A joint venture between Aramark Corporation and Supreme Fish Delight (SFD) to manage food service operations during the 1996 Olympics required the recruitment, hiring and training of staff. During this venture, Waleed Shamsid-Deen, SFD Vice President, discovered that many of the young applicants were not capable of completing the employment application or interviewing properly. As a result, Waleed – along with a group who shared his vision – decided to develop a program that would address the needs of youth planning to succeed in business.

In 1997, the original program was adopted as the South DeKalb Business Association’s Youth Mentorship Program. In 1998, the organization was incorporated as a Georgia 501 (c)(3) non-profit and changed its name to Youth V.I.B.E. for Vision, Industry, Business, and Empowerment.

Utilizing an initial group of five youth from the community, the founding members dedicated themselves to building a comprehensive business and community oriented curriculum. For the first decade, the curriculum was a bi-weekly, summer program focusing primarily on resume writing, dressing for success and other workplace preparation topics.

After receiving a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant in 2006, Youth V.I.B.E. became a premiere after-school program for teens interested in securing their futures through academic enrichment and “real world” business applications.