Alternatives in Action (AIA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping youth in the Bay Area realize their leadership potential. Founded in 1994 with the vision of bettering the quality of life for children and teens in the greater Bay Area, AIA has spent the last two decades empowering young people through educational and community-based programs.
“We envision generations of young adults inspired and prepared to take meaningful action that positively transforms their lives and their communities,” explains AIA in regards to the original vision of the organization’s founders. AIA’s mission is to inspire Bay Area youth to realize their leadership potential, while simultaneously preparing them for college, future careers, and continual community involvement. AIA provides skill-building and other educational programs designed around real-world scenarios. Essentially, the organization aims to foster empowered young adults and provide them with the tools to improve their own communities.
AIA provides educational programs for high school students at the Alternatives in Action High School, the first youth-initiated charter high school in the country, at its Home Sweet Home Preschool, as well as in other community programs that partner with school staff, youth, and parents to create even more learning opportunities. AIA’s high school offers small class sizes, college and career counseling, and many leadership opportunities for teens. Its preschool, Home Sweet Home, supports working families of all kinds, offering enriching educational programs for young children, as well as affordable day care.
AIA has found immense success by fostering leadership in youth from a very early age, and by including families and educators in the process. The organization’s community programs, in accordance with its academic efforts, are what make it such a wide-reaching and empowering program. One of AIA’s youth members, Amanda, explains, “my peers and I were able to accomplish things I never imagined could be possible,” of the way she was empowered by AIA. Hers and other stories are compelling examples of the effectiveness of community-based programs, hands-on education, and the dedication of mentors and families.
Read other stories and learn more about Alternatives in Action by visiting the organization’s website.