History

Late 1980's - Early 1990's

Emerald Avenue UMC begins a summer outreach ministry with youth in Knoxville's Oakwood/Lincoln Park community. The ministry grows, focusing on serving youth after-school and during the summer. To impact more urban young people and raise the necessary support, the ministry is incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization and becomes known as Emerald Youth Foundation.

Mid 1990's - Late 1990's

Emerald Youth Foundation continues to serve youth in Oakwood/Lincoln Park. Locations in East Knoxville and Beaumont/Western Heights. JustLead, the flagship program of Emerald Youth Foundation, is launched. JustLead is based on Search Institute's 40 Developmental Assets.

2000's

St. Mary's Medical Center purchases a facility for Emerald Youth Foundation at 1718 North Central Street and leases it to EY for $1 per year.

Emerald Youth Foundation begins testing the replication of JustLead into locations throughout Knoxville. Eventually, the JustLead Network is developed. It is a group of churches and faith-based organizations that offer JustLead to youth in neighborhoods across the city.

2010+

Tennova Healthcare (the parent company of what was St. Mary's Medical Center) generously donates, in full, the building at 1718 North Central Street to Emerald Youth.

Emerald Youth Foundation starts a separate, non-sectarian, organization called Emerald Charter Schools. Its purpose is to launch Emerald Academy, Knox County's first public charter school. Emerald Academy is a free, independently-operated K-8 college preparatory school.

Emerald Youth Foundation serves more than 2,000 children, teens and young adults each year through a network of churches and faith-based organizations in the heart of Knoxville. The three main programs are JustLead, Emerald Youth Sports and Emerald Youth Fellows.