Yesterday was a bright day for Dutchess County. Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro was invited to speak at the national "A Gathering of Leaders: Power of Place" Conference about the development and potential of the County's forthcoming countywide youth center, the Youth Opportunity Union, or simply put, The YOU. Molinaro also spoke on behalf of the County's Path to Promise initiative with attendees from all over the US.

The YOU

The YOU, which will be located at the site of the former Poughkeepsie YMCA, will be a state-of-the-art youth facility for children and families throughout Dutchess County. It will be the home for the Path to Promise Initiative, which is an effort to ensure all young people in Dutchess County have the assets needed to achieve their highest potential.

On their website, it says The YOU will be a visionary new community center for youth and families through Dutchess County, located in the heart of Poughkeepsie. The YOU wishes to serve the entire Dutchess County Community by creating a welcoming and inclusive space where children can play, learn and grow- from infancy to adulthood. The YOU, as a fixture of the Path to Promise initiative, will focus on recreational, educational, and healthy opportunities- both physical and mental- to ensure that young people have the assets they need to achieve their full potential.

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Harlem Children's Zone

Molinaro was specifically invited to speak by the Harlem Children's Zone in Washington DC. The Harlem Children's Zone is breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty by building up opportunities in neighborhoods, so children, families and communities are able to thrive in school, work and life. Their pioneering place-based model has grown to scale and serves more than 22,500 children and families annually.

Breaking Ground

Earlier this summer, Molinaro joined Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison, members of the City's Common Council, and stakeholders for the demolition of the former YMCA to begin the next step in the process to create The YOU.

"The YMCA had a profound, positive impact on our communities for decades, and Dutchess County’s Youth Opportunity Union will build on that legacy of transforming the lives of young people. We will build a safe, structured space to offer essential educational services, childcare, and recreation opportunities – addressing numerous needs for Dutchess County children and their families. We continue our journey toward the YOU, which will transform the lives of so many young people for generations to come,"

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro stated.

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On January 24th, 2022, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced that 490 acres of land will be protected by Dutchess County's Partnership of Manageable Growth (PMG) Program.

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