Message from Site Director(s)

Dear MS 180 DFOY Families and Community,

Welcome to the new home of DFOY at MS 180! – we are excited for another school year and look forward to using this page to keep you updated on news, events, as well as shining the DFOY spotlight on parents, staff, or participants through the DFOY Agent of Change highlighted below. We also encourage you to follow DFOY on social media to see more content from our activities, along with others DFOY programs. Just click any of the social media icons on the top right of this page to follow DFOY!

This year we have 5 returning team members, along with 3 new staff who are excited to expand and improve program offerings this year. So far we have planned super cool and engaging events such as our annual Take and Bake, Our March Women’s event, along with other fun and engaging events for you and your participants!

This year we are also instituting some new policies that will be shared with you such as our participants and staff of the months being highlighted!

Please feel free to reach out at any time! I have included our contact information below and look forward to being in touch throughout the year.


Address: 700 Baychester Ave, The Bronx, NY 10475

Girl dancing


We can post company information here.

Donate Now

Quarterly Update

DFOY participants

DFOY participants at M.S. 180 advocate for clean water

If you are a fan of Good Morning America or happened to tune in recently on August 7th, you probably saw Directions For Our Youth students highlighted by co-host Michael Strahan as he discussed WE Day with pop star Meghan Trainor

“Good Morning America was an amazing opportunity to interact with other people who are making a big difference in the world; such as the WE organization and Meghan Trainor.” – Kailani G, M.S. 180 Student

For over three years Directions For Our Youth has partnered with WE and their annual WE Day UN celebration, which was held at the Barclays Center on September 25th. DFOY’s partnership with WE Charities has encouraged DFOY program participants from M.S. 180 to think globally and experience life beyond their neighborhood bubble. WE campaigns like to provide an authentic lens into the impact youth can make — both now and in the future.

“GMA was an incredible experience because, after all of the hard work that we did, we got a lot of recognition.” – Ciara G, M.S. 180 Student
Through WE Walk For Water, DFOY participants were introduced to students from a school in Haiti where students lacked access to clean drinking water and other necessities commonly taken for granted. WE campaigns demonstrate relatable stories of youth from around the world, many who share similar experiences with DFOY participants, creating change and tackling global issues that peers their age face. Inspired by the obstacles students in Haiti had to overcome on a daily basis, DFOY participants from M.S. 180, along with program leadership, met with school leadership to take action. A school-wide campaign to raise funds from recycling bottles, along with awareness walks, and even a feature article in the neighborhood newspaper, helped DFOY raise over $1,000 for the school in Haiti.

Additionally, Carolyn Encarnacion, Directions For Our Youth Program Director at M.S. 180, has noticed the impact of DFOY’s partnership with WE throughout program:

“Since our partnership with WE first began over 3 years ago, I have noticed an identifiable difference in our participants’ leadership skills. Through our Youth Council, students have used their voice to share what is important to them and improve our programs. I have noticed a similar shift with our parents – their participation in our efforts for students in Haiti has changed the way they view DFOY programs, and as a result, we have seen increased parent engagement throughout other aspects of our programming. Furthermore, as a leader and the Program Director, our partnership with WE is seamless because their service-learning curriculum and other materials involve our staff, participants, and families. We also get a ton of support from Michaela Henley at WE.” – Carolyn Encarnacion, Program Director – DFOY @ M.S. 180

Students from M.S 180 are excited to hear from Michaela and the WE team regarding the impact of their WE Walk For Water efforts, and also receive an update from their peers in Haiti.

Events Calendar

  • Dec 11th
  • End of Cycle 3:30 to 5:00 pm
  • Dec 19th
  • Participant Holiday Celebration!
  • Dec 20th
  • Holiday service event in collab with MS 180
group of students

Agent of Change

  • We want to congratulate Taniyah Smith for being our September DFOY Agent of Change here at MS 180! Taniyah has distinguished herself this month from her peers due to her perfect attendance, impeccable behavior, and her desire to lead as an 8th grader. She has been diligent with our new participants and has modeled amazing leadership through activity support, cafeteria monitoring, and even being a mini staff during our first Break Camp! On behalf of the MS 180 staff, it is our pleasure to celebrate Taniyah!

Parent Highlight

On November 8th, 2019, MS 180 had our first Soccer for Success game against Mott Haven Charter School. DFOY would like to give a special parent shout out to Columba Galicia and her family — the guardian of Jayden Garrido, for supplying our soccer team with snacks and waters after the game was over! At Directions For Our Youth, we strive to cultivate a DFOY family inside and outside of the building, and Ms. Galicia went above and beyond for our participants! On behalf of our MS 180 DFOY staff, it is our pleasure to celebrate Columba Galicia!

November Participant DFOY Agent of Change

We want to congratulate Noah Garcia for being our O DFOY Agent of Change here at MS 180! Noah was pronounced Captain of our Soccer for Success team this month for his continued dedication and resilience to the team. Noah’s love for technology and leadership because he makes sure both the tech and his teammates are ready for game day! On behalf of the MS 180 staff, it is our pleasure to celebrate Noah!

November Staff DFOY Agent of Change

We want to congratulate Jahari Small for being our September DFOY Agent of Change here at MS 180! As a new staff, Jahari’s perfect attendance in September and dedication to our team has been amazing! Jahari continuously goes above and beyond to support his colleagues and has helped new program participants integrate seamlessly into our program. On behalf of the MS 180 DFOY staff, it is our pleasure to celebrate Jahari!

Support DFOY

Directions For Our Youth, Inc. donations go towards programs and services that prioritize the education, health, and overall wellness of children and youth.