Neighborhood Youth Association

The Neighborhood Youth Association (NYA) has been serving low income, troubled youth and families since 1906. NYA’s educational enhancement program, PERSONAL BEST, reflects the agency’s past accomplishments and new direction. This program is designed to help each child become the best that he or she can be by working intensively with youth from underserved families in Venice and Mar Vista.  Through a comprehensive set of components, PERSONAL BEST serves children and youth from ages five through 18, and offers classes and activities for parents. NYA has designed PERSONAL BEST to ensure that every young person will earn a high school diploma and go on to post-secondary education or training.

The PERSONAL BEST program incorporates four main components:

1. ACE (Academic/Curriculum Enhancement)
ACE complements a student’s school curriculum. Activities include academic skills building, computer skills training, tutoring and homework assistance.

2. PALS (Personal and Living Skills)
This component helps children and youth develop problem solving skills, self-esteem, social and communication skills.

3. Career Planning
This program exposes youth to a variety of careers, possible employment and post-secondary education opportunities, while emphasizing concrete job readiness skills and preparation.

4. Cultural Recreation Enrichment
This component introduces children to a wide variety of arts and recreation through classes, sports, trips to museums, performances and events.

The staff and their devotion to children elevates this program to star status. Executive Director, Amanda MacLennan, engages each person’s strengths creating a vibrant, inspiring, collaborative environment where all voices are heard, children are treated with respect and everyone thrives. The classrooms vibrate with the evidence that good teaching is happening. Grade A+!