Urban Corps of San Diego County is a certified local conservation corps whose mission is to provide young adults with the tools to expand their career opportunities through education, life skills training, and paid work experience on projects that benefit our communities.
Urban Corps has given thousands of underserved, low-income young adults ages 18-26 the opportunity to improve themselves while improving their own communities. Urban Corps’ unique work-learn program allows youth to finish high school while earning a paycheck, learning real-world job skills, and giving back to the community through professional services.
We provide a second chance at a high school education and paid job training designed to encourage civic engagement, responsibility, and self-sufficiency.
Corpsmembers attend school one day per week and work in the field four days per week. Through their participation in the program, Corpsmembers receive a paycheck on job training projects such as environmental services, fire fuel reduction, community improvement services, tree planting, habitat restoration, graffiti removal, landscaping, green building construction and recycling. In the process, youth work to earn a high school diploma at our onsite WASC-accredited charter high school offering an accelerated, needs-based, technology-rich academic structure and a low teacher-to-student ratio.
Additional services through our Corps-to-Career department include career and psychological counseling, life skills workshops, case management, and one-on-one assistance with resumes, job and college applications, and job placement.
After completing the program, youth are more employable, have the skills and confidence needed to succeed in the workforce, and know the importance of resource preservation and giving back to the community.
Young adults in the program may have dropped out of high school due to involvement with gangs or drugs, becoming a young parent, or an undiagnosed learning disability. Some are refugees with limited English. Some aged out of the foster system without a diploma. A growing number are homeless. On average 90 percent of graduates are either placed in jobs following commencement or are enrolled in higher education.