This resource directory is focused on resources that support children in grades pre-K through college. For other resources, please call 211 or use the community information database at the Santa Cruz Public Libraries.
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Student Employment and Career Development
211 in Santa Cruz County can help you find food, housing, health care, senior services, child care, legal aid and much more. Call today. Free. Confidential. Multilingual. Available 24/7.
Phone Only [ A, CO, FN, FY, HW, H, LS, M, PS, Q, SS, SPED, SE ]
SPECTRA Matching Grants provide schools from throughout the County with up to $2,000 to support offering curriculum-based learning opportunities to students through arts workshops, residencies, and performances taught by SPECTRA artists. The SPECTRA Artist Teacher Partnership (ATP) is a program that unites elementary classroom teachers with mentor artists. Each pair concentrates on one of the major arts disciplines: Dance, Music, Theatre, or Visual Arts, and work over a 16-week period to design and deliver arts instruction to students in the generalist's classroom. SPECTRA Special Initiatives: The Arts Council applies for government and foundation grants for special educational projects and acts as a conduit between donors and private foundations to re-grant or implement arts education programming in schools. Through Family Arts Nights, parents, grandparents, and children spend an evening with SPECTRA Teaching Artists who are brought into a school to teach families in a variety of arts disciplines. Teaching Artist Directory: A roster of highly qualified professional teaching artists in the Visual, Performing and Literary Arts is maintained and updated annually.
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Big Brothers Big Sisters is a youth mentoring program that provides children and youth facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. In addition to its one-to-one mentoring program, Big Brothers Big Sisters also offers an after school enrichment and mentoring program at two low income housing complexes in south Santa Cruz County (Pajaro Valley Unified School District). There is no fee for service. Bilingual services are available. Phone: 464-8691
1500 41st Ave, Suite 250 Capitola, CA 95010 [ A, G, HW, M, PS, REC, SE ]
A youth guidance organization dedicated to promoting the educational, vocational, social, and character development of girls and boys ages 6-18. Director: Tom O'Rourke 831-423-3138 ext. 21
543 Center Street Santa Cruz, CA 95060 [ A, CO, M, REC, SE ]
We are a State agency that provides services to assist individuals with disabilities to become employed. We provide a wide range of services which are based on the individual's needs, interests, aptitudes and previous work experience. Services include but are not limited to: assistance with job search, bus passes, assistive technology, training, clothing and tools required for work.
1350 41st Avenue, Suite 101, Capitola, CA 95010 [ CO, SE ]
Provides assistance to low income families with children (can include unborn children), including cash aid; employment and training services; and supportive services such as child care, transportation, work expenses and counseling. Bilingual services. 1-888-421-8080
1020 Emeline Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95060; 18 West Beach Street, Watsonville, CA 95076 [ CO, DC, FN, FY, HW, H, SE ]
Transition Age Youth Programs serve current and former foster and probation placement youth ages 15-24. We provide an array of programs and services including counseling, skills building, a resource center, and subsidized supportive housing. Our mission is to support and empower youth in making a healthy transition into successful adulthood.
380 Encinal St #200, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 [ A, CO, FN, FY, HW, H, M, REC, SS, SE ]
To get a Pell grant, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. The amount depends on your financial need, costs to attend school, status as a full-time or part-time student, and plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.
See Website [ A, SE ]
FIT works closely with families with children throughout Santa Cruz County who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Options include: One time rental assistance payments to prevent eviction or obtain housing Time limited phased rental assistance. Housing scholarships while a parent is completing a job training program. Transitional housing for up to 18 months. Shared supportive housing for parents in recovery. (831) 458-7124
210 High St Santa Cruz, CA 95060 [ H, PS, SE ]
FOOD, WHAT?! is a youth empowerment and food justice program using food, through sustainable agriculture and health, as the vehicle for growing strong, healthy, and inspired teens. We partner with low-income and at-risk youth to grow, cook, eat, and distribute healthy, sustainably raised food and address food justice issues in our community.
See Website [ A, FN, HW, M, SE ]
The Independent Living Program (ILP) assists current and former foster and probation placement youth aged 15-21 to develop independent living skills and achieve educational/vocational goals to successfully transition to self-sufficiency. ILP services include one-on-one counseling, assistance with obtaining ID Cards, Driving Permits, and Licenses, and weekly workshops at Cabrillo College on topics such as money management, personal health, finding independent housing, and obtaining financial aid for college. ILP also has a Rewards program that offers youth incentives for pursuing their education and participating in extra-curricular activities. NOTE: There is a specific protocol for working with ILP students. Check in with supervisors prior to contacting ILP.
542 Ocean Street Santa Cruz, CA 95060 [ A, CO, FY, SE ]
After-School nonprofit Program providing STEM-based classes to youth ages 4 and up in multiple sites in Santa Cruz County. Offering classes in robotics, video game design, engineering, electronics, LEGO building, design, animation, marine biology, forensics, CAD, computer literacy, making, and much more.
1855 41st Avenue, Capitola, CA 95010 [ A, M, REC, SE ]
Mariposa’s Art provides after-school arts programs and community workshops for youth that focus on building leadership and social skills and promoting academic success and career development through the arts. The Mariposa's Art TEACH model delivers year-long teacher training coupled with lessons in the arts to high school students. Together with professional Mariposa's Art facilitators, high school teachers travel to local elementary schools twice weekly to teach. High school students also learn about classroom management, lesson planning, and public speaking; all skills that help them to develop as leaders and to be prepared for the workforce. Mariposa’s Art provides high school youth not only the pride and excitement of a paid job, but also a window into the experience of teaching. Elementary school students have high school role models and are able to create art together and learn about themselves. High school students receive stipends for their internship, earn elective credits, and provide service to elementary school sites that are lacking in art and enrichment programs. The internship aspect of the program also provides high school students with the important role of helping to educate, engage, and inspire a younger generation, while simultaneously gaining important work experience. Mariposa’s Art has numerous programs including Art TEACH, Mural TEACH, Drama TEACH, Guitar TEACH, African Drum TEACH, and Hip Hop Poetry.
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An intensive, independent project that engages students' interests, betters the world in some way, and helps them stand out to top universities. Students can either choose to utilize the director's help with every aspect of planning, or learn to do it themselves. Students can also take fully WASC and UC A-G accredited one-on-one classes, each of them taught by dedicated teachers who are experts in their fields, passionate about their work, and focused on engaging children with a high degree of interactivity.
2392 North Rodeo Gulch Road, Soquel CA 95073 [ A, CO, M, PS, SE ]
The Diversity Center
The Smith Renaissance Society, a program with many years of success, offers academic and financial support services for independent UC Santa Cruz students. It also provides a strong social network of mentors and peers to help students reach their academic goals. The Smith Renaissance Society reaches out to independent high school and community college students.
1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 [ A, CO, FY, HW, H, M, REC, SE ]
The Police Activities League is a youth crime prevention program that relies on educational, athletic, and other recreational activities to cement a bond among police officers, recreation leaders, youth and their parents.
130 Rodriguez Street, Watsonville, CA 95076 [ CO, FY, G, HW, M, PS, REC, SS, SE ]
Workforce Santa Cruz County (WFSCC) is a partnership of local organizations that serve job seekers and businesses in the community and offers four (4) conveniently located Career Centers plus the online Virtual Career Center.
Watsonville Career Center at 18 West Beach Street, Watsonville; Capitola Career Center at 2045 40th Avenue, Suite B, Capitola; Goodwill Central Coast Santa Cruz Career Center at 350 Encinal Street, Santa Cruz; Watsonville Youth Center at 17 Aspen Way, Watsonville. [ SE ]