Spotlight On: The Door

Posted on March 26, 2018

Our mission at TDFF is to empower individuals to enhance their own quality of life through wellness and education. It is the idea that the two are inextricably linked that drew us to the youth development programs at The Door in New York City, when TDFF Board Member, Ilaria Fusina — who is a long-time supporter and former volunteer — brought it to our attention. The Door’s unique model emphasizes a comprehensive and integrated network of programs to help at-risk young people between the ages of 12 and 24 on the path to wellness and success, no matter their current challenges. The 10,000 young people who come to The Door each year can access health and wellness care in the adolescent health center; daily nutritious meals; mental health counseling; career and education programs; legal services; crisis support if they are runaway or homeless; and arts opportunities – all under one roof, all designed to meet the specific and complex needs of teens and young adults, and all free of charge.

Door participants at a recent event in New York City.

One of The Door’s largest programs focuses on building opportunities for careers and education. Using an evidence-based, comprehensive model, The Door’s program works with 3,000 young people each year, more than one-third of whom are not in school and not working when they enroll. At The Door, they can work towards obtaining their high school equivalency degree, or get help applying to college. A significant hurdle for many young people is becoming work-ready as many have never held a living wage job or been employed with career possibilities. At The Door, young adults gain work and life skills through an intensive job training program. The Door partners with companies in six distinct growth industries to provide 10 weeks of training before paid internships start. As participants are actively mentored throughout the process, in many cases, internships lead to full time employment. At TDFF we are particularly interested in innovative programs that give dedicated individuals the opportunity to reach their greatest potential and—whether obtaining a degree or a meaningful internship—young people at The Door are set on a path to a stable, productive adulthood.