|P.O. Box 161566, Sacramento, CA 95816|
|(916) 446-1640 or 1-800-MY-CLYLP (1-800-692-5957)|
|Non-profit Tax ID|
The Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Project (CLYLP) is a statewide, community-based organization founded in 1982. It's mission is "to enhance and build the leadership of California's Chicano/Latino youth to build communities and create a stronger and more prosperous state and nation."
From CLYLP's website:
The Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Project, Inc. (CLYLP) was organized in 1982 with the primary purpose of preparing students to participate in California’s economic, social and political development. CLYLP is guided by the overall theme "California’s Future Leaders," and the leadership training emphasizes the importance of culture, community, college and careers. To date more than 3,400 students have participated in CLYLP programs.
Since its inception, the CLYLP has held a weeklong, intensive leadership training conference for high school sophomores and juniors from California. There are three main components of the conference: guest lectures about California’s public policy process, meeting with Latino legislators and role playing public policy development. The summer conference and all CLYLP programs seek to have alumni return to their communities with a stronger sense of identity and role in their communities.
The mission of the CLYLP is to enhance and further develop the leadership potential of California’s youth as they prepare to become the future leaders of our state and nation. The CLYLP seeks to fulfill its mission by accomplishing the following objectives: Strengthening students’ knowledge of state and local politics; Emphasizing the importance of cultural and family values; Inspiring students to realize their academic and professional potential through individual and group interaction with business, community and political leaders; and encouraging students to continue their education by attending college and providing them with the information they need to ensure success at the post secondary level.
Guiding principles and Values
CLYLP's guiding principles, from its 2009 - 2014 strategic plan, are as follows: Youth leadership as a social imperative and a sound investment:
- Young people are leaders for today and tomorrow.
- All young people deserve opportunities to reach their full potential as contributors to society.
- A small investment at a crucial development stage can make a huge difference in a young person’s life course.
- Engaged leaders and communities are essential for building a society that provides opportunities for everyone.
Our approach to youth leadership development:
- Educational attainment is an important pathway for career and leadership growth.
- Exposure to successful role models helps build self-confidence and motivation.
- Connection to culture, heritage and community build self-esteem and motivation.
- The development of young people and their families is interconnected, with each playing an essential role in the growth and transformation of the other.
Our model of community leadership and partnership:
- A community-led, volunteer-based model can have an ever-expanding impact through involvement of large numbers of people and organizations in diverse regions and sectors.
- A community of leaders can provide ongoing support and leadership development opportunities by creating and sustaining a culture of learning and growth.
- Giving back to communities provides opportunities for empowerment, growth and enrichment for those who give.
- Service to the community – The CLYLP demonstrates the value of “giving back” in curriculum content and the model that engages alumni, volunteers and partners in service to youth. Those who serve develop leadership qualities and skills that are carried forward in many areas of community service.
- Cultural identity and motivation – CLYLP enhances leadership potential, motivation and self-confidence by exposing young people to Chicano/Latino history, cultural values and role models.
- Self-realization and continuous learning – CLYLP changes futures for young people by exposing them to new possibilities. Participants nurture dreams and aspirations, pursue college and careers, create an awareness of the world around them, and build self-confidence to create positive social change.
- Equity – CLYLP opens doors to educational and career opportunities for young people with limited access to resources and develops leaders who participate in creating equitable policies and institutions in many arenas of our society.
- Collaboration – CLYLP partners with academic institutions, corporations, foundations, community leaders, and professionals to continuously
identify and work toward shared goals that advance youth and their development.
- Community-based leadership – CLYLP is a community-driven model founded by leaders in the Latino community. Alumni and volunteers lead many facets of the organization and continuously train the next generation of volunteers.
CLYLP is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Its board of directors oversees a number of committees (fundraising, program planning and evaluation, finance/budget/audit, etc.). The committees oversee various aspects of the CLYLP program, and manage their own volunteers.
CLYLP's strategic plan calls for paid staff to take on some of the shorter term aspects of CLYLP - running the regional institutes, for example - which would allow the directors to focus on fundraising, developing partnerships, and strategic planning.
More about CLYLP
Programs, internships and scholarships
CLYLP offers a number of programs, internships and scholarships. From the website:
CLYLP programs connect young people with community volunteers, policymakers and professionals to motivate leadership and civic engagement by strengthening cultural identity, self-confidence and community connections, and to open doors to academic achievement, career growth and leadership opportunities.
- Sacramento Leadership Conference: The flagship summer conference is a one-week, life-altering experience in which high school students develop their leadership skills, develop strategies to pursue higher education, improve their self-esteem and cultural awareness while meeting their legislators, networking with business leaders, and developing relationships with other peers. Unfortunately, CLYLP is unable to provide this experience to everyone that applies. Over 1,000 applications are submitted for 120 slots.
- Regional Leadership Institutes: The three-day regional institutes in Los Angeles and in San Joaquin Valley contain similar curriculum models as the summer conference and encourage 40-50 students from the region to actively engage in their nearby community. Leadership Institutes are designed to build grassroots youth leadership and civic engagement at a regional level through partnerships with local government, regional colleges and universities and community based organizations.
- CLYLP Comcast Fellowship Program: The Fellowship Program provides college-level alumni of CLYLP, a 4-week paid internship in a state legislative office combined with an intensive training and leadership program developed in partnership with the CSU, Sacramento Center for California Studies, the University of California-Sacramento Center, the University of Southern California, and the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities.
- Roberto Garcia Memorial Scholarship Program: Named after one of the CLYLP’s most dedicated volunteers, scholarships are annually awarded to incoming freshman, transfer students and graduate students based on what they have done since attending the summer program in Sacramento to uplift their communities and what students plan to do with their post-secondary education.
- Volunteer with CLYLP
- Other internship opportunities
Plans for growth
CLYLP hired a consultant to prepare a Strategic Plan for 2009 - 2014. CLYLP has existed as a completely volunteer-run and -operated organization since its founding in 1982. Its directors have recognized that it will best be able to achieve its growth plans by hiring at least one full-time staff member, which will free the board of directors to focus on fundraising and strategic decision making.
To hire staff, CLYLP will need to increase its fundraising efforts. Though it has been fundraising more effectively and bringing in more funds over the past several years - its revenues in 2007, 2008 and 2009 were $161,073, $220.464, and $250,071, respectively - most of these funds go toward its programs. The directors will reach out to corporate, community and educational supporters to raise more funds, and use these funds to hire staff. Staff can take on day-to-day operations of CLYLP, and directors who must currently split their attention between raising funds and logistical concerns will be able to focus exclusively on fundraising and strategic planning, which will enable them to maintain their higher level revenue.
Broadly, CLYLP "envisions a future in which California and all of its communities prosper as the result of a new generation of leadership." Their official vision is rather broad, but their strategic plan identifies more specific goals.
Its directors envision CLYLP as an organization that reaches many more youth by increasing its number of programs, and including more participants in each program. It also seeks to deepen its relationship with each program participant, both during and after the program. For example, CLYLP emphasizes the importance of attending college, and would like to provide more assistance in applying for, paying for and succeeding in college. CLYLP would like to provide job resources for alumni, and help strengthen the CLYLP identity among its alumni.
CLYLP currently does not measure its success very quantitatively. As of 2011, the main measure of success is alumni rate of college attendance, although CLYLP does not measure this very thoroughly because its all-volunteer nature has not allowed it to spend time following up with alumni. (Better alumni follow-up is an important part of CLYLP's strategic plan for growth.) It also regards (though does not measure) alumni community involvement and leadership as an important metric of success. CLYLP does administer pre- and post-program surveys to its program participants; it would like to follow up with surveys longer after the program is over, as well, to better track the programs' effects on participants' lives.
CLYLP plans to "strengthen its relationships with existing partners and expand partnership within the youth leadership development arena, government and philanthropy". These plans are not expanded upon much within the strategic plan.
CLYLP also plans to document its organizational model and make it publicly available for other organizations interested in replicating CLYLP's success.
The strategic plan identifies several trends in California, the following of which bode well for CLYLP's growth:
- Continued growth of the Latino community
- Increased Diversity and Multiculturalism, which will probably strengthen interest in a program like CLYLP that teaches youth of the importance of community and culture
- Persistent Gaps in Academic Achievement - an unfortunate trend that increases the attractiveness of programs like CLYLP that seek to help close this gap
- Renewed Commitment to Volunteerism and Civic Engagement
CLYLP's strategic plan recognizes three large challenges: (1) Lack of staffing to professionalize the organization; (2) lack of sustainable systems and structures; and (3) lack of a stable, sustainable base of funding.
Professionalizing will allow CLYLP to raise funds to expand, but professionalizing also requires raising more funds, making this somewhat of a chicken-and-egg problem. Without a professional staff to allow the directors to focus on fundraising, how can CLYLP raise the funds needed to hire professional staff?
Fortunately, CLYLP's board has a wide range of expertise and experience, and directors feel confident they have the capability to raise funds necessary to hire staff and begin CLYLP on the path toward greater impact. There are a number of "low-hanging fruit" - funds that CLYLP has not yet tapped effectively, such as the alumni network, which CLYLP has only occasionally used to raise funds.
CLYLP has also recently begun to empower its volunteers to take on even more responsibilities than in the past, freeing the board to do more fundraising even before professional staff are hired.
The current recession has hampered many non-profits' efforts to expand (or even maintain) their level of service. CLYLP, however, has been able to successfully increase its revenues significantly from 2007 through 2010, its best financial year to date.
Related to CLYLP's funding issues is its lack of a consistent stream of funds. Its funding has consistently increased in recent years, but some of its streams have been somewhat sporadic. To expand its scope effectively, CLYLP will need to stabilize its funds somewhat to ensure it will be able to pay for its greater scope.
As CLYLP seeks to expand its programs to reach more youth, it may be challenging to also deepen its relationship with those youth. As Peter Drucker said, "What gets measured gets managed." Since it is much easier to measure the number of youth served than the depth of that relationship, it may be easy to focus more on reaching a large number of youth than on providing as high-quality an experience as possible. This, of course, is a challenge faced by any growing organization, and not just by CLYLP. This is a challenge that is recognized by CLYLP in its strategic plan. Unfortunately, the strategic plan itself is mostly lacking in specific goals and measurements, making it difficult to determine if CLYLP is on track to reach its larger goals within the desired time frame. Additionally, fundraising further may be difficult without concrete evidence for the impact of CLYLP's programs.
Because of CLYLP's very broad vision, and the broadness of some of the challenges presented (poverty, academic achievement gap, etc.) in the strategic plan, may lead to mission creep. Taking on issues that are beyond CLYLP's capabilities may dilute its impact.