Youth Development : 

 

Youth and young adults in East Palo Alto, California face many challenges. The 2.5 square mile city of roughly 28,500 persons has San Mateo County’s lowest median household income and largest proportion of families living below the poverty level.  Educational attainment levels of East Palo Alto residents are also significantly lower than the San Mateo County average.  Less than 65 percent of East Palo Alto residents have earned a high school diploma, while 88 percent of County residents have done so.  

Low educational attainment levels and high poverty levels likely contribute to East Palo Alto’s high crime and violence.  Residents make up less than 5 percent of San Mateo County’s total population, but gun violence in East Palo Alto accounts for 26 percent of all firearm homicides and 21 percent of non-fatal firearm injuries in the County.   The per capita violent crime rate in East Palo Alto is nearly four times higher than that of San Mateo, the city with the second highest per capita violent crime rate in the County.

Poverty, low educational attainment, and crime highlight the need for resources and services in East Palo Alto that help residents overcome challenges. Services are particularly by young people, who make up more than 35 percent of East Palo Alto’s population.  

The City of East Palo Alto is San Mateo County’s poorest local government with a municipal budget that is the smallest in the county per capita.  Given its limited budget, the City provides minimal services.  Non-profit organizations have filled the void for many services; however, limited resources and lack of collaboration stymie their impact.  Non-profits would better address East Palo Alto’s problems by working together and leveraging their resources to provide well rounded services to residents.

Vision

To empower youth and young adults from the Peninsula to be free from violence, incarceration, and poverty. We achieve this by building a community hub where youth and young adult serving agencies unite to provide holistic services that address the challenges that prevent youth from living productive lives.

Mission

We meet youth and young adults where they are, and empower them get to where they should be.

Project Description:

Rogue Empire is part of a community hub consisting of collaborating youth/young adult serving organizations Under the Live in Peace umbrella. Our organizations come together to provide coordinated services and enrichment opportunities to move our youth and young adults to become thriving citizens.  Each organization is committed to bringing best practices and relational input to help transform individuals and the greater community affected by poverty and violence. 

The core of Rogue Empire is a collective vision to keep youth and young adults free from violence and incarceration.  Each organization on campus employs the Alive & Free violence prevention methodology developed by the Omega Boys Club in San Francisco, California. 

Programs and services available with Live in Peace/ Rogue Empire include Alive and Free workshops, leadership development, life skills, entrepreneurship, academic counseling, tutoring, music, performing and creative arts, athletics, community re-entry (from incarceration), and community outreach.  

Coordinated Services:

East Palo Alto alone has over 150-youth/young adult serving organizations.  Despite the volume of programs available, youth and young adults are underserved.  Organizations often operate in vacuums and do not communicate.  This leads to youth accessing certain needed services while lacking others.  

We provide structured collaboration between organizations at a centralized location. Organizations not only unite around a common vision and employ the Alive and Free methodology, but they also meet regularly to discuss and plan ways for their programs to enhance one another to provide holistic service delivery to participants. 

Alive & Free:

The “Alive & Free Prescription” works to change beliefs, attitudes, values and actions that promote violence. Alive & Free identifies and addresses the actions that put young people at risk of violence (Risk Factors) and the symptomatic thinking that puts them at risk, (Commandments of Violence), and the Rules for Living that promote positive lifestyle choices to mitigate against the onset of the disease of violence. - See more at: stayaliveandfree.org. This is at the core culture of all our core programs.

Our Work:

Live In Peace/Rogue Empire includes general management of the campus – including contracts between partnering organizations; provision of Alive & Free workshops, reentry services, leadership development opportunities, athletics; and coordination of academic tutoring and counseling.

Partners:

San Mateo Probation

Community Government

Ravenswood School District

Sequoia School District

Redwood High School 

Hillcrest Juvenile Hall

Youth Community Services

Saint Augustine

East Palo Alto Police Athletic League

 

Existing Program Descriptions

Navigating our youth and young adults takes more than just the “inward” work.

Our innovative partnerships provide full service, leaving our young people with no excuses.

Currently Serving:

Family Night – A Significant Collaboration

Family Night is the one program that brings our collaborations and innovative partnerships together. It has become a safe place where youth and young adults know that we will always be celebrating one another. The adult community supports weekly gatherings, giving over life skills and the prescription to end violence. 

East Palo Alto Youth Development Team

The reentry program helps those young adults over 16 to transition back into becoming a productive community member. Each adult is assessed and navigated to a network of resources. This program has become a touchstone for those who are moving toward jobs, mental health, housing, and specific resources needed. 

Live In Peace 

At Live in Peace we inspire and share hope, healing and personal power within our East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park communities. By building a positive and supportive network among local youth and adults, providing access to musical skill development and expression, and supporting pathways into and through college for local first generation students - we give youth opportunities to express themselves, discover their strengths and potential, and transform their challenges into steps toward a healthy, productive, and joyful future.

The Live In Peace College Initiative creates positive pathways and exposure to new ways of being through scholarships, school application and navigation, mentorship and case management. To date – funded over 60 kids in college

Students have gone through the juvenile system and/or have been directly affected by violence, 90% have lost a close friend to violence while at college

Rogue Empire

Athletes aspiring to learn more than just a sport.

Rogue Empire has come to serve a community that has been broken by the culture of violence leaving our youth and young adults vulnerable to the street life. It is through the discipline and physical training that allow for a community of mentor trainers who creates a classroom of young athletes given the opportunity to learn:

  • Mixed Martial Arts 
  • Mauy Thai 
  • Kick Boxing 
  • Boxing
  • Jiu Jitsu
  • Conditioning
  • Self Defense 

The Rogue Family at large competes all over the Bay Area with exposure to competitions abroad. 

Continued partners at EPA Center

  • Indoor Soccer
  • Indoor Track
  • Rugby
  • Football
  • Youth Community Services
  • EPA Boxing Club
  • EPA Golf Club

Outreach from Campus:

Programs to help catch our most vulnerable community members, allowing them to be plugged in and stay connected wherever they may find themselves. Currently Serving:

Juvenile Hall 

Alive & Free Classes: 

A weekly class that addresses the disease of violence as well as the anger, fear and pain that perpetuates it. We provide a safe place to have candid conversations about how the youth have gotten where they are, the obstacles to moving forward and practical steps to overcome them. Other adults and young leaders from the community also speak life into our youth, establishing a familiar environment where we share one another’s burdens and celebrate each other’s success. Alive & Free curriculum builds on the Street Soldiers methodology of Omega founder Dr. Joe Marshall and has been instituted several school districts, juvenile halls, and court mandated programs.

Providing conditioning for our Alive & Free Classes in the hall – to build holistic thinking about health. To continue building relationships with staff and young people when they get out.  

 Navigation:  

Navigating is the single greatest factor in our success with young people. The navigator helps the youth in academic success and school visits, employment readiness, extra curricular activities, legal referrals and community service projects. He/She follows up with the re entry teachers as well as probation and family, compiling weekly progress reports. Beyond the technical duties of case management, the navigator builds a relationship with the youth-not as a friend but as a committed mentor intent on helping him/her "navigate" whatever barriers life presents and providing opportunity for maximum growth.