Just Finished Our Minimum Viable Pilot Program
Youth Center Pilot Metrics
We launched our pilot Youth Center in a temporary space in November 2022 for one day a week. At the students request we opened up for a second day in early March.
We did not advertise the Youth Center at all so all growth has been word of mouth.
56 Total Students
56 Teenagers have walked through the doors Since November
19 Students Week
We have averaged 19 students a week
6 New Student
Average of 6 new students each week
Our youth have come from 4 different schools in West Oakland.
4 Student Interns
We recruited 4 students to become paid interns, to help run the center
What the Youth are Saying!
Vision for a Permanent Space
Why a Youth Center?
Catalyst Youth Network has been serving the youth of Oakland for 2 years now. We have worked with over 60 students both virtually and in the classroom through provided resources, training, mentoring, and internships.
Our youth have expressed how discouraged and disconnected they feel due to the current social and economic landscape they face. Members of our Youth Advisory Board have stated the need for a space where they can “feel safe, do homework, learn new skills, relax, socialize with positive peers and mentors, and gain new experiences.”
Catalyst Youth Center will provide a physical space designed for youth that will exponentially increase the impact of our current programs—allowing us to enhance and expand the ways in which we serve the youth of Oakland. It will function as a safe and engaging space where kids want to be, and a place where they’ll have access to the services and resources they need.
PHASE 1: $300K
LOCATION: Lease, Cleanup, Renovations and Furnishings.
STAFF: Recruiting, Hiring, and Ongoing Training.
PROGRAMMING: Youth center will include our current programs (jobs skills workshops, career coaching, and mentoring) and will also enable us to add a computer lab, tutoring, on-site mentors, financial health coaching, and social events.
PHASE 2: $200K
Will expand to include a food pantry, mental health resources, life coaching, a full art studio, and more.
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began, teenagers have been feeling more disconnected and disengaged than ever. In 2019, one in ten Oakland youth (aged 16-19) were not enrolled in school or employed in a job. The number is now one in six. Two-thirds of youth do not participate in any positive after-school programs or sports.
Map of Youth Spaces in Oakland
There are some great nonprofit organizations providing spaces focused on serving the youth of East Oakland. However, the last youth center serving West Oakland closed in 2016. We want to help fill that void.