We had the good fortune of connecting with Dynasty Taylor and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dynasty, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I got to where I am today based on my dedication, determination, and risk-taking. In 2014, in my first semester of grad school at USC, I started a non-profit organization called Dynasty’s United Youth Association (DUYA) that provides free educational, career, and mental health programs to youth ages 5-18 in underserved communities. I also co-founded a limited liability company called Mental Health in the Hood that helps expand awareness surrounding mental health perceptions, stigmas, and oppression amongst everyday people to help cultivate and rebuild healthier environments and values. One of the biggest risks I had to take in life was leaving my corporate job to become a full-time entrepreneur. I was at a point in my life when I felt like I was exchanging time for money. So, in July 2021, I took the ultimate risk by quitting my corporate job as a Founding School Counselor at Da Vinci Rise High School and opened my first learning center during the pandemic. I learned that “what we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.” To make big changes and open up opportunities for growth, I had to let go of any form of security by giving up everything I had to go places I never thought I would go. My amazing team has pushed me to test all boundaries and never leave any door unturned because they believed I could accomplish anything through my faith.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Our strategic and innovative model helps students achieve and break the cycle of poverty. We provide wrap-around programming in a safe and structured environment, including daily study halls, mentoring, push-in academic support, tutoring, admissions family counseling, leadership workshops, service-learning, community service projects, career exploration, college trips, and character-building with peers. Over the past eight years, DUYA has helped over 1000 students pass onto the next grade level, recruited over 100 tutor volunteers, provided employment and internship opportunities, assisted over 50 students with college admission processes, and provided college textbook grants for high school graduates. Through these efforts, 90% of students return each year to DUYA.

We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what are most proud of or excited about?
I am proud of the impact that I have made in my community by keeping youth off of the streets, helping students apply to college, and providing employment and volunteer opportunities. Students and families both report that DUYA is more than just a tutoring program but also a support system for the entire family. Not only do the students show progress in school, but they also show progress in their self-confidence and social skills. DUYA is known for meeting students “where they are” and creating individualized pathways to help students meet their personal and professional goals.

How did you get to where are today business-wise? Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What lessons you’ve learned along the way?
I got here by taking multiple risks and doing work that actually matters to me. This eight-year journey has not been easy, but I overcame my challenges by staying focused, believing in myself, and placing students at the forefront of the reasoning behind my work. Although with any obstacles, there are lessons you learn along the way, I was able to embrace the journey by having fun and connecting with my community.

What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
My brand is built from a social impact and social change theoretical perspective. Community building is a huge portion of my work that allows me to learn and hear from the people about current issues their facing and how my business can be of support and provide greater solutions. This also allows me to stay present in my work, keep up with trends, and educate others about problem-solving and navigating through life.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One of my favorite places to visit for a good thrill is Six Flag Magic Mountain because of the fast rides and the sweets to satisfy my sweet tooth. Locally, I enjoy going to the zoo or an outdoor movie theater and being outside to practice self-care, which is important to me. It’s nothing like a warm day or clear night sky to enjoy a peaceful activity. I enjoy going to Benihana’s, PF Chang’s, and Crustaceans for dining.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
TD Jakes (Pastor, Motivational speaker) & Brene Brown (Author, motivational speaker: Book- Dare to lead) – helped me understand the true value of leadership and how to lead people with courage and vulnerability.

Website: https://dynastysyouth.org/

Instagram: Dynastysunitedyouthassoc

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dynasty-taylor-88aa1372

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dynastysunitedyouthassoc

Youtube: https://youtu.be/Zeu6xpIhzpE

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