Independent Youth Services Foundation (IYSF), Inc. is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit, community youth service educational and research organization based in Chattanooga, TN.
We are supported entirely by the generosity of private foundations and individual donors committed to supporting youth towards developing a thriving, vibrant life as they work towards high school graduation and beyond.
IYSF was founded in 1993 as Chattanooga Basketball Foundation, a nonprofit youth sports organization that used basketball as a platform to draw young people into the program and expose them to life skills.
That strategy proved to be an effective approach, and hundreds of children were served from 1993-2001. As we became more proficient in developing the other non-basketball components of the program, we changed our name to Independent Youth Services Foundation, Inc., to indicate the comprehensiveness of the model and to emphasize service.
Under the direction of founder, Herbert "Book" McCray, our program offerings include the after school academy in which our participants will have the opportunity to strengthen their reading skills through Lexia Reading and other literacy strategies, math skills and by engaging in social and emotional learning.
OUR FOUNDER / CEO
Herbert “Book” McCray is the founder and CEO of the Independent Youth Services Foundation, Inc., a non-profit youth service organization created in 1993 as a youth basketball club that served youth from all over the Chattanooga region. In the year 2001, IYSF, shifted its service model focus to male mentoring, primarily stressing personal and social development with educational attainment as the “END-OF-GAME GOAL.”
Book earned his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Elementary Education and Education Administration/Supervision from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He earned an Education Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from Tennessee Technological University. He was also a presenter at the 2013 National Dropout Prevention Conference in Atlanta.
As a Boys Club counselor, classroom teacher, coach, school administrator, nonprofit leader focusing on youth issues, Book has more than 35 years of experience with at-risk youth and in youth development. In his current role as the president of IYSF, he is responsible for all aspects of the organization: Raising the necessary funds to operate, programming, evaluation, cultivating partnerships, training staff and positioning the organization to serve children in powerful and impactful ways.
Book and his wife, Willie Belle, have three adult children and seven grandchildren. They reside in Chattanooga.