The work of the Young Center began in 1986 when actor-educator William Allen Young established the Young Foundation in Los Angeles. Mr. Young, who grew up in South Los Angeles where drop outs were among the highest in the nation, understood the need to build a 'culture of success' for youth in underserved schools and communities with high expectations and results.
The Foundation mobilized committed parents, teachers, college students, and retired professionals to provide tutoring, mentoring and classroom support for teachers at failing schools. The Foundation also established a Scholarship Fund to encourage and support college-bound participants in their efforts to obtain a college education.
In 1987, the Foundation partnered with the LA Unified School District to implement an effective Education Incentive Plan that helped improve student success rates at low-performing schools. From 1997-2000, the William Allen Young Free Breakfast Program provided free hot breakfast meals for school children in Inglewood during the annual Standardized Testing period resulting in improved student academic performance.
In 2000, the Young Foundation was reorganized as the Young Center for Academic and Cultural Enrichment. From 2001-2005, the Young Center has launched a series of successful youth development programs, including: California Youth Think Tank (2003), College Prep Academy (2004), Youth Ambassador Service (2005), and Youth Education Summits in local communities.
The Young Foundation established to provide scholarships and mentoring for underserved youth in Los Angeles
Young Center receives State Dept. Award of Excellence in Youth Development
Foundation partners with LAUSD to launch Education Incentive Plan in low-performing District schools
Saturday College Academy &
Youth Ambassador Service programs established
Free Breakfast program provides hot breakfast meals for school children in IUSD
Young Center Youth Ambassadors officially recognized by CA Legislature & Dept. of Education
The Young Center is established as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit education organization
CYTT Middle School Summer Day Camp is established
California Youth Think Tank leadership program is established
Youth Center receives Education Advocates of the Year Award from CASC