South Coast Children’s Services (SCCS)
SCCS is a locally governed community-based organization that has been serving the rural South Coast of San Mateo County for thirty years. From 1977 to 1990 SCCS made small grants to teachers and community members to provide enrichment programs in the arts, sciences and sports for students of the La Honda-Pescadero School District. Funds were initially derived from bake sales, rummage sales and foundation grants. In 1988, the Pescadero Thrift Shop was opened providing SCCS with a source of sustainable core funding. In 1990, SCCS began providing direct program services through a contract with the San Mateo County Drug and Alcohol Program. During the 1990’s program services were expanded through a contract with the CA Department of Health Services for teen pregnancy prevention and a multi-year grant from the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health for after school activities. Additional major support was received from the Atkinson Foundation, the Sand Hill Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, the S.H. Cowell Foundation, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and the Stulsaft Foundation, .
The evolution of the SCCS philosophy of youth development began in 1990 with the establishment of a youth council to provide staff with feedback on program activities and advice for tailoring the program to better meet participants’ needs. As the years have gone by, youth participation in the development, implementation and evaluation of activities has become an integral part of all SCCS programs. SCCS program staff members have evolved into coaches and mentors who support youth as they learn to take ever increasing responsibility for the governance and implementation of their programs.
In 2000, two students from Pescadero High School joined the SCCS Board of Directors, moving the organization toward a new level of commitment to its philosophy of youth development. The past few years have seen a steady increase in youth involvement in every aspect of the organization. By serving on the Board of Directors and key Committees, working in the administrative office and the Thrift Shop, planning and implementing their own program activities, and helping with fundraising, the young people of SCCS are ‘learning by doing’ every aspect of operating a community-based non-profit organization.
In 2004, SCCS received a grant from the San Francisco Foundation to fund a Youth Executive Director’s position and to develop formal guidelines for youth participation in the various aspects of managing and operating the organization. The Youth Executive Director is mentored by the regular SCCS Executive Director as she learns all the many aspects of managing a diverse community service organization. The success of the Youth Executive Director’s position led to the creation of the Youth Thrift Shop Manager’s position in 2005.