Youth Moving Forward’s (YMF) mission is to encourage youth to achieve their utmost potential by building supportive relationships, academic confidence, work readiness skills, entrepreneurship knowledge, and basic life skills.
Youth Moving Forward's (YMF) mission is to empower and inspire youth as they navigate their journey towards achieving their utmost potential. We believe that every young person possesses unique talents and abilities, and our aim is to provide them with the necessary tools and support to flourish.
At YMF, we recognize the importance of building supportive relationships in a young person's life. We foster a nurturing and inclusive environment where youth can connect with mentors and peers who believe in their capabilities.
We strive to equip youth with the knowledge, resources, and skills needed to excel academically. Our programs offer tutoring, study groups, and workshops that cater to various learning styles and academic needs.
At YMF, we also recognize the importance of fostering an entrepreneurial mindset. Through our workshops and resources, we aim to cultivate entrepreneurship knowledge among young individuals, encouraging them to explore their creative ideas, take calculated risks, and seize opportunities.
In essence, we provide a comprehensive platform that supports youth in every aspect of their development. Through our focus on building supportive relationships, academic confidence, work readiness skills, entrepreneurship knowledge, and basic life skills, we strive to create a generation of empowered and resilient individuals who are ready to shape their own futures and make positive contributions to society.
We believe young people can embrace who they are,
can define their future, and can change the world.
After years of working in the non-profit field with young adults from urban communities, Darnell decided in 2019 to venture off on his own. He is now the Founder and CEO of Youth Moving Forward, a mentor program and resource center. In obtaining the position of Executive Director, Darnell understands the importance of mentoring and the influence it possesses on the future of youth and paving the way for the generation to come. Throughout the years of working with youth, Darnell truly believes in the power that having a mentor not only makes a difference in the lives of young adults but also witnessing the transformative relationships that were developed through mentoring. Darnell stands on the belief that “one must not only mentor but be a model and live a lifestyle that youth can mirror.” Ultimately, the mentees will not only follow what they are told but what they are shown as well.
Darnell was born and raised in Seaford, Delaware, but has lived in Rhode Island for over 13 years. He is the father of a 9-year-old daughter, with whom he enjoys spending every minute of his free time, going on adventures, and exploring the outdoors. Darnell loves traveling to different cities trying different foods and sightseeing. He also enjoys cooking and considers himself a self-made chef, with his very highly requested traditional soul food dishes. Darnell enjoys family gatherings surrounded by good food and creating memories with his loved ones.
Along with his background and education, Darnell takes great pride in stepping into his new role as Executive Director. Darnell will be designing programs to help young adults make changes mentally, behaviorally, financially, and emotionally. The goal of Youth Moving Forward and the programs that will be provided will be to empower every young adult to shift their perspective from being marginalized to overcoming the status quo. This will help build their self-confidence and also create opportunities and solutions that will last a lifetime.
Michelle Duso (she/they) is the founder and CEO of Power4Good, providing services to build, grow and strengthen coalitions and nonprofit organizations focusing on social justice, equity, and access. Her work builds community and capacity through strategic planning, organizational development, coaching, and the design and facilitation of collaborative processes, training, and convenings. They hold a Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering from MIT and a Master of Social Work from Boston University. Before launching Power4Good in 2007, Michelle spent over a decade leading Youth Pride, Inc., a nonprofit in RI dedicated to meeting the needs of LGBTQ+ youth and has held myriad positions serving youth and young adults in the child welfare, education, and housing sectors. In 2016, Michelle launched HYPE, a street outreach program responding to the needs of youth experiencing homelessness, and is part of the cross-sector team building a statewide system of care to end homelessness and housing instability among youth and young adults in RI. In addition to serving as the board chair for Youth Moving Forward, Michelle is on the Swearer Center’s Community Advisory Board, board advisor for COLAGE, and secretary of the Highlander Institute board. She is also a member of the RICoC and its Equity Committee. In their time with friends and family, Michelle enjoys food, running, Tai Chi, belly laughs, hiking, campfires, volleyball, and Netflix marathons.
Michelle Duso, Chair