Office of Youth Development
Statement of Possibility
Youth are valued and empowered as decision makers in the City of Long Beach to lead long-term change and solutions for the betterment of youth now and future generations.
Youth Advisory Council
The Office of Youth Development is responsible for the implementation of the Long Beach Youth and Emerging Adults Strategic Plan (YSP), a five-year plan adopted by the Long Beach City Council on February 9, 2021, as a blueprint for the development of youth people ages 8 to 24.
Through public and private partnerships, our team of staff members and peer navigators are devoted to making youth thrive through data-driven, measurable, purposeful and intentional actions focused on building and nurturing young people’s beliefs, behaviors, knowledge, attributes and skills.
Our work is centered around three main pillars:
Centering Youth Voices
We want tomorrow’s leaders to have a say today! We provide opportunities and outlets for young people to gather and speak amongst themselves and with community leaders through a Youth Advisory Council and various community events, including our Annual Youth Festival.
Through Measure U.S. funding and Long Beach Recovery Act Funding, as well as special gifts from strategic partners, such as the Hilton Foundation, we can offer grants to directly invest in community organizations that serve youth in Long Beach, prioritizing those working with young people most impacted by crime and poverty.
We encourage young adults and connect them with the resources they need to get involved as volunteers in community organizations and as paid interns at local businesses, helping them through our various partnerships to provide additional professional development and workforce training that will set them up for successful careers. We could not do this without our local nonprofit partners!
What We Do
The Long Beach Youth and Emerging Adults Strategic Plan (YSP) is a five-year plan adopted by the Long Beach City Council on February 9, 2021, as a blueprint for the development of youth people ages 8 to 24. Its implementation is overseen by the Office of Youth Development.
The Office of Youth Development is implementing the plan through public and private partnerships. Our staff members and peer navigators are devoted to making youth thrive through data-driven, purposeful and intentional actions focused on building and nurturing young people’s beliefs, behaviors, knowledge, attributes and skills.
- Strategies outlined in the plan are designed to ensure youth and emerging adults are healthy, productive and engaged leaders with the necessary resources to develop their talents, skills and competencies to excel and contribute to their communities.
- Development of the plan was sent into motion in 2019, when the City of Long Beach authorized a $200,000 expenditure to develop a plan that would “... serve as the guiding vision and a framework for responding to the needs of the City’s youth and their families.”
- Community engagement efforts by the Invest in Youth Coalition, which gathered input from 750 area residents and youth engagement efforts, was used as a framework for developing the strategic plan.
- A core team of City of Long Beach leaders and expert consultants recognized the importance of maintaining the voices and leadership of youth at the forefront of this work.
- YSP Youth Ambassador roles were created with 16 young adult representatives of diverse backgrounds between the ages of 16 and 24 from throughout the city being actively engaged in the development of the plan.
- During the data collection period of January 26, 2020, to April 24, 2020, the country experienced an unprecedented pandemic, COVID-19, and a cultural reckoning on racial injustice. The pandemic did limit face-to-face data collection engagement. All key informant interviews and survey collection efforts were conducted either via teleconferencing or online platforms.
- Nevertheless, 757 online surveys were collected, more than 30-key informant interviews were conducted and all city council members were interviewed as part of the data collection efforts.
- Prior to the Health Orders, the Youth Ambassadors were able to complete five community forums, engaging nearly 300 local area residents in the development of the plan.
To measure the effectiveness of the strategies outlined in the Long Beach Youth and Emerging Adults Strategic Plan (YSP). On March 14, 2023, the Office of Youth Development presented a 2-year update on the YSP at the weekly City Council meeting. A recording of the meeting can be found on the City of Long Beach’s YouTube page.
Department of Health & Human Services
Office of Youth Development
Ronald R. Arias Health Equity Center
6335 Myrtle Ave Long Beach, CA 90805
David McGill Soriano
Interim Youth Development Manager
Opportunity Youth Coordinator