Youth Programs (6th - 12th Grade)

Santa Ana is a hard place for a teen. Teenage pregnancy rates are some of the highest in the state, and although Santa Ana schools have improved, some still rank last in Orange County in academic performance. We believe education can bring hope. 

We are placing youth on a direct path towards college, and hope for their future, through the following programs.


Tutoring, mentoring, and college preparation for 6th -12th graders. Students have daily access to tutors, mentors, technology, and positive adult role models as they strive to stay in school, and ultimately go to college. We offer a multitude of services: SAT prep, Writing workshops, College visits, and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) seminars designed to prepare students for journeys in higher education and future careers.

YOUTH empowerment network (yen)

The Youth Empowerment Network is a growing group of young leaders from Central Santa Ana.  YEN is part of the Santa Ana Building Healthy Communities Initiative which is a 10-year state-wide movement to build healthy communities. Incorporating youth into the decision-making processes in the community is crucial to creating a youth voice.  The youth seek to understand the social determinants of health that affect their community and create systemic change. For more information visit our website.

Teen Leadership Academy

A program where students can explore leadership opportunities they don’t get otherwise in their schools. They serve as tutors and mentors to the younger students, engage in the civic processes of the city, and perform service projects in their community. Youth are challenged to really step up and show younger students the power of making wise decisions and accomplishing goals that will help towards a brighter future. 

closa (Community Leaders of Santa Ana)

The “student government” of KidWorks. These students are elected by their peers to lead the 400 youth in our programs. They plan events, help the staff, and act as role models for all the students at KidWorks. Their mission is to give back to their community to through service projects and to make positive changes through leadership roles and character development. 

Health and Fitness

Youth have a variety of options for getting healthy. They can participate in sports leagues, workout in our “gym” (we converted our storage space to a “giant” 90 sq. ft. gym, and a personal trainer volunteers to train youth and parents), or train for a half-marathon with our running club. Of course, participation in these activities is always predicated by their attendance and full participation in our academic programs.

Financial Literacy

Youth take classes using the curriculum “Future Profits” teaching them how to make prudent financial decisions through a robust understanding of finances and life economics. Our outstanding corporate partners also provide financial workshops and scholarship opportunities for youth striving to better their future. Youth can also serve as the “bankers” in our KidWorks bank, preparing statements for the younger children, taking their deposits, and distributing their withdrawals.