Information provided by Youth Alliance.
Each year, Youth Alliance participates in San Benito Gives, a day of giving where the community can participate in small or large quantities. This is a great way to involve youth in the philanthropic process even if their contribution is as little as $10.
San Benito Gives culminates on Tuesday, September 10 with a 24-hour race that will give incentives to those organizations that bring in the most number of unique donors. This is tracked through email addresses that donors provide, thus one person can donate as many times as the number of emails they own.
Youth Alliance began in 1995 as a small organization run by volunteers to support youth in the community. Currently, Youth Alliance provides services to over 8,500 children, youth, and families each year.
Some of the services offered include after school programs, youth leadership development, school based counseling, teen parent advocacy, and working with local school systems to try to incorporate restorative justice in schools.
“We provide support for those others may have given up on,” said Diane Ortiz, executive director of Youth Alliance. “We believe in working with young people so they can heal and grow and become comfortable in their own voice.”
Youth Alliance is prepping to celebrate its 25th anniversary next year, and stories of resiliency and persistence like that of alumnus Javier Renteria will resonate and inspire. He went from being a client to becoming a youth organizer at Youth Alliance.
“I felt it was good to get involved with youth and lead them in the right direction,” Renteria said. “It’s more about relationships and helping kids for the long run.”
Youth Alliance is proud to be at the forefront of restorative practices in our education system and is committed to providing safe and healthy alternatives and spaces for youth to come together and share their creativity and individuality.
Youth Alliance has also launched its Youth Impact Center (YIC) in downtown Gilroy, creating a community space to serve all youth and families, but with special focus on underserved youth and families. Using an integrative health model, the YIC offers fun prosocial activities, opportunities to engage in youth leadership development such as workshops, community service, computers and life skills, as well as access to counseling, needed services, or support.
The organization is also working on a “Youth Listening Campaign” to hear the views of youth in the community to learn to better serve them. For more information on Youth Alliance or to give, visit the organization’s website or call (831) 636-2853.