Founded in 2012, Freedom 4 Youth (F4Y) Advocates is a University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) campus organization made up of trained and supervised UCSB undergraduate and graduate students. F4Y Advocate mentors meet weekly with youth both inside Los Prietos Boys Camp and in the community to provide positive peer associations, tutoring, career and educational counseling. Freedom 4 Youth trains and supervises UCSB students as para-professionals working with youth in the juvenile justice system with an emphasis on trauma informed care.
F4Y Advocates organize special events and provide direct service programming with the Los Prietos Boys Camp, Santa Maria Juvenile Hall, Work Force Development Board, and the Department of Social Services. The F4Y Advocates alumni have gone on to receive their masters in social work, complete teacher education programs and attend law school or join the workforce as counselors, case managers, and law enforcement professionals. F4Y Advocates have a combined total of 26,137 volunteer hours and counting. There are currently 15 active mentors and a total of 122 alumni mentors. Mentors include former youth who were incarcerated and completed Freedom 4 Youth programming.
Freedom 4 Youth believe that youth play a vital role in social justice reform. We provide policy advocacy and community organizing training to youth, families, and college students. We recognize the power of storytelling to shift the public’s narrative of youth in the system and to champion the importance of investing in them.