YCSC In The News

Recent News

“An LA Community Fights the ‘Discovery’ of Its Neighborhood by Commercial Art Galleries,” Hyperallergic.com, 11/13/15
-A write-up on the Ambularte community action project that our Boyle Heights students at CÁLO YouthBuild organized, protesting the gentrification in their community.

“YouthBuild lauded for keeping Fresno students from repeat offenses,” Fresno Bee, 1/21/16
-“[The recent report] ‘Life After Lockup‘ found that 11 percent of previously convicted YouthBuild students in 260 communities were convicted of another crime after one year. That’s compared to the 21 to 33 percent one-year recidivism rate nationwide. Even lower rates were recorded at nine YouthBuild programs with intensive programming for court-involved youths, including in Fresno. Just 1 percent of those students were convicted of another crime within a year. Shawn Riggins, director of the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission’s Local Conservation Corps, leads YouthBuild locally. The program includes a charter school for those who lack a high school diploma and on-site Fresno City College classes. He said students arrive at YouthBuild thinking people gave up on them and leave feeling like family. They work alongside Fresno police officers in low-income neighborhoods and help build affordable homes.” Read more here.”

Plenty of credits, no diploma,” Hechinger Report, 1/19/15
-Niko Salas, a YouthBuild Charter alumnus, was interviewed for this story about students who transferred schools and had to retake classes they’d already taken, thus leaving them over-credited but with out a diploma. Excerpt: “Seeing everything that YouthBuild did for us and how they helped me to change my life, I’m a much better person,” he says. “I want to be that change in someone’s life. This is what I want to do with the rest of my life.” Full article here.

Thousands of California kids don’t get past middle school,” Hechinger Report, 8/20/2014
-Devon Sanford, a recent graduate from our San Bernardino site at YouthBuild Inland Empire, is profiled in this piece about California students who leave school before making it to high school. Our Founder/CEO Phil Matero was also interviewed for this article about middle school push-outs. “How these kids never get on the radar – how is it that nobody realized they never started high school – it’s baffling,” said Phil Matero. Full article here

“Teens, young adults create mural with peace in Pomona as theme,” Daily Bulletin, 8/20/14
-Students from our Pomona site at the San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps worked on a mural that promotes peace and has helped foster creativity. “It really is a community mural with a community design,” said Andrew Quinones, who in addition to being a professional artist is the director of mentoring, art and culture for the San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps. Click here for full article.

“AV YouthBuild’s latest grant guides young people to success,” Our Weekly Los Angeles, 8/8/2014
-Our Palmdale site at Antelope Valley YouthBuild recently received a grant from the SunPower Foundation to continue providing education, career development services, and and leadership opportunities to young people in the Antelope Valley. “YouthBuild Charter School has helped introduce a unique educational approach to young people who have had trouble in traditional schools. ‘It’s a project-based learning curriculum,’ Johnson said. ‘It’s all about hands-on; taking concepts they would normally be frustrated with in a textbook and putting them to real-life experience. It’s a great way of learning, and it’s a great partnership for us.'” Read more here.

“Hacking for Gold,” KCET, 5/5/15
-An in-depth look at our first ever WebSlam hack-a-thon event. Excerpt: “WebSlam was born of Despenza’s determination to help youths learn about careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). WebSlam’s participants, half of whom are female and all of whom identify as either African-American or Latino, are youths who could use such help, as recent research suggests.” Read full article here.

“Can Urban WebSlams STEM the Dropout Tide?” Forbes, 4/22/14
-YouthBuild Charter School of California’s first-ever WebSlam was covered by Forbes. Here’s a quote from the article, “...Learning to code not only sets the table for Web-related work, it is also a gateway to STEM fields in general. ‘Teaching students how to code will help increase math and critical thinking skills and open the door to technology-related jobs,’ said Nadia Despenza, YCSC’s STEM Coordinator, and creator of  the schools’ first WebSlam. ‘And that will ultimately serve as a pathway out of poverty for many of these talented young people.'” Click here to read the full article on Forbes.com

“Escuela brinda una oportunidad más a jóvenes en Compton,” La Opinión, 11/12/13
– YouthBuild Charter’s Compton site was recently featured in the popular LA-based Spanish-language newspaper, La Opinión. Here’s a quote from the article, which featured YCSC’s Founder/CEO Phil Matero and Director of Curriculum Rudy Cuevas: “La razón de que muchos jóvenes no terminen la educación básica es porque ‘no es relevante para sus vidas,’ cree Matero, y por la falta de atención de los maestros hacia sus necesidades.” Click here to read the full article.

“Dream School to premiere Monday,” October 7th on Sundance Channel
YCSC served as the education partner on this Sundance Channel reality series about a group of 15 high school dropouts. Executive produced by Jamie Oliver and Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson, Dream School asks, “What does it take to break through to teenagers and get them to graduate?” Pregnant, neglected or bullied; the students all have one thing in common – each had a life experience that caused them to take and unexpected left turn. Dream School’s celebrity teachers will have one mission – to excite these young minds, reignite their passions, and get them to graduate from a real, accredited high school. 

“Wildland Firefighter Academy Graduates 31,” Antelope Valley Times, 7/19/13
– 5 students from our Palmdale site at Antelope Valley YouthBuild graduated from Antelope Valley College’s Wildland Firefighter Academy The students spent 240 hours in a rigorous summer training program to earn certification from the National Wildfire Coordinating Group. Congratulations to YouthBuild Charter School of California students Juan Jimenez, Brenee Smith, Tommy Landeros, Gary Remo, and Joshua Franco on this amazing accomplishment. Read more here.

“Youth Create Mural to Beautify Hollenbeck Park,” LA Streets Blog, 6/20/13
-Students at our YouthBuild Boyle Heights site created a beautiful mural for Hollenbeck Park and prepare for their culminating project, La Cultura Cura Fair. To reed the complete article on the LA Streets Blog, click here.

“Celebrities Support YCSC’s Charity Golf Tournament,” CNBC, 5/23/13
-Write-up about our 4th Annual “Student Hunger Relief” Golf Tournament and Awards Dinner that was held Friday, June 14, 2013. 

“Participants in Fresno MLK March Raise Social Issues,” Fresno Bee, 1/21/13
– Students at our Fresno site at EOC Local Conservation Corps attended this march. To read complete article on the Fresno Bee website, click here.

“El Monte Conservation Corps Graduates 35 Disadvantaged Youth From San Gabriel Valley,” Pasadena Star News, 6/26/12
– Congratulations to our 2012 graduates from our El Monte site at the San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps. Click here for full article.

“Moreno Valley: Alternative School Creates Family Environment,” The Press Enterprise, 1/17/12
-A great article about students and staff at our Moreno Valley site at Rising Stars Business Academy. To read the full article on the Press Enterprise website, click here.

“Tragedy Thrusts Man Into Demanding New Role,” Los Angeles Times, 11/5/11
Excerpt: “A drug cartel attack in Mexico cost Adali Gutierrez, 20, of El Monte his parents and left him with a disfigured face and the responsibility of being patriarch to his four younger siblings.”
– Adali Gutierrez is a student at our El Monte site at the San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps. To read the complete story on the L.A. Times website, click here. 

“Miles desertan de las escuelas,” Vívelo Hoy, 10/1/11
Excerpt: “No obstante, Ortega aprovechó una segunda oportunidad y ahora ve su vida llena de posibilidades –un año después de haber llegado a LA CAUSA YouthBuild Charter School, ubicada en el Este de Los Ángeles y de la cual obtuvo su diploma de Preparatoria en junio. ‘En LA CAUSA encontré más que un diploma. Me encontré a mí mismo y la fuerza que tengo dentro de mí para continuar la escuela y estudiar justicia social’, dijo Ortega. ‘Hoy en día no estoy en drogas, tampoco vandalizo las calles. He encontrado un gran gusto a la lectura y me gusta hablar ante el público’, agregó.”