June 4th, 2010 by Mona

A celebration of Father’s Day is happening a little early this year!

Dads and their kids are coming together at River City Youth Foundation this Saturday to

walk a parade, twist like a dragon, hurl pinto beans, and spit watermelon seeds – all in an effort

to underscore the message of how important it is for dads to take time out for their kids so

they achieve success in school and life.




 Fathers Event-Group Dads Kid Essay Winners


This Saturday at the 10th Annual Father’s Parade & Fiesta at River City Youth Foundation,

dads and children join together to celebrate the role that father figures

play in a child’s academic and social well-being.

At the event, a variety of creative learning games have been designed to reinforce the bonds

between men and their children, such as a Flying Pinto Game,

a Dragon Game, a watermelon seed spitting contest, and more.

The event is Austin’s exclusive father event for the community and takes place

two weekends before Father’s Day.



To encourage fathers to spend more time with their children in school and at home.

To engage the strengths of fathers in helping to shape their communities and to

foster student learning and social and academic development.



Local schools, churches, organizations, and companies have united for this

father celebration. Sponsors include Fathers Active in Communities & Education, New York Life,.

Austin Police Department, Austin Fire Department, Capital Area Food Bank,

six area churches,and many others.



SATURDAY, June 5, 2010 11:30 am-3 pm (2 weekends before Father’s Day)

11:30 a.m. Father’s Street Parade starts at Mendez Middle School

12 p.m. Parade arrives at River City Youth Foundation and celebration begins

2 p.m. Students winning essays read, dads crowned, and awards ceremony. 



Activities will include:

–  Father’s Parade w/ Dads, Schools, Churches, Groups

–  Student Father’s Day Essay Contest  

–  Father-Student Bonding and Learning Games



For more than 25 years, River City Youth Foundation has been helping children and families

thrive. The award-winning youth and technology center is based in southeast

Austin’s Dove Springs community. It is a First Place National Keep America Beautiful

Awardee whose programs have been modeled nationally and globally.

Learn more about RCYF at www.rivercityyouth.org.



Oné Musel-Gilley

(pronounced onay)

PR Chair, River City Youth Foundation

(512) 576-0219

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RCYF to Honor Holiday Card Contest Winners at Merry Memories

November 23rd, 2009 by Mona

Just around the corner is our annual Merry Memories event!  Join us Dec. 12th at River City Youth Foundation to celebrate the holidays with your loved ones and the community.  This year in addition to food/entertainment and the traditional toy give away, we our honoring the top five holiday card contest winners from our first ever holiday card contest.

For the past several weeks, River City Youth Foundation has been working fervently to produce and promote a unique product for the upcoming holiday season– a package of holiday cards created by the children of southeast Austin.  While there was a lot of great artwork produced, a panel of judges picked the top five winners.  The children had fun while using their creativity to create a card expressing their favorite holiday memory.  Each card is outstanding in its own way.  Within the set, each joyful holiday card contains a brief explanation of  the inspiration behind the card.  Not only is each card a unique and one-of-a-kind piece of art, the cards are printed on recycled paper.

Click here to finish your holiday card shopping while  donating  to a great cause.

Winner, Ronaldo, who is only 7 years old produced the below artwork.  His is a more whimsical, magical piece capturing the joy of Christmas.  Entitled “Santa’s Secret Wish”, the inspiration behind the card is a story of how Santa looks up into the winter sky, sees snowflakes falling and wishes to make a snowball.  However, Santa realizing that it is Christmas Eve, knows that he has to go back to “work.”  No one can deny the magic that Ronaldo put into the card, but also, knowing that the inspiration comes from Santa’s obligation to bring joy to the world brings even more depth to the concept. 

Click here to see Ronaldo’s card and place your order today for a set of cards. With each purchase, you are helping to produce a new generation of workforce, technology, and education leaders  for our community.

On the inside: Hoping your holiday wishes come true this year.

On the inside: Hoping your holiday wishes come true this year. Ronaldo’s card captures the magic of the holidays, as Santa looks up in the sky and sees snowflakes falling. The story continues as Santa wants to take a break to make a snowball, but then he remembers that it is Christmas and he has to go back to work.

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Family Thanksgiving Circle and Celebration

October 29th, 2009 by Mona

Title: Family Thanksgiving Circle and Celebration
Location: River City Youth Foundation
Description: Join us to give thanks and share a meal together! There will be food, fun, music and community!
Start Time: 15:00
Date: 2009-11-23
End Time: 20:00

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Strong Women In Leadership

October 16th, 2009 by Mona

Strong female leadership has paved the way for many to follow in their footsteps. A good leader not only serves as an example, but helps uplift others to succeed to their full potential.

“River City Youth Foundation helped me be where I am today because it helped my self confidence. It showed me that we can – as Hispanics, as females – do more for our community,” said Liz Garcia, a member of the RCYF community since it’s inception in 1983.

“I had people to look up to that had college degrees. They showed me there are better things out there than just sitting down and not doing anything,” she continued. “Work with the community, work with going back to school, which I did 12 years after high school. I knew I could do it. You build your self confidence when you see other people get out of the same situation you were in.”

Liz is one of the many people RCYF has helped in its mission to serve under privileged youth in the Dove Springs neighborhood of east Austin. The agency has prospered over the last 25 years under the direction of its founder and leader, Mona Gonzalez.

Recently, city leaders and other members of the community, including Liz, thanked Mona for her contribution to the Austin community. And Mona was quick to answer back. Watch the inspiring video below:

The video was created as part of the 25th anniversary of the foundation, which celebrates youth and community building. Through those interviews, we also had a wonderful opportunity to sit down with Austin Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr, another strong female leader.

“I’m proud to call Austin my home, and I’m proud that there are organizations that do really care and take great care of the community,” she said.

Rhoda also spoke about RCYF’s positive impact by engaging the community. Click on the play button to watch the interview:

She also encouraged youth to always pursue their passions. Click on the play button to watch her interview in the video below.

To read more about Rhoda’s impact on Austin and to read an in-depth profile by Wells Dunbar of the Austin Chronicle, click here.

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Thoughts On The Future

October 14th, 2009 by Mona

rcyfsilvera0909_045Viviana Martinez, 13, has been coming to the the River City Youth Foundation for the last five years. For our 25th anniversary celebration, Viviana was asked to say a few words on the agency’s impact on her life, and her hopes for her future and the future of her community. Click here to see more photos from the event.

viviana speech

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River City Youth Foundation Informational Video

October 11th, 2009 by Mona

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