Youth Development Academy

Believing that a community’s greatest asset is its youth, Sharefest is committed to mentoring youth to reach their fullest potentials. With the right cultivation of values, critical thinking skills, and opportunities, today’s youth are empowered to be tomorrow’s leaders who bring solutions and positive change to communities need. Education budget cuts across the state have created a need for additional academic programming to help today’s youth succeed in school and beyond. Sharefest’s Youth Development Academy strives to help meet this need through school-based, center-based, and summer programs offering academic and leadership skill-development opportunities to underserved middle and high school students throughout Los Angeles County.


Summer Youth Development Academy

The overwhelming need for free positive summer programming for youth is impossible to ignore. The Summer YDA supports the positive development of under-resourced middle and high school students by linking them with mentor/role models, healthy activities, and a network of supportive peers. The program focuses on developing 21st Century skills to help prepare students to be leaders in their schools, neighborhoods, and the community at large. The program is held on the campus of California State University Dominguez Hills, which affords students the opportunity to experience a beautiful college campus and inspiration for the opportunities it holds for their future.


2018 Summer YDA Program Dates & Location

The 2018 Summer YDA Program will take place July 9 through August 3. All YDA sessions run from 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Monday–Friday on the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills in Carson.

Middle School Summer YDA: Students entering grades 7-8 (Fall 2018) will participate in a 4-week session learning valuable leadership skills while engaged in fun athletics, swimming, STEM, and leadership-building activities [Please note: students entering Grade 6 do not qualify for our program.].

  • Middle School (4 weeks) - July 9-August 3

High School Summer YDA: Students entering grades 9-12 (Fall 2018) will participate in a 4-week session exploring key leadership skills promoting advocacy and civic engagement. Athletics, swimming, and life/academic skills are also taught.

  • High School (4 weeks) - July 9-August 3

* Space is limited and attendance at each day of the assigned session is required.



We will begin accepting applications for Summer YDA on March 5, 2018. All applications are due by Monday, June 18, 2018. Space is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is encouraged to submit your application earlier rather than later.


Parent Orientation (Mandatory)

Parents, guardians and/or family members will be able to meet the YDA staff, hear about the program, ask questions and get a better idea of what to expect at the 2018 Summer Youth Development Academy.





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School-based Programs


Continuation School Graduation Recovery

Sharefest delivers high-quality activities for continuation high school students to help them meet graduation requirements, expand their experiences, and stay in school. Serving 200 students at year at four locations, this pathway to graduation program keeps students off the streets and engaged in creative, physical, and intellectual pursuits designed to help them graduate and pursue purposeful futures.


School Clubs

Student-led volunteer groups provide high school students an opportunity to apply the Workday model to ongoing community needs. Students receive valuable experience in leading groups, project management, and service project execution. If you are interested in starting a club at your high school, please contact Brenda at



Center-based Programs


Youth Leadership Council

Sharefest excels in mentoring youth to become leaders of positive change. This diverse cohort of high school students meet regularly to better themselves and their communities. Service projects, leadership skill-development, and positive peer support helps excel emerging leaders as vibrant agents of change in their schools and communities. This is a by-application-only program.


Youth Development Center

The Youth Development Center opening in San Pedro will serve motivated youth by equipping them with the skills and support to champion change through advocacy and service campaigns, while also providing support to help students design and pursue futures filled with meaningful leadership impact in the places where they live and work. Scheduled to open 2018 – Learn more here.