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About Us

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Youth Speak Collective (YSC), a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2005, is a youth-driven initiative empowering low-income communities in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. YSC provides area youths with the skills necessary to pursue higher education and create
strong communities. The organization was founded with the realization that students were disengaged from their community and schools, resulting in an epidemic of high school dropouts and community-wide political disempowerment.


The mission of the Youth Speak Collective is to incorporate youth in the revitalization of their community. YSC creates spaces for them to learn about their community while empowering them to take its future in their own hands. All YSC's programs and events revolve around the changing needs of youth and the Northeast San Fernando Valley.


Youth Speak Collective has two staff members (75% volunteer time), seven governing board members, approximately twenty-five adult volunteers and about forty youth in membership. Our active governing board meets once a month. Our volunteers assist at our community events, mentor youth and help us increase our organizational capacity. Since last August, YSC has grown in the number of volunteers that assist the organization from 1 to 25 volunteers and the number of
youth members from 8 to 40 members.


Program Description

YSC's programs and events are all created by the youth and for the youth with the supervision and management of staff. The effectiveness and success of the programs is due to the integration of youth in the planning and implementation process. All members of YSC have a vested interest in each program because in actuality they helped create it.

Community & Youth Development: Youth Council
YSC has created a youth council program that focus on community development to engage "at-risk" youth in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. YSC meets on a weekly basis with over 40 youth. Participants identify, document and analyze problems in their community that they would like to address through advocacy and community development
projects. Recently, YSC's youth council has identified the lack of green space and safe "hang outs" for youth. The youth wrote and were awarded the Community Beautification Grant from the City of Los Angeles to build the first youth-led Japanese styled garden in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. Those involved in the project represent the target population that YSC serves; youth who have been raised in single parent homes, gang-infested neighborhoods, and poorly run schools.


A combination of factors contribute to the conditions for youth in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. Anonymity in neighborhoods, parents at work for long periods of time, overcrowded schools, and the overall deterioration of neighborhoods as a result of crime, drugs, and poverty has weakened the informal community support that was once
available to adolescents. Students who are disconnected from their family, physically or psychologically, are at a higher risk for dropping out of school, depression, violence, substance abuse, and sexually transmitted diseases. The arrest rate in the Northeast San Fernando Valley is 168 per 1,000 11-17 year olds (LAPD, 2004). Additional studies have shown that the Northeast San Fernando Valley lacks programming focused on personal development for adolescents, preventative care and wellness, and adult involvement in youth activities (Valley Community Care Consortium 2004).

Youth Speak Collective works to address these conditions by providing adaptive programs and services for youth and adults to actively promote social change. Our program goals aim to foster creativity, civic-mindedness and education in low-income youth in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. YSC aims to shed the stereotypes associated with "at-risk" youth by helping them grow into resilient and pro-active leaders. The youth in Pacoima represent a "silent" majority and Youth
Speak Collective aims to give this majority a voice.


YSC hopes to continue its work in the Northeast San Fernando Valley for years to come. We would like to express our deepest gratitude for your support and consideration as we work to empower the youth that will be the future leaders of the Northeast San Fernando Valley.


David Kietzman


United States




11243 Glenoaks Blvd. Suite #3
Pacoima, CA 91331
Phone: (818) 834-5181
EIN: 27-0126980

Equip A Classroom

A book for every desk

This gift will provide a SAT, PSAT or CAHSEE prep book and instruction for every student in a class of 20.


School Materials

Backpack of supplies

This will provide a high school aged youth with a backpack full of school supplies. These supplies will include 3 ring binders, pencils, pens, paper, notebooks, notecards, calculator, dictionary, ruler, erasers, highlighters, weekly school planner and backpack.