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Company Spotlight: Youth Speak Collective

March 25, 2014

Gerson Omar Lam, Outreach Organizer, with Youth Speak Collective shares the company’s history:

Youth Speak Collective is a youth-driven nonprofit empowering low-income youth and their families in the Northeast San Fernando Valley with the skills necessary to pursue higher education and create strong communities. In 2006, Youth Speak Collective Co-Founder and Executive Direction David Kietzman saw an urgent need for educational resources and activities for youth living in the San Fernando and Pacoima. Through an eight week seminar Youth Speak helped students explore community needs, grassroots organizing, and grant writing skills to bring new resources into the community. Eight years later we serve more than 5,000 youth annually through creative arts, academic programs and youth empowerment groups.

What’s it like to work with Youth Speak Collective?

Gerson: Working at Youth Speak Collective is like being in a big family. The fact that we are a community based non-profit has helped us work cohesively and be unified in every project we commence. We constantly emphasize communications because only through helping one another can we successfully achieve our mission. Our open door policy has made it comfortable for youth to walk into our offices and through this connection we have gather great input for our programs.

Are there any fun facts about Youth Speak Collective?

Gerson: A few of the current YSC Staff members were youth participants in our programs when they were in high school.

If you are interested in interning with Youth Speak Collective, click here.

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