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Youth Work Groups

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What is the Youth Work Group?

The Youth Work Group (YWG) offers high schoolers an opportunity to develop and discover themselves within the context of their roles as students. While fostering self-responsibility and an appreciation for civic duty, YWG mentees are challenged to seek opportunities outside of academia to develop important core life values, such as grit, resilience, and perseverance, through the platform of philanthropy. The best part of participating in a YWG is that the intensity of the groups are always balanced with opportunities for fun.

To learn more about how these Youth Work Groups got started, check out the blog post on Life Coaching for High Schoolers.

How is this accomplished?

Year 1 (Entering 9th/10th)

  • Develop and cultivate a relationship with each mentee through the YWG focused on academic enrichment 


Year 2 (Entering 10th/11th)

  • Continued emphasis on academics and values towards excellence

  • Group initiated, student-led Community Service Project, which includes research, planning, and execution

  • Develop relationship and soft skills focused on networking

  • Introduce to Partner Mentors for brief mentoring experiences

  • Develop a Curriculum Vitae (CV)


Year 3 (10th/11th/12th)

  • Monitor school grades and CV

  • Mentor new cohort

  • Receive on-going mentoring and coaching


How do I get involved?

If you are interested in forming a Youth Work Group, contact Fonda Tokushige directly at

Summary of Accomplishments

YWG-Class of 2023: Shea CorkeryLucas Lines and Quinn Ranjo were compelled to think of others in the midst of uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing the significant needs of their peers from under-resourced and neighboring communities in the South Bay, these three formed Team Triple E, which stands for their 3 pillars: Empowerment, Equity and Education. Team Triple E partnered with Sharefest, Inc, a local non-proft serving at-risk youth through continuing education programming at the middle and high school levels. Shea, Lucas and Quinn disovered the incredible power of their social networks during incredibly difficult times for so many. Between making phone calls, texting, knocking door-to-door while physically distancing, sending emails, planning and executing COVID-safe fundraising campaigns and reaching out to local community members, these three not-so-ordinary high school students exceeded their original fundraising goal of $4,500. Team Triple E delivered a check to Sharefest, Inc, for $7,030 on June 16, 2021. 

YWG-Class of 2021: Emma Kawashiri, Jillian Yamada and Joel Yamada were compelled to support and ensure inclusive spaces for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities because we all need a place to belong. Emma, Jillian and Joel formed Team Advocating for Empowerment and Inclusion in Communities (AEIC) for a 2-year term to learn more about the challenges this community and their families face and developed a partnership with Ability First LA in Long Beach. This journey led them to make a commitment to raise $1,500 each, which is the amount needed to fund one program participant for a full year. This group had so much heart and passion that they exceeded their fundraising goal, raising a total of $5,069.80. Click HERE to read more about Team AEIC. 

YWG-Class of 2019/2020Anna Corkery (Class of 2020), Brooke Tokushige (Class of 2020), Christopher Strouse (Class of 2019), and Jordan Keith (Class of 2020) identified the growing problem of homelessness in their hometown. They came together to form Team Homeless Outreach for Purpose and Empowerment (HOPE) for a one-year term. Team HOPE partnered with the Redondo Beach Police Department and People Assisting The Homeless to support their joint efforts to end homelessness. Team HOPE raised $5,341.04, donating outreach kits and food cards and starting a discretionary fund to meet any funding gaps when helping someone make the transition to home. Click HERE and HERE to read more about Team HOPE.

YWG-Class of 2017/2018: Caleigh Ranjo (Class of 2017), Jenna Yamada (Class of 2018), Kailah Tokushige (Class of 2018), Noah Kawashiri (Class of 2018) and Sarah Melendez (Class of 2018) came together for a 7-month period to form Team Meaning | Intention | Purpose (MIP). Team MIP partnered with the Starlight Children’s Foundation to donate a specialized mobile entertainment unit to the pediatric unit at the Providence Little Company of Mary in Torrance, CA. In total, Team MIP raised $5,727 by rallying local business owners, family members, and friends.

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