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2019 Fall Youth Employment & Training Application

The City of Mount Vernon Youth Bureau’s STRONG (Students Taking Responsibility and Ownership Now and Graduating) Program in collaboration with the Mount Vernon City School District, Amani Public Charter School , Westhab Inc. Peak Center, and the Westchester Community College, provides structured educational assistance, creative enrichment and character development opportunities to the youth of Mount Vernon.

Want to know how our program is doing? Click the link below to view our Evaluation Report.

Click Here to view the Annual Report


The Real Narrative Continued

Tired of the same old story? Let me enlighten you about our Mount Vernon GREATNESS. Sure, there are struggles, but none we have not or cannot address with your support and full force. Here is the real deal, what’s good about our beautiful City and people, from college scholarships, police accreditation and a much-needed review of the City Charter to expediting the permit application process and much more.

The progress under my administration has been so great that one article can’t contain all our successes, so allow me to focus on the triumphs we’ve celebrated just this year alone.

One of our proudest achievements is the re-accreditation of the Mount Vernon Police Department in March. The New York Division of Criminal Justice Services gave the department accreditation in acknowledgement of the implementation of policies that are conceptually sound and operationally effective. It’s an affirmation of all the steps taken to change the culture of the police department, implement 21st-century policing and build trust on both sides of the badge.

Those who invest in our City are celebrating a reorganization of the Planning Department designed to speed up the plan-reviewing process for developers. The restructuring includes appointing a liaison to work with applicants to resolve issues before their cases reach the City’s land-use boards; pre-application conferences with developers; and greater feedback to developers prior to their submission of applications. Essentially, we recognized that the former processes were a maze that slowed or obstructed our City’s rebirth.

I’ve given more power to the people by recently establishing a Charter Review Commission charged with bringing outdated rules in our City Charter into the 21
st century. The independent Charter Review Commission will meet with the public this summer to receive feedback on how our City government must change to become more efficient. After the commission is done hearing from the public, it will propose changes to our City government that will be voted upon by a public referendum.
Through the Mayor’s Healthy Home Initiative, we’ve offered several programs designed to uplift our residents. In March and April Dr. Michael C. Grayson of the Credit and Debt Management Institute offered credit score and bad debt seminars to the public and to city workers at One-Stop Career Center.

The Mayor’s Healthy Home Initiative targeted our City’s youth in February by inviting actor Michael K. Williams to speak with teens about his documentary “Raised in the System.” In the documentary, the Emmy-nominated Williams serves as a correspondent as he goes on a personal journey to expose the root of the American mass incarceration crisis: the juvenile justice system. I don’t think anyone left that event untouched by the personal tales of redemption offered by Williams and his nephew, who made a terrible mistake when he was young that led to years in prison.

We gave our youth a hand up. On April 29th, students from the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau’s STRONG Program enrolled into the Westchester Barber Academy’s (WBA) Introduction to Barbering program. During the five-week program, the 15 youths received technical and clinical training in barbering.

The environment has been a priority under my administration. I put actions to words by having Mount Vernon join Sustainable Westchester, a collaboration of Westchester County local governments that empowers municipal leaders, concerned citizens, businesses and local organizations to partner in the development of sustainability initiatives.

The partnership with Sustainable Westchester will complement my administration’s Mount Vernon Clean & Green Initiative, an effort to repair the City’s polluting sewers and transform contaminated areas into environmental assets like parks and green spaces.

My accomplishments didn’t just focus on public services. We managed to have a little fun along the way.

The second annual Mount Vernon Restaurant Week in March attracted more participating restaurants to an event that is designed to promote our local economy. Our Restaurant Week’s timing at the end of the Hudson Valley Restaurant Week allowed diners outside our City to discover some of the flavors offered in Mount Vernon.

In May hundreds of people came to Mount Vernon City Hall Plaza for Mount Vernon Rising, an extravaganza that promoted a film about Mount Vernon’s future. Attendees enjoyed performances by the UniverSoul Circus, Force MD’s and The Mount Vernon Performing and Visual Arts Magnet Program Choir.

All these efforts represent a holistic approach to elevating Mount Vernon. For decades our City suffered from so much neglect that my administration faced a monumental task when I took office in 2016. I’m proud to report that little by little, we are correcting the injustices of the past and preparing Mount Vernon for 21st-century glory. STILL WE RISE!

Safe Haven Summer

Mount Vernon Youth Bureau Safe Haven Summer Program
Is Filling Up Fast!
Mount Vernon, NY- Last chance to get your applications in for the Mount Vernon
Youth Bureau Safe Haven Summer Program. The program is known to be one of
the most affordable day-camps within the community. It has long maintained its
reputation for high quality programming for the city’s youth. Many youth who
have attended the camp in the past have returned each year, and some have
become CIT’s (Counselor in Training).
The Safe Haven Summer Program was established to provide youth ages 6-12
with a safe and exciting place to participate in educational and recreational
activities. Youth will participate in Science, Technology, English, Art and
Mathematics (S.T.E.A.M) activities as well as enjoy weekly field trips. This year
trips will include Splash Down, the New York Aquarium and Quassy Park. The
program runs from July 8, 2019 through August 16, 2019 and operates Monday
through Friday 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. The location of the program is
Columbus Elementary School. The application deadline is Friday,
June 14, 2019. Enrollment into the program is on a first come, first
serve basis. The fee will be $500.00 ($450.00 for each additional
Mayor Richard Thomas said, “The collaborative effort between the
city, county and school are the key ingredients to winning the
future of Mount Vernon. These fun summer programs engage our
youth in safe and positive activities that keep them off the street
and build character. Our Youth Bureau is an essential component in
bringing fun back to Mount Vernon and families should take
advantage of these great opportunities.”
This program is made possible through a partnership between the
City of Mount Vernon, the Westchester County Board of Legislators,
the Westchester County Youth Bureau and the Mount Vernon City
School District. “In addition to keeping youth physically fit and exploring new interests, one of our top priorities is
to ensure that our children’s minds are kept healthy and active during the summer months leave. Participants in
our enrichment summer program will return to school in the fall ready to continue learning; not starting over.”
stated Debbie Burrell-Butler, Executive Director.
Applications are accessible via the city’s website and in the
Mount Vernon Youth Bureau Office, City Hall- Room 308. For further information, please contact Donna Bailey at
the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau at (914) 665-2344. You can also follow the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau on and

Safe Haven Summer Camp

Mount Vernon Youth Bureau STRONG Program Barber Academy

Mount Vernon Youth Bureau (STRONG Program) Students Learn Barbering

On April 29th, students from the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau’s STRONG Program enrolled into the Westchester Barber Academy’s (WBA) Introduction to Barbering program.

While enrolled into the five-week program, the 15 youths will receive technical and clinical training in barbering. The classes will emphasize the importance of maintaining a safe and professional work environment.

Technical instruction will include teaching by demonstration, lecture, classroom discussion, writing assignments, and examinations. Clinical instruction will include hands-on haircut training by students either on a real person or on a mannequin. 

“As a direct result, youth will gain or increase their basic hair-cutting skills, as well as career exposure into barbering, finance and entrepreneurship,” stated Mayor Thomas.

“The partnership with the WBA program will provide youth with additional skills that could become an additional source of income while in school or college. I am sure at least one of the 15 youths will make barbering a lucrative business,” said Mount Vernon Youth Bureau Executive Director Debbie Burrell-Butler.

For more information, contact the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau at 914-665-2344 or Charnay C. Phaire, CEO of Westchester Barber Academy at 914-664-4960 or

The MV Youth Bureau STRONG Program is made possible through funding from the 21ST Century Community Learning Centers.



2019 G.E.M Summer Leadership Academy

2019 GEM Summer Academy Flyer

The G.E.M. Summer Leadership Academy is designed to empower and cultivate leadership and character building assets in Middle School girls ages 13-15. Participants are engaged in life-skills workshops, enriching field-trips and community service projects.

If selected, participants can earn up to $350 this summer!

Date: July 8, 2019 – August 9, 2019
Hours: 10 :00 AM — 2:00 PM
Location: Benjamin Turner Middle School

For more information, contact Donna Bailey at 914-665-2344.

Please note that spaces are limited, and youth will be interviewed.

Click Here for Application

2019 Summer Youth Employment Application

2019 Summer Entrepreneurship Academy

2019 C.I.T Summer Application

The 2019 C.I.T Summer Application is now available for download