Who We Are

Founded in 2012, Youth Interactive Santa Barbara (YI) is a grassroots after school Entrepreneurial Arts Academy that bridges opportunity & social divisions by providing creative young adults from all walks of life with the keys to self-sufficiency.

Past participants say, the YI approach has changed the pathway of their lives from a place of darkness & failure to success! 

Inspiring Education Beyond School

Each of our youth led microbusinesses allow youth to put their creativity and skills to work, build a resume, learn valuable entrepreneurial skills, and gain real life work while earning school credit and a paycheck.

CLOSING THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP

We limit our total enrollment to 90 students in order to provide and connect each youth with the services they need to explore the potential pathways towards their dreams.

UNLOCKING STUDENT POTENTIAL

We offer a happy creative after school environment. Our professional programs give youth 14-24 a transformational set of real life skills and resources to address Common Core learning standards.

YI helps communities overcome poverty & injustice by getting youth engaged in learning, job ready & empowered by the skills of entrepreneurship - an educational pathway that until recently was only offered to high achievers. We treat ‘at risk’ students like responsible, valuable young adults, holding them accountable for their choices & supporting them to reach for their dreams.

In the past 4yrs we have created 6 youth led businesses where youth innovate & work collaboratively with mentors to inspire solutions both big and small for the whole community. Students at YI earn school credits helping them graduate on time, can work off probation community hours & earn a pay-check from their micro business. YI also offers its students an overarching “Get It Done Program” to help them bridge the opportunity divide. Here students choose from a menu what they need; a CA ID, a driving license, tuition support, help with their dream act, college application or If they dream of going to summer camp, but cannot afford it. We work with a pool of over 50 volunteers, the educational foundation, have a direct track to running start at CC, the unified school district & many local partners that provide us for example with free scholarships for summer camp experiences or sailing school lessons so that our students can choose to live or learn something they aspired to or need support with, but which seemed out of reach.

 

The goal now is to reach the operational & funding capacity needed so that we can have the manpower & ability to begin to create a blueprint for a model program that can in the next 2-5 years be replicated as YI Chapters Nationwide.