Youth Development


For more information, please contact Tanya Aho at (313) 331-3469.

Amplifying youth engagement and voices in our community.


Youth on the edge of greatness

Youth on the Edge of Greatness (YOE) is the Eastside Community Network's oldest program, operating since 1985. The purpose of YOE is to garner youth voice in our community planning process. YOE focuses on community service, community planning skills, and leadership skills. There is also a focus on career and college readiness - highlighting creative jobs - through both vocational and college paths.

The VAULT Teen Center

The Vault is a teen center located in our headquarters at 4401 Conner St (between Warren and Mack). The center provides our youth with a safe space to socialize, learn and interact with each other. Our youth's commitment to maintaining The Vault as a safe space for their peers is evidenced by their mission statement:

To be a safe, chill-able space where teens are empowered to use their voice to create a positive community that fosters leadership and inspiration.

Teen Advisory council

The Vault is guided by our Teen Advisory Council (TAC) - a 12-15 member group that began meeting in October 2016. TAC officers meet once a month to provide feedback and ideas for The Vault programming and activities. These youth are also involved in other ECN led community planning and leadership building activities.

TAG Meetings

On the 2nd Friday of each month, the TAC hosts a Teen Advisory Group meeting and invites youth and youth groups from our area.

These events were planned and facilitated by the youth from conception to advertising to conducting the meeting. They have covered a number of topics including: School Policy, Teen Mental Health, and Sex and Healthy Relationships.

These meetings will be suspended for the summer and return to the Vault Teen Center in October 2019!


Community Development Speaker Series

Eastside Community Network is partnering with Southeastern High School again this school year to host a Community Development Speaker Series for a sophomore class every Friday. Speakers will have conversations with the class about methods of community-building, and help students identify and plan a project to tackle issues in their community that concern them using those methods. Speakers this year will include Barb Martin, SpeakRoc and Edythe Ford.

Summer Employment

Job training and workforce development are essential for our youth. Through strategic partnerships with Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority, we provide summer employment to youth on the Lower Eastside. Over 6 weeks, youth gain job experiences and are trained in job readiness, internet safety, etiquette, team building, and financial literacy. 

This summer youth will learn and earn in jobs focused on the following industry areas:

Coding & Web Design

Wednesday Night Cooking

On Wednesdays, the Vault teens meet together to cook a meal and have a family-style dinner. During these cooking nights we work on new cooking techniques and teach each our old family favorites.

coming soon to the vault!

Two new programs are coming to The Vault in January!

The CAP will be a comprehensive program to help high school students on their journey to college or career paths. It will include SAT tutoring, FAFSA assistance, college and scholarship application assistance and help selecting the college or vocational training that best fits each young person’s needs, expectations and interests. There will be workshops on topics that are important to those entering college. We are excited to roll this new program out.

This program is aimed at youth ages 18-25. It will tackle three main themes: Career Paths, Life Skills, and Legal Issues. Much like the College Access Program, we will help older youth determine the best path to get the career that matches their interests and to help them get into program (college, vocational training and apprenticeships) that will meet those goals. We also hope to instill life skills such as budgeting, cooking, banking and shopping that foster independent living. We will also address legal issues such as insurance, voter registration and getting identification documents. We are excited about expanding our services this group of youth that are sometimes forgotten.

**If you are interested in either of these programs, please contact Tanya Aho, Senior Manager of Youth Development, at (313) 331-3469 for more details.

The Vault Event & Activities Calendar

Vault calendar- September 2019.jpg