, often at the hands of rival gangs.

 

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Youth on the Street

"If someone's not paying attention, these kids can fall under the radar. We are here to help." -Kyle Hollins, Director, BYA

 

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Grounded in Non-Violence

The portraits of Gandhi and Malcolm X hang in the BYA office. The organization is committed both to teaching non-violence and pride in the Black Community.

 

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Human Rights and Self Pride

"We declare our right to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society." -Malcolm X

 

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A Neighborhood of Parks

BYA hosts tournaments, barbecues and other events at parks and community spaces throughout the year.

 

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Mother Gaston Boulevard

Community activist Rosetta "Mother" Gaston (1885-1981) did similar work to what BYA does today.

 

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Partnerships with Public Schools

BYA is connected to number public elementary, middle and high schools throughout Brownsville. P.S. 298 and others are important community partners.

 

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Streets of Brownsville

You see many young mothers on the streets of Brownsville. BYA is committed to educating young mothers and fathers in being better parents. We also provide important information on family planning.

 

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Brownsville Kids Can Do Anything!

In a neighborhood of housing projects, BYA kids prove that kids can succeed! In addition to sports programs, BYA provides community support and education about many heath problems stemming from urban life and poverty.

 

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Knowledge is Power

Brownsville residents deserve the best information on issues that affect them and their families. BYA is dedicated to community empowerment through education.

 

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Beauty in Brownsville

 

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