Youth Action Project was founded in 1998 by Joseph Williams as a youth-driven project that allowed young adults to identify and address issues that matter to young people. YAP incorporated in 2003 and received its 501(c) (3) tax-exempt status in 2006 and hired it’s first full-time employees. In 2007 YAP was awarded $900,000 to administer AmeriCorps resources in communities’ throughout San Bernardino County and specifically targeting services in the cities of Rialto, Highland, and San Bernardino. YAP has three primary service components designed to meet youth “where they are:” youth development, academic enhancement, economic and community development.
Since its inception, YAP has achieved remarkable results with minimal financial resources through a dedicated network of volunteers, paid young workers, grassroots energy, and public/private partnerships. Today YAP provides compensatory student support services during after school hours at two comprehensive high schools and an adult education facility. Program services has connected 300 high school students annually to positive adult role models who provide academic coaching and life skills training Monday through Thursday. Since 2007, YAP has hired and trained 300 local college students, provided over 100,000 paid work experience and community service hours; and provided tutoring and mentoring to 2,000 high school students. Youth Action Project has three primary service components that are an integral part of the organization:
Youth Development – Enables its members to attain the skills and habits needed for leadership roles in their future. Members are placed in situations that help them acquire skills in leadership development, group dynamics, public speaking, critical thinking, workshop facilitation, volunteerism, citizenship, and writing.
Youth Involvement: @ YAP “nothing about me without me” is a guiding philosophy youth have an opportunity to sit at the decision-making table.
- Through Young Leaders YAPs aim is Life Proficiency = student demonstrate leadership skills, and the ability to effectively engage their respective communities.
Educational Enhancement – Engages high school youth in improving academic skills and assists students in the areas of math and language arts and college preparation.
Positive peer influence: @ YAP we have all kinds of people helping all kinds of people “one youth at a time” is how “we empower communities”
- Through Young Scholars YAPs aim is Academic Excellence = students read and compute math at their appropriate grade level.
Economic and Community Development – Provides economic opportunities and improves social conditions in a sustainable way for disadvantaged youth. Youth are connected to paid and unpaid work exploration opportunities.
Youth Popular Culture: @ YAP we maintain a working body of knowledge of the current youth culture “we know our target audience”
- Through Young Workers YAPs aims is Career Awareness = students have a career pathway plan based on their interest and talents informed by labor market information and are provided with practical ways to exploration career pathways.