Youth Community Services (YCS), a Palo Alto non-profit agency that recruits young people for service and learning programs, began a $50,000 fund-raising drive Tuesday with a former client attesting to the difference YCS can make.
The client is Yiaway Yeh, newly elected to the Palo Alto City Council.
"The experience of community service and leadership helped me gain confidence in myself, offered a break from high-powered academics and exposed me to a life in public service," Yeh said.
After college, Yeh served two years in the Peace Corps, worked two years as an intern for San Mateo County Supervisor Rich Gordon and now works as an auditor for a company dealing with state and local governments.
The fund-raising effort will enable the agency to expand its programs, Executive Director Leif Erickson said.
YCS has supported crime-prevention efforts in East Palo Alto, including the Peace and Unity march and a Youth Summit earlier this year.
An organizer of the Peace and Unity march, Martina Latu, is one of the fund-raising campaign's co-chairs along with former Palo Alto PTA Council President Barbara Spreng and Bill Phillips of the Private Bank of the Peninsula.
YCS was founded in 1990 and has involved more than 16,000 young people in service with 40 organizations.
The agency's offices are in the Mitchell Park Community Center, 3800 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, and at 1798 Bay Road, East Palo Alto.