BKYSC was founded in 2009 as a college-preparatory initiative for high school-aged students. The organization was designed to use athletics, specifically Basketball, as a vehicle to engage students in productive academic programs. This basketball-centric approach has proven to be a particularly powerful and effective way to engage youth in off-the-court activities, especially in low-income Brooklyn neighborhoods, where basketball is central to the culture of our communities and the identity of our youth.
For the first few years, our academic programs included individual tutoring, SAT prep, college guidance, and other resources geared towards our high school-aged participants (13-18 years old). In 2012 and 2013, the inaugural participants of the program (who started as 9th and 10th graders with BKYSC), graduated through BKYSC programming and currently over 110 former BKYSC student-athletes are enrolled in college, garnering over $750,000 in scholarship awards.
Having established core programs for high-school aged participants, BKYSC transitioned to serve a larger range of youth in 2012. The implementation of the BKYSC After-school Academy created an opportunity to work with younger participants (boys and girls, ages 8-18) on a year-round basis. Broken down by season (i.e. Fall Academy, Winter Academy, Spring Academy, & Summer Academy), the program provides varied curriculum throughout the year that is unique to each students’ development and needs. The BKYSC Academy is designed to achieve various youth outcomes with the ultimate goal of enabling students to enroll in college. In Addition to the Academy, BKYSC also runs other after-school and summer programs including the Better Athlete Coalition, Essay Intensive, College Assist, and Varsity Assist (see programs section for more information on these programs).