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» Our History

Our History

MRB_5940The Good Life Philanthropic Youth Foundation was founded in September of 2009. It has officially become a 501(c)(3) in August of 2012. It was founded by Hasan Stephens, Executive Director, and born out of a desire to eliminate youth violence, poverty, and incarceration.

The model is based on the work that Hasan Stephens had done for several years with two youths in Syracuse, NY. His personal life coaching relationship bred positive results with these young men. Based on the understanding, process, and results from the two youths about what made them successful, Hasan began developing an effective model to be scaled and replicated to affect the greater community on a larger level.

The Good Life Youth Foundation began with creating and implementing a program for youth inside the Hillbrook Detention Facility. By utilizing the arts, Hasan Stephens taught life skills, personal finance skills, and entrepreneurial skills through Hip-Hop culture. The programming consisted of Hip-Hop Financial Literacy, poetry, and a Hip-Hop life skills curriculum. Hasan also facilitated the REAL Talk program bridging the gap between the youth and the positive role models in their community, as well as the local college students. Despite the challenges and adversities these children face on a daily basis outside of the programs, they showed positive results within the programs and managed to better their lives while also improving their chances of having a successful career.

In June 2011, Hasan Stephens approached Jonathan Cerrito from Blitman & King Law about getting a 501(c)(3) status in order to get out into the community. Jonathan volunteered his services and through process, bought into the mission. He also joined the organization to help develop the model further. By June 2012, The Good Life Philanthropic Youth Foundation had become a recognized 501(c)(3). Since then, Jonathan has been instrumental as a co-founder who helped design and construct what Good Life is today.

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