In 1976, North Town community resident Alvin Carter-Bey and a handful of other residents met to discuss the relatively few sports, nutritional and added educational options that existed for youth in the North Town Community, especially residing in the Chicago Housing Authority Cabrini-Green housing development. Their assessment was that most of the services that existed were either available for youth whose families could afford expensive fees at private facilities or targeted for youth involved in gangs or experiencing other problems.
Mr. Alvin Carter-Bey resolved to establish a program that provided sports, recreational, educational enrichment and nutritional services-free of charge to the youth of the community. The target population was all youth, not limited solely to those who could pay, were involved in gang activity, or at risk. He then, along with several volunteers, developed programs that helped the organization accomplish the following mission:
- To promote a positive self-image in children, youth and adults that allows for goal setting, decision making, communications, respect for others and development of leadership potential.
- Contribute to the development of the family unit and its improvement through parental involvement as program volunteers.
- Heighten citizen awareness for their involvement in the improvement and stabilization of their neighborhood.
Overtime Alvin Carter-Bey and the Al Carter Youth Foundation grew to serve hundreds of community youth annually, primarily in sports and recreational programs. Foundation volunteers pooled their personal and financial resources to produce the first Annual Cabrini-Green Black Olympics in 1977. Since the foundation’s inception, the Chicago Housing Authority has collaborated in the program by providing space for its operations. The space includes offices, classrooms, a kitchen and storage space.
The Al Carter Youth Foundation is now a 24-year-old community based 501(c)(3) organization. Under the leadership of its executive director, Alvin Carter-Bey, volunteers give hundreds of work hours in various programs that educate kids, provide them with activities to move them in productive directions and provide positive role models.