WELA YMCA Youth Institute
WELA YMCA Youth Institute

WELA YMCA Youth Institute, is part of the Building Healthy Communities (BHC) initiative funded by California Endowment and is in one of fourteen California sites looking to transform their local health narrative.

The Weingart East Los Angeles (WELA) YMCA Youth Institute is located just east of downtown Los Angeles in the vibrant community of Boyle Heights. It aims to reshape the landscape of Boyle Heights through the Y’s three areas of focus: youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.

The Youth Institute is a year-round YMCA program that uses technology to promote youth development and prepare students for college & career readiness. The Youth Institute trains youth in an array of digital media skills including graphic design, web design, movie making, and music mixing in a computer lab setting. Projects are designed to encourage in youth a love of learning, while progressively and comprehensively building their academic, workforce, and social skills.

With the Youth Institutes strong civic engagement and youth development program, Departures Youth Voices was a natural partner. Our collaboration offers a new way for students to use digital media to dive deeper into investigating local campaigns and exploring the Boyle Heights community. Youth Voices is working with the Weingart YMCA Youth Institute to re-imagine local school communities. The youth teams are exploring and investigating how the prospect of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) can empower their communities and improve their schools.

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Education Notes

Recent Stories
Roadmap to La Comunidad: Boyle Heights & East Los Angeles

Roadmap to La Comunidad: Boyle Heights & East Los Angeles

What would you include in a map of your neighborhood?
Mapping Community: Daniel Vasquez

Mapping Community: Daniel Vasquez

The important thing for me to include in my map was a place that had a deep personal meaning for me which was my local YMCA.
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Mapping Community: Ricardo Ruiz

A place that has history is the Linda Vista Community Hospital by Hollenbeck Park. There have been so many stories of it being haunted and people have died there in the past.
Mapping Community: Eduardo Gonzalez

Mapping Community: Eduardo Gonzalez

A place people come together would have to be the East L.A. Civic Center, on Saturdays they have a farmers market where the community can come and sell their products.
Mapping Community: Claudia Espinoza

Mapping Community: Claudia Espinoza

The most important thing that I included in my map was the places that I go to almost every day like Roosevelt High School and Hollenbeck Park, I can relate to those places in vari ...
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Community Connections: Meet Eduardo Gonzalez

I call East Los Angeles home.
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