Community Solutions, Inc.

Award Recipients - 2000

Reverend Richard Del Rio, Jeremy Del Rio, Co-Founders

Reverend Richard Del Rio and Jeremy Del Rio founded Community Solutions, Inc. (CSI) in 1994 to advocate for social justice and develop strategies for meeting the economic and social needs of low income communities.  Working in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, CSI runs Generation X-Cel™, a youth program started in 1996 when thirteen local young people volunteered to design and staff the program.  Within a year 250 neighborhood youth were participating in activities including tutoring, basketball, talents shows and block parties.  The program found space at the Jacob Riis Public Housing Projects, collected donations of equipment and supplies and fundraised to pay the required insurance.  Abruptly, in 1997, the New York City Housing Authority changed the locks and forced the group out of the space.  For the next two years, local youths and their families struggled to reopen the center.  They were successful, and in 1999 launched a full0day summer camp and internship program.  
Generation  X-Cel™ transitioned from a summer day camp to an after school program complete with tutoring, mentoring, arts and crafts, sports, field trips, dance, drama, leadership seminars and community service projects.  Daily attendance averages twenty to thirty young people ages 8 to 14, and outdoor activities draw up to 400 youths.

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