Rodnesha Ross didn’t become a parent at an early age, but she relates to those do.
As a mentor to Detroit students, she knows young women with children of their own have unique needs.
Ross founded Youth Community Agency to help address those needs.
Originally formed in 2013 at Osborn High School with a focus on mentoring and the arts, the organization is preparing for its third annual “Christmas in the City” charity event. The program’s goal is to raise $500 by Dec. 15 to provide hats, gloves and pampering gifts to about 30 parents.
“God put it on my heart to do it,” says Ross. “I wasn’t a teenage mother, but it’s been a real blessing to work with them.”
Ross’ vision for the Youth Community Agency was inspired by an Osborn student who became pregnant before she graduated and lacked many options for continuing her education without additional support.
Youth Community Agency became Ross’ effort to mentor young, single mothers and give them resources. The program is held monthly at Osborn and Pathways Academy.
Youth Community Agency also aids the less fortunate through annual events like “Hot Dog for Hope Day” when volunteers distribute food and hygiene kits in the Cass Corridor.
“Christmas in the City’s” holiday focus is providing puzzles and other educational toys for children, while being certain to include mothers by giving them things they might not buy for themselves.
“There are so many organizations that give, so we wanted to do something a little different,” adds Ross.
To learn how to donate please visit the website website or make a cash app gift to $Youth Community Agency. The deadline for donations is Dec. 15.
Beyond the holidays, Ross says programs like Youth Community Agency prove an important concept.
“If we work together as a community,” she says, “we can build stronger families.”