Councilmember Rex Richardson and Def Jam Recording Artist Vince Staples Partner to Bring Tech-based Summer Youth Institute to North Long Beach

YI_Press_Conference_1.jpgThis morning Councilmember Rex Richardson and Def Jam Recording Artist Vince Staples announced their support for and launch of the Youth Institute (YI) in North Long Beach, a program of the Greater Long Beach YMCA.  

Additionally, Councilmember Richardson announced new and expanded summer park programming at Houghton Park and Ramona Park, as well as a plan to double the amount of youth jobs through the summer Hire-a-Youth employment program to a total of 150 summer youth jobs in an effort to keep youth safe and active during this summer season.

“This is truly an all hands on deck effort to support our youth,” stated Councilmember Richardson.  “I’m honored to announce this partnership to utilize technology, innovation and workforce development as a means to provide more opportunities for our North Long Beach youth.  Special thanks to Vince Staples, Megan Kerr, the Greater Long Beach YMCA, the Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine, and Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network for joining me on this important initiative.”

The Youth Institute is a YMCA program that uses technology as an integral mechanism for promoting positive youth development and developing pathways to post-secondary education and career readiness of urban youth.  Starting June 20th, 20 youth will take part in learning high-end technology literacy skills such as filmmaking, graphic design, music production, 3D printing and product design.   This new YI Program will take place at Hamilton Middle School in North Long Beach to give youth more options to summer learning in their critical years of 8th and 9th grades. 

“My goal is to refocus energy in a positive light," stated Vince Staples at the press conference this morning.  "This is a good place to live and good place to be from, and I want to help bring more opportunities because I was given the opportunity...So that is where I would like to refocus my efforts."

The North Long Beach YI Program is the first expenditure of the North Long Beach Education Fund created by LBUSD Board Member Megan Kerr and I to leverage resources to support youth enrichment in North Long Beach.  The YI is also funded by a donation from Vince Staples, Levis, the New L Foundation and the LGA Foundation. 

“Through community partnerships with Vince Staples, Levis and our North Long Beach Education Fund, the Youth Institute will provide opportunities not only for STEM learning, but social and emotional learning for our students during the summer break,” said Board Member Kerr.  “It’s important that we work together to support and educate our young people on being good citizens as well as providing a safe space for them to thrive.”

To sign up, or for further information on the YMCA Youth Institute program, please contact Youth Institute Director Les G. Peters at (562) 230-4302 or  To sign up for the Hire-a-Youth program, visit

Check out pictures from this exciting day here!

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