Former Cox Automotive and LivePerson Executive Skip Dowd Joins Impel as Senior Director, Partnerships | Read More

Former Cox Automotive and LivePerson Executive Skip Dowd Joins Impel as Senior Director, Partnerships | Read More

Impel Blog

Get R.E.A.L with the Good Life Youth Foundation: Uniting Youth through the Power of Hip-Hop Culture

It’s time to “Get R.E.A.L” with the Good Life Youth Foundation! Since 2012, founder Hasan Stephens has made it his goal to allow teens to get “ready to enter and accept life” by eliminating poverty, incarceration and violence for youth throughout Upstate New York and New York City. With his experience in life coaching and the power of Hip-Hop culture, Stephens has been able to leave a positive impact on his community, and he continues to spread positivity daily. 

This summer Impel will be hosting our fifth annual charity golf tournament benefiting the Good Life Youth Foundation. To date, we have raised over $30,000 in donations through our Golf Tournament and internal fundraisers, including our chili cook off, dip contests, and cookie competitions! With so many exciting initiatives happening at once, we asked Stephens to give us a glimpse of what is taking place behind the scenes.

What is the GLYF and what is its mission?

The GLYF is focused on walking marginalized youth along a journey toward ending the cycles of poverty, incarceration and violence by utilizing Hip-Hop Culture as a vehicle for understanding identity and purpose, while achieving sustainability through entrepreneurship.

What are the main goals or objectives of the GLYF?

Our goals are to expose the youth we serve to new opportunities by leveraging their culture. By exposing them to new experiences, we hope to reduce youth recidivism, violence and poverty.

What project is coming up in the next year that you are most excited about?

Our long term goal is to create the first ever HipHop Center for Youth Entrepreneurship, a culturally designed center that is a one-stop-shop for youth to get services, training and discover opportunities for entrepreneurship. We are currently doing a capital campaign to raise $10M. However, in the meantime, we are moving into a new space thanks to the consistent growth of the organization. We are taking over the old Pro Literacy space at 101 Wyoming St., which has two floors of office space that will serve as an MVP (minimal viable product) to be a mini version of the long term project. We moved in on June 1st.

How can individuals contribute to the GLYF’s work, and what impact will their donations have?

There are a plethora of ways to get involved with the GLYF. 

Volunteering: attendance and help with our key events

  • Summer Boot Camp (Four weeks in August)
  • Annual Gala (planning, promoting, preparation etc.)

Donations and Fundraising:

  • Capital Campaign – raising $10M to build the ONLY center that reflects the culture of marginalized youth and provides training and guidance
  • General fundraising campaigns for programming
  • Individual donations directly to us or through United Way

Expertise and Specialization:

Using expertise and resources to increase organizational capacity and growth

  • One-on-one mentoring (life coaching)
    • Young, street savvy and familiar in youth and hip-hop culture
    • Helps create trusting relationships with youth that relate to them
  • “For the Culture Series” – a series of group and community discussions about youth and hip-hop culture that focuses on the impact and trajectory of being an “urban” youth

How does the GLYF measure the impact of its programs and services?

We have built an internal database that measures quite a few metrics

  • Frequency and Impact of engagements (internal)
  • Change in school data (behavior, attendance and grades) (SCSD + ESM data)
  • Arrests and Recidivism (County data)
  • Number of new entrepreneurs and businesses (internal)
  • Anecdotal evidence and watching our youth progress

With the continued growth throughout the organization, the Good Life Youth Foundation is expanding rapidly! To help contribute to the growth, volunteering, donations, and fundraising help are all encouraged. This support will contribute not only to the creation of the first-ever Hip-Hop Center for Youth Entrepreneurship, which will provide services, training, and opportunities for youth in entrepreneurship, but also to Stephen’s overall mission of empowering teens with the resources they need to thrive. To continue to support and learn more about The Good Life Youth Foundation visit https://gly.foundation/