About The Ojai Valley Youth Foundation

The Beginning:

The Ojai Valley Youth Foundation began with the creation of the Ojai Valley Youth Master Plan in 1996, which included the input of more than 1,000 youth and adults from throughout the community.

A Collaboration:

To implement the Plan, and provide for youth voice and vision in our community on an ongoing basis, the City of Ojai, the county of Ventura, the Ojai Unified School District, and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department collaborated to establish the non-profit Ojai Valley Youth Foundation in 1997.

Youth and Adult Partnership:

From the start, the OVYF has involved youth as partners and catalysts in all its activities, including the Board of Directors. We have become a pioneer in the area of youth-adult partnerships and are proving their value in healthy youth and community development.

‘Wellness Village’ Grant:

In late 1997. the OVYF received a planning grant to apply for one of ten grants from the California Wellness Foundation’s Children and Youth Community Health Initiative. Its goal was to engage youth and adults to improve the health of their communities.

Results and Impact:

Because of the inclusive community planning that led to the Youth Master Plan and the California Wellness Foundation grant, the Ojai Valley Youth foundation has been able to respond quickly to community needs, convening forums after local and national tragedies, working with schools to provide diversity trainings, and facilitating community trainings on mentoring, communication and visioning. OVYF has also helped the community attract additional grand dollars- for example; through OVYF led planning the Ojai Valley became the first Prop. 10 funded “Neighborhood for Learning” in Ventura County, with scholarships and enrichment activities for our youngest children and their families.

New Directions:

The promise of youth leadership and youth –adult partnership continues to be fulfilled as more and more of the community tries out this model. The City of Ojai recently instated the first-ever Youth Commission and is using the OVYF’s youth media agency, Generation Communications, to market recycling programs. The Rotary Club of Ojai use “GenCom” to design its logo and poster for “The Taste of Ojai”, and is encourages youth presence at their meetings on a regular basis.

The Future:

The OVYF continues to grow and expand, working to strengthen our youth and our community as a whole through forging positive and creative connections and opportunities for all ages. We welcome your involvement and support.

  • Kenzie and Gus

    Dr. MLK Jr. Day Community Celebration 2021!

    We are so grateful for the awesome youth on the 2021 MLK Jr. Day Committee! A small group planned and coordinated the amazing online celebration of 2021 in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s teachings and accomplishments. To learn about our 2021 event visit the MLK Day webpage! To view OVYF’s video celebration in honor of Dr. King, visit the Ojai Unified School District YouTube page here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQv6asoqggk

  • OVYF Ripples Program ROCKS

    OVYF is planning another great RIPPLES program. This year, in partnership with Learning to See, we invite a dozen youth to join us for a series of experiential art workshops and local artist tours. Space is limited for this free program; please contact us to be notified when we reschedule and we are free to gather together again. Last year’s participants went rock climbing with Trails By Potter, hit up a slam poetry night at Da Poetry Lounge in West Hollywood, and created art with local Ojai artists. Read more on the RIPPLES page…


  • BLinc Graduation

    Building Lives, Inc. Postponed Until Future Notice

    BLINC is a beloved OVYF program that brings Ojai youth together weekly throughout the school year. High-school students from across the Valley are welcome to join us for good company, to play Peace Sticks, and enjoy music and food– all free, as always. Once school resumes, we will convene on Wednesdays at Nordhoff HS, from 3-5P. Feel free to call or email with questions.

    More on the BLINC page…