A branch of the YMCA of Silicon Valley

Education & Leadership

The YMCA cares about teens, cultivates teen leaders and creates opportunities for teens to contribute to their communities.

Y Teen programs partner with families, schools, businesses, and the entire community to help provide brighter futures for young people. Our YMCA gives teens a safe place to call their own and a chance to connect with positive role models and adults who care about them. Teen programs include youth development activities, leadership groups, community service projects, exposure to diverse career options, after school activities, tutoring and mentoring, sports, camping, strength-training, internships and fun, recreational events.

Teen Programs

The YMCA provides teens with personal, academic, social and recreational opportunities in a safe and positive environment. Our goal is to help build developmental assets, enhance personal and social skills, develop leadership and responsibility, and promote self-esteem in young people so they can thrive.

For more information about our Teen Programs, please call us at 650-328-9622, email us or visit our YMCA.


->Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead

Our Full STEAM Ahead summer program offers the perfect opportunity for East Palo Alto students to develop the skills necessary to thrive now and in the future. This program:

  • Develops Positive Youth Development skills through an interactive learning environment.
  • Improves technology, critical thinking, and decision making skills, preparing youth for post-secondary education or career entry
  • Develops cultural awareness and cultural tolerance amongst youth participants
  • Exposes youth to a variety of STEAM experiences, including hands-on technology and arts/music, and culinary arts
  • Develops a sense of their community and how to give back to their community

Click here to learn more.

->Youth & Government - Model Legislature & Court

Imagine more than 2,000 high school students from across California coming together for one week to take over the Capitol Building, the court houses and two hotels in Sacramento. Students in grades 9-12 can be a part of this exciting, life-changing experience. Each student picks a role in the legislature, court or media program that they will learn and then perform in Sacramento. There are two weekend conferences in Fresno and weekly meetings where students learn leadership skills, write bills and prepare for the conference in Sacramento.

Meetings start September 12, 2016 at Lewis and Joan Platt East Palo Alto Family YMCA and happen each Monday from 7:00-8:30 pm. The conferences take place in November, January and February. Download registration packet.

->Teen Center – The Spot

The Spot Teen Center gives teens a place to call their own, a chance to connect with adults who care about them, and an opportunity to get involved in positive programs such as: group exercise, arts & crafts, sports, youth and government, homework assistance and much more. Learn more

->Reach & Rise Mentoring Program

Reach & Rise™ is a national one-to-one mentoring program determined to move youth from risk to resiliency. The program helps build a better future for youth by matching them with an adult mentor for one year. Free of cost to families, trained mentors work to understand cultural and social development, mental health issues, risk factors, and offer ways to communicate and relate to youth. Mentors spend time with a participant, 6–18 years old, who may be an at risk youth dealing with low self-esteem, social isolation, family problems, peer conflicts, poor academics, and/or poor decision making skills.

The goal of the program is to help youth gain positive, consistent, and nurturing relationships with adults. To build self-esteem, decision-making skills, improve school performance and make healthy interpersonal relationships. Mentors gain personal satisfaction from making a difference in a youth’s life by devoting time and sharing your strengths. Learn more.

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Project Cornerstone

Project CornerstoneProject Cornerstone’s vision is simple—to build a web of support around every young person in our community. This web of support includes families, schools, community centers, faith communities and local businesses. Unfortunately, these resources are disconnected from each other and often from children and youth themselves. Project Cornerstone facilitates the connection of the separate parts of the web so that young people can count on individuals and organizations working together to provide them with consistent support and guidance.

Project Cornerstone promotes the research-based developmental assets approach as a guiding framework and a common language to enable individuals and organizations to work together toward our common goal of supporting the healthy development of all children and youth. We leverage partnerships to influence public policy, programs and personal behavior. Project Cornerstone provides training and consultation and shares resources and best practice models to build the capacity of children’s and youth program providers, schools, governments, foundations, businesses, faith communities, and other community groups to support young people and strengthen our community.

Most people think of assets in terms of property or financial resources. However, Developmental Assets are the positive relationships, opportunities, values and skills that young people need to grow up caring and responsible.

The Search Institute identified the 40 developmental assets as the essential building blocks of healthy child and youth development - including adult role models, positive peer influence, caring school climates and a sense that community values youth. With input from diverse community members, Project Cornerstone has added a 41st asset “positive cultural identity" to the framework we use.

Project Cornerstone was founded in by the Youth Alliance, a collaborative of the following community based organizations: YMCAs of Santa Clara Valley and the Mid Peninsula; YWCA of Santa Clara Valley; Girl Scouts; Boy Scouts; Big Brothers/Big Sisters; Boys & Girls Club; and Estrella Family Services. The YMCA of Santa Clara Valley is Project Cornerstone’s parent organization.

For more information, visit the Project Cornerstone website.

For more information about Developmental Assets please click here.


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