BRENDA PAYTON JONES
Award-winning Oakland-based journalist
“One of the most impressive characteristics of the Youth Ventures Joint Powers Authority is its dedication to collaboration and the coordination of services for young people and their families.”
WHAT WE DO
The Youth Ventures Joint Powers Authority (JPA) is a collaboration of the County of Alameda, Oakland Unified School District and the City of Oakland. Its public sector leaders share responsibility for directing resources that impact the well-being of over 170,000 families. The JPA works to eliminate health, income and education disparities in Oakland and other high needs communities in our county so our children can thrive.
The Youth Ventures Joint Powers Authority (JPA) advocates for children, youth and families in the City of Oakland with a special emphasis on vulnerable populations.
WHY WE EXIST
The needs of disadvantaged children and youth living in urban areas throughout California are urgent and complex. These children, youth and their families do not fall within any one jurisdiction and no one jurisdiction can meet all of their needs. Too often public funding is not strategically leveraged to maximize life outcomes. This is especially relevant in areas like Oakland where a variety of local governmental institutions, cities, school districts and courts are responsible for a wide range of programming and support services for families.
WHERE WE WORK
We work with the most disadvantaged communities in Alameda County. The communities are home to families where 64% of children live in poverty and live with burdens they are not meant to bear. In Oakland, the unemployment rate is 5.5 percent and the high school graduation rate is 66 percent, compared to 80 percent statewide. In these communities are found the highest levels of health disparities, including the highest rates of hospitalization for asthma, teen births, and hospitalization for assault among youth. Students in these communities rank among the lowest on academic tests and have high rates of school suspension, drop-outs and truancy. It is these children and youth whom we serve.
To support its mission, the JPA follows core principles that include:
- Creation and institutionalization of inter-agency and intra-agency support systems and strategies
- Data-driven, collaborative decision-making
- Protection of individual privacy and confidentiality
- Resource development, expansion, leveraging and pooling
- Mutual responsibility for meaningful outcomes
- Joint credit for success
- Promotion of best practices