integrity + growth-mindset + teamwork + empowerment + empathy + self-care
“Youth Connections was the second step I took to make a change. My first step was getting to know myself. I had to find myself worth, and get it through my head that I can do whatever I put my mind to…I am inspired by all the students around me. YC understands your past but they don’t judge. I am very privileged to be here.” -Adelfo Hurtado, Student
Problem Statement: Studies show that when youth drop out of high school, they forego opportunities to transition to post-secondary education institutions and acquire key workforce development skills. As a result, high school dropouts are four times as likely as high school graduates to be unemployed and eight times as likely to be incarcerated.
Goal of the Program: As a local quality Youth Development Program, Youth Connections (YC) provides academic instruction to help attain a High School diploma, workforce development instruction, and college & career mentoring support to out-of-school youth aged 16 to 24. Additionally, YC assists students in overcoming personal and emotional barriers which move them towards sustainable life-long employment.
- High School Diploma completion in a smaller environment than traditional high school settings
- Skill development necessary to obtain and retain employment
- Opportunities to explore and successfully transition to post-secondary world
- Development in leadership skills through service learning projects with a focus on community volunteering and civic engagement
- Supportive services in financial literacy, post-secondary preparation, career exploration, healthy behaviors, a growth mindset, parenting development, and healthy decision-making
- Program has been in existence for over three years, from September 2013 to the present.
- 206 youths served since inception
- 78 youths have graduated successfully from the program
- 77 of the 78 students have successfully transitioned to post-secondary education, vocational training, and/or employment opportunities
- 3.09 Average Graduate GPA — the 2014 graduating class entered the program with an average GPA of 1.71 and completed their High School diploma Youth Connections with a 3.09 GPA
- Contact Lead: John Shaw
Phone Number: 707-578-2034
- Santa Rosa Workspace #150:
141 Stony Circle, #150
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
- Santa Rosa Workspace #204:
141 Stony Circle, suite #204
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
The Youth Connections Program is made possible through strong partnerships with CalSERVES, John Jordan Foundation, John Muir Charter School, Sonoma County Office of Education, and Sonoma County Upstream Investments.