Mary Mitchell Family and Youth Center

Award Recipients - 2003

Astin Jacobo, Founder


Astin Jacobo, a long-time Bronx resident and activist, died on March 20, 2003.  He leaves behind a strong legacy of community service reflected in The Mary Mitchell Family and Youth Center (MMFYC) that provides programs for children, teenagers and adults.  “MMFYC’s mission is to improve the lives of families and youth in the Crotona section of the Bronx through programs that expand opportunities, develop leadership and build community.”  Crotona is a working class community where more than a third of the population is under 18 years old.  

MMFYC opened in 1997 after a fifteen-year struggle by Mr. Jacobo and other community residents who advocated and negotiated with public officials to build and establish a neighborhood center.  Currently, the MMFYC runs several programs serving 300 children.  An after-school program provides neighborhood children with homework help and a range of recreational and academic activities such as jujitsu, art, drama, and computers.  A special program for teens provides tutoring, computer training, leadership development and community service and a summer environmental project engages them in learning about the Crotona environment through workshops and outings in the community.  MMFYC also provides computer classes for adults in collaboration with Lehman College and Urban Technology.  In addition to programs designed and run by MMFYC staff, the center welcomes programs from community residents and also offers programs designed by neighborhood volunteers.

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