The Community Youth Center, Ltd was originally known as The Community Youth Center (CYC).
The (CYC) had its humble beginning in December 1959. This was during the time when recreational activities were still segregated. A group of citizens in the Emporia/Greensville area united to raise money to build the center and it became the first recreational center for Blacks in the Emporia/Greensville area. In addition to the adult board, there was also a junior board of directors, who collected pennies to help as a fundraising activity. It was called a Penny.
The initial concern was to provide a safe environment that would offer to enrich recreational, educational, and cultural activities for the Black youth and also deter activities that led to the dangers of the streets and unsafe areas. Prior to the acquisition of a building, volunteers supervised activities on the playground of a local school on a rotating basis.
In 1960, the land was purchased and a building was completed in 1964. A swimming pool was added in 1968. In 1972, a licensed Day Care Program began to provide services for preschoolers from ages 2 to 5. Later school-aged children were added in the before and after school programs.
There were fully operational baseball and softball fields, tennis and basketball courts. A playground with a variety of playground equipment was on the center grounds. The CYC baseball, football, softball, and basketball teams were members of the Southside Athletic Association. Horseshoes, volleyball, ping pong, shuffleboard, boxing, and kickboxing were some of the other athletic activities offered during the early years. Additional activities included piano lessons, a youth ballet dance group, a Girl Scout troop, and summer Day Camp.
A pageant is known as The CYC Queen of Queens and the Emporia-Greensville Extravaganza (a program recognizing outstanding performance of those in the Emporia/Greensville area) became signature events for the Community Youth Center.
Sometime just prior to 2009, The CYC experienced some financial difficulties and foreclosure was imminent. Realizing the history of the CYC, another group of concerned citizens united to secure the property out of foreclosure. This group gave birth to the Community Youth Center, Limited to maintain the original mission of the old CYC but incorporate diversity. The CYC Ltd, with a new 501©3, and tax ID number is the result of this group’s hard work A small group of people have been working for about six years and have made significant headway in getting the concession building renovated.
Partnerships with the Department of Correction, Lowe’s, Allied Concrete Products, Inc., Toll Brothers, and many individuals have made it possible to make some improvements to the old CYC building. The Board continues to look for funding and partnerships that will lead to bringing more activities, academic tutoring, and educational programs to our community including health education. With the assistance of organizations, Churches, and individuals we were able to open the pool late July 2012. Currently, the pool is open every summer for about 8 weeks and we partner with the YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, local churches, and JFH. The Community Youth Center, Limited is a community organization and belongs to you.