Through partnerships with schools, community organizations, and community members in the Palo Alto community, the Youth Connectedness Initiative will develop protective factors that include self-efficacy, positive relationships, connectedness and community engagement among youth. The program applies the YCS model of combining life skills, service learning, social-emotional learning and developmental relationships and will include youth ages 11 through 18, parents, and adult allies in the Palo Alto community that reflect the range of cultural diversity, gender, academic achievement and interests.

The Youth Connectedness Initiative defines protective factors as:

–  Positive perception of self
–  Positive outlook on one’s future
–  Self-efficacy for help-seeking

–  Close, personal relationships with adults outside school and family
–  Caring relationships with fellow youth
–  Caring relationships with teachers, adults at school
–  Positive relationships with neighborhood and community

The core curriculum for the Youth Connectedness Initiative is the Search Institute’s Developmental Relationships.

YCI Peer Leaders Group Starting!  The Youth Connectedness Initiative invites high school students from Gunn High School, Palo Alto High School, and Castilleja to become a peer leader of the Youth Connectedness Initiative.

Meetings will be Wednesdays from 4pm – 5:30pm.  All peer leaders will receive a monthly stipend.

The first meeting is October 17th. 

Click here to download a Peer Leader Application.  Please bring the completed application with you to your first meeting, or return to Yusra Beig at YCS.

For more information please email Yusra Beig at