Youth Interactive

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Youth Interactive Collaborative integrates entrepreneurship, art and mentorship to empower teens with the real-life skills needed to succeed in school and beyond.

We offer a new educational approach that meets the needs of students and the demands of life in a global economy. We create youth-led businesses and mentor students’ creativity to help ignite their imagination and provide them with opportunities to develop the life skills they need to succeed beyond school. Our goal is to bridge opportunity and social divisions by providing creative young adults from all walks of life with the keys to self-sufficiency.

Youth Interactive students work throughout each semester in five different groups which function as micro-businesses that they manage as a team. The creative groups are based on interests and skills and students collaborate to produce items and works of art. These works will be on display and for sale during this special one-day event.

Havok is a youth-led group expressing a new generation’s perspective on the world through apparel. They will be showcasing screen tee’s that are as unique as Santa Barbara.

Pier Pressure Design is a group of teens creating cool clothing & accessories out of recycled yacht sails and Patagonia fabrics.

Infinite Treasures is a teen-led business creating unique handmade jewelry in the spirit of fun and friendship.

Resurrected by Youth is teaching carpentry and business skills to incarcerated boys at The Los Prietos Boys Camp. These boys recycle wine barrels into dog beds and awesome gifts for the home.

Creative Studio focuses on fine art and individual expression. The students produce creative works while learning the business of self-promotion and running a gallery showcasing student work.

As part of the organizations commitment to support the community, Youth Interactive has a crafted a new arts program pairing student works with local, national and international artists. This new program integrates professional artists with student creatives to educate our young art entrepreneurs with new art techniques and business skills to become successful artists.

The new State Gallery will showcase professional artists working alongside student artists in various disciplines, creating a new venue in Santa Barbara exhibiting contemporary work from various mediums; works on paper, sculpture, assemblage, painting, photography and new media. State Gallery is building additional partnerships with other arts organizations like the Squire Foundation to bring their professional artist in residence program to a venue in downtown Santa Barbara.

Five years after its launch, Youth Interactive (YI) has emerged as one of the city’s most innovative and effective afterschool programs for low-income, under-resourced youth (ages 14-24) living in Santa Barbara County. We recently moved to a 13,000SF building located in Santa Barbara’s commercial and cultural center on State Street, where we are realizing our strategic plan to create a collaborative hub (YI Co-Lab) for multiple youth-based non-profits working together to enrich the lives of our community’s at-risk youth. Via private office sublets, open working “hub” memberships, and event space, the YI Co-Lab has the capacity to serve as many as 50 (if not more) youth-focused nonprofits.

Youth Interactive students come primarily from low-income and under-resourced families. Most of them struggle academically, have not responded well to traditional educational systems, and lack educational and occupational aspirations. Some are on probation or currently incarcerated at Los Prietos Boys Camp.
Youth Interactive bridges the opportunity divide and empowers this vulnerable population by teaching them to manage and staff their own arts-related businesses. YI provides a 2,000SF retail storefront with an additional 8000SF of maker and training spaces. The students keep 80% of their retail profits, with 10% supporting YI, and 10% going to another non-profit of their choice.

In addition to business training, YI students can also access free one-to-one academic tutoring, life skills support, job shadowing, cultural events, and other enriching experiences nearby and far away – all provided by over 50 YI volunteers.

Impact: YI serves over 150 students per year. Most of them participate multiple years and some graduates return to lead student teams.. The data to date is compelling:

• 100% earn scholarship stipends from their youth-led business profits;
•98% of participants with a criminal history have not re-offended;
• 95% have graduated from high school and gone on to college;
• 96% Attendance rate.

Even more compelling than the data are the personal stories of our students who credit YI with transforming their lives and illuminating their future. We invite you to come hear it from them.





1219 State St
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: (805) 617-6421

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Monday 10:00am - 6:00pm
Tuesday 10:00am - 6:00pm
Wednesday 10:00am - 6:00pm
Thursday 10:00am - 6:00pm
Friday 10:00am - 6:00pm
Saturday 10:00am - 6:00pm
Sunday 11:00am - 5:00pm


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