Since 2012, the Legacy Youth Project (LYP) is an Ethnic Studies and social justice leadership program committed to the healing, transformation, and liberation of Napa Valley youth. Through our Heartwork Pedagogy, we cultivate humanizing opportunities for our scholar warriors to lead, rejoice, and thrive.
our founding purpose
The LEGACY Youth Project (LYP) was co-founded in 2012 by a small group of youth who sought to transform their legacy in Napa, California. With the guidance from Omar Salem (Napa Resource Officer) and Carlos Hagedorn (Ethnic Studies Professor), the founding team partnered with each other to better understand the unique needs of Napa’s most precious resource, its youth. To proactively address conditions giving rise to “at-risk” consequences within our schools and community, our program developed into a courageous learning environment where we see, hear and love our youth.
Rooted in Heartwork Pedagogy, our grassroots program provides students in 5-12th grade a nurturing and positively challenging space to connect with their hearts and minds, to heal and flourish. LYP cultivates humanizing learning opportunities for our students to develop as critically conscious thinkers, with the agency to transform our local and global communities. Our transformative success has garnered local recognition through numerous publications and national attention through the documentary, the Mask You Live In. Grounded in Our Heartwork, the LEGACY Youth Project has become an example of educational equity for scholar warriors in the Napa Valley.
As our need and capacity grew, our program expanded.
It [the LEGACY Youth Project] is changing student lives... We’d like to replicate the program into our middle and high schools because they are reaching students that we could not reach before. - Dr. Patrick Sweeney, Former NVUSD Superintendent
year 4: 2016-2017
The urgency to serve younger youth inspired the first pilot program for 5-6th grade youth at Napa Valley Language. Additionally, our second middle school program began at Redwood Middle School. Simultaneously, our program continued at Silverado Middle School and Vintage High School, totaling four school sites.