DFOY's programs are divided into various types, depending on source of funding and programming model. Programs operate on four different "cycles" that align with the traditional break periods of the New York City school system. Although cycle themes change, they always relate to the underlying mission of DFOY, which is to "engage young people as active partners in their own development as they seek to become thriving self-sufficient adults and agents of change within their local and global communities."
The DFOY Cornerstone program operates out of community centers at M.S. 219 (Beacon), Butler and Cypress Hills (NYC Housing Authority). Through this Program, DFOY serves 720 participants. Community Centers are open six days a week for eleven hours a day, and provide services to students of all ages and adults, with the greatest focus on middle school participants.
School’s Out NYC (SONYC)
SONYC programs are developed for students in the sixth through eighth grades. DFOY has implemented SONYC at M.S. 181 (Co-op City, Bronx), M.S. 498 (Morris Park, Bronx), M.S. 180 (Co-op City, Bronx), St. Ignatius (Hunts Point, Bronx) and St. Aloysius (Harlem). Structured like clubs, the model offers young people a choice in how they spend their time, provides rigorous instruction in sports and arts, and emphasizes youth leadership through service. SONYC programs use trips and other tools as a means of providing opportunities for instruction beyond a traditional learning setting. Programs are offered three hours each day, five days per week.
The Comprehensive After School System of New York City (COMPASS NYC) integrates the best Out-of-School Time (OST) practices with the expansion of afterschool programs serving middle school students. The COMPASS program is currently offered at P.S. 199, P.S. 204, P.S. 72 and P.S. 498. COMPASS aims to help young people build skills to advance their academic achievement, raise their confidence, and cultivate their leadership skills through service learning and other civic engagement opportunities.