Youth Chance High School

Youth Chance offers a healthy and supportive learning environment where students that have not succeeded in traditional schools, can reach their full potential.

Each year, principals, parole officers, counselors, teachers, parents and program alumni refer students who need a fresh start to the safe, supportive environment at Youth Chance High School. The students come from very low-income families and more than half have been in the juvenile justice system and/or foster care system. At Youth Chance, these high-risk inner-city youth earn a diploma while gaining academic, vocational and life skills necessary to become self-sufficient, socially responsible young adults. Given the multiple challenges these students face, earning a high school diploma is a monumental achievement. Nelly Crisostomo, Youth Chance High School Class of 2011, enrolled in September 2009. Despite caring for a grandmother who has had three strokes while she attended Youth Chance, Nelly graduated and now attends City College.

"It feels great. I feel it took a long time for me to do it, but it finally happened all this hard work… hard work pays off," said Jonathan Ramirez when he graduated from Youth Chance High School. Ramirez plans to become a barber. – Nelly Crisostomo


Valedictorian, Class of 2015


Did you know that for the last five years 94% of youth victims of homicide have been high school dropouts?

More than a third of all California teens drop out of high school.

Vital Stats

Contact: (415) 957-9622

Address: 169 Steuart Street

Serves: San Francisco teens, ages 25-40 students

Hours: Mon–Fri, 9am–1pm

Demographics: 35% Hispanic, 30% African American, 20% Asian & Pacific Islander, 7% Caucasian, 5% Native American, 3% other. 95% are very low income, 50% of the female students have been or are pregnant.

Founded: 1978

Program Funders:

Anonymous Foundation

Bank of America


Estelle and Ralph Bardoff Memorial Fund


Pacific Gas & Electric

Stanley S. Langendorf Foundation

Warriors Community Foundation

Youth Chance High School was established at the Embarcadero YMCA in 1978, funded in part by the Mayor’s Office, to help youth “get off the streets” and enter the job market.

In 1979, Youth Chance was granted private school status by the California Department of Education. For more than 30 years, this school has combined academic enrichment and vocational training with YMCA character values and youth development practices to help students with the greatest need find a path to move on to their adult lives with dignity, mentors, job skills and high school diplomas.

Presenting the Youth Chance High School Class of 2015!

Dominick Foster • Julieth Gamboa • Annaliza Gomez • Alofa Pese

Francisco Platero • Vincent Tsui • Taihemiah Vinson • Maher Yakub




At the Y, we believe all children deserve the chance to reach their fullest potential. That’s why all students in our after-school programs and Youth Chance High School are supported by quality role models and teachers. They are cared for, fed healthy meals/snacks, and given countless enrichment opportunities. The Embarcadero YMCA cares for more than 500 underprivileged students each year, providing a safe place where children are able to learn, grow, and thrive. 

This program of the Embarcadero YMCA is a free private high school that helps teens who have failed to succeed in the public high school system. For 34 years, Youth Chance has helped teens in trouble learn critical personal skills for a successful, contributing adult lives.

  Briaunna Hunter, Class of 2013

Once lost, Briaunna Hunter found her way while attending Youth Chance High School. Here she was able to earn her high school diploma, become a role model, and find her voice for public speaking through the Youth & Government program. The Y supports Briaunna, and many students like her, in all that they hope to accomplish.  The Embarcadero Y is more than just a gym, we are a cause driven organization creating a brighter future. You can make a difference in your community by donating to the YMCA Annual Campaign.