The South Sacramento Coalition for Future Leaders (SSCFL) strives to create a community where youth are valued and are given the opportunity to grow, be safe and realize their full potential. We envision a community where youth are able to not only create a positive vision for their future, but also to be actively engaged as leaders in their community.
To affect the lives of young people by creating a network of assets and resources, promote a positive image of youth, and garner community power to influence broad, sustainable youth development and substance abuse policies.
Who We Are
We are made up of youth, parents, educators, service providers, local government, businesses, faith-based organizations and community leaders. The coalition is overseen and organized by Mutual Housing California, which operates three affordable housing communities in South Sacramento. The area of South Sacramento served by our coalition is roughly bounded by Highway 50 to the north, 47th Avenue and Elder Creek Road to the south, Highway 99 to the west and Power Inn Road to the east.
What We Have Learned About South Sacramento Youth
In August 2006, coalition members began conducting a community assessment, with community meetings, surveys, data collection and a youth summit. After looking at all of the information collected, we identified these issues young people face, as well as what youth need to grow and thrive in South Sacramento:
- Youth and adults in the community report strong concerns about physical safety.
- Students express concerns about physical safety in their schools and neighborhoods.
- Youth recognize that their emotional needs may best be served through more extensive mental health resources.
- Youth find meaningful relationships with adults and peers outside the home in structured activities, especially as they grow older.
- Youth seek meaningful youth membership and leadership opportunities.
- Most youth list barriers hindering access to activities.
- Youth would like assistance in job seeking and work readiness programs.
- Few youth currently participate in arts, either at school or in the community.
Goals of the SSCFL
- To establish and strengthen collaboration among representatives of the community
- To reduce substance abuse among youth and over a period of time among adults, by addressing factors in the community that serve to increase the risk of substance abuse, and address protective factors.
The following are some key strategies to reach these goals:
- Increase Youth Safety. We will increase the physical and emotional safety of youth in South Sacramento by establishing, enhancing and expanding proven peer mediation programs in area schools. Students learn to problem solve, negotiate and mediate peer conflicts. Through peaceful conflict resolution, we expect to see a reduction in youth-related violence and an increased sense of safety for youth in the community.
- Support Youth Opportunities. We will increase the quantity, quality and access to art, job and mentoring opportunities for our youth, so they will be able to develop and showcase their skills and talents.
- Support Policy Change. We will build relationships with key community leaders, organizations and decision makers, resulting in positive changes to youth policy issues.
Our Coalition’s Structure
Together, adults and youth are engaged and participate in any of the following four work groups, including the youth council and parent council.
- Art & Fitness Committee
- Youth Jobs Committee
- Mentoring Committee
- Safety & Substance Abuse Committee
- Youth Leadership Council (YLC)
The SSCFL is made up of over 100 adult and youth members. However, we strive to continue building its capacity and achieve greater engagement with parents, youth, local businesses, media, prevention providers and law enforcement officers.
Ways the SSCFL Benefits the South Sacramento Community
The coalition engages youth and adults to work together in creating opportunities for youth to develop healthy habits, gain skills and knowledge and support positive, healthy life choices. Activities and projects are planned at the work group level with participation from youth and adults. Without the work of the South Sacramento Coalition for Future Leaders, there would be little collaboration among youth, service providers, prevention providers, parents, businesses and other community members. The coalition has improved the South Sacramento area by increasing safety, training dozens of youth with new job skills, implementing and celebrating mentorship, and creating avenues for public artistic expressions. These outcomes in combination bring a lasting impact to South Sacramento and its future leaders – our youth.