SYF creates and operates quality programs accessible to all of our City's children through its unique ability to link resources, while seeking to inspire attributes that develop sound character, build a connected community and motivate our youth to achieve their personal best.
SYF was founded in May 2001 by Marc Lyons, Greg Dempsey and a team of dedicated Stamford residents to develop new middle school football and cheerleading programs. These programs received an enthusiastic community response and inspired the team to pursue additional programs that would provide the youth of our town new opportunities to remain positively engaged in extracurricular activities.
Through the dedicated efforts of hundreds of Stamford volunteers, new programs were successfully introduced beyond the original football and cheerleading programs. In school year 2008-09, over 2,500 students participated in 12 SYF programs.
Most SYF programs are school based. They have been developed with strong cooperation and support of Stamford’s Board of Education, Superintendent of Schools, Mayor, Youth Services Bureau, Police Department and middle & elementary school administrations.
All SYF programs provide scholarships for economically disadvantaged students. Inclusiveness is core to our mission. SYF is proud of the fact that over 33% of our participants are able to participate because of these scholarships.
SYF programs are a response and solution to budget constraints faced by the Stamford Board of Education, which, over the years, have led to reduced extracurricular activities in our schools, particularly at the middle school level. In SYF's brief history our programs have demonstrated to contribute positively to student-athlete academic performance and school morale.
Core goals of SYF are to develop programs that (i) bring together students in our diverse neighborhoods to play together and work towards common goals, and (ii) energize our students and develop in them habits that promote confidence, commitment, a strong work ethic, and respect for others & themselves.
SYF is a volunteer organization and receives no direct financial assistance from the City of Stamford. It is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation. Programs are funded through participant fees, donations & grants, and other fundraising efforts.