About Us


In 1997, a group of girls residing in Friendship, a community Southwest of the City of Quincy, Florida began talking to each other about how bored and restless they were. At that same time, a neighbor, Alma Venisee, whose only daughter had moved to Atlanta (to start her own career working with troubled youth) had a need to do “girly” things with girls. As fate brought Alma and the girls together, they talked about their boredom and restlessness. The more Alma talked with the girls she became increasingly concerned with the lack of opportunities and positive role models in the lives of these girls.


Alma began meeting with them in her home twice a week. The girls named their group “Girls With Power”. They went to the movies and out to eat to celebrate their achievements. The girls’ parents were pleased with the changes they saw in their daughters. Accordingly, they started donating monies for trips and food for the girls’ Sunday afternoon socials. As a result of the “Girls With Power” success growth and personal development, Alma was determined to help African American youth overcome the societal ills and shortfalls rural youth encounter. Later in 1997, Alma Venisee, Executive Director, organized and incorporated a nonprofit, “INVESTING IN OUR YOUTH, INC” and opened a second center in Atlanta, Georgia in 2012.

We appreciate our partners and presenters who assist in providing services, mobilizing the community, and facilitating outreach programs:

Board-of-DirectorsNew Life Community Center
Gadsden County School District
Florida Dept. of Health
Florida Dept. of Education
Florida Dept. of Juvenile Justice
Gadsden County Healthy Start
Upkudo Martial Arts – Havana, FL
Professor Latanya White, FAMU
Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition
Gadsden County Sheriff’s Dept.
Mt. Moriah MBC
Mj Baker, Jacksonville Artist
FAMU School of Social Work
FAMU School of Business

We appreciate the parents and community members who assist in ensuring youth in our community grow to become productive citizens. IOY has also provided services to parents and grandparents of our students throughout the region.