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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Civil Rights, Intergroup & Race Relations, Race, Youth Development - Citizenship, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Grounded in our commitment to peace, unity and justice, Youth Together addresses the root causes of educational inequities by developing multiracial youth organizers and engaging school community allies to promote positive school change.

Programs: Currently, YT works in six high schools in the Bay Area that are situated in three school districts and two counties: Berkeley Technology Academy, Richmond High School, Youth Empowerment School, Skyline High School, Fremont Federation of High Schools and Castlemont Community of Small Schools. The YT program model combines multiracial youth development with community organizing and community building strategies in order to ensure that our constituent youth can effectively lead and organize school and community change initiatives that lead to long-term solutions which help create safe, respectful, equitable, and empowered communities. Our proposed efforts provide a system to more effectively monitor and meet the direct needs of a) 320 YT core youth organizers; b) 2,000 youth accessing the YT-led youth Centers; and, c) Over 10,000 youth, parents, teachers, administrators and community members through our advocacy and community education. Youth Together employs a three-tiered strategy in our program delivery and development of students both directly and indirectly.(1)Youth Empowerment and Leadership Development:Through Youth Together?s overall program strategies young people make the connection between their personal growth, awareness, and education with conditions at their school, in their community, and in society. YT youth learn the responsibility they bear to change the cycle of violence and to make a better life for themselves and future generations. Through the process of serving as change agents, as demonstrated in our evaluation findings, the youth become more involved and engaged in their schools and broader communities. The youth are also provided with many opportunities to be heard, respected, and valued by parents, policy makers, school staff, and community leaders.(2)One Land One People Collaborative and Student CentersYouth Together believes that youth violence results when students do not receive the resources and services that they need to express themselves in productive ways. Conditions that lead to youth violence range from a lack of institutional (school and community) recognition of their opinions to lack of anger management skills, academic preparation and support. In response to these root causes of youth violence, Youth Together students and adult allies systematically developed community collaboratives and Student Centers. Each collaborative, entitled the One Land, One People Collaborative (OLOP), is school based and brings together on-campus service providers with parents, students, and school faculty to (1) establish a system of support services for students, (2) advocate for policy changes that address root causes of student needs, and (3) support student voice in school decision making. The OLOP Collaboratives, while responsive to the particular needs and issues of each school site, share a common approach as well as core strategies to increase students? investment in themselves and their school community. Currently there are OLOP Collaboratives and Youth Centers at Skyline High School, Richmond High School, Fremont High School, and Castlemont High School.(3)Outreach, Recruitment and Replication As part of our continued effort to make sustainable institutional change, Youth Together has partnered with UC Berkeley as a way to engage young aspiring educators and activists in educational approaches that transform school communities. Youth Together adult staff and student alumni lead and teach the Fall and Spring UC Berkeley class entitled, Education for School and Community Change. As a requirement, each of the UC Berkeley students engage in a direct fieldwork placement in each of our Oakland school sites. Our larger vision is that the UC Berkeley students come back to the schools in which we work to become teacher activists and adult allies for social change.

Community Stories

7 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Youth Together (YT) is a type of organization that values the growth and development of youth as leaders. I have not found another organization that is so dedicated to the youth it serves. The youth that participate with YT are well rounded on the values of social justice.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have 10 years of working with youth and policy changes. This organization was a foundation in my learning on ethics and responsibility in working with youth populations. I am eternally grateful for the leadership and support of this organization.

Review from Guidestar

27

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My name is Teresa Avila I was a freshman at Skyline High School when I first found out about Youth Together. Since becoming apart of Youth Together I have grown in different areas of my life. I am now not only able to see the different issues that are affecting my community,but I have also learned that there are several things that I can do to change it. I have seen that young people see more than adults give them credit for, and with the right push,and a place to develop them they can achieve so much. And thats exactly what I see Youth Together is doing. YT gave me the tools needed to take leadership within my life and in my community, I have learned that if I see something wrong around me I have the tools to change it. and YT has done several things to change things. From helping get free AC Transit buss passes to getting healthier lunches in schools,to recently going to Sacramento to protest the budget cuts to education. These are the things that young people need they need a place where they can feel empowered about themselves,feel that they have power to make change,and feel the connections that they have to other students weather you come from different ethnic,economical,or sexual backgrounds we are still connected and we go through the same problems. Youth Together is exactly what we all need and I am grateful that I was able to be a part of such a grate group!

28

Board Member

Rating: 5

In my experience as a board member for Youth Together, I have seen the organization execute on long-term strategic initiatives related to creating peace, empowering students, and fostering leadership within East Bay schools, while also successfully joining immediate calls to action to reshape our educational system in CA. An example of this short-term collaboration is shown by YT's participation (along with many other education and communtiy groups) in recently organizing marches on the State Capital related to the cutting of education budgets. Given the wide scope of problems in CA schools and the challenges facing East Bay schools especially (some of the most marginalized students in CA) YT has a clear understanding that it is important to focus on long-term stratgeic goals, while also addressing immediate issues through collaboration with other community groups...showing students the power of solidarity across lines of race, religion, or social class. As an organization, YT does not miss the Trees for the Forest. It is highly effective in working across groups to create positive change in CA schools, focusing on both short and long-term changes.

26

Board Member

Rating: 5

The most frequent comment I hear from staff and youth about Youth Together (YT) is that this organization walks its talk. When YT says it fosters peace, unity, and justice, it does this through excellent political education and services to schools as well as how it operates as an organization. YT, from its organizational leadership to its youth leadership, is committed to doing the right thing whether we are talking about everyday actions or big scale educational equity campaigns.

26

Board Member

Rating: 5

YT is one of the most comprehensive organizations I've had the privilege of working with. Based on a Theory of Action that links grassroots organizing to policy change while directly serving the needs of young people on a daily basis, YT has tremendous impact up and down the East Bay. As a teacher organizer working with students at our school site and as a Board Member, I'm able to experience different levels of this impact and see how youth are empowered through multiracial organizing. I am amazed at the scope and quality of the work that YT is able to pull off. As for a critique, how can YT do more of what YT does?

29

Client Served

Rating: 5

Youth Together has made an extremely positive impact in my life. Growing up in East Oakland was not the most safe and empowering experience, but with Youth Together I had the privilege of being part of making positive changes and empowering my community. I also have had the opportunity to succeed in college with the support of Youth Together. I have committed my life to social justice organizing and empowering youth because of Youth Together.