Page Contents: Teens on TargetAdvocacy


Youth ALIVE! believes that violence is preventable. 

Teens on Target (TNT)

TNT 4At Teens on Target, students from Oakland neighborhoods most affected by violence learn to honor their own stories, to use their experience to make change. They learn to speak to the media and to city leaders.

They are taught a youth-authored, comprehensive, six-session violence prevention curriculum, which they then present, in the form of workshops, to middle school students across the city.

Everything we do today at Teens on Target, from the dozens of youth leaders and peer violence prevention educators we train each winter to the hundreds of middle school students those young educators reach each spring, began with a group of 1989 Castlemont High School students who wanted to make a difference. They were growing up in one of Oakland’s most violent communities. They understood the violence and the pain from the inside. Their stories needed to be heard, their wisdom shared. TNT became their outlet and their cause. Those students developed the TNT violence prevention curriculum as a way of creating a discussion on violence, its causes and prevention.

Learn more about TNT and read stories from our participants.

Interested in starting your own youth violence prevention program? Download the Teens on Target Program Manual.

Youth ALIVE! didn’t just change my life. It saved my life. And now I want to do the same for my friends and my community.  — Latrae, 16-year-old TNT Peer Educator

Advocacy for Change

Gun violence is linked to the availability of guns in the community, as well as other root causes that can be addressed through advocacy. To push for solutions to the violence, we raise the voices of those affected by violence. We advocate for sensible policies that reduce gun, gang, family and dating violence. Our Advocacy for Change staff and our TNT youth leaders work with city, state and federal leaders to design and pass laws that encourage safety, such as the state ban on assault weapons and the successful campaign to stop the Oakland Tribune from printing ads for guns.

Read about our legislative successes and the bills we’re currently supporting.

Speak Up, Speak Out

So many who have been victims of violence feel an urge, even a responsibility, to do what they can to make the world a safer, fairer place. And sometimes, telling your story can be a healing experience. Speak Up, Speak Out is our speakers bureau. It’s a training program for youth and adults impacted by violence, who are ready to inform the world with their stories of resilience and their ideas for change. Interested in inviting one of our speakers to an event? Interested in telling your story of violence and healing? Contact the program coordinator and trainer, Gabriel Garcia.