Developing future leaders.

The YMCA Youth Institute is a skills-based program for students entering or in high school that teaches digital media arts and computer literacy. By combining leadership development, job readiness and community engagement, the Youth Institute offers a rich educational experience that prepares students for success both in school and in the workforce.

There are three primary components of the Youth Institute: the Summer Program, the school-year Internship Program and the Alumni Program.

The Summer Program runs from mid-June until the beginning of August and helps prepare youth for the transition from middle school into high school and teaches them the fundamentals of digital media arts. It begins with a wilderness retreat and culminates with the Annual Youth Institute Film Festival, where participants showcase films and magazine publications they’ve produced.

The Internship Program is a paid position and runs on a four-year cycle, allowing youth to participate from grades 9 – 12. Applications are required. During the internship, participants carry out community projects, lead technology workshops and host drop-in technology clinics. Through the program, interns learn important skills to prepare them for success in the workforce.

The alumni program is only open to past YI participants having completed a paid project. 

Additional Programming:

FREE Adult Digital Literacy Sessions every 1st Wednesday of the month from 5:30-7:30 at the Teen Center. Come by and learn Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, In-Design, Final Cut Pro, and Garageband.

FREE Digital Literacy Peer Education sessions available to organizations and schools. YI will travel to your institution equipped with all the technology and lead youth driven sessions on Adobe graphic design software, Garageband, and Final Cut Pro. 

Program website:

Contact information

Pegah Rahmanian, YMCA Youth Institute Program Manager
(510) 486-8415

Download the Youth Institute Application