029: Tina Brown (Overtown Youth Center)

Tina Brown on Innovation City

“I wanted to make sure kids knew that they could make it.” — Tina Brown

Welcome to Innovation City—powered by Venture Cafe—where Tyler Kelley and Michael Johnson, Co-Founders of SLAM! Agency, interview innovators, creators, and disruptors to discover how business is changing in the modern world.

Created and produced by SLAM! Agency in conjunction with Venture Cafe St. Louis and Venture Cafe Miami, Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion, heightened creativity, and a stronger and better-connected business community.

Tina Brown is the Executive Director of the Overtown Youth Center (OYC), a Mourning Family Foundation charity. Tina is also the Co-Chairperson of the Overtown Children & Youth Coalition, Co-Chairperson of the Equity Advocacy Coalition, and a Board Member of both the Commonwealth Institute and Urban Philanthropies. Tina sits down with the Innovation City team to talk about her journey and how she uses her own experience to help disadvantaged youth discover the options that are available to them and improve their lives. Find OYC on Facebook at @OvertownYouth, and on Twitter and Instagram at @OYCMiami.

They discuss:

  • Increasing OYC’s revenues by 200% and services provided by over 500%
  • Growing up in Overtown, one of the oldest, poorest communities in Miami-Dade County
  • Looking back at how Overtown has changed over the years
  • Seeing the Overtown community decline over the past few generations
  • Working in the corporate world but always looking for a way to give back to the community she was raised in
  • The Bubble; why kids in disadvantaged communities are unaware of what options are open to them
  • A teacher who told her she needed to dream bigger, and helped her navigate the college application process
  • Returning to Overtown after college and corporate life to show kids what options were available
  • Tina’s vision for Overtown Youth Center; creating positive, contributing citizens
  • Giving youth/families a fighting chance to succeed
  • Bridging educational and opportunity gaps
  • Putting one kid through college changes the future for the entire family
  • Loving what you do and getting in the trenches
  • Building a sense of urgency in her organization
  • The importance of letting people know you care about them
  • Lead with passion and integrity, and build a team that shares your vision
  • Meeting people where they’re at; some students are ready to start, some are intimidated, some maybe plagued by fear — discover where they are and move forward from there
  • The history of the Overtown Youth Center
  • OYC’s Capital Campaign
  • Growing from serving 75 kids per year to over 1,300 per year