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At our core, we believe in the power of change from within. Marginalized populations have been locked out of society for generations due to a lack of equity. Our focus is on the populations that have been most impacted by unjust policies, like the War on Drugs, implicit and explicit bias, redlining, and other social inequities that underlie high incarceration rates and unequal access to wealth, power, and resources among black and brown community members.

Within communities of color, these inequalities have created a well-founded mistrust of systems and institutions.

Success Centers’ theory of change recognizes that meaningful change must include the very communities that have been most affected by systemic inequities, without placing the onus of responsibility solely on these communities. Our non-traditional approach challenges the status quo and demands change from within the system – change we also work to create. Through our data-driven approach, marginalized communities become advocates for equity and economic justice and systems are held accountable to meet the needs of the community.

Our mission is to empower through education, employment and the arts. We focus on career pathways to lucrative job opportunities in high-demand industries. Success Centers is adept at removing barriers that prevent our clients from accessing the myriad opportunities in the Bay Area. We create an alternative pathway to success and access to economic justice. We foster resiliency, creativity, belief in self, and self-advocacy skills to increase equity and build safe, thriving communities.


Operating in San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, and Sonoma counties, Success Centers serves annually serves about 2,500 marginalized members of the community, mostly young people ages 16 to 24. More than 95 percent are low-income and nearly 90 percent are people of color, with the majority being African American and Latin. Many must overcome community violence, disrupted bonding due to multiple childhood losses and placements, undiagnosed disabilities, severe trauma, and more. Some are incarcerated or returning from incarceration. Roughly one in three are foster youth.

While our programs are grounded in employment, education, housing support, and the arts, we must meet the individual day-to-day needs of our participants to enable them to access and get the most out of our programs: meals, transportation, referrals for other services, clothing, supplies, and more.


To empower marginalized community members through education, employment, and art, so they may develop a positive self-image as well as a sense of hope and purpose for their future.


Dream and Plan for Tomorrow
Education for Young People

  • High school diploma or GED completion at our own school, operated in partnership with John Muir Charter School
  • After-school / continuing education programs
  • Counseling, human services, and technical assistance
  • College preparation and placement
  • Life skills training for those transitioning from incarceration to community
  • Community service and service learning, as a court intermediary


New Directions
Employment for Young People

  • Career assessment
  • Job readiness training
  • Job placement
  • Training and certification in coding
  • Subsidized employment that includes ongoing professional mentorship and networking
  • Internships


Equity Connections
Workforce Development for the Community

  • Career assessment and employment coaching
  • Job readiness training, job placement, subsidized employment, and transition to the mainstream workforce (notably for people returning to community)
  • On-the-job training in construction, healthcare, and hospitality
  • Equity in cannabis entrepreneurship training and support


AND Housing
Housing for the Community

  • Oversight of 75 units of affordable housing in San Francisco


Personal Expression and Academic/Professional Enhancement for Young People

  • Playwriting
  • Visual arts
  • Audio and video recording arts


Breaking Barriers
Outreach to the Community

  • Bridging transportation, communication, digital, and trust gaps to facilitate access to our services and municipal services
  • Partnership with the San Francisco Housing Development Corporation to assist with rental readiness, employment preparation and placement, and housing placement
  • Partnerships with neighborhood organizations to activate community spaces


Success Centers was founded by Superior Court Judges in 1983 to provide education and employment opportunities to young people returning to community from juvenile detention. Since 2013, we have grown nearly 600 percent by merging with and acquiring like-minded organizations, including Each One Reach One, The Imagine Bus Project, Asian Neighborhood Design, Project Reconnect, and Youth for Service.