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United Way of Santa Cruz County

Organization Mission

We ignite our community to give, advocate, and volunteer so that our youth succeed in school and life, our residents are healthy, and our families are financially independent.

The Big Idea 2024:
United 4 Youth: Collaborative Youth Programming

United 4 Youth (U4Y) creates neighborhood spaces where our youth can thrive, learn, and find their path to success.

In Live Oak and Watsonville, U4Y creates safe spaces for students to access homework help, youth-led and designed prosocial activities, and build relationships with caring adults. With nearly 400 participants between the two neighborhoods, we want to expand similar programming in Capitola and Scotts Valley. These locations were selected to support high-opportunity youth, reduce adverse childhood experiences, and increase youth engagement.

First and foremost, we understand that our community knows best. We’ve built this initiative around the idea that each neighborhood, with its unique strengths and dreams, should shape the opportunities for our youth. It’s about happy, healthy, active young minds, exploring a world of possibilities in their neighborhood.

Join us in creating a future where our youth thrive in building bright, promising pathways to adulthood. Together, we are United 4 Youth.

This is a multi-year investment in local youth development organizations to ensure our youth grow up in a safe, healthy, thriving community. Your gift will help us leverage more contributions for United 4 Youth programming!

United 4 Youth has supported the partnership between Luna y Sol Familia Center and the Conflict Resolution Center to offer youth and families the tools and alternative forms of effective communication dialogues leading to self-awareness and solving conflict with family, peers, and community.

Maria Rodriguez, Director of Alcance/Luna y Sol, Community Action Board