The RYC Story

With the scarcity of effective youth enrichment programs in the South Bronx, Bervin Harris and Darren Quinlan founded Renaissance Youth Center in 2001. Their goal was to create a safe haven where the community's youth could develop life-long academic and social skills.

Word of the center and its programs spread. Kids were anxious to learn how to sing, play instruments and sports in a safe environment near their homes. Our ever-growing base motivated our move in 2011 a few blocks north to our exising location on 168th Street and Third Avenue. Here there are three floors of classrooms, labs, performance spaces, music studios, a robotic lab and a zoology room that houses 40 live animals.

RYC has become a community fixture. Our dedicated staff and our quality programming is well received thoughout the Bronx, Manhattan and Brooklyn. The original mission of creating a place that kids can feel safe and enriched now touches over 4,000 young people per week, through music classes, afterschool programming, tutoring and civic engagement.

Our Mission

Our mission is to empower at-risk inner-city youth to fully maximize their potential as productive and responsible members of society by offering dynamic, team-building education, music, and civic engagement programs. We do this while instilling the importance of self and community growth.

While our primary focus is teaching youth new skills, we also emphasize developing their social skills. We achieve this by mentoring youth, interacting with their families, getting involved in their educational goals, and engaging them in positive activities that support teamwork and community-building.

We envision a chance for a better life for all youth, regardless of their socio-economic background or ethnicity. We recognize that all youth are not afforded the same opportunities.

With this in mind, the concept behind all of our programming is to “level the playing field” for inner-city youth. We provide experiences to help them navigate whatever difficulty they are encountering towards a rewarding future. We are committed to being positive role models while building positive role models.