The Institute of Youth Development and Excellence (IYDE) is a non-profit organization that has developed efficient programs and methods that effect positive character change in youth. We help organizations overcome typical challenges faced with starting, developing and maintaining effective youth programs with a customized turn-key solution. By combining the best of mentoring, character development, individual and group activities, we help rebuild relevance in the lives of the youth. Through experiential learning and understanding the issues youth face today, we create a lasting impact on organizations and the communities they affect.


The Founder

Riyad Shamma is the founder and Executive Director of the Institute of Youth Development and Excellence. His work spans over 30 years in the vanguard of youth development in the USA. His work with the youth has been parallel to his work as an industrial engineer, counselor, and adjunct imam and khateeb in Ohio and Northern Kentucky. It was in his capacity as youth program developer, organizer, and counselor for ISNA’s MYNA and MSA that he found the need to develop a new concept of youth programming that more consistently and locally addresses the youth’s needs. His mentorship concept was unique in its sustainability, longevity, and adaptability to each community, furthermore, the concept intends to fill an aspect that current youth programming does not address.

Our Core Values

Excellence in Character Development

The goal is for the participants of our programs to be developed on all levels. To possess the skills to become their highest potential of self and achieve their goals.

Honoring the Individuality of Each Community

Every community is unique, so our curriculum is tailor-made to encompass the full and diverse needs of the organization and the goal they aim for.

Mentorship Throughout to Develop Full Potential

Studies show mentored youth are more likely to overcome negative influences and increases the capacity to direct feelings, thoughts, and actions to achieve goals.

Excellence in Programming for Youth and Children

Today's youth are the future of tomorrow's world, so we hold the highest of standards for creating programs to develop them for success.

Producing Long-Lasting Life Changes for Every Youth

We want to make a permanent impact. The leadership skills we instill produce lifelong positive effects into the lives of youth in the community.

Generate Results that Creates Change in the World

Our character outlines the types of decisions we will make throughout our lives. The ripple effect of IYDE's influence is intended to have no end.









A Message From IYDE

Mentoring is powerful

Mentoring is one of the most powerful things you can experience.  Getting beyond the clichéd...

My community has a great youth program … right?

I recently asked a youth director, let’s call him Ahmed, how his youth program was going, and...


IYDE Kicks Off Clifton Masjid Mentoring Program

We kicked off the Clifton Masjid mentoring program today Alhamdullah! Throughout the program,...