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Our Mission

Our mission is to break the cycle of violence, heal trauma, and uplift a thriving community of leaders, to save lives in Oakland and beyond.

Since 1991, as mentors, youth leaders, counselors, case managers, intervention specialists and violence interrupters, we at Youth Alive have worked to help violently wounded people heal themselves and their community.

We believe that young people growing up and going to school in the city’s most violent neighborhoods possess the power to change the city for the better. We meet our clients where they are: at home, in school, at the hospital bedsides of gunshot wound survivors, on the streets of our most dangerous neighborhoods.

Our frontline staff is comprised of men and women who grew up in the communities they serve. Some are former victims, some former gang members. All are highly trained in the best practices of their profession. They bring no judgement – only understanding, knowledge, and a path to greater peace for traumatized individuals and the city.

Our primary goals along the way to achieving our mission:

  • To educate and train young leaders to create a more peaceful community
  • To interrupt the cycle of violence on the streets
  • To convince angry victims and their loved ones not to retaliate
  • To provide ongoing support to help the wounded and grieving get needed services and heal from their trauma
Even today, I still feel Demetria and Caheri pushing and encouraging me when I feel like giving up. Every time I hear from them, they are always asking how I am doing in school and in life, because they really care. They are still my family. Family will always be there, no matter the distance or the time that goes by. Home is where the heart is, and my heart will always be with Teens on Target.
Smooth, Teens on Target Graduate

Our Values

  • Community

    We are representative, diverse and grassroots. We are for Oakland, and by Oakland.

  • Personal

    We are sensitive, authentic and passionate. We come as ourselves to help you on your journey.

  • Trustworthy

    We are safe, helpful and respectful. You can rely on us in your time of need.

  • relentless

    We are resilient, courageous and consistent. We’ll do whatever it takes to support you.

  • Innovative

    We are leaders, proven and optimistic. The way we show up inspires the world.