AUTHOR, FOUNDER & CEO OF
Roynell Young, former Philadelphia Eagles All-Pro Cornerback, is Founder and CEO of Pro-Vision Inc., a nonprofit he had the privilege of stewarding in 1990, with a vision for developing Houston’s often forgotten and overlooked young people.
Mr. Young enjoyed a nine-year career in the National Football League. The Eagles selected him from Alcorn State University, in the first round of the 1980 NFL Draft. After enjoying a successful football career for almost a decade, Mr. Young retired in 1988 to pursue his passion for youth and community development. In 2017 he was inducted into the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Hall of Fame for the distinction, honor and contributions he made to SWAC athletics as a student-athlete, coach and administrator. In 2021, Mr. Young was inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame.
Mr. Young’s life is an example of how responsible adults can make a meaningful impact on the life of a young person. His journey is one of finding your purpose and living it out. Mr. Young believes in the act of faith and is always looking for himself in the young people that he serves. After retiring from professional football, Mr. Young had spent months searching for how he could be of service to the young people who had crossed his scope of awareness. That awareness troubled him because some of what he observed was counterproductive and destructive to their future.
Pro-Vision was founded one faithful Saturday morning on a basketball court when three young men challenged himself and his colleague to a basketball game. This game not only opened the door to a teenage subculture but in 1990, it was the beginning of what we know today as Pro-Vision. The young men lost the game but stayed around for the pizza and soda. Pro-Vision soon became an underground hit with teens as a place to go for “hoops.” Little did they know that Mr. Young’s true objective was to give them the skills that would transform their lives as leaders in their community. Out of 300, 70 young men took Mr. Young up on his offer and that was the start of Pro-Vision. Pro-Vision immediately became an after school manhood development program that assisted through academic enrichment, character development, recreation and service-based projects. All of this was done with the ultimate goal of helping young men develop a moral compass. Throughout the last 30 plus years, he has had the privilege of serving thousands of young people and their families.
Pro-Vision has evolved into an organization which works with young people in general, young men and young women. Because Mr. Young believes that our young women are equally if not more valuable than the young men, we have added the S.H.E. (Strong, Healthy and Empowered) program to help develop their virtue and character. Pro-Vision sits in the heart of a food desert. It has brought about a commercial working farm that not only feeds individuals in the community, but sells product to grocery stores as well as restaurants. This is important to Mr. Young because it speaks to the sustainability of Pro-Vision, its programs and the economic freedom that brings independence to the community.
The fourth component that makes up the Pro-Vision ecosystem is safe affordable housing. Pro-Vision is breaking ground on a 350-unit housing program that will have all the amenities and elements for the inhabitants of the Pro-Vision village. Mr. Young believes that all of these programs will help develop individuals into what they were created to be. Thereby achieving his ultimate goal of a child centered, adult governed, elderly ruled community. That was the kind of community that provided the safety net for him and is the reason why he feels obligated to provide that for those who are here and those who are yet to be born.
As a result of his work, Mr. Young was personally chosen by the U.S. State Department to lead a televised conference in Bosnia in 2010 on how to work with disenchanted male youth; and he delivered the 2010 keynote address speech at the Juvenile Justice Conference. Mr. Young was recognized for his work by Former Governor Rick Perry, Former U.S. Secretary of Education, Rod Paige, Former City Councilmember and current Member of the U.S. Congress Sheila Jackson Lee, U.S. Congressman Al Green, and Former U.S. Congressman Chris Bell.
Mr. Young received a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Alcorn State University and is a Senior Fellow of the Houston Chapter of the American Leadership Forum, Educational Class II. Additionally, in recognition of his work at Pro-Vision, Mr. Young has received numerous awards including: The 2010 Texas Women’s’ Empowerment Foundation Community Mentor Award, The 2010 Mentoring Award presented by the Houston Metropolitan Chapter of 100 Black Men Inc., The 2008 Community Service Award from Pan-African Orthodox Christian Church, Who’s Who 2007, Unsung Hero Award of 2004, The 1998 Savvy Award presented by Foley’s and the Houston Chronicle, The 1995 Channel 13 Community Service Award, and The AM 740 Everyday Hero in 1994.
Mr. Young and the Pro-Vision story have been featured in the New York Times, Time for Kids, Guideposts Magazine and Men’s Journal magazine, among other national news networks. Locally, features have run in the Houston Chronicle, as well as the CBS, ABC and Fox26 networks.