YEP was founded in 1973. Our mission is to enhance the employment and educational opportunities of Oakland youth and young adults impacted by poverty, the criminal justice system, the foster care system, school underachievement, and lack of work experience.
Utilizing an approach that incentivizes youth to work against employment and educational barriers, YEP provides career exploration, workforce training, supplemental education, and supportive services to create models of youth success while improving the overall health of the community.
Over the course of our history, YEP has served more than 30,000 young people. In addition to preparing youth for careers, school graduation and higher education, our programs have been shown to have a direct impact on rates of crime, violence, and recidivism.
YEP is located in the heart of Oakland’s diverse San Antonio neighborhood. We purchased our building with the support of the State of California and several foundations and local businesses. A former warehouse, the facility was used as a “living classroom” while it was rehabilitated by trainees in our construction training program.