Good Life Foundation

The Good Life Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for “at-risk” youth, both male and female. Through partnerships and collaborations, we provide various services and programs with the purpose of encouraging successful and productive careers and life strategies for “at-risk” youth, with the ultimate goal of encouraging entrepreneurship as a means to reduce recidivism, escape from poverty and improve academic performance.

GOOD PROJECTS

Invest In The Future of Good

Why We Work...

Culturally Competent Programming

We simply ask youth to ‘GET R.E.A.L.” about life! Get R.E.A.L. is an acronym that stands for Ready To Enter and Accept Life . We meet youth where they are at and take them on a journey of social, emotional and personal development, while connecting them to the necessary resources for success, accountability, sustainability and growth. Good Life utilizes Hip-Hop and youth culture as a bridge to opportunity, understanding and real transferrable skills, in a culturally competent way. The Get R.E.A.L. Program and workshops are a comprehensive 1 year program for youth to guide them toward success by focusing on 4 key Foundational Elements, similar to Hip-Hop Culture.

The GLYF 4 Foundational elements that we focus on were derived from a very basic question: "What does it take to have a Good Life?" These 4 elements are the fundamental pillars for Good Life youth developmental and change model. These 4 Elements are in the areas of: Life (R.E.A.L. LIFE), Money (R.E.A.L. WEALTH), Entrepreneurship & Business (R.E.A.L. SUCCESS) and Health & Wellness (R.E.A.L. HEALTH).
Before youth can think about money, business or any other aspect in life, many are struggling with everyday life skills and the ability to cope with social, emotional and family challenges. GLYF focuses on helping youth understand the dynamics of maneuvering through life and making positive life choices, despite the odds they face. Through a culturally competent approach, our life coaches work individually and in groups to help youth navigate life, while aiding in their social, emotional and personal development. This is done through one-on-one mentoring, or as we call it, life coaching. Our life coaches are young, street savvy and familiar with youth culture and Hip-Hop culture, thus building deep trusting relations with youth that relate to them. Youth also have opportunities to work in groups and see others traverse similar journeys toward success. Touching on serious issues and discussions that youth need to engage in for them to move forward. "For The Culture Series" - a series of group and community discussions about Hip-Hop culture and youth culture that focus on the impact and trajectory of being an "urban" youth. Discussions include social and emotional issues that many youth face daily.
R.E.A.L. Wealth is an asset building and financial education curriculum and series. Asset building & financial literacy curriculum gives youth a sense of responsibility, understanding of money management, hope and actionable steps to remove themselves from poverty. Poverty is a societal problem that drives other issues and obstacles that many youth face in the urban environment. Poverty is a leading cause for violence, youth crime and incarceration. Poverty is also a mentality. Our approach seeks to address the need for a shift in the culture and thinking toward a solution for poverty. Along with learning about entrepreneurship, our youth are encouraged to open bank accounts through our partner Cooperative Federal Credit Union (CFCU) and learn to manage their stipends from the program and dollars they may get from internships and employment that we help them attain.
R.E.A.L. Success is an entrepreneurship and workforce development training program for youth and young adults, helping youth to understand business and ownership, as well as help youth who decide on alternative paths other than entrepreneurship to attain "higher than minimum-wage jobs". The program is 2-generational in model, helping to encourage both youth and parents to learn values and principals to be reinforced in the home, ultimately helping families take a step out of poverty. The program consists of our Entrepreneurship Spotlight Series, bridging the gap between young aspiring entrepreneurs and local and national experienced entrepreneurs in a conversational exchange. It also consists of entrepreneurial training in the entrepreneurship bootcamp. Youth can go through our bootcamp and then compete with business plans for start up grants (up to $2,000) to start their own business. Entrepreneurship Spotlight Series Entrepreneurship Bootcamp & Business Plan Competition "For The Culture": Work Place Etiquette
98% of the youth we currently work with come from low-income households and fall below the Federal poverty level. In 2016, a new study on poverty identified Syracuse NY as having the Nation's highest level of poverty concentrated amongst Black and Latino populations. As a byproduct, our youth are often experiencing stressed-filled homes, which contribute to, often times, inconsistent nutrition, toxic environments and health-care gaps of every kind, as well as mental health issues. Often kids in very low-income families may never catch up when it comes to their health. Sometimes, cultures develop negative aspects and habits that may also contribute to unhealthy lifestyles. The GLYF attempts to shift the culture and put health and wellness first in the lives of the youth and their families. This is a raw and honest look at the impact of our cultures and youth culture on health and wellness.

How We Promote Health and Wellness:

Peace Making Circles - with our partner Center for Court Innovation

"For The Culture - Survival of the FITtest!" - with our partner H2 Fitness

"Don't Get It Twisted" - Chiropractic Wellness with partner Highpoint Chiropractic Wellness, Dr. Irum Tahir

"Squash The Beef" - Afro-centric Diet Cooking Workshop

Our fingerprints on the lives we touch never fade

Be The Change

Programs / Services

315 L.I.F.T.

315 L.I.F.T. stands for Life Influencers Focusing Teens
315 L.I.F.T. is an Onondaga County funded partnership between GLYF and The Center for court Innovation (CCI).
The 315 L.I.F.T. Project uses hip-hop music and culture and peacemaking to give youth the necessary skills to be successful. We combine mentoring, financial

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Beyond 16 Bars

“Beyond 16 Bars” (B16B) – is a culturally competent interactive and experiential learning program series infused with Life skills and entrepreneurial themes to aid youth in social, emotional and personal development. “Beyond 16 Bars” creates understanding and new learning through utilizing Hip-Hop music and culture as a vehicle

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R.E.A.L. Business Entrepreneurship Spotlight Series

R.E.A.L. Business!
Entrepreneurship has been known to be linked to improved academic performance amongst youth because it connects R.E.A.L. life experiences and opportunities for revenue with education that youth are learning now. In partnership with El Java Quadir (Entrepreneurship Professor at Whitman School, Syracuse University) and the Whitman School of

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What people say

Meg O’Connell
The vision and work of Hasan and Good Life to connect disenfranchised and incarcerated youth to resources, education and entrepreneurial opportunities have been transformational. Good Life coaches and mentors enable young men to envision their lives with hope and opportunities and provide the tools to chart a new path out of poverty. We need to support Good Life because our youth deserve a chance to have meaningful and productive lives.
Gwen Webber-McLeod
The Good Life is a refreshing approach to addressing the needs of inner-city youth who have so much potential. I stand with and for the staff and Board of Good Life, a non-profit uniquely positioned to meet the needs of these youth.
Perfection Rivers
For me, Good Life is family. Good Life gives hope, faith and reassurance that, no matter what, everything will be ok. They help you understand that any negative, can be turned into a positive, but it all starts with "me". I know with Good Life, I can never fail. 99% of success is failure.
Hasan Stephens
In order to reach the youth, you have to speak their language, live their culture, and have experienced what they have. Hip-Hop has the power for change, it just needs to be harnessed. Hip-Hop saved my life. We intend for it to save many others as well.
Ruben Austria
The Good Life Youth Foundation combines a grassroots commitment to the community's toughest young people, with an excellence in the way they handle their business. They bridge the gap between the juvenile justice system and the community in ways that are much needed but extremely rare. Most importantly, they provide hope, education, and practical skills to young people to help them change the trajectory of their lives!