Listening Makes the Difference

Fresh Lifelines for Youth

2017-2018 Annual Report

Listening Makes the Difference

FLY youth want you to know how your support last year impacted them and benefitted our community:

“FLY is like our family. They’re here for us in the hard times, like when we’re getting pressure from gangs or dealing with problems at home. And they’re here for us in the good times, too, like when we complete probation and graduate from high school.”

“FLY never lets us down and we don’t like to let FLY down, either. We want to make them proud. I think that’s why more of us complete probation and don’t get into trouble again.”

“The opportunities I’ve had because of FLY are too many to count. They’ve helped me with my education and professional skills, plus my new network of contacts puts me a step ahead of my peers.”

“FLY helped me change my life and now I come back to volunteer with FLY and mentor other young men. I feel like the community and our youth are safer because of FLY.”

Thank you for listening to our youth and giving us the chance to support them through their amazing transformations.

Responding to Needs in Alameda County

FLY’s Court Appointed Friend and Advocate Mentor Program expands.

Three years ago, the juvenile court in Santa Clara County found that African American kids in one of their court programs were failed 77% of the time while other kids had high success rates. Because of our long-standing commitment to collaborating with system partners, the court turned to FLY and together we designed the Court Appointed Friend and Advocate (CAFA) Mentor Program.

In this program, highly trained volunteer adult mentors support youth inside and outside the courtroom. Both the mentor and mentee receive consistent support from FLY staff. When our initial pilot was complete, it had helped turned the disproportionate failure rate completely around.

When the presiding juvenile court judge in Oakland heard about CAFA, he asked FLY to bring the program to Alameda County. We won a competitive grant from California’s Board of State and Community Corrections to do that and will be building out the program in FY18-19.

Learn More: Read inspirational FLY mentoring stories at and

“FLY makes you feel important. They really care about you and want you to do something good.” (A FLY youth) 

Supporting Youth as They Reenter the Community

FLY’s Reentry Program launched in San Mateo County.

Two FLY Reentry Program youth had birthdays on the same day, and their case managers surprised them with their own extra-large pizzas.

In FY 17-18, FLY launched the Reentry Program in San Mateo County to ease the transition of youth back into the community after incarceration. A version of this program, formerly known as Aftercare, was provided in Santa Clara County from 2008 to 2017.

FLY piloted a new model for San Mateo County in which a FLY Reentry Case Manager provided intensive coaching and support for youth over a longer period of time than in Aftercare. Youth also attended positive social events to become better connected to their communities and peers.

The successful test of this model enabled FLY to apply for funding to replicate the program in Santa Clara County on a larger scale. 

Learn More:

School Receives State Education Award Because of FLY Law Program

Hayward Community School received a state-wide Civic Learning Award of Merit.

Hayward Community School, run by the Alameda County Office of Education, received the 2018 Civic Learning Award of Merit from the California Department of Education. The award was based on the work of FLY’s Law Program at the school.

"FLY is a very powerful and valuable program, providing students who have experience with the juvenile justice system the opportunity to learn to advocate for themselves and others,” said ACOE Superintendent of Schools L. Karen Monroe.

ACOE officials described how the FLY Law Program allows students to discuss laws relevant to their lives. Students debate the merits and detriments of laws, and examine the reasoning and history behind them. They also learn to de-escalate high-stress encounters with law enforcement and debate and discuss police tactics.

Hayward Community School is one of FLY's earliest sites in Alameda County; we've taught law classes there since 2015. Because of your support for FLY, their students continue to have the unique opportunity to understand the laws relevant to them and to gain critical life skills. 

Learn More: ACOE press release.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Transforming ourselves, our services, and our systems.

This year, FLY brought its attention to racial justice and equity issues. We began a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiative to re-examine our values as an organization and identify how to strengthen our commitment to DEI.

We elected to focus our DEI work on needs seen within our staff and client populations: communities of color, LGBTQ-identified folks, women and girls, people who experience disabilities, and undocumented people or people who have vulnerable immigration statuses.

FLY’s DEI Task Force produced a detailed blueprint for our work going forward, which will involve all aspects of the agency’s operation including external partnerships. After nine months of operation, the Task Force handed responsibility to a permanent DEI Committee.

Youth who have just begun FLY's Leadership Training Program with a three-day retreat complete an activity to encourage inclusiveness and team-building.

New Initiatives Underway

Look for more news about these exciting developments at FLY.

T Lab developed a compelling visual direction for STAY FLY and used it to create a comprehensive set of materials for classes and social media.

Youth Advisory Council. FLY alumni and other young adults consult with the Santa Clara County Probation Department to improve services to system-involved youth. Efforts include focus groups aimed at increasing the success rates of youth in exiting the system, involvement in the training academy for new probation officers, orientations for youth new to probation and their families, and more.

STAY FLY Program. In response to the passage of SB-1004, which mandated referring certain young adult offenders to rehabilitation instead of entering the adult justice system, FLY worked with T Lab, Tipping Point’s R+D team, to prototype a new program in Santa Clara County that extends FLY’s law curriculum to youth ages 18-21. The program is now called STAY FLY.

Theory of Change. A Theory of Change explains how an organization makes social change happen. With the support of the Sobrato Impact Lab, FLY revised its Theory of Change to articulate practices across all FLY programs; outline FLY’s impact on communities and systems as well as kids; emphasize racial justice and equity; and show that partnerships are a key part of FLY's strategy. Next steps will be to align our program implementation and data and evaluation efforts to the new TOC.

The Power of the FLY Family

Thank you to everyone who makes FLY possible.

We are enormously grateful for the people and organizations who supported FLY youth in FY17-18.

Our donors, funders, sponsors, partners, and community supporters. You can hear directly from our system partners in this video.

Our wonderful Board of Directors and our incredibly talented staff.

The volunteers who give so much time and love to our youth. You can become a mentor or teach a law class, too.

Our youth, who inspire us with their strength and teach us with their wisdom. Please take a minute from your busy day to ask a youth how they’re doing. And always offer a smile!


Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that takes great pride in our financial efficiency, our accountability to donors, and our transparency.  FLY’s Taxpayer ID is #52-2234595.

Charity Navigator ranks FLY among the top nonprofits in the nation based on financial stability, efficiency, accountability, and transparency. FLY has also received the GuideStar Gold Seal of Transparency.

Learn More:

Thank You for Supporting FLY!

Founded in 2000, Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY) is an award-winning nonprofit dedicated to breaking the cycle of violence, crime, and incarceration of teens. FLY believes that all our children deserve a chance to become more than their past mistakes. FLY’s unique programs include legal education, leadership training, and one-one-one mentoring. For one-tenth the cost of incarceration, FLY provides youth involved in the juvenile justice system, and those most at risk, with the motivation and support to stay out of trouble with the law, get engaged in school, and begin to change their lives. The result is a safer, healthier community for us all. 

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© 2019 Fresh Lifelines for Youth | |

Sobrato Center for Nonprofits, 568 Valley Way, Milpitas, CA 95035 | Phone: 408.263.2630