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About Us


Alternatives in Action is an Oakland non-profit that believes in the power and promise of young people in our community. In our schools and community programs, we see young people striving for more voice, more connection, more ownership, and more meaningful ways to make a difference – for their own future and our communities.

Because we believe in the power and promise of young people, we inspire them, support them, and create opportunities for young people to make a real difference.

Every day, we’re growing the leaders who will transform our schools, our neighborhoods, and our world. And you can too. Because if we want our young people to have more, all we have to do is help them get ready for it – they’ll do the rest.

In 2017, we celebrated our 20th Anniversary with former and current youth participants, staff, and community members. View our 20th Anniversary video for highlights from the last 20 years of our programs.

Our Mission

Alternatives in Action inspires Bay Area youth to realize their leadership potential and prepares them for college, career, and community life through dynamic educational, skill-building, and real world experiences. Our schools, programs, and partnerships provide innovative opportunities and support that help children and youth succeed and ultimately become contributing adults.

Our Vision

We envision generations of young adults inspired and prepared to take meaningful action that positively transforms their lives and their communities.

Our Principles


Meaningful Action: Work is meaningful action that creates a positive change in the world.

Real Relationships: Relationships at Alternatives in Action are built on a willingness to be known and know others, to care about each other while holding the highest expectation for what each of us is capable of. As a foundation for relationships, we believe that youth, children, and adults are inherently wise and resourceful.

Continual Learning: We are a learning organization and strive to create developmentally responsive learning environments for adolescents. We ground our learning within a performance-based culture using group development strategies. Our adults mirror active learning along with our youth. 

Co-Creation: Partnerships between youth and adults at Alternatives in Action happen through co-creating the organization and its activities. We value and promote youth voice and leadership throughout the organization.