Youth UpRising (YU) is a multi-service community transformation hub, located in the heart of East Oakland, providing comprehensive, fully integrated health, wellness, educational, career, arts, and cultural programming to Alameda County youth and young adults, ages 13-24.
Our mission is to transform East Oakland into a healthy and economically robust community by developing the leadership of youth and young adults and improving the systems that impact them.
Our four core program areas:
• Health & Wellness (in partnership with Children’s Hospital of Oakland)
• Career & Education
• Arts & Expression
• Civic Engagement
We work with a broad range of youth, from those primed for a four-year university to those struggling to graduate high school. We help our members complete high school or their equivalency exam and guide them through the transition to post-secondary education. Services include:
- GED preparation courses
- School re-enrollment assistance
- Individual academic planning
- Study habits clinics, computer literacy
- Basic skills remediation/tutoring
- Service learning
- Preparing for ACT/SAT testing
- Assistance identifying financial aid and scholarship opportunities
- Completing college applications, developing personal statements
- College tours
Job Readiness and Placement
YU offers education and training to help youth acquire skills that will make them competitive in the marketplace.
We administer a summer jobs program funded by the Oakland Mayor’s Office to provide soft skills training for youth, placing 200 youth in jobs in the for-profit, non-profit, and government sectors each year.
We also provide real-world employment experience through job placements onsite in one of four of YU’s social enterprises, in the broader community, and through internships, subsidized employment, and service-learning projects that build skills and help those with community-service obligations to complete their hours.
Health & Wellness
Health and Wellness programs provide holistic, accessible care in a community setting. Primary health and mental health services are offered on-site in our 4,500 square-foot clinic.
YU’s team of Case Managers (CMs) works with members to set and meet educational, career, and life goals. CMs serve as mentors, life coaches, and advocates and guide and track ongoing member involvement. They coordinate with other systems (foster care, juvenile justice, law enforcement) to interrupt cycles of recidivism. The goal is to not only engage and retain youth in YU programming, but to move them forward toward their specified goals and life plan.
YU offers twice-weekly alternative health clinics. YU provides non-Western healing arts, stress management, and preventative health services, including:
- Massage therapy
- Nutrition advice
- Herbal and homeopathic remedies
- Chiropractic care
In partnership with Children’s Hospital Oakland, YU brings adolescent health care to a neighborhood where none previously existed. The Clinic provides preventative and urgent care services, including:
- Physicals and immunizations
- Treatment for acute and chronic illness
- Testing for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy
- Counseling to support youth struggling with sex- and sexuality-related issues
- Preventive health screening for asthma, diabetes, and hypertension
Arts & Expression
The 3,600 sq. ft. Media Arts Center features three vocal/engineering set-ups, a live music room, four video finishing rooms, and a fully equipped computer lab. The 950 sq. ft. Dance Studio features a sprung hardwood floor and floor-to-ceiling mirrors, and the 1,500 sq. ft. Moroccan Soul Living Room features an indoor/outdoor amphitheater. YU’s campus is a regional venue, hosting public events that regularly attract attendees from all over the Bay Area.
YU’s Music programs include training in:
- Studio recording and engineering
- Radio and club DJing
- Microphone skills and vocal coaching
- Music and lyrical composition
- Beginning and advanced piano
Student work is primarily nonfiction, chronicling youth views and experiences while addressing emerging social issues. Youth learn camera, lighting, sound, video editing, and graphics and titling effects. Youth write, direct, produce, edit, and distribute their work with the help of YU Digital Media staff.