About WELA YMCA Youth Institute


WELA YMCA Youth Institute, is part of the Building Healthy Communities (BHC) initiative funded by California Endowmentand 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.