Each year in the District, over 3,500 juveniles are arrested and over 1,000 of these are committed to secure detention. Many become involved with the juvenile justice system for relatively minor and nonviolent offenses because there are no alternatives to the traditional track of arrest, trial, commitment and/or probation. Access Youth provides intervention and prevention services at the most vulnerable times in their lives - when they are facing arrest and prosecution, or suspension and expulsion from school. As the only “diversion” program in the District, it uses mediation (instead of prosecution or expulsion), restorative justice techniques (in which perpetrators take responsibility for their actions and repair the damage they have done), and life skills courses (to steer youth toward more positive futures). A pilot program at Ballou High School offers conflict resolution as an alternative to suspension for bullying and school fights. 90% of these juveniles hail from highly distressed and underserved communities. Let’s give them a second chance.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 2

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; DC-Ward 7; DC-Ward 8

Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17)

Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Students; Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members

Schools They Work In: DC Public Schools; Ballou High School; Anacostia High School; Eastern High School; Washington Metropolitan High School

  • Number of youth served since our founding in 2009:   1800
  • Percent of students who avoided suspension post referral in 2015:   85%
  • Percent of youth who avoid re-arrest post referral:   75%
  • Percent of students who avoided court referral for truancy in 2015:   70%

Awards & Recognition

In 2016 Access Youth was awarded the highly competitive Deputy Mayor for Education's Dropout Prevention Grant that provided one time funds of $170,000 to address high school Truancy.


Budget (FY2013)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • The current budget for Access Youth is: Less than $500k

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

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