Community of Unity was founded in 2001 by Eric Komoroff with the goal of empowering youth and youth professionals with the knowledge and tools needed to make the positive life choices that result in success. Community of Unity’s first partnership with the Harlem YMCA brought after-school life skills programming to over 80 youth each week. That same year, Community of Unity began offering professional training and curriculum development to local school districts.
In 2003, Community of Unity became a founder and lead partner of New Design High School on New York’s Lower East Side, where we pioneered our Design for Life (DFL) Advisory curriculum and the Youth Empowerment Leadership Community (YELC). That same year, Community of Unity’s “Bringing Life Skills to the Classroom” curriculum was published by Newsday Newspaper and used in 140 schools throughout New York City.
Shortly afterward, Community of Unity expanded its programming to Africa by bringing the Skills 4 Life program to the HOOPS 4 HOPE organization in South Africa and Zimbabwe. The program has now reached over 20,000 youth and has become part of HOOPS ongoing professional culture.
In 2007, Community of Unity partnered with Auburn Theological Seminary’s Center for Multifaith Education to establish the Face to Face Leadership Community. We worked with CoCo Foundation to create the Community of Unity Photo Essay with photographer Susanne Michelus entitled Youth Empowered.
In 2008, the Youth Empowerment Leadership Community celebrated its first graduating class from New Design High School with a 95% graduation rate and 9 out of 10 of the seniors attending college. Two years later a Doctoral Dissertation, “Creating Sacred Space with Youth”, the result of over a year of research on Eric’s work by Dr. Josh Borkin, EdD, was published at Teachers College at Columbia University.
Just last year began the highly successful Design Your Future College Guidance program, which offers access to CofU-staffed College Centers in its two high schools, TAPCo and New Design High School. Through DYF, we now work with 150 seniors and 170 juniors to ensure that every student has equal access to a rewarding educational future, regardless of their financial status.
Since Community of Unity’s founding, over 30,000 youth from around the world have been touched by our programs. In America, over 200 schools have engaged CofU professional development workshops, consulting services, and materials. The myriad of programming that is run through Community of Unity still has the same fundamental goal, to empower young people across the world to make good choices.