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YES Nature to Neighborhoods

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Human Services, Youth Development, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Youth Enrichment Strategies' mission is to inspire connection and belonging. We do this by sending hundreds of low-income children from Richmond and West Contra Costa County to summer camps annually; by bringing families to Family Camp to experience respite and bonding in nature; and by providing our community with PeaceTalk, non-defensive communication workshops.

Results: 5,000 children ages 8 - 16 sent to week-long summer camps at little or no cost. Four Family Camps each year provided to children and families of two low-income elementary schools. Over $260,000 in camperships provided to our community since 2008. Annual support from more than 300 individual and major donors and over 20 local Bay Area Foundations. Offices in the middle of Richmond and the heart of the community we serve.

Target demographics: Low income children and families in the Richmond, CA area.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1,000

Geographic areas served: Richmond, California

Programs: YES sends low-income, minority children from West Contra Costa County to 6 different summer camps and brings 100 family participants to each of four family camp weekends a year programmed and run by YES staff. We also provide workshops in our community that offer effective communication techniques and tools to parents and adults.

Community Stories

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

I heard about this organization many years ago through an article in the SF Chronicle, and I have been donating ever since. If you are looking for a trustworthy organization that is truly on the ground helping low-income, local children and families, look no further!! The staff is incredible and the work they do makes a HUGE difference to these families. I personally know two youth who got to experience YES summer camp sessions. It was their first time at an overnight camp, away from home, enjoying the quiet sounds of nature and meeting new people. I highly recommend putting this charity on your list!
PS...no one asked me to write this; I just love what they do!!!!
Karen W.


Client Served

Rating: 5

Words can not express the awesome experience of the YES team (Blanca). The CYO camp was the best opportunity for my daughter to increase her self esteem and independence. My daughter and I are going through a very dramatic family change. The CYO camp provided the best forum for my daughter to focus on all the positive aspects of life. The camp gave me a new perspective of how I want to live my life and refocus my career in the creative arts forum to help other people to find their purpose. I have a disability which prohibits me from going back into the high stress and unforgiving corporate fashion world. The safe and loving environment radiated in my daughters eyes and her spirit. I was moved to tears when I visited the camp on one Saturday afternoon with three other Moms and my daughter dimples were deeper from her huge SMILE. My daughter Nanette Thompson speaks of the camp daily. She mises her councilors and wishes she could write to them. Nanette expressed how she loved that the councilors were from all parts of the world. Nanette has also ben inspired to becom a CIT and prays every night to have the opportunity to return next summer. My daughter was in tears thanking me for finding the camp and trusting that she would be safe. I could have never afforded to pay for the exposure that YES provided. Our lives have been forever changed. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Pamela Thompson


Client Served

Rating: 5

I can not thank the YES organization enough for giving my daughter the opportunity to create wonderful memories of her youth. Pleasant memories of trust and security in our childhood is what we as adults tap into during troubled times. My daughter came home a little less shy and whole lot more secure in who she is. There are many girls and boys such as mine, who just need for someone other than their parents to believe in them. Some of the programs that have nurturing environments are out of our reach due to our finacial situations and leave us feeling a little less worthy as parents. The YES organization found financial assistance for the camping trip fee and was instrumental in giving me the security I needed to be able to entrust my child to someone else for a week. YES helped my daughter and many other children, attend one week of camp during the summer. These children came back with new memories, improved social skills, and most important, tools that will allow them to become better adults. My daughter still glows when she talks about her experience!



Rating: 5

I am so glad to work with the YES Organization, because it have brought beautiful experiences to my life. Since I've been working in this program i have learned that the big effort that this organization is doing had made a big difference in my life and also in the life of others. The objective of YES is more than just help our youths, it is also a different way to see the life. During all my journey in this program i have also learned that the values play an important role in this adventure because, they help us to grow as individuals and to show the world that we can do better. Finally i just want to say thank you for gave me the opportunity to help my community through this beautiful program that put families together to enjoy more about their lives.


Client Served

Rating: 5

I love YES, and I can say that this program has been a great help to our youth in the bay area. I'm a single mother of two and YES has been a blessing in supporting my family, my son in particular whom has been involved for about 4 years now. He loves getting out of the neighbor and traveling on a trail in the woods peacefully. As a thank you I was able to volunteer for the YES frundraiser in Berkeley and was very inspiring and uplifting to know that families come toghether to support our youth.... I want to say thank you in advance to the familes and organizations that support this great cause.... and to the staff that cust their tales for the youth in the surrounding bay that may have not be able to have such an unforgetable experience....


Board Member

Rating: 5

I'm impressed!!! Growing up in Richmond and being in a Foster home myself, I understand first hand the importance of connecting and belonging. This non profit sends over 500 hundred youths and families to camp every year. Raising over $190,000.00 in camp scholarships annually. Giving low income youths and families the opportunity to connect with nature, people, and themselves. The impact is magnificently positive, shining new possibilities and opening their minds. The transformation of so many of the youths has been incredible. This non profit also has a program called "Peacetalk". They go into schools and give youths and adults communication tools that ables them to express, debate and resolve conflicts in a non violent, peaceful fashion. Please tell everyone you know about this organization. Look them up and please contribute. YES is making a difference!