Developing future leaders.

The Berkeley Youth Institute is a 4-year digital media and art youth development program. Using a hands on, experiential approach, the YI aims to foster a safe, healing, and transformative space for young people; guiding them through a rite of passage into adulthood. Through a technology lens the Youth Institute encourages our participants to cultivate imagination and curiosity, act in cooperation, and harness a passion for learning. Equipping them with the tools of resilience, reflection, relationship building, and community advocacy youth conclude their time with the YI leaving behind a legacy and moving into opportunity.

The Youth Institute is comprised of two components: the summer institute and the school-year internship. The 8-week summer institute is the introduction to our program (open to incoming 9th and 10th graders only), which cultivates leadership and team-building through filmmaking and graphic design. The school-year internship focuses on skill building, and provides workforce development through a social enterprise-like model.

Applications for the summer institute are available at the beginning of February. You can find the application here or at the Teen Center. Applications can be submitted to Brandyn Johnson in person or by email.

Additional Programming:

FREE Music Production Workshops every Friday starting March 27th, 5:30pm-7:30pm. This is open to all high-school students with a valid school ID. We ask that you bring your own flash drive (to save your work) and headphones. *20 person max*

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.

We are for hire from September-April for any digital media projects ranging from video-production to graphic to web design. Contact us for more information about our paid projects.

Program website:

Contact information

Brandyn Johnson

YMCA Youth Institute Program Manager

(510) 486-8415

Download the Youth Institute Application