City Youth Exposure believes that in the traditional education system, positive exposure is the missing component that motivates at-risk youth to succeed academically, professionally, and personally. Our mission is to introduce youth to people, places, and things that they would not normally or easily experience in their daily lives. By providing positive, unique and educational experiences, we empower youth to grow hope in their future, pursue active roles in society, and stay true to their dreams and themselves.
City Youth Exposure (CYE) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2011. The founder and executive director Layah Willis was inspired to create CYE by her own experiences growing up in an inner-city community and working with at-risk youth. At CYE, we understand that many underprivileged children are not exposed to the world beyond their neighborhoods and schools. CYE was created to serve as a solution to this problem by delivering positive experiences that are much needed to help at-risk youth succeed.
We go above and beyond to deliver one-of-a-kind experiences. Since 2011, we have provided unforgettable experiences to underserved youth, exposing them to careers in the science, engineering, technology, and athletic fields. We have also provided skill-building activities to support their professional development. Our unique experiences have become cherished memories for our participants and are pivotal moments in their individual journeys of becoming tomorrow’s leaders, business owners, and innovators.
“A program like CYE is important for empowering youth to think about and plan for their future, rather than focusing on making decisions based on what is going on in their lives now.”
—Dr. Valerie Yerger, ND
The CYE Experience
CYE fulfills its mission by incorporating four core components into its programs—exposure, expression, education, and empowerment—that create unique and life-changing experiences to inspire forward-thinking and proactive engagement in the youth we serve.
Create educational and enriching opportunities that enhance students’ learning through positive social activity, placement in a new environment, and exposure to cultures, ideas, professions, and information.
Provide opportunities for students to learn outside of traditional instructional settings to increase knowledge and develop skills through kinesthetic learning activities.
Engage youth in activities and projects that promote self-expression and personal growth, and help build their confidence through the utilization of their skills and talents.
Facilitate youth empowerment by providing stimulating experiences that inspire self-awareness, positive identity development, self-actualization, and life goal achievement.
“People are so narrow minded in the way they perceive life and the world around them because they have not been exposed.”
—Cheryl Kemp, MS
We open minds of future leaders, affording youth the opportunity to experience the world around them and to use their talents for good, convert their passions into careers, and assert authority over their own lives.