NYC Cornerstone Program

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Program Description

Cornerstone Programs provide engaging, high-quality, year-round programs for adults and young people. Programs are located at 70 New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Community Centers throughout the five boroughs.

Youth Programs
Cornerstone youth programs are designed to help participants acquire the skills and attitudes they need to graduate from high school, succeed in their chosen career, and give back to the community. Typical youth programs include:

  • Literacy Programs
  • Tutoring
  • Homework Help
  • Financial Literacy/Planning
  • Computer Access
  • Project-Based Learning Opportunities
  • High School and College Prep
  • Math Clubs
  • Photography
  • Digital Recording
  • Recreational Activities – Dance, Wrestling, Boxing Conditioning, Soccer, Basketball, and Others
  • Healthy Eating and Living
  • Creative/Media Arts
  • Computers
  • Chess
  • Martial Arts

Adult Program
Cornerstone adult programs are designed to enhance skills and promote social interaction, community engagement, and physical activity. Typical adult programs include:

  • General Educational Development (GED)
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
  • Parenting Skills
  • Workforce Development and Referrals
  • Family Relations
  • Tenant Education and Advocacy Cultural Activities
  • Computer Access and training
  • Intergenerational programming
  • Cultural Activities

New York's Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD)

Strategies for sustainability

DYCD is committed to building and expanding on partnerships that generate innovative and practical programs for youth, their families and communities. DYCD is also the designated Community Action Agency for New York City, which is the local grantee for the Federal Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). CSBG funding supports a wide variety of programs that address the conditions of poverty.

Impact of program

DYCD supports New York City youth and their families by funding a wide range of high-quality youth and community development programs, including:

  • Beacon Community Centers 
  • Cornerstone Community Centers 
  • Fatherhood Initiative
  • Immigration services 
  • Jobs and Internships for Youth 
  • Literacy Programs for Adults and Adolescents
  • Out-of-School Time Initiative 
  • Runaway and Homeless Youth services 
  • Summer Youth Employment Program
Evaluation tools


Key elements towards success

The Department of Youth and Community Development funds local community-based organizations to provide services that promote positive youth development and strong, healthy communities. 

Challenges to meet them

Among our most significant achievements of the last two years has been preserving and increasing funding for programs despite limited resources during very challenging financial times.
DYCD is particularly excited about the recent expansion of our Out-of-School Time (OST), Cornerstone, and Immigrant Services and Literacy initiatives.

Length & stage of project

The Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) was created in 1996 to provide the City of New York with high-quality youth and family programming.