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Berkeley Youth Alternatives

Cause Area

  • Children & Youth
  • Education & Literacy


1255 Allston WayBerkeley, CA 94702 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

BYA created its Mentoring, Academic Support, Training, College Preparation, and Health program or MATCH to improve the academic status of at-risk and high-risk youth, to encourage youth to prepare for college, to expose youth to training opportunities and various career pathways, and to promote better health outcomes for youth. The MATCH program targets youth of color from African-American and Latino/a households, youth who may be in the foster care system and/or the juvenile system, youth who are homeless, and youth at-risk of academic failure.
The major risks that the MATCH program addresses are: 1) Truancy, school drop-out, academic failure, and a lack of commitment to school. 2) Negative role models and peer pressure to engage in illegal activities and gang participation. 3) Family disintegration, isolation, and generational alienation.
By recruiting undergraduate and graduate students from UC Berkeley and Cal-State East Bay University and as well as members of the Business community, the MATCH program helps youth to form positive bonds with supportive adults who encourage them to stay in school and to think about their futures. Each youth receives at least 2-4 hours per week of contact during the academic year and are able to participate in various field trips to local colleges and universities as well as to special events.


Mentoring can be defined as a relationship over a prolonged period of time between two or more people where older, wiser, more experienced individuals provide support, guidance, and concrete help to a younger at-risk person as they through life. We are currently looking for both women and men to be mentors for students of all ages, from elementary through high school, who all come from different backgrounds with different needs. We're looking for energetic individuals who can commit to improving the experience of a student. During COVID19, most of the connection will be virtual with the youth/mentees.


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