Young is executive director of the FRIENDS Association for Children, a nonprofit child and family services organization. Its “licensed, curriculum-based, early childhood education programs” serve more than 1,000 children in the Richmond region, Young says. With a $2 million annual budget, and no funding from the city or state, FRIENDS provides children from 6 weeks to 18 years old with before- and after-school activities, day care, nutritious meals, and arts, music and health education programs in two locations. They receive grants from the United Way and corporations, but raise a third of their budget on their own. Parents pay based on a sliding scale, with the goal of making quality education affordable for all. FRIENDS even transports the kids to and from their locations: The John C. Purnell Jr. Child Development Center in Jackson Ward and the Robert L. Taylor Childcare Center in Church Hill.