Youth Development


Transformation Begins Here

Los Angeles, CA


The GRYD Foundation mission is to create a safer, healthier Los Angeles with a focus on communities that are heavily impacted by gang violence and that often lack resources due to economic, racial, and neighborhood boundaries. We believe that every youth should have the resources, opportunities and systems to grow up to lead healthy, fulfilling lives. No one should be limited or defined based on the zip code where they grow up. Founded in 2012, the GRYD Foundation is a nonprofit organization and core implementation partner for the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction & Youth Development (GRYD). The GRYD Foundation works collaboratively with the City toward two objectives: to reduce gang-related violence and to strengthen individuals, families, and communities.

Ruling Year


President & Executive Director

Adrienne N Newsom

Main Address

1933 S. Broadway Suite 1111

Los Angeles, CA 90007 USA


community development, youth development, youth employment, community engagement





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

Employment Training (J22)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

The communities GRYD serves need safe accessible recreational spaces, mental and physical health resources, and a way to build resilience to the influence of violence and poverty that has impacted the neighborhoods and residents. Youth residing in the city’s 23 designated GRYD zones (GRYD = gang reduction and youth development) are exposed to higher rates of gang-related crime than elsewhere in the City. Research shows that stress (even short-term stress lasting as little as a few hours) can impair brain-cell communication in areas associated with learning, impulse control, memory, and reasoning — skills essential to successful learning and healthy functioning. Understandably, individuals overexposed to community violence are more preoccupied with addressing their basic need for safety versus equipping themselves for college or career pursuits. It is difficult to concentrate on living to one's full potential when experiencing constant stressors of violence, trauma and poverty.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

3 4 11

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Summer Night Lights

Youth Squad 360

Fall Friday Nights

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

To combat the problem and effects of community violence, The GRYD Foundation focuses primarily on addressing the lack of community safe spaces and promoting employment, income earning and development opportunities for youth. Our core objectives center on reducing gang-related violence and strengthening individuals, families, and communities. To help achieve these objectives, the GRYD Foundation role is to provide the following scope of services: Objective 1. Reduce Gang-Related Violence The GRYD Foundation boosts peacekeeping efforts by placing 85-90 seasonal gang intervention workers at public parks/recreation centers in GRYD zones during extended hours for the Summer Night Lights and Fall Friday Nights programs. These seasonal workers bolster the Mayor’s Office’s year-round gang intervention workers; this collaborative team is essential for creating a safe environment at the parks. Summer Night Lights serves 32 locations Wednesdays through Saturdays from June to August; Fall Friday Nights serves 8 targeted locations (due to recent spikes in violence) over eight Fridays from September to November. Objective 2. Strengthen Individuals, Families, and Communities The GRYD Foundation assists the City to provide community engagement activities during the Summer Night Lights (32 locations) and Fall Friday Nights (8 locations) programs, such as free recreation, arts, health & wellness, sports & fitness, meals, and linkages to City services. The GRYD program model includes the City hiring over 300 youth from the surrounding program sites each summer, providing marginalized youth with summer jobs and training. These GRYD workers are called Youth Squad. The GRYD Foundation provides year-round youth development programming (Youth Squad 360) for 50-80 of the Youth Squad summer hires. Youth Squad 360 focuses on education/careers, mentoring, work readiness, housing, transportation, and wellness. Current Summer Night Lights Youth Squad and Youth Squad alumni gain access to year-round Youth Squad 360 case management services to help them process emotions and address trauma, begin to adopt healthy coping mechanisms and new patterns of thinking, and grow in setting, pursuing and achieving academic, career and wellness goals.

1. Extended & Expanded Programming / Community Intervention and Law Enforcement Engagement. In the evenings during the summer, SNL provides free youth and adult-centered athletic, recreational, educational and artistic activities for individuals residing in 32 Los Angeles communities that are characterized high levels of gang violence relative to the average for Los Angeles, high percentages of families living below the poverty line and high concentrations of youth vulnerable to gang influence.

Each Summer Night Lights site offers a minimum of two youth and adult sports leagues from among basketball, soccer, softball and volleyball. We contract several Zumba, dance and yoga instructors to provide fitness classes. We offer skills based sports clinics and additional sports and fitness activities. Our city-wide Summer Night Lights skate competition serves to break down barriers and build relationships across neighborhood lines.

Intervention Workers and Los Angeles Police Officers engage in proactive peace-making activities, including referring youth to the program and engaging gang involved or ex-gang involved youth and adults in positive activities. LAPD Officers and intervention workers engage with community members by reading books with youth and parents, polishing little girls' nails, playing board games, and even breaking a sweat on the basketball court.

The success of the summer programming and the increasing need for positive activities for youth and families year round prompted the offering of workshops and resource connections on Fridays from late September through mid November (Fall Friday Nights — also known as FFN.)

2. Resource and Service Linkages. SNL / FFN collaborates with local agencies to provide participants with increased access to services and educational information, as well as programming and resources that will have lasting effects throughout the year -- these include domestic violence service providers, health related educational information and screenings, such as HIV/STD testing, optometry screenings, physical fitness clinics, blood pressure testing, and identification of employment and educational resources for Youth Squad members beyond the summer.

3. Youth Squad 360: The summer program hires close to 350 young people ages 17-24 from the community who are vulnerable to gang influence and/or gang-violence. These youth are eligible to receive a needs assessment, individualized service strategy and case management as part of the Youth Squad 360 component. Service options include skills based workshops; vocational, career and college readiness training; connections to mental health services; assistance accessing benefits; and mentoring. Youth Squad 360 facilitates access to services that address participants' overall well being, which can include better access to healthy food and eating habits, access to physical activity, and access to stable housing.

The GRYD Foundation works closely with the Office of Gang Reduction & Youth Development (GRYD) and we have adopted a team approach for the planning, implementation and supervision of program sites. The program team consists of experienced program managers, coordinators and Youth Squad 360 program director and case manager (behavior intervention background and state certified substance abuse counselor.) Additional GRYD staff oversee sites and seasonal staff during program implementation. Each SNL site will be staffed by seasonal staff that are part of the site coordination team --- 64 site coordinators (2 per site), 10 Youth Squad and 1 Lead Youth Squad per site, plus Community Intervention Workers, and recreation and parks staff. GRYD staff also oversee sites and seasonal staff during implementation of FFN. All FFN sites will be staffed by 1 Program Coordinator, and 1 Youth Coordinator, plus Community Intervention Workers, and recreation and parks staff.

Our programming model provides a platform for inter-agency collaboration and vast community engagement, bringing together a diverse range of partners to effectively leverage resources for community members. Partner collaboration consists of workshop or activity facilitation, provision of resources, and participation in resource fairs and mentoring networking events in order to connect community members with local resources and services that are available year-round.

Finally, the continued partnership between The GRYD Foundation, the Mayor's GRYD Office, and the Los Angeles Police department creates a space where community members feel comfortable enough to volunteer and participate in SNL and FFN programming. As a result of their contributions and ideas programming at each location is tailored for a specific site ensuring that the program remains effective and relevant to specific community needs. Local law enforcement agencies also provide volunteers to assist with site activities. The interaction between community members in a gang-influenced neighborhood and police officers in a jovial setting serves to build trust and improve community relations with the Los Angeles Police Department. The consistent investment on behalf of both community and police volunteers represents an effort to ensure the long-term sustainability of the programming.

In terms of peace and safe spaces to recreate, we look at crime statistics gathered by Los Angeles Police Department and compare the time period of the SNL program with a baseline period when SNL was not offered, and we look at program delivery. We track participation as well as meals served and linkages to resources. We anticipate over 700,000 visits to a program site each year, and we document participation via nightly and weekly program reports as well as meal servings. We also conduct evaluations via surveys of Youth Squad (17 to 24 year olds hired for the program), community participants and community intervention workers. Surveys measure the following five themes: 1. Safety: Community residents, Youth Squad members, Community Intervention Workers, and law enforcement officers report the SNL site and areas around the site are safer as a result of SNL. 2. Community Resources: Community residents are willing to utilize law enforcement and other critical public services. 3. Family Life Cycle: Community residents, Youth Squad members, Community Intervention Workers, and law enforcement officers report a greater connection to residents across the family life cycle. 4. Peace Keeping Efforts: Community Intervention Workers will report increased opportunity to proactively achieve peace in and around the SNL sites. 5. Risk Factors: Youth Squad members will show a reduction in risk factors and gang-related behaviors. An additional survey is implemented among Youth Squad members following the program, measuring factors such as professional development, and impact of SNL on their current employment or education level status. We implement record keeping protocols that include sign in sheets located at each program station, sports program registration forms that will be completed by each participant who enrolls in a sports league, and electronic nightly reporting. Work group meetings involving community stakeholders and partners will take place during the program, and will allow for the review of service delivery, identify strategies to increase participation, and evaluate record keeping protocols. As for the Youth Squad 360 initiative, we primarily evaluate the Youth Squad 360 work by assessments and surveys of the individual program participants as follows: 1. Identified Needs and Service Strategy: Youth Squad 360 participants work with the case manager and program implementation team to identify perceived obstacles/barriers each SNL Youth Squad 360 member is facing in achieving his/her educational, career and health/fitness/lief goals; Program Manager signs off on the service plan developed for each of participant. 2. Professional and Character Development: Youth Squad 360 members show improved outlook and ability to achieve their respective educational, career and health/fitness/life goals. Final program results are available in February for Summer / Fall components and in June for Youth Squad 360.

The scale and impact of this work is substantial. The GRYD Foundation serves an estimated 500,000 unduplicated individuals per year. An external research and evaluation team led by Dr. Denise Herz, at California State University, Los Angeles, analyzes GRYD programming data for the City including Summer Night Lights and Fall Friday Nights programs. The best available data for those two programs is shown below, reflecting the collaborative work of the GRYD Foundation and the City. Please note the research and evaluation team counts the number of visits, participants, and meals served, rather than the number of unduplicated individuals served. The rationale for this data approach is twofold: 1) the number of visits to the program sites and participation in activities are indicative of perceived safety and comfort over the course of summer; and 2) the sheer difficulty of accurately tracking 700,000+ individuals makes it prohibitive to count unduplicated figures, given the available resources. In the Summer Night Lights program, an estimated 719,027 visits were made by community members across 32 Summer Night Lights program sites from June to August 2019. This data reflects visits from June 26 to August 3, 2019, when 32 parks/recreations centers were open for extended hours Wednesdays through Saturdays. This data also reflects visits from August 9 to August 23, 2019, when 32 parks/recreation centers were open for extended hours two nights per week. Participation included the following: 449,392 healthy meals were served; 15,739 people participated in 586 art workshops; 630 people participated in community art nights; 11,008 people participated in sports activities; 1,046 people participated in 19 skills-based sports clinics; and 6,003 people participated in fitness classes. An estimated 30,827 visits were made by community members across eight Fall Friday Nights program sites from September 16 to November 8, 2019. Participation included the following: 10,441 meals were served; 1,563 people participated in 56 art workshops; 177 people participated in five skills-based sports clinics; and 589 people participated in 43 fitness workshops. The Youth Squad 360 program, which is year-round, served 90 unduplicated youth in 2019; 68 were new enrollments and 22 were carryovers from the prior year. Questionnaires, interviews, and surveys conducted in 2019 demonstrated further results: increased perceptions of safety in the community, improved relationships between law enforcement and community members, increased knowledge of local resources, and improved outlook toward achieving educational and career goals. Youth reported increased confidence, leadership, outlook for the future, and readiness to pursue college, career, and health/wellness goals. Moving forward, the GRYD Foundation Strategic Plan 2019-2023 calls for expansion of Summer Night Lights and Youth Squad 360 and diversification of funding sources.

How We Listen

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

Source: Self-reported by organization

the feedback loop
check_box We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
check_box We shared information about our current feedback practices.
How is the organization collecting feedback?
We regularly collect feedback through: sms text surveys, electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), paper surveys, focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), case management notes, suggestion box/email.
How is the organization using feedback?
We use feedback to: to identify and remedy poor client service experiences, to identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, to make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, to inform the development of new programs/projects, to identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, to strengthen relationships with the people we serve.
With whom is the organization sharing feedback?
We share feedback with: our staff, our board, our community partners.
What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?
It is difficult to: staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time.
What significant change resulted from feedback
Feedback from residents led The GRYD Foundation to partner with a local community based organization to develop and launch a new boxing program

External Reviews



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? This organization has voluntarily shared information to answer this important question and to support sector-wide learning. GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/31/2020


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & Ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender Identity
Female, Not Transgender (Cisgender)
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability Status
Person without a disability

Race & Ethnicity

Gender Identity

Sexual Orientation


No data

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity Strategies

Last updated: 03/31/2020

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more


We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.

Policies and processes

We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.