PLATINUM2023

Vasa Educational Services dba Vallejo Project

Work Readiness- Youth Empowered by Servant Leadership

aka Vallejo Project   |   Vallejo, CA   |  www.vallejoproject.org

Mission

To engage youth in leadership empowered by service and community.

Ruling year info

2020

Principal Officer

David McDonald

Co Principal Officer

Dr. Peryna Washington

Main address

2635 Napa St Unit 1361

Vallejo, CA 94590 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

85-1252965

NTEE code info

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Vallejo Project’s participants are youth and young adults ages 12-26 from Vallejo, CA, in Solano County. Our young attendees are typically disengaged from school and severely underserved. Our focus is on serving truant youth, youth in foster care, youth reentering from the justice system, and English language learners. The needs that Solano County youth face are multifaceted. Approximately 72% of the students at Vallejo City Unified School District (VCUSD) have high needs, which is 11% higher than the state average and 18% higher than Solano County’s average (CALPADS, 2019). Vallejo is a struggling city in an underfunded Bay Area county. In addition, the city has a significant amount of at-risk and long-term English language learners. Vallejo Project’s Youth Leadership Program philosophy is that youth need learning pathways. We firmly believe that successful behavior can be learned and when coupled with skills training, that the cycle of poverty can be broken.

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?

Practical Introduction to Carpentry as a Career

The carpentry program will begin with an informative and educational 4-week BOOT CAMP to build the important soft skills, such as leadership, that underfunded youth need to understand and navigate the world of seeking employment. It also provides lessons and guidance on resumé and
cover letter writing, gives youth the ability to job shadow, and provides tutorials on how to navigate the job market through services such as LinkedIn and Indeed.
After the Boot Camp, there will be a class section teaching workplace safety through a curriculum developed by Carpenters Union Local 180, and a Vallejo Project hands-on training lab facilitated by journeyman carpenters. The lab will run two sets of programs concurrently: the simple construction program for those students who can only make the Saturday labs and a robust construction program, which is ideal for out-of-school youth. The last six weeks of classes take place in Pleasant Hill, at Local 180’s carpentry training site, so Vallejo Project

Population(s) Served
Caregivers
At-risk youth
Artists and performers
Farmers
Veterans

For the Sustainable Urban Gardening Program, the Unity Garden in Vallejo will be the home base for learning. This piece connects to our larger initiative proposal for Intersectional and Interdisciplinary Youth Leadership Curriculum to reconnect youth directly with the reconstruction and rejuvenation of their City of Vallejo.

Vallejo Project’s Unity Garden initiative, at 2160 Sacramento Street, represents a unique opportunity for community members, youth, and other stakeholders, to work at restoring an abandoned lot that was once filled with sand and garbage and turning it into a multi-level food forest with internationally influenced farming techniques.
The goals of the Unity Garden are as follows:

Maintain the status of the Unity Garden as a free educational resource for the community, rather than a membership-based, subsidized-beds model.
Construct an entirely Up-to-Code Outdoor Education Area to hold the classes and any other events at the Garden in the future.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
Families
Foster and adoptive parents
Grandparents
Single parents

This pathway provides an introduction to beginning digital production, podcasting and storytelling. Storytelling brings learning alive and creates a participatory and immersive experience that allows young learners to enjoy hearing the language in a dynamic, sometimes stylistic and entertaining way. Participation using key vocabulary and phrases can create an awareness of rhythm and structure. Storytelling also allows student voices to be heard and brings a student’s perspective to issues in the community.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults
Ethnic and racial groups
Caregivers
Parents

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.

Total pounds of target crop harvested

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups

Related Program

Vallejo Project Unity Garden

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total number of free performances given

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups

Related Program

Communication

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

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.

Vallejo Project aims to bridge the gap between industry and education. We hope to engage local youth in the arts, wellness and trades of their community as change makers who are leaders in their chosen fields of work.
Vallejo Project envisions a world where every young person is equipped to build a sustainable, healthy, meaningful life despite the barriers of poverty and trauma that they may face. We imagine Vallejo strengthened by new generations of youth and young adults who are inspired to give back to their community as role models, advocates, entrepreneurs, and leaders. With the empowerment they receive at Vallejo Project they can efficiently articulate and implement solutions to challenges that they may face in their community.

VP utilizes Vallejo’s Unity Garden, a community garden located at 2160 Sacramento Street. This base is a unique opportunity for community members, youth, and other stakeholders to work together at restoring an abandoned lot that was once filled with sand and garbage, turning it into a multi-level food forest with internationally-influenced farming techniques.
Our youth participants learn the various farming techniques to adequately plant, grow, cultivate, and harvest many different types of produce and native plants to the area of Vallejo. Our goal is to teach youth that they can grow and cultivate many different types of produce and vegetation right in their own backyard. The community garden project is where VP carries out our Urban Agriculture experiential learning program and it strengthens our participant's knowledge of growing food and their connection to nature. With the growing popularity of our community garden, we aim to teach the practice of environmental sustainability through local gardening.
Vallejo Project’s Urban Agriculture experiential learning program will strengthen youth’s connection to nature and have an impact on them by teaching them about ecological systems and how to farm sustainably. This program will provide life and employment skills that will offer them pathways for success and a lifelong connection to the land and their local communities as they move into adulthood. Now is our opportunity to begin investing in transitional age youth.
The impact that the Youth Urban Agriculture Pathway at Unity Garden will have is as follows:
● Maintain the Unity Garden’s status as a free educational resource for the community, rather than a membership-based, subsidized-beds model.
● Leverage curriculum developed with UC Berkeley undergraduate students. ● Identify workflow processes, schedules [mornings: watering, weeding, use of tools; afternoons: plant care education, horticulture techniques/vocabulary, business mgmt.]. ● Introduce concepts of operations management [input, process, output]. ● Identify accounts payable and accounts receivable categories [farmer’s market; charity work]. ● Make cost/benefit analysis of processes in order to build participants’ skills in this area. [E.g., buy fertilizer in small amounts vs. rent a large truck and pick up manure from a local farm; buy new tools vs. buy fruit trees. Consider qualitative and quantitative outputs, long- and short-term gains, major and minor needs].
● Build disengaged Vallejo youth’s connection to nature and working with the land.

Vallejo is culturally diverse, with about 88% of its citizens broken into four major cultural aspects: 20% black, 19% white, 23% asian, and 26% latinx. Our team is as diverse as the city. Vallejo Project has worked with leaders in each of the disparate communities to ensure that we reach and are able to serve all of these communities.
The high quality curricula that Vallejo Project is using are based on state recognized standards and taught by experienced people in their fields. Our programs are cost-effective as Vallejo Project has low overhead and many of the administrators are volunteers. Our governing and advisory board are made up of professionals from a tableau of cultures and careers. The diversity of our team makes it easier for us to unite the economic and ethnically diverse communities of Vallejo.
Our board and advisors make up a multicultural, multinational, and multidisciplinary body. With a medical doctor, educators, Kaiser research manager, artists, and a professional tradesman, our board members come from diverse backgrounds, all unified in what they can do to help all the youth of Vallejo.

Collaborations with our partners are critical to our development. Vallejo Project continues to reach out to public, private and community-based organizations for grants and donations to further our work. Our local efforts have secured $85,000 from all sources combined, $35,000 in grants, $40,000 in individual and organizational donations, and $10,000 from internal fundraising. The requested funding is additional seed money. This funding would grow current projects as well as be leveraged to bring in more donations; our ultimate goal is to be self-sustaining.
CURRENT COLLABORATIONS:
The City of Vallejo partnered with Vallejo Project on this year's Vallejo Project Youth Leadership program with a grant for $15,000
Solano County Department of Public Health Partnered with Vallejo Project on a youth mentorship program. Youth Leaders developed curriculum to share with peers to engage in conversation about the impact of legalized marijuana on youth.
The Touro University MPH graduates are prepared to provide technical service and work with Vallejo Project to support and promote public health, including county and state public health departments, hospitals, managed care organizations, local, federal, and governmental agencies, community health organizations, research and academic institutions, philanthropic and voluntary health agencies, and non-profit organizations.
Our partnerships with the Vallejo City Unified School District and the Greater Vallejo Recreation District as vendors of extended learning programs, enrichment, and arts classes illustrate our value to the community,
Vallejo Project will continue selling surplus community-made products such as raised garden beds and get local donations.

Financials

Vasa Educational Services dba Vallejo Project
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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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

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Vasa Educational Services dba Vallejo Project

Board of directors
as of 05/22/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Adjoa Mcdonald

Vallejo Project

Mylene Rucker

Vallejo Project

Alex Lindsay

Vallejo Project

Fred Lucero

Vallejo Project

Hugh Kinniburgh

Vallejo Project

Paul Kirsch

Vallejo Project

Cynthia Allen

Vallejo Project

Richard Abbot

Vallejo Project

John Edwards

Vallejo Project

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 5/21/2023

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

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/14/2023

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

Data
  • 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 employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • 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 help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • 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.