May  2015                                                                                       e Newsletter   Issue No. 19


Summer is knocking at the door, and we're excited to see our first group of eager YES campers load the bus on June 22nd for a full week of outdoor discovery and fun at summer camp.  Help us ensure that campers like Louisa, and an additional 300 Richmond and West Contra Costa County youth, have the chance to make new memories this summer by taking part in our month-long Summer Campfire Campaign. Check out the details on our newly designed website and become the spark for a YES camper's adventure this summer!

Eric Aaholm, Executive Director

Summer Camp is almost here!

Results from 2014 Summer camp survey


"It was great! It was beyond my wildest dreams," stated 13-year-old Louisa, who went to camp for the first time last summer and is

highlighted in the above video. 


To hear the excitement in her voice is one of the reasons YES works year-round to fundraise so that 300 underrepresented youth from Richmond and West County have the opportunity to have a  life-changing experience each summer.


Year after year, we see youth like Louisa return from camp with increased self-confidence, social and leadership skills. Last year Louisa wanted to attend summer camp in hopes of meeting kids from different backgrounds and getting away from video games. When she heard that she would have the opportunity to ride a horse she was thrilled. 


This year, YES has a goal to enroll 300 kids again in the week-long sessions run by our six summer camp partners.  We will place 27 of our veteran youth, ages 14-17, in leadership positions at these camps. Upon return, they will continue their leadership development in our year-round C2C (Camp-to-Community) program.


As our camp season begins, please consider sponsoring a camper like Louisa, and make 

more dreams come true this summer.


For more information about YES's Summer Camp program enrollment, please contact Zaira Sierra, Camps Assistant at
Summer Campfire Campaign 


This year in an effort to maximize our limited resources and expand our Summer Camp impact we are taking a rest from our annual gala dinner, and supporting campers directly through our new Summer Campfire Campaign. This transition will allow 100% of donations to directly fund our crucial summer camperships and prepare for new events later this fall.


Last year our dinner raised $65,000 and funded half of our 300 summer campers. This year we need to raise $50,000 to fund those same camperships.  Can you help us make enriching out-of-school opportunities at camp available to our low-income youth in 2015? 


Your donation to our Summer Campfire Campaign will have a big impact thanks to $25,000 in leadership matching grants from the Chamberlin Family Foundation and the Shoresh Foundation. Every donation will be doubled thanks to their commitment to making sure YES youth attend camp.


YES will be sending out a physical invitation as well as eblasts throughout the month of June. On June 18th, a special video campfire will be featured on our new website and on social media.  


When you donate, you will be automatically entered into our raffle drawing which includes an exciting line up of fine wines, A's and Giants tickets, and travel experiences. To learn more about the raffle and the campaign, please visit our  Summer Campfire Campaign website event page .

     Extreme Makeover!

After months of hard work, we are pleased to reintroduce you to an old member of our YES family who has been updated with a brand new look:

Now mobile friendly, our remodeled site highlights YES's three leadership pathways for youth, adults and families, and community. Take a moment to get reacquainted and check back regularly for calendar updates, videos, blog postings, and new events.


Many thanks to Solve It Simply, Soroptimists of Richmond, and photographers Caroline Johnson, George Eade, Brandyn Johnson and Courteney Coolidge for their hard work and contributions to our website.



"The campfire was my favorite part of summer camp because I loved the s'more kits they made. The campfire was better than I ever imagined it would be."


Emily - YES first-time 2014 summer camper, age 8