Positively engaging our youthOur Plan Ahead Program supports the healthy development of approximately 75 Cambodian and Latino youths, ages 6-20, who participate year round in our after school and weekend activities. Our Youth Program promotes academic achievement, character development, and career exploration. About 50 parents who participate in parenting education, counseling, and referral services.
Our Youth Program has been highly successful. The high school graduation rate for Cambodian youths has increased from 50% in 1996 to 100% last year. Of those youths served in the past 10 years, over 100 have now graduated from high school and over 90 have gone on to attend college.
Other Programs and Activities:
- Life Skills
- Community Service
- Goal Setting: Academic, Health, Career, and Leadership
- College Campus Tours
- Recreation and Extracurricular: Arts and Crafts, Sports, Music, Martial Arts, Camping, Pic Nics
- Cambodian Dance Group
- Leadership Development and Training
- Dawn Toyoma and Chea Lim Scholarship
- 2009 – Phalen Lim, is the second Youth Program Director to receive the California Peace Prize from the California Wellness Foundation for her commitment and work for the community.
- 2004 – All nine participants who graduated in the spring wen to college in the fall.
- 2003 – The Cambodian Family Dance Group wins 3rd place in the Black History Parade Float Sweepstakes.
- 2003 – Youth Program Coordinator honored as Grand Marshall for the Black History Parade, Santa Ana.
- 2003 – Youth Program national recognized by the Federal Executive Office of Weed and Seed.
- 2001 – One of your youths became a member of the National Gun and Violence Prevention Board.
- 1999 – Staff presented best practices workshops at the National Refugee Conference on developing positive and effective youth programs, Washington, DC.
- 1999 – Our Youth Advisory Board played a major role in establishing the City of Santa Ana Youth Commission.
- 1998 – Staff presented best practices workshops at the California State Refugee Conference, San Diego.
- 1997 – Chea Lim, co-founder of the Youth Program was awarded a California Peach Prize by the California Wellness Foundation for outstanding contributions to preventing youth violence. Chea donated a significant portion of his prize to the Dawn Toyoma Scholarship Fund. The fund was renamed the Dawn Toyoma and Chea Lim Scholarship Fund later that year to honor both co-founders of the Youth Program
- 1996 – Youth Program was expanded to include high school students
- 1994 – Youth Program profiled as a best practice model in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee publication: “Catalogue of Hope: Crime Prevention Programs for At-Risk Children.”
- 1994 – The Dawn Toyoma Memorial Scholarship was established to encourage and facilitate the pursuit of higher education among our program participants.
- 1992 – Youth Program was awarded a 1992 Gould-Wysinger Award from the U.S. Department of Justice for outstanding work in preventing juvenile delinquency.
- 1990 – The Cambodian Family Youth Program was established to address the issue of increasing gang activity in the Minnie Street neighborhood of Santa Ana.