YouThrive works with 11 to 18-year-olds who are on the precipice of troubling behavior, or already immersed in it, and engages them in high-impact workshops that support the development of the youth’s assets and resilience. Our goal is to equip young people with the mindset and coping skills to stay on a positive path through school and career, and to be contributing members of their family, school, and community.

The program comprises 10-week sessions (fall and spring) for students who have been referred by school administration, law enforcement or parents because of truancy, failing grades, seriously challenging behavior, gang activity, or drug and alcohol use. The program includes:

  • Weekly group meetings in the school setting (held virtually during the pandemic)
  • Workshops addressing anger management, life skills, gang prevention, and restorative justice as well as higher education
  • Individual counseling and mentoring
  • Regular monitoring of grades, school attendance, and disciplinary actions
  • Bilingual parent support groups

The benchmarks for successful outcomes include improved grades, school attendance, and behavior, as well as healthy relationships among peers and adults in the program. When school behavior, grades, and attendance improve, youth earn the privilege to participate in daylong excursions to the beach, theme park, ballgame, or trail hike, as well as multi-day trips like whitewater rafting, snowboarding, or wilderness camping.

Side by Side gratefully acknowledges Active 20-30 Club Redwood Empire, Bella Vista Foundation, BioMarin,  Community Foundation Sonoma County Basic Human Needs Fund, Heck Foundation, Heffernan Foundation, Walter S. Johnson Foundation, Jonas Family Foundation, Kaiser Permanente – Sonoma-Marin, Medtronic, National Association of Theater Owners (NATO), Safeway Foundation, Sonoma County Vintners Foundation, and Westamerica Bank for supporting YouThrive.