Pacoima Beautiful is committed to developing leaders within the community. We do this through weekly meetings, on-campus school clubs and through our work with El Nido Family Source Center.
Students from surrounding middle schools and high schools are encouraged to attend Pacoima Beautiful’s youth group, Youth United Towards Environmental Protection (YUTEP). YUTEP is a group of students from 12 to 18 years of age that meet once a week at PB. These students take an active role in their community by learning about their environment and becoming empowered with knowledge not only on current issues the community is facing but how to bring about change in the community. YUTEP meets every Wednesday from 4:30pm to 6:30pm at Pacoima Beautiful.
Pacoima Beautiful believes in creating an environment that is conducive to healthy and active living by providing much needed open space and healthy food options. In the spring of 2013, the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust opened Fox and Laurel Community Park and Garden in collaboration with, Pacoima Beautiful, City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, San Fernando High School and community residents. Fox and Laurel Park is located on Fox St. and Laurel Canyon Blvd., across the street from San Fernando High School. The park is home to our first community garden with six plots and a compost bin. The park and garden are open every day from sunrise to sunset.
At the garden, youth have the opportunity to conduct hands on projects that teach them how to grow, maintain, and cultivate their own food all year long. In addition, students have the opportunity to develop curriculum based activities identified by the community’s wants and needs. All harvested food is collected and weighed. Most is donated to local food banks.
Pacoima Beautiful’s Youth Environmentalists (PBYES) Summer Institute is a leadership development program. Fifty high school students from the Northeast San Fernando Valley are brought together to learn about the environment, environmental justice issues and environmental stewardship. Through education and training on environmental issues, the planning process and public speaking, students are provided with the opportunity to learn how to make positive impacts in their community. The program takes place at our facility in Pacoima during a 4-week period from the hours of 9:00am-2:00pm. The goal of this program is to develop leaders in the Northeast San Fernando Valley that can play a role in creating a more equitable and sustainable community.
PBYES Summer Institutes have been provided by Pacoima Beautiful since 2002 as educational workshops for students from local high schools. To date, 16 Institutes have been held for more than 600 students. Every year we focus on two environment related platforms/topics and engage students in service learning activities related to their platform/topic. In addition, we visit one college campus, and take a field trip somewhere related to the platform/topic.
Pacoima Beautiful also co-founded and co-facilitates five Environmental Schools Clubs at San Fernando High School (Science Club), Arleta High School (Eco-League), Polytechnic High School (Environmental Club), Poly Freshman Center (Environmental Club), and Cesar Chavez Learning Academies (Imagine Green). These clubs meet once a week on campus, where students learn about environmental issues in their community and on campus, participate in civic engagement opportunities, plan Earth Day events on campus, learn from guest speakers, and are advocates for environmental and social justice on campus.
For 3 years Pacoima Beautiful has worked with El Nido Family Source Center to provide over 300 students from Kindergarten through 12th grade with tutoring and development of their study skills. Developing solid study skills is the foundation to achieving academic excellence. We value education as a tool in our mission to address environmental injustice.