Youth UpRising (YU) exists to build healthy, economically robust communities in East Oakland and the surrounding county by harnessing the leadership of young people, improving the systems that most impact their lives and advancing community development.
Since opening in 2005, YU has gone from eight to nearly eighty staff, emerging as East Oakland's leading community transformation engine, praised as a national model by Attorney General Eric Holder in 2010. Housed in what was once an abandoned supermarket, YU is now a 25,000 square-foot state-of-the-art community transformation center annually serving about 3000 unduplicated Alameda County youth, ages 13-24. With a campus that includes an onsite health clinic, an internet café and a multimedia center, YU offers core programming in four areas: Career and Education, Health and Wellness, Civic Engagement, and Media Arts and Expression. YU also operates a Social Enterprise Hub that creates jobs and provides industry-specific training in high-growth sectors that facilitate a young person's transition into the workforce and nurture educational opportunities.
While YU's mission is to cultivate community transformation, East Oakland is at the epicenter of the violence and poverty shaping the poor outcomes and disparaging perceptions plaguing Oakland and Alameda County. Yet Youth UpRising's work is grounded in the belief that by providing comprehensive services and supports for the community's most at-risk young people and engaging them as partners in improving the community, we can create healthy eco-systems that can change the place without displacing the people.