About Stories From Salinas The Packard Foundation’s Salinas Youth Initiative, part of the Local Grantmaking Program, is a focused, place-based approach providing East Salinas youth with safe, academic and athletic enrichment opportunities.

The Packard Foundation’s Salinas Youth Initiative invests in the homegrown, passionate Salinas leaders and organizations who are engaging and inspiring youth during and after school.


Effective programs that empower and inspire youth require strong, sustainable organizations and strong, supported leaders. The Salinas Youth Initiative aims to support an ecosystem of organizations in Salinas focused on providing safe, positive and impactful programs — ranging from tutoring, conflict resolution, sports and arts — for neighborhood youth. This focused, place-based strategy allows the Local Grantmaking Program’s Community Initiatives funding to support projects that address timely needs of grantees and communities.

The Initiative funds people, programs and places, such as grants for capital projects like rebuilding Cesar Chavez Library or renovating Cesar Chavez Park; support to programs serving youth; coaching, peer learning and other support to fortify youth serving leaders and organizations to sustain them for the long run.

Why the Salinas Youth Initiative?

In 2012, the Packard Foundation commissioned a study to learn about the landscape of youth programs and services to inform potential investments. Community feedback pointed to positive opportunities for youth as critical alternatives to negative influences. The resulting Salinas Youth Initiative (SYI) complements the Packard Foundation’s existing support for youth-serving organizations working in Salinas but offers a more focused and comprehensive funding approach. SYI is an intended three-year effort that takes a targeted place-based approach to improve and increase the availability of positive opportunities for children of low-income families in East Salinas.

Initiative partners include:

  • CHISPA
  • El Camino Real Futbol League
  • Cesar Chavez Library
  • Gil Basketball Academy
  • Restorative Justice Partners
  • Life Is For Everyone (LIFE)
  • Partners for Peace

These are the stories of the spirited youth and passionate community leaders of the Salinas Youth Initiative. Back to stories.

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