Our Approach

The REACH Ashland Youth Center is here because a group of young people wanted to improve their community. They spent nine years as part of a collective advocacy effort to finance and build a comprehensive youth center. Today REACH provides a safe space to further that legacy of youth leadership in this community.

Because we’ve seen the power of young people to effect change, we believe that when provided resources and support – youth are in the best position to determine their own struggles, needs and direction.


The name REACH comes from the idea of reaching to the sky for your dreams, reaching to the ground for your history, and then reaching in different directions because we are all different. Through our programs, youth learn to take care of themselves in new ways. For the first time in their lives many are getting a library card, participating in sports or talking to a counselor. They are making new friends, setting goals and developing confidence.

Our Mission 

Honor youth power and build our community’s resilience.

REACH serves youth ages 11 through 24 who live throughout Alameda County with a focus on the Ashland and unincorporated area, a community that is known for poverty, crime and chronic health conditions. We help our members overcome the immediate and prevalent obstacles in their lives by cultivating their own strengths and promise. In the process, they develop resiliency and the skills they need to take positive action and thrive, even amidst ongoing personal trauma and social disadvantage.

As a program of the Center for Health Schools and Communities (CHCS) a division of the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency. We collaborate with a variety of the county and public agencies, as well as the local school district and community providers. Together, we weave health and wellness, social justice, and youth leadership into all of REACH’s programs and services.

REACH Opened its doors in May, 2013

Nearly 6,500 youth have utilized our programs and services. We think that speaks volumes about the needs we are meeting and the approach we are taking in the Ashland and Cherryland neighborhoods.