Soulciety is a 501c3 non-profit organization that was incorporated in 2008 in Hayward, CA. The organization’s priorities are focused on workforce and creative development. Its employment program is for youth and young adults with an emphasis on those that are system-involved. Our employment approach is a three tiered approach comprised of internships, job placement and career pathways with the goal of helping youth and young adults to make a living wage while pursuing their career interest and life’s purpose.
The performing arts is at the core of Soulciety’s being as it was originally founded as an arts organization. Soulciety has hosted and produced dozens of theatrical productions, performing arts events and educational workshops both locally and globally. Soulciety’s arts programming has been built through the amazing collaboration of countless artists, performers, educators and community leaders who share their talents and artistic abilities. The goal of Soulciety’s arts programming is to provide a platform for youth and young adults to have a creative outlet and to help them to develop their passion for the arts.
Soulciety was also worked internationally, mainly in impoverished communities throughout the rural Philippines. In collaboration with mentors from all over the Bay Area and beyond, Soulciety has brought a variety of performing arts and workforce development programming as well as aid to thousands of children throughout the provinces of the Philippines.
Why We Do This
The situation for underserved youth is a tragic one with challenges that often hinder their success in life, especially those that are deemed “high-risk” and that fall into the system. They are often exposed to a tremendous number of negative environmental factors and lack the support and guidance to transition into a positive and productive adulthood. For a significant proportion of these youth, the prevalence of negative influences overpowers the positive including crime, violence, gang involvement, and incarceration.
The majority of the underserved, low-income youth and young adults who walk into Soulciety’s doors arrive from extremely difficult life situations: they are impoverished; some are without homes or are raised by a single parent; and some are system-involved. Children in probation and foster care face disproportionately higher rates of unemployment, lower educational attainment, increased dependence on public assistance, and incarceration.
Due to our commitment to helping these communities, Soulciety focuses its local efforts on Hayward, unincorporated San Leandro (Ashland) and surrounding areas.
In Alameda County, there are close to 3,700 youth in foster care. 18% of these are from South Hayward and over 10% are in the UAC region. Of the county’s 22,000-plus re-entering ex-offenders, the Sheriff’s Department estimates that at least 8,000 live in or within three miles of Ashland/Cherryland. Hayward has a juvenile probation rate of 15.2/1,000, which is 42% above the 10.8/1,000 countywide rates.
For many of the youth we serve, Soulciety is one of the last lines of support. Because of this, we are relentless in helping these youth to overcome their personal barriers, find or get back on their path, and become self-sufficient. We have a deep connection with this work and helping the youth to grow.