Pride Youth Services

Pride Youth Services

Mission Statement

Pride Youth Services (PYS) Inc. is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization established in 2001. Our mission is to improve the social, emotional and physical development of African American youth. We provide resources to build skills, make healthy choices and gain confidence. We transform the lives of black teenagers and through them, our nation.

What We Do

Peer Empowerment

Building a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood as young people share their experiences and learn productive ways of overcoming obstacles they face in their lives.

Consultation Services

Establishing collaborative relationships with organizations that serve young people and their families. PYS Inc., is committed to sharing their expertise with those interested in the issues and challenges facing young people today.

Case Management

Helping young people and their families explore and navigate community resources that are available which foster stronger families and strengthen communities.

"It is not your environment, it is you – the quality of your mind, the integrity of your soul and the determination of your will that will decide your future and shape your lives.”

- Dr. Benjamin E. Mays

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Founder & CEO

Ludley Howard, LCSW-C, LICSW, received his B.A. Degree in Psychology from McDaniel College and Master of Social Work Degree from Smith College located in Northampton, MA. He is a licensed clinical social worker (in MD,DC & PA) with over 30 years of expertise and experience in working with children and adolescents in a variety of settings, including residential and community-based programs. Mr. Howard’s vision of creating effective, culturally competent services for African-American youth & families led to the Founding of Pride Youth Services, Inc. in February 2001. Since that time, PYS Inc. has continued to grow and provide quality mental wellness services and youth development programming for youth and their families.

PYS’ programs provide an array of services focused on supporting the social and emotional well-being of the students while encouraging them to become actively engaged in the educational process.

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The PYS Inc., Distinguished Gentlemen Program works closely with young men, ages 14-18, to develop and refine their leadership skills while teaching the principles of teamwork. This program instill the importance of giving back by leading the participants through the creation of community service projects. We also work with each young man to develop productive ways of spending their free time. Through this program we: Challenge participants to examine their personal strengths and weaknesses through creating a platform for them to flourish as young leaders; Explore and examine influential male leaders in all facets of society in order to discuss leadership qualities; Recognize how working together utilizing their unique skills & talents can be effective as working as a team & how their unique skills & talents can make a positive or negative impact within the community and the world; Provide opportunities for young men to exhibit leadership in the community through the development of community service projects working with the youth, the elderly, and/or homeless population(s).
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The PYS Inc., Divine Divas Program works closely with young women, ages 14- 18, to develop and refine their leadership skills while teaching the principles of teamwork. This program instill the importance of giving back by leading participants through the creation of community service projects. We also work with each young lady to develop productive ways of spending their free time. Through this program we: Challenge participants to examine their personal strengths and weaknesses through creating a platform for them to flourish as young leaders; Explore and examine influential female leaders in all facets of society in order to discuss leadership qualities; Examine how the portrayal of women of color in the media affects females in the community and identify community service projects that target specific issues; & Provide opportunities for young women to exhibit leadership in the community through the development of community service projects working with the youth, the elderly, and/or homeless population(s).
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The PYS Inc., Adolescent Female Forum to Inspire, Respect, and Motivate (AFFIRM) Program is exclusively for young women of color, ages 14-18. This program helps young women avoid early pregnancy, gang involvement and time spent in the juvenile justice system. AFFIRM works with these young women to make decisions that will lead to greater academic achievement and economic opportunity. AFFIRM also provides a sense of sisterhood to help guide these young women to a safe, stable and successful life. Through this program we: Provide a supportive and inclusive haven where young women can meet regularly to explore and discuss topics important to them; Provide an opportunity for young women to safely interact with peers and establish relationships with positive female role models and establish a sisterhood among them; Encourage young women to reach their fullest potential in all areas of their lives, with a specific focus on self-image, peer relationships, & education; Promote the social development of young women to assist in their transition from adolescence to become productive and respectful members of their communities.
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The PYS Inc., Adolescent Male Empowerment Network (AMEN) Program, works closely with young men between 14-18. These years are an especially challenging time in their lives - they are surrounded by the lure of the culture of violence, negative peer influences, the quick fix solution of substance abuse and the ever-present threat of police brutality. AMEN gives young men the resiliency and confidence they need to develop strategies to avoid making mistakes that could cost them their potential - or even their lives. At AMEN, we model behavior and mentor young men to help them respond to the potentially dangerous situations they will confront in their lives. Through this program we: Provide a supportive and inclusive environment in which young men can meet on an regular basis to explore and discuss various topics; Offer a safe and nurturing atmosphere where young men can freely share their life experiences with each other and positive adult male role models while developing a brotherhood among them; Create fun and life enriching opportunities that will improve a young man’s interpersonal and social skills. Such activities might include cultural, educational, and sporting events; Promote the social development of young men to enhance their transition from adolescence and become productive and responsible citizens.

#NCONTROL

PYS created the #NCONTROL program to help middle and high school students analyze their own behavior and manage their emotions. This program helps young people develop healthy ways of expressing their emotions (especially anger), while developing productive ways to handle and resolve conflicts. We help these kids remain #NCONTROL of their thoughts and actions, leading to better outcomes in adulthood.

#NCONTROL

PYS created the #NCONTROL program to help middle and high school students analyze their own behavior and manage their emotions. This program helps young people develop healthy ways of expressing their emotions (especially anger), while developing productive ways to handle and resolve conflicts. We help these kids remain #NCONTROL of their thoughts and actions, leading to better outcomes in adulthood. Through this program we:
  • Provide an opportunity for students to safely interact with peers and establish relationships with positive adult role models and foster a sense of community among them;
  • Encourage students to begin to take an introspective look at themselves as they identify their strengths and challenges as they pursue their life goals. This includes how being able to appropriately express themselves and resolve conflicts can assist them in reaching their goals;
  • Help students begin to develop a basic understanding of anger, how their mind (thoughts) and body response when they begin to get angry and how to recognize and better manage (CONTROL) it;
  • Help students develop and practice strategies to alleviate and deal with stressful situations using mindfulness techniques.

 

#NCONTROL Group Sessions

The #NCONTROL groups are co-ed and meets once a week during a 13 week period. Lunch or dinner is served at each group session and a life enriching field trip will take place focusing on a teambuilding activity which demonstrates the importance of working together to alleviate potential conflicts. An awards ceremony will take place at the conclusion of the program to acknowledge the student’s achievement in the program.

Academic and Career Enrichment Program (ACE)

The Pride Youth Services Academic and Career Enrichment (ACE) Program, is designed to empower young people by assisting them to fully explore and develop their innate potential to be successful in improving their academic performance, learn about potential career paths to pursue and support in developing basic job readiness skills while having the opportunity to earn spending money through a stipend

Academic and Career Enrichment Program ACE

The Pride Youth Services Academic and Career Enrichment (ACE) Program, is designed to empower young people by assisting them to fully explore and develop their innate potential to be successful in improving their academic performance, learn about potential career paths to pursue and support in developing basic job readiness skills while having the opportunity to earn spending money through a stipend by:
  • Providing educational support and incentives to improve school attendance and performance, thereby empowering ACE participants to reach their fullest academic potential;
  • Exposing ACE participants to various career fields as they begin to explore potential careers and have to opportunity to see & interact with professionals representing these fields;
  • Establishing basic job readiness skills by creating activities which would allow ACE participants to develop skills in this area (such as resume writing, mock interviews) and having the opportunity to establish good money management habits via earning spending money through a monthly stipend and;
  • Promoting a sense of community pride and responsibility by providing ACE participants with meaningful community service experience(s) that will allow them to give back to their community in a productive way.

 

The PYS ACE program serves middle school aged students (12-14 years old). The program meets twice a week during the course of the school year and can include summer enrichment programming as well.

 

How Youth Will Benefit From The ACE Program

  • Improvement in overall school attendance
  • Opportunity to earn spending money while learning money management skills
  • Improvement in overall school grades
  • Introduction to various career fields
  • Development of basic job readiness skills

Your team

You must be in the community to change the community. At Pride Youth Services, Inc., our staff is passionate, experienced and committed to improving the lives of young people and their families. Most importantly, we live where we work and know how to respond to the unique needs of the communities we serve. We understand our kids – we know what goals are important to them and we stay current on the latest trends influencing their lives.

Tiana Coney

Gerome Dixon

Morgan Moats

David Watson

Abigale Braithwaite

Denise Actie

Jordan Taylor

Joshua Tassler

Keyara Blackmon

Tiana Coney

Tiana Coney has a B.A. in Psychology and is currently working on her M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis to become a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst in the Spring of 2021. She is Trauma Certified and works with Pride Youth Services, Inc., as an AFFIRM Group Facilitator for the Philadelphia Project. She currently also serves as a Specialized Behavioral Health Social Worker for A Second Chance Inc., in Philadelphia PA.

Gerome Dixon

Gerome Dixon, affectionately known as “Rome”.  A husband, father and friend who loves life and all the wonderful things it offers. Committed to making a difference in the lives of our youth, families and the community at large, Mr. Dixon functions in the capacity as Behavior Interventionist/SEL Teacher (21 years) at Woodlawn Middle School in Baltimore, MD.  He earned a B.S. Degree in Business Administration/Mgmt from Strayer University, M.S. Degree in Special Education from Towson University, Nationally Certified Trainer in TCI, CPI & Restorative Practices.  Mr. Dixon has had the wonderful privilege of working with Pride Youth Services as an AMEN Group Facilitator since its inception in 2001. He currently conducts AMEN Group sessions for the Baltimore City Project and the Charles H. Hickey Jr., School Project

Morgan Moats

Morgan Moats is an AFFIRM Group Facilitator for PYS’ Baltimore City Public Schools Project. She also has experience working with families and children through a family preservation program. Passion is what drives Morgan’s eagerness to give back and mentor youth in her community. She works hard to earn the trust of the youth and families she works with and finds pleasure in seeing small successes with these individuals.

David Watson

David Watson is an AMEN and #NCONTROL Group Facilitator for the Philadelphia Project. He has been with Pride Youth Services, Inc., since April 2018.

Abigale Braithwaite

Abigale works for Pride Youth Services Inc. as a Career Navigator/ Case Manager at the Crossroads Youth Opportunity Center in Takoma Park, MD. She has her degree in Psychology from Towson University; and has a love for Art Therapy. Abigale’s motto is with a good foundation, the sky is the limit.

Denise Actie

Denise Actie is a PA Licensed Clinical Social Worker with years of experience in the social work field. She is the Project Director for the Pride Youth Services Philadelphia Project as well as an AFFIRM and #NCONTROL Group Facilitator. She has been with Pride Youth Services, Inc., since 2016.

Jordan Taylor

Jordan Taylor works for Pride Youth Services Inc. as an AMEN Group Facilitator for the Baltimore City Project. A Baltimore County native, Jordan earned a B.A. Degree in Communication from the University of Maryland in 2017. Prior to joining Pride Youth Services, Inc., Jordan completed a year of service through AmeriCorps working in Baltimore with The Choice Program. Through this program, Jordan provided support and goal- based mentorship to young from challenging Baltimore City communities. Jordan is passionate about serving his community and improving the lives of those around him.

Joshua Tassler

Joshua Tassler has been an AMEN Group Facilitator with PYS since 2001 and currently co-facilitates these groups in Baltimore City. He received his B.A. Degree in Social Work from Morgan State University and Master of Social Work Degree from Stony Brook University. He is a licensed social worker in MD with 20 years of experience working with adolescents, adults and families in various settings.

Keyara Blackmon

Keyara Blackmon works with Pride Youth Services Inc. as an AFFIRM Group Facilitator for Baltimore City Public Schools. She was born and raised in Baltimore, so it has been a pleasure being able to give back to and serve the youth of the community from which she belongs. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Stevenson University in 2018. Keyara discovered youth mentoring through the Choice Program in Baltimore. Through this program, she provided support and goal based mentorship to Baltimore city youth and their families. She is very passionate about helping others and serving our communities.

Contact Us!

Rockville
Pride Youth Services, Inc.
2275 Research Blvd, Suite 500
Rockville, MD 20850
Office: 301.926.4700
Fax: 301.596.6440

 Baltimore
Pride Youth Service, Inc.
210 East Lexington Street, Suite 100
Baltimore, MD 21202
Office: 443.276.9911
Fax: 215.717.9697

 Philadelphia
Pride Youth Services, Inc.
1700 Market Street, Suite 1005
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Office: 215.717.9680
Fax: 215.717.9697

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