About Us



AES is a non-profit that is a practical-skills-based, progressive civic leadership and entrepreneurship training ground working with 16–24-year old’s traditionally underserved by leadership programs, with a focus on Black and Latino youth, to co-design solutions to challenges impacting their communities.
Who are we pic

In California, vulnerable students disproportionately attend underperforming schools, in high-poverty neighborhoods, with low graduation and high dropout rates. AES believes no challenge is more critical to California’s future than improving student outcomes at underperforming schools.

Our Mission

The mission of AES is to improve the life chances of vulnerable youth by empowering their voice and fostering collaborative, cross-cultural, cross-generational relationships to affect systemic change.

We collaborate with young people to find the solutions to the challenges they face in school and in their communities, and support and train them as advocates and leaders. We also ensure adults in power create the space to listen to, and work with young people by allowing them to define their own barriers and needs, and present their own solutions.

We directly engage policy makers, administrators, principals, teachers and students to work with us to ensure that all schools in California have a climate and culture that nurtures and supports students in a positive, engaging learning environment, where their voices are heard and their learning needs met.

Our organizational culture, partnerships and work ethic are deeply rooted in mutual respect, empathy, caring and reciprocity, and are reflected in the way we work with and on behalf of young people.

We are committed to eliminating the barriers to success for vulnerable youth, and in partnership with those young people advocate for programs and policies that give them a pathway out of poverty and pipeline through college.


To achieve our Vision, we will:

  • Focus our efforts across California, expanding beyond the Sacramento region
  • Be a coalition builder
  • Foster collaboration between youth and others by teaching and empowering youth to connect with individuals, organizations, and resources that further their efforts
  • Continue the bidirectional nature of our work, ensuring that both young people and all adult “participants” are impacted and receive value
  • Develop multiple funding streams to support our youth-focused efforts