Early Beginnings
In January 2008, the City of Fort Myers hosted a 2-day summit in which faith-based, nonprofit, and government organizations serving youth, developed a strategy to ensure the protection of the city’s most valuable resource: the youth. These agencies discussed local issues including juvenile crime, high school dropout rates, teen pregnancy, inactivity, and obesity while noting community consequences of not addressing these issues.

The intense 2-day meeting led to the creation of the Fort Myers Youth Services Coalition, a group of passionate service providers and concerned citizens all working together to encourage and enhance the quality of life for youth in Fort Myers.

Early Vision & Focus
The vision of the Fort Myers Youth Services Coalition is to empower our youth today for a better tomorrow.  The founding members agreed that youth development requires more than the identification of specific youth problems.  It requires more than targeting a sub-group of young people who may be at risk and requires more than any 1 specific program, service or activity designed to correct a defined problem with an identified population.

To effectively empower youth today for a better tomorrow a community wide focus on providing a caring, supportive environment where all children can grow to be healthy, self-sufficient, contributing adults is necessary. Through youth empowerment through positive programs, services, and events it is believed that negative behaviors will reduce while involvement in constructive, healthy behaviors will increase.

Early Mission

The mission of the Fort Myers Youth Service Coalition is designed to be proactive, inclusive of all youth ages 0-20 years old, and based upon the pivotal concept that youth are indeed a vital community resource who should be engaged in the development of the community in which they grow.

Strategic Plan

The Fort Myers Youth Services Coalition developed a strategic plan that will serve as a guide for the City of Fort Myers and those agencies dedicated to youth service through out Fort Myers for years to come. The strategic plan builds on the National Helping America’s Youth Initiative and complements planning documents developed by other units of city and county government as well as nonprofit and faith based organizations located in the City of Fort Myers.

Three goals are the driving force of the plan:
  • Increase youth and parent/guardian engagement in local youth serving initiatives.
  • Increase youth and family serving agencies’ capacity to meet the growing and diverse needs of the community
  • Improve inter-agency collaboration and communication to maximize existing resources and for continuing programs and services