2019 Strategic Grant
Legal-name: YMCA of Greater Long Beach
Address: 820 Long Beach Blvd.
City: Long Beach
Ranking-title: Alfredo Velasco President & CEO
First-name: Bob Cabeza
Title: Vice President of Community Development
Textarea-499: Provide a Youth Institute to 30 Carmelitos middle and high school age very low-income youth of color focusing on giving them supports, opportunities and transferable skills designed to break the barriers of generational poverty and homelessness.
How-many-years: 1 year
What-is-project: The YMCA of Greater Long Beach Community Development Branch has been approached by the Carmelitos Housing Development to look into the possibility of piloting a YMCA Youth institute for up to 30 youth living there.
The Youth Institute (www.lbymcayi.org) is an innovative, year-round, out-of-school program that uses technology as an integral mechanism for promoting positive youth development and enhancing the academic success and career readiness of low-income, culturally-diverse adolescent youth. The goals of the Youth Institute are to:
(a) improve the technology, career, and leadership skills of youth to promote readiness for higher education or career entry after graduation,
(b) improve academic achievement and stimulate interest in higher education among low-income, culturally-diverse, urban high school youth, and
(c) promote bonding to pro-social adults and community attachment among urban youth to ensure that they remain engaged in their schools and communities.
(d) Promote social and emotional learning and develop these skills for youth to be able to develop a healthy adolescence and navigate adulthood successfully.
The Long Beach Community Foundation has funded Youth Institutes in the past. The Youth Institute has served more than 6,000 youth since 2001 with over 18 sites internationally. It all started at the Community Development YMCA. We have a 98% high school graduation rate and an 89% college attendance rate of low income minority youth. The Youth Institute has a proven evaluation and track record of moving youth out of poverty and risk of homelessness and of making them productive citizens giving back to the next generation of youth.
The Youth targeted for the Youth Institute are 7th through 11th grade youth living in Carmelitos Housing Development. According to their data 77% of these children are in extremely low-income status, 16% are very low income and 6% are low income. A full 45% are from a single female parent or guardian household. There are 556 youth ages 6-17 living there presently. Based on the data, these youths are among the lowest income youth populations living in Long Beach with a majority of them one step away from homelessness without the services provided by Carmelitos Housing Development. They are multi-generational families living in poverty.
The intervention of the Youth Institute program located physically at Carmelitos is hoped to inspire youth to pursue academic and workforce opportunities to help them step out of poverty. We also hope to teach these youths multiple technology, workforce, leadership, academic, social, emotional skills that will be transferable in both their academic and workforce pursuits. Lastly, we hope to develop a pro-social youth leadership environment for youth living in Carmelitos.
The Carmelitos Housing Development will provide the space and some startup funding for technology equipment for the Youth Institute. We are asking for $20,000 from the LBCF.
How-will-you-succeed: We are presently in talks with the LA County for another $30,000 to operate the Youth Institute year-round after school once summer is over. We will develop a cadre of Youth who are leaders and continue to provide academic and workforce opportunities and supports for them. We will also provide multiple activities where youth continue to be bonded to pro-social adults and peer groups throughout their adolescence. We will utilize CSULB School of Social Work to measure the impact of the YI on the Youth through grade data, school attendance, youth development and technology skills survey pre and post. We will track youth and give interventions throughout their middle and high school careers and help them with college and career readiness. We will hopefully have longitudinal, qualitative and quantitative data and reports and publish our results if positive. If youth from the YI are graduating from high school and begin attending a two and four-year university, then all of these factors raise the possibility of them moving out of poverty based on best practice research. Also, if youth develop technology workforce skills and attain a livable wage job then these are direct factor in moving youth out of poverty.
Who-are-you: The YMCA was founded in 1884. Our mission is to welcome people of all ages, ethnic groups and affiliations to unite in a common effort to promote Youth Development, Healthy Lifestyles and Social Responsibility. The Community Development YMCA branch’s special mission is to reach out to the lowest income communities in Long Beach. Our programs include: Afterschool academic programs serving 1,300 children a day; two community school programs delivering both child and parent leadership programs to 2,000 families; the Youth Institute serving 300 teens consistently and a Family Involvement Project offering 600 classes to 1,400 parents per year. A New American Welcome Center offering multiple services to our Cambodian and Latino immigrant population living in Long Beach. We partner with LA County for this project and also for Mental Health Services and training for our families. We partner with LBUSD with our Social Worker teaching in 7 schools and is funded through LCAP funding. We partner with LBUSD and operate a five year $2.5 million-dollar federal department of education grant for Full Service Community Schools. We partner with Dignity Health for our healthy families’ initiative. We partner with Long Beach City with the MBK initiative. We partner with the city, county, state, health department with our Neighborhood Transformation Initiative at Stephens Middle School. Our VP of Community Development is a national speaker on Youth Development and Community Development. The Youth Institute is the most evaluated high school out of school program in the US with six publications on Best Practice program models. The Community Development YMCA was founded in 1992 after the riots and designed to provide innovative programs that help families move out of poverty by providing multiple supports and opportunities, building transferable skills and creating community leaders.