YMC empowers at-risk youth by matching them with caring and skilled mentors who see their unique gifts and help them achieve their life goals. YMC provides both the resources and structure needed for kids to reach a conscious and productive adulthood.
We offer the following Programs:
The ultimate in employee engagement. Youth are transported to the worksite every other week for 9 months to participate in life-skills workshops with employees who are trained as mentors.
Adults find meaning and youth are affirmed. Youth and trained mentors are led on a “Hero’s Journey,” where they meet every other week for 9 months as a community. Presently operating Community Mentoring Programs are: GRYD (Gang Reduction Youth Development) in partnership with Children’s Hospital Adolescent Care Unit and BLOOM (Collaborative convened by California Community Foundation) for Black Male Youth who have been involved with the legal system.
URBAN OASIS FILM ACADEMY
A project in partnership with HBO where youth and mentors participate in an intensive process that helps young people ‘share their voice’ by writing, producing and directing their own films. Find out more at the Urban Oasis Film Academy web site.
Youth and adults meet on the last Friday of each month to share their stories, uncovering wounds and discovering gifts. This is deep conversation that participants tell us is deeply healing.
ECHO is an opportunity for mentors and mentees to engage in deeper conversation about what’s going on in their lives. It is an optional program typically held on the last Friday of every month. ECHO is designed for people who are ready to explore the deeper wounds of the soul in community with others who are there to listen, witness and in turn, tell their story. It is geared for high school and older middle school-aged mentees. Men and women meet in separate concurrent spaces, with staff, for a two or more hour open discussion about what’s up.
RITES OF PASSAGE
Reintroducing old wisdom into modern life, our youth experience Rites of Passage Initiatory experiences conducted by an amazing team of knowledgeable and loving men and women. These adults help our young people begin to deal with their own coming of age, commit to their own successful future and take the fullest advantage of the guidance they can receive from their mentors.
EXPRESSIVE ACTIVITIES FOR OUR MENTORS & MENTEES
Individual young people need differing forms of expression in order to fully discover themselves. So YMC provides a variety of activities that help them explore which form will awaken the imagination inside each youth. These are constantly developing, but some of the mainstays include: Surfing Camps, Drumming Workshops, Poetry with our colleagues at Street Poets, Peer Mentoring/Tutoring, Internships, Snowboarding Trips, Voices of Youth (conducted by Mosaic Multicultural Foundation), etc.
Youth Mentoring Connection provides Los Angeles youth the opportunity to ride the waves at local beaches despite the fact that they live less than a 30 minute drive away. For many of our youth, this program means seeing the beach for the first time in their lives. Others who did not know how to swim learn to be comfortable in the water. Our youth face enormous obstacles and live in high crime areas where they are constantly exposed to gangs, drugs and violence. Surfing is a retreat from the daily environment they face and many use the sea to heal their wounds.
Each of the mentees is paired with a surfing mentor, who works with them at whatever level they are at, to get comfortable on a board and riding a wave on their stomach, and then how to push up onto the board and ride the wave standing. It is a wonderful sight to see nearly 100 volunteers and mentees at the beach surfing and teaching. The excitement and fun is contagious.
Areas of Work