Mar Vista Family Center
Founded in 1983, Mar Vista Family Center provides low-income, at-risk families with quality early childhood education, youth enrichment, and educational tools to create positive change in their lives and in their community. The By Youth For Youth (BYFY) Program was established in 1992, in response to growing violent activity among Mar Vista community youth, particularly those involved with neighborhood gangs. Since its inception, this program has helped transform the lives of at-risk youth by equipping them with the skills to navigate through their life, education, and career. It prevents self-destructive behavior by offering life skills building, leadership opportunities, and academic enrichment to youth. One of the BYFY program’s core focus has been providing educational opportunities and resources to improve the educational outcomes for low-income youth in higher education. Funding from Women Helping Youth will not only help support MVFC efforts by granting an $11,731.72 award to purchase 13 desktop computers, 3 laptop computers, and 1 printer to replace all out-of-date, donated equipment for a computer lab in the Center, but it will also help to provide a safe environment where youth can learn and better prepare for their future. Approximately 70 middle and high school children, ages 10-18, will have access to up-to-date computers after school for homework, tutoring, college preparation workshops and the STEM certificate program. Easily accessible computers will offer youth a safe space where they can relax and focus on their studies, away from gangs and other dangers that pervade their neighborhood, which will improve academic performance.