DENNIS F. JONES, PHD (he, him, his)
Dr. Jones is the Executive Director and visionary of Youth Enrichment Services (YES). As both the progenitor and senior leader, Dr. Jones is charting the organization’s strategic direction and fostering its role as a vital community asset.
After three decades of engaging in youth development focused work and serving nearly 5,000 young people and families living on the margins, Dr. Jones remains committed to YES’ core mission and vision of empowering youth and their communities to become their own best resource - with agency and power in all aspects of their lives. Like YES’ ethos, Dr. Jones believes there are no throw away kids; to him, everyone has value, and everyone matters. These fundamental principles have guided Dr. Jones over YES’ 30-year journey. According to Dr. Jones, leading YES continues to be a labor of love, challenge, and joy.
Dr. Jones sits in partnership with YES’ volunteer Board of Directors whose sacrifice and commitment are unparalleled, along with staff who have shaped the contours of YES’ mission to make it relevant and applicable to young generations who have become successful college graduates and community leaders. As a scholar practitioner, Dr. Jones lives on the edge, pushing new science-based innovations to equip YES’ young children for their future successes.
Outside of his YES tenure, Dr. Jones is a former Associate Professor in the College of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences, Department of Sport Studies where he taught a variety of courses to both undergraduate and graduate students for more than 30 years. He is also a member of Leadership Pittsburgh where he continues to grow YES’ list of stakeholders, funders, partner agencies, and well-meaning donors who all share in YES’ journey and success.