At FLY, we partner with youth to unlock their potential, disrupt the pipeline to prison, and advance justice in California and beyond.

aka FLY   |   Milpitas, CA   |

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Founded in 2000, Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY) is an award-winning nonprofit working to break the cycle of juvenile violence, crime, and incarceration. We believe that each youths journey to personal transformation must be supported by a caring community and effective and equitable public systems. FLYs mission is to partner with youth to unlock their potential, disrupt the pipeline to prison, and advance justice in California and beyond.

Ruling year info


President and CEO

Mr. Ali Knight

Main address

Sobrato Center for Nonprofits 568 Valley Way

Milpitas, CA 95035 USA

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NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Leadership Development (W70)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In the Bay Area, approximately 10,000 kids are arrested each year and 6,000 are on probation. Most of them have experienced childhood trauma such as violence or abuse but have not been given support to recover. Research shows that after release, the majority of kids just go back into the system again, and it costs nearly $300,000 to incarcerate a youth for a year in California. Unfortunately, being locked up as a kid is a major predictor of future criminal behavior. In addition, youth of color, LGBTQ youth, and youth with disabilities experience disproportionate rates of arrest and incarceration. In fact, the racial inequity in the juvenile justice system has actually been growing in recent decades. FLY is one of a very few agencies in the Bay Area that specializes in serving youth who are incarcerated or on probation, or are at risk of becoming involved in the system. Youth of color and those living in areas with high rates of crime represent more than 80% of the kids we serve.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

FLY Legal Education

Research shows that youth who receive education about the law are less likely to break the law, feel less isolation, and become more engaged in their education. FLY’s nationally-recognized Legal Education Program teaches at-risk youth about the laws and consequences of crime while building critical life skills.

Population(s) Served

FLY’s 10-month Leadership Training Program is for moderate- to high-risk youth who have completed FLY’s Legal Education Program. These are youth who express a desire and need to transform their lives but do not have the support to make transformation a reality. Leadership Training helps the youth build the skills and attitudes they need to finish high school, complete probation, and avoid committing new crimes.

Population(s) Served

The FLY Mentor Program links youth ages 14-18 who are involved in the juvenile justice system in Santa Clara County with trained, caring adult volunteers who support the youth in their development of new attitudes, behaviors, and ambitions. FLY mentors are often the first positive and healthy adults our youth have had in their lives. Through the program, youth learn to judge their choices and have a consistent sounding board and caring person in their life. As a result, they make better life decisions.

Population(s) Served

The STAY FLY Program is a 9-12 month program for young adults (18-25) who are impacted by the justice system. Through Law-Related Education (LRE) workshops and/or one-on-one case management support, STAY FLY develops social-emotional learning (SEL) skills, increases positive community support and advances knowledge of the law in transition-aged youth (TAY). STAY FLY youth receive support beginning in custody and continue to be supported by FLY staff as they transition back into the community.

Population(s) Served
Young adults

The FLY Middle School Program is up to a year-long program for 7th and 8th graders who are at risk of being pushed out of school. For years, FLY youth have said that if they had FLY in middle school, they probably wouldnt have made the same choices. Responding to the need, FLY developed its Middle School Program, a
combination of law-related education (LRE) and case management (1-on-1 support) for young people ages 11-14.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

The FLY Reentry Program is up to a 12-month program for youth who are exiting incarceration and want support in returning to their communities. Youth reentering the community after incarceration typically face a host of barriers to a successful transition. Ideally, starting while the youth is still in custody, reentry assistance is a critical service that has been proven to help the youth move forward and avoid getting sucked back into the system.

Population(s) Served

Peer Point is a restorative, peer-led alternative to punitive systems of response to youth behavior at school and in the community. Peer Point works with schools and police departments to divert youth from suspension, expulsion, and arrest by addressing root causes and facilitating peer circles for healing, community-building, and accountability.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of youth who report less likelihood to engage in criminal activity

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

FLY Legal Education

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Context Notes

In 2022, across all FLY Law Programs, 91% of youth reported that they feel less likely to break the law after being in FLYs programs.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

Poverty, racism, immigration discrimination, and other forms of marginalization put youth at greater risk of violence and incarceration. At FLY, we believe that all our children deserve a chance to become more than their past mistakes. FLY’s program interventions, combined with extensive community and systems collaboration, disrupt the pipeline to prison and put kids on the path to a healthy, free, and productive life.
Through this work, FLY has a positive impact on our youth, the communities we serve, and the systems in which we operate.

At FLY, we know what works for kids who have been in trouble with the law or are at risk of getting into trouble. We teach them about the law and consequences of crime, we provide them with caring adult mentors and advocates, we give them the chance to discover their skills and strengths, we help them learn to set new goals in life, and we give them the chance to give back to their communities and even mentor other youth. We train and work with hundreds of volunteers who help create a caring community network of support for our youth. FLY is also highly respected by members of our local juvenile justice systems including judges, probation chiefs, district attorneys, and public defenders, as well as local school officials. We and our youth are frequently invited to the table with them to discuss challenges and to help implement new ideas.

FLY's core programs were based directly on the ideas of youth who were incarcerated in a maximum security facility facing years or life in prison. These ideas were then bolstered with research on best practices in youth development and crime prevention and they remain the foundation of our work nearly 20 years later. FLY also has an exceptionally dedicated and talented staff who love our clients fiercely yet hold them accountable, and more than 200 volunteers annually who facilitate classes and mentor our youth. Our strong relationships with members of our local juvenile justice systems are another asset that allows us greater access to youth who need our services and gives us the opportunity to participate in system reform efforts.

FLY has played an important role in community-wide efforts to reduce the number of youth incarcerated and its costly impact on taxpayers. Since 2000, Santa Clara County has experienced a 77% reduction, and San Mateo County a 65% reduction, in juvenile incarceration. FLY began with one staff member and a handful of volunteers serving youth in a few neighborhoods in San Jose. Today, FLY serves more 2,000 youth annually in 23 cities throughout the Bay Area with 55 staff and more than 200 volunteers. The agency and our founder, Christa Gannon, have received numerous local, state, and national awards. In 2015, we expanded into a third community, Alameda County, and are developing strategies for programmatic and geographic expansion for 2020 and beyond.

Our new strategic plan is called Imagine 2030. It contains detailed strategies for how we will partner with kids, communities, and systems to help dismantle California’s pipeline to prison, equip thousands more juvenile-justice and at-risk youth to transform their lives, and strengthen services for marginalized youth in California and beyond.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    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, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome



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


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.


Board of directors
as of 03/19/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. June Wang

Independent Consultant

Melynnie Rizvi

Deputy General Counsel, Employment, Litigation, Compliance, Business Practices and IP, Shutterfly Inc

Diana L. Bell

Retired Executive, Hewlett Packard Company

Meera Chary

Partner, The Bridgespan Group

Gordon Davidson

Partner, Fenwick & West, LLP

Donna M. Petkanics

Retired Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Rico Rosales

Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Patrick E. Tondreau

Retired Superior Court Judge, Santa Clara County

DeAnn Fairfield Work

Deputy General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of Altaba Inc.

Mark Donnelly

Retired Executive, Apple Inc

Thurman White

CEO Progressive Investment Mgmt Company LLC

Gene Wade

Co-founder and CEO, Honors Pathway

Trisha Connors

Chair for the HOPE Mentorship Program

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    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? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/1/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/10/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. 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 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.