A Unique High School
Youth Chance High School
Youth Chance High School (YCHS) is a private alternative high school in San Francisco, California dedicated to serving at teens who are at risk of not receiving a high school diploma due to many factors which include incarceration, delinquency, pregnancy, and etc. These students range from age 15-17 in which 97% of them being students of color.
YCHS has been said to give students a place to create life long bonds not only with other students but also with staff. Students have highlighted since the first day of school everyone was nice and supportive creating a “home” environment outside of their own. The staff often feed off of the constant smiles and laughter of students to validate their positive impact and central purpose at the school.
Not only does Youth Chance High School enrich student’s social skills, but also it boosts student academically. The curriculum is based off of a college model but yet is very responsive to the wants and needs of each class of students. The learning environment at YCHS has transformed from computer based to lectures and group discussions that actively engages students and allows them to interact more often.
The teacher ratio of 1 to 5 really reflects Youth Chance High School’s motto to give students as much support as they need to be successful. Additionally, YCHS has inherited extra counselors who specialize in mental health and transitional aged youth to help better support students.
While in class, students learn a ton of skills that include time management, communication, and life skills along with other academic subjects that will all be extremely beneficial after graduation. Some of the students plan to further their educational career after graduating, enrolling in college classes in hopes of pursuing a plethora of fields. Other graduates are extremely satisfied with their high school diploma and plan to work to support themselves and the families.
Eyes on the Future
Youth Chance High School has a lot planned for the future! Eventually they’d like to get their own building that maintains their small scale culture. Currently, they’re located in the basement of the San Francisco's Embarcadero YMCA. Also, YCHS would like to expand its course catalog by adding a better-rounded physical education course, a sexual education course, a variety of art courses, and providing more access for individualized education programs.
In the end, after graduating for Youth Chance High School, students feel well-rounded, resilient, humble, and ready to take on the role of being active adult citizens in the world.