Roots of CYDI

Our school community includes students from Auburn Gresham, Englewood and surrounding Chicago communities. CYDI started in 1996 due to the lack of services and the high number of out of school youth. Pastor Aaron and Mable Royster started the school as a small GED program with only 40 students in New Joy Divine Church at 76th and Halsted. The school reached the small number of youth and due to increased demand the school began to expand.

Community Youth Development Institute Student Gardens

CYDI became a campus of Youth Connection Charter School in 1997 and began offering a high school diploma as a charter school. In 2002, the school relocated to the current site at 78th and Union and has grown to more than 270 students.

The school has graduated more than 600 students with many of those students going on to attended community colleges, local colleges, HBCU’s military and other vocational opportunities. The school continues to expand its programs and services to include Business and Health career pathways, Urban Agriculture program, Dual Enrollment and other support programs for students.