Hearts for Youth Mission Statement
Hearts for Youth (HFY) is a grassroots organization dedicated to providing opportunities, services, and support, so youth in our community will become healthy, educated, respectful, and productive citizens.
HFY is an organization operating under the direction of the Inter-Municipal Agreement between the Town of Alexandria and the Village of Alexandria Bay. It also serves as the umbrella organization facilitating the efforts of the established local youth boards known as the Redwood Youth Organization (RYO), Students Hooked on Values (SHOV), and the Plessis Youth Organization (PYO).
In the late 1990s, current HFY co-president Penny Heath started a program to get Redwood teens off the streets and into chaperoned youth activities. This effort grew into a collaboration with other local youth coordinators, and resulted in the first Hearts for Youth grants and programs. When the Town of Alexandria and the Village of Alexandria Bay sponsored the new organization, its present structure took form.
The first youth director, Kim Kernehan, got most of our programs up and running, with the help of our dedicated board. We became a model plan for other county youth groups. Our subsequent directors have furthered this work.
Our two most significant structural developments have been coming under the oversight of the Town and Village, and establishing an office at Alexandria Central School, from which our youth directors operate-- and where they may be reached during school hours.
Today, our board of seven (Dean Erck, Donna Gipperich, Penny Heath, Gayle Hunneyman, Todd Hunter, Cindy Penn, and Laura Swanson) meets monthly to keep things running smoothly and to look for ways to enhance our programs.
New ideas are always welcome. Let us know what you think!