Implementing a system of quality and accountability to produce the best outcomes for youth.
The Kalamazoo Youth Development Network, or KYD Network, began in 2000, through a collaborative effort among the city of Kalamazoo, the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, and the Hispanic American Council to provide networking opportunities for youth-serving organizations. Since 2014, KYD Network has transitioned from a networking and information-sharing program to an intermediary organization that is building a sustainable out-of-school time system in Kalamazoo County. In 2018, we received our 501(c)3 status and moved to a new location, Lincoln Elementary School.
An anti-racist community where all youth thrive.
Ensure that all youth have agency within a well-coordinated system that supports anti-racist, high-quality, and youth-driven out-of-school time programs.
Viridiana Carvajal has 8+ years of out of school time experience, serving in various roles working with youth, supervising staff, creating curriculum and facilitating professional development. She resides in Kalamazoo. MI with her three children and partner. Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Viridiana has always had a passion for working with youth and supporting youth development with new up to date strategies to better support high quality programming. As the Lead OST Program Coach with KYD Network, Viridiana is able to support our internal work in all five program areas that our cohort organizations engage in. Through intentionality and consistency, Viridiana supports other team members and enjoys being creative to support the work of KYD Network.
Abra Smith is a facilitator of holistic wellness, an educator, quality coach and nutritionist from Cleveland, Ohio who has served in these various roles for the past 17+ years. She resides in Kalamazoo, Michigan with her two sons – Christian and Carter. As Director of Wellness Initiatives with KYD Network, Abra has been able to fuse her passion for various healing modalities, quality youth practices and community into one. Abra enjoys collaborating with local youth organizations to help them to prioritize their own wellness and to strengthen and create youth spaces of liberation, healing and growth. She believes that when youth are able to find spaces like this, surrounded by caring adults who prioritize wellness, it helps them to become the best versions of themselves – and that is what it’s all about – becoming the best versions of ourselves – mind, body and spirit.
Jacquis Robertson is a Kalamazoo County native who has worked in various roles within the non-profit sector for over a decade. Jacquis has extensive experience in conflict engagement. While she holds certifications in multiple mediation disciplines, she is also trained in Restorative Justice practices and Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM).
As a first-generation American, knowledge as a source of power is a huge part of Jane's moral makeup. After receiving her Bachelor's degree in Secondary Education from WMU, Jane has worked in schools all around Kalamazoo County and was given the opportunity to co-teach the English language for three years in Japan. Jane felt her calling was in community work, so upon her return to Kalamazoo 2019, Jane's work has been in the out-of-school-time sector. She is also an active member of the community through her volunteer work with many organizations like the Edison Neighborhood Association and the Edison Resident Scholars, a subset of the Kalamazoo Literacy Council. Jane hopes to grow even more in the community through her work at KYD Network.
Our Board of Directors
City of Kalamazoo
High School Student
Battle Creek City Commissioner
Learn more about our work.
Using data-driven models, we partner with the out-of-school time sector to create a thriving community for youth in Southwest Michigan.