ICYFC Overview


Inner City Youth for Change equips and empowers teens to learn, to lead, and to serve in their schools, communities, and around the world.


Inner-City Youth for Change, (ICYFC), a former program of the Kalamazoo Deacons’ Conference is now an independent organization. Youth of Kalamazoo can expect to receive the same dynamic training, followed by an all expenses paid experiential learning trip.  We have now opened our opportunities for learning to take place in the United States, in Africa and other countries. 

This program began in January 2009 as a desire to creatively and purposefully impact underprivileged youth in Kalamazoo by giving them a chance to step out of their circumstances, and realize the incredible power they possess to change their world for the better.

The Program

Inner-City Youth for Change creates a rare opportunity for urban teens to engage in an eight-month program allowing the students experiences to step out of the world as they know it. Each student will test out and expand their service and leadership skills through investing in themselves, their community and in their world. The students will be provided with avenues for identity development through Gallup’s Strength Finders and other exercises allowing them to focus on and develop their God given gifts and abilities.

Inner-City Youth for Change will broaden their world view by delving into an in-depth study of poverty today, as well as its implications in education, life expectancy, human rights, water and food availability as well as the ramifications of colonialism, corruption, and civil war on a culture.

Areas of Focus and Development

  1. Identity Development
  2. Service
  3. Leadership and Team Building
  4. Cross-Cultural Exchange

The Result

It is our expectation that the Inner-City Youth for Change students will have an expanded world view through which they are inspired and renewed to maximize their sphere of influence.

The Outcome
Teens participating in Inner-City Youth for Change will:

  • Advance and utilize educational opportunities given to them.
  • Identify and develop career direction.
  • Have increased cross-cultural awareness.
  • Provide on-going service, leadership and community involvement in the area of social justice