As the co-founder and former executive director of Community Solutions, Inc. (CSI), a national youth development agency based in New York City, Jeremy remains committed to raising awareness and support for its initiatives.Â CSI exists to:
- advocate for social justice and youth-led community uplift;
- holistically address educational, emotional, financial, and social needs of at-risk youth; and
- promote urban revitalization and family restoration
Community Solutions grew out of co-founder Pastor Rick Del Rio
's holistic vision for community outreach and renewal. Before "faith based initiatives" were a federal initiative, Pastor Rick founded Abounding Grace Ministries
in 1982 to serve the whole person -- spirit, soul, and body -- and offered a variety of social services in addition to traditional religious programming.
In 1994, Rev. Del Rio and his son Jeremy, then a junior at New York University, conceived of a separate entity that would administer both non-religious and faith-based social services to address neighborhood pathologies. They incorporated CSI shortly after, but the organization remained largely conceptual until February 1996, when community residents helped define its mission and short and long-term objectives. By spring, they had adopted a comprehensive mission statement, developed an Action Plan, and elected to establish, as its first initiative, a neighborhood youth center called Generation Xcel. In 2003, CSI launched a national community service mobilzation called Chain Reaction.
Community Solutions offers three principal ministry initiatives:
+ Chain Reaction
// Weekend and week-long, youth-led community service.
+ Generation Xcel
// After school, summer camps, and leadership development programs. (Download Fact Sheet PDF
+ Itinerant Speakers
// Challenge and inspire your church, conference, college, students, or leadership with one of CSI's itinerants.
Certain fundamental values underlie every CSI initiative.
- Innovation // Pioneers make obsolete and restrictive paradigms forward looking and progressive.
- Persistence // Poverty, joblessness, gangs, drugs, crime -- entrenched pathologies require long-term, consistent effort to overcome short-term frustrations and failures.
- Flexibility // Respond to needs as they arise while preserving CSI's mission and core.
- Unity // Individual action can transform individuals, but collective action transforms communities.
- Excellence // CSI is committed to becoming a first-rate organization that develops premier strategies and renewal efforts.