Mission, Vision, History

Our Mission

Youth Community Service engages young people from diverse mid-peninsula communities in meaningful service-based learning. YCS students build leadership and life skills, empathy for the needs of others, and a sense of connectedness, purpose and efficacy, while making a positive difference in the lives of those around them.

Our Vision

At Youth Community Service, we believe that every young person with a heart full of service has a future of meaning and purpose.

Our History

YCS was founded in 1990 as a partnership between the cities of Palo Alto and East Palo Alto and their two school districts: Palo Alto Unified School District and Ravenswood City School District. The goal is to increase cross-community awareness and collaboration through youth service.

Since our founding, YCS has engaged more than 25,000 young people in service opportunities that allow them to learn more about themselves and their community, through providing over 150,000 hours of service to more than 50 local community organizations.

For the past eight years, YCS has also engaged more than 1500 youth in leadership development programs and classes by integrating social and emotional learning with service. Through classroom work and engagement in community service, we increase students’ self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and decision making skills.


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