Alumni Profile: Darye Henry
Posted by: DVULI | October 25, 2023
by Gerald Bell (Kansas City 2003), Staff
► ALUMNI: Darye Henry (Indianapolis 2012)
► ORGANIZATION: After School HQ
► CURRENT POSITION: CEO
How long have you been involved in youth programs?
I started in 2004 as a member of a band, and we played for church youth events and at area juvenile correction facilities. I played guitar and piano, rapped, and produced beats. Kids would talk to me after our performances, and that’s how I developed a passion for youth. I was a member of a nondenominational church and got into teaching Sunday school and leading Wednesday night youth Bible study.
Talk about After School HQ and how you fulfill its mission.
After School HQ focuses on helping leaders build thriving youth programs without burning out. We primarily help youth-serving organizations engage with families, delegate responsibilities to team members, and report impact to funders through our online platform. The end goal is to equip organizations to help youth find their life purpose and increase the number of kids participating in their programs.
Why do you think God has called you to this work?
I was one of those kids from a single-parent home who was mentored and supported by youth programs in my community. Now, I desire to see our youth have the same opportunities. As a youth leader, I eventually experienced personal burnout. By God’s grace, I was selected to participate in DVULI and learned so much about how to build a sustainable organization. Another reason I believe God has me doing this work is because I care about creating systems. I particularly like to help others use technology that enables people to thrive. I think anyone in youth work is living out Proverbs 24:11, which says, “Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter” (NKJV). Youth work is hard work, and I want to see us all succeed.
What do you hope to accomplish while you serve in this capacity?
We hope to help organizations increase their capacity and ability to impact our youth. I want youth-serving organizations to feel empowered and supported. I want to help leaders increase the number of young people they serve and spend more time engaging in youth work and less time doing administrative tasks.
What challenges have you or the organization had to overcome?
One of the biggest challenges we’ve had to overcome was keeping the lights on throughout the COVID pandemic. Because many youth-serving programs and schools had suspended programming or were afraid of the unknown, our services were not a priority. We were worried we would have to close, but we secured a new round of funding to keep pushing the vision forward.
What are you most proud of that the program has accomplished?
I am proud of the fact that we have enabled organizations to offer over one million hours of education while using our platform. This means more exposure to leadership programs and STEM programs for students. Kids spend less time on the streets and more time learning and expending their energy on more positive activities after school.
What kind of collaborative opportunities are benefiting this work?
We have partnered with public schools, some private and charter schools, and nonprofit organizations that help local community organizations promote their programs to parents. One example is Marion County Commission on Youth, where we created an online directory of over 100 youth-serving organizations. We had over 60,000 page views for summer programs at Indy Summer Youth Programs. We also have partnerships with some local foundations and after-school programs.
What can your DVULI family be praying for as you move forward?
Pray for continued wisdom as we work to grow our company. Pray that we are effective in reaching those who need help the most and that through our work, more students will find their purpose and passion in life.