Dear Friends,

It’s amazing how fast the first-term has flown by and here we are in the second-term under the leadership of Mayor Jim Strickland keeping the momentum of Memphis in motion. I want to thank my wonderful staff for their continuous endless work under my leadership. In addition, I would like to thank Mayor Jim Strickland, for being a strong and true advocate for empowering our youth to reach their full potential.

We at the Memphis Office of Youth Services (MOYS) are dedicated and committed to shaping our young people to be productive individuals in society by providing opportunities for their success. We know this work will always be a challenge; however, we’re up for the task because our reason for starting this is too strong to stop. My staff and I need the continuous support of businesses, the faith-based communities and most of all parents, to assist us with the development of our youth.

Over the last year, just like everyone else, we have made necessary changes dictated by COVID-19 precautious. Although things look a little different, we are continuing to empower our youth for positive results. During the summer of 2020, we conducted our first virtual programs and provided participants, through MPLOY and MAP, access to financial literacy education, professional and life skills training, career exploration and the opportunity to gain certifications. As we prepare for summer 2021, during our registration period in the month of December 2020, we had more than 7,000 youth that applied for our summer programs (MPLOY and MAP). Having thousands of youth without the opportunity to work during the summer, the Memphis Office of Youth Services created the “JOY” initiative. “JOY” (Just One Youth) is a call to action asking every concerned citizen, business and faith-based community to donate funds to provide additional employment opportunities for Memphis Youth during the summer of 2021. We all must understand that this work can’t be a burden on City Government alone. We all must get involved and if we don’t support our youth, who will?

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  • “I AM INCLUDED” Program : A branch of the Memphis Ambassadors Program (MAP) which offers life skills and activities in Community Service, Leadership, Education, Entrepreneurship and Perseverance to Exceptional Kids with disabilities.


  • MAP 8th Grade Apprentice Program

  • “I AM INCLUDED” for Deaf & Hard of Hearing/Blind & the Visually Impaired/Intellectual Disabilities

  • “Back on Track” Program for Juvenile Detention Students

  • “It’s My Business” Entrepreneurship Program for SCS Homeless Students

  • “All My Children” Program for SCS Foster Students

  • “App Virtual” Technology Program for Interested MAP Students


MOYS hosted its second annual Golf Classic at Galloway Golf Course and this year’s winners were:

  • Championship Flight 1st Place – Sheriff’s Stars Floyd Bonner/Scott Wright/Steve Leech/Derek Mills

  • 2nd Place – Golf Buddies #2 Willie Brooks/Daylon Dockery/Robert Jones/Russell Rogers

  • First Flight 1st Place – Team #10 Gregory Bethel/Richard Campbell/Andre Cleveland/Rod Tharp

  • 2nd Place – Team #11 Keenan Norman/Keith Norman/Nyrone Hawkins/Craig Freeman

  • Closest to Pin- Nikolas Chillies

  • Longest Drive- Steve Leech



The Memphis Office of Youth Services’ MAP Program and the Tarik Black Foundation partnered with students at GHIS High School in Tel Aviv, Israel to implement the MAP structure to students abroad.


A six-week initiative designed for youth and parents to get gain a thorough understanding of computer knowledge in order to navigate successfully during their first virtual year.


The Memphis Office of Youth Services hosted its 4th Annual Youth City-Wide Talent Competition on the Library Channel 18 on November 30, 2020. This year’s virtual edition spotlighted youth with various talents. The First Place Prize was $1000, the Second Place Prize was $500 and the Third Place Prize was $250. The First Place Winner was LYE Academy, the Second Place Winner was Trinity Chism and the Third Place Winner was Martin Carodine. It can currently be viewed on and the MOYS Facebook Page and YouTube Channel.


The Memphis Office of Youth Services in collaboration with the Memphis Police Department helps students understand the law, law enforcement and their individual rights. This is also a recruitment tool for students interested in MPD. These sessions are aired every 2nd and 4th Tuesdays on the Memphis Office of Youth Services YouTube Channel.


The Memphis Office of Youth Services partners with International Boxing Academy and Restoration House Boxing Academy and offers virtual boxing lessons to youth between the ages of 8-22. The lessons include boxing techniques, conditioning, nutrition education, boxing etiquette, rules of boxing and life skills. These sessions are taught every 1st and 3rd Thursday.


The Memphis Youth City Council is in its 4th cohort and is modeled after the Memphis City Council. It consists of 13 students representing each City Council district. This council trains young people to become leaders not only in their school but also in City Government. These young leaders provide innovative ideas to the City Council and are the voice of youth concerns in the city.


This Institute is part of the MPLOY program for ages 14-15-year-olds to prepare them with hard and soft skills needed to be employable in professional, career, financial literacy, social, business development, etc. This training will be for six-weeks.

2021 NEW PROGRAMS (Developed in 2020)


A platform that gives young people the opportunity to discuss youth related issues in the city. This will be a vehicle for the Memphis Youth City Council members to involve their peers in identifying and solving problems.


This program equips students at the Juvenile Detention Center with the tools necessary for becoming contributors to the greater community by inspiring them to make positive decisions in the classroom and beyond through engaging and interactive programs, once they are released. This partnership is with Shelby County Juvenile Detention Center, Hope Academy, Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks Job Corps Center and Expanded Educational Services.


An eight-hour telethon to assist the Memphis Office of Youth Services with fundraising for additional youth for summer employment. It will highlight youth performing acts and interview appearances from community leaders and business partners.


A trivia game show for our youth to ensure that they know important facts about Memphis in the areas of Business, Entertainment, Sports, Political Leaders, Landmarks, History and much more.


· Celebrated 10th Year Anniversary June 1, 2020.

· Virtual Summer Leadership Academy for 9th-12th grade students.

· Community Events: Annual Mega Peanut Butter Drive and the Mobile Food Pantry & School Supply Giveaway

· Implemented the first Senior Virtual Professional Development Institute in May to prepare seniors for college and the MAP Summer Internship Program.

· 8th Grade Apprentice Program assisted students struggling academically, with a GPA below 2.5, to become a part of the MAP program.



· Expanded to 1750 participants for the summer job program.

· Partnered with SCS’s CCTE and Project Stand to implement a Virtual Summer Program for MPLOY students.

- More than 600 participants earned certifications in areas such as Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint and OSHA

As you can see, MOYS has been truly busy. None of these accomplishments could have been made possible without a great staff that supported my vision, and the generosity of our supporters, stakeholders, and business partners.

In closing, the Memphis Office of Youth Services will continue our mission that is so vital to this great city. We need your unwavering support and prayers as we advance the youth of this city to become responsible productive citizens.


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Ike Griffith, Ed.S
Special Assistant to Mayor Jim Strickland
Director of the Memphis Office of Youth Services

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315 S. HOLLYWOOD STREET   |   MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE 38104   |   PHONE: (901) 636-6264