PSHH Education Program Receives $36,000 from California Arts Council for New Youth Arts Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –  Central Coast, CA – February 13, 2023People’s Self-Help Housing (PSHH) has received $36,000 from the California Arts Council to bring culturally-responsive, therapeutic arts programming to local students.

With support from the California Arts Council, Camino Scholars will incorporate art therapy into learning modalities at their learning centers throughout Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. Aimed at equipping under-resourced and at-risk students with coping strategies for behavioral health maintenance and stress regulation, the curriculum will focus on creating art using everyday household objects. The program will be led by Central Coast native and now Los Angeles-based artist and social media creator Jazlyn Zepeda and will seek to empower youth voices and celebrate culture, positive self-esteem, and diversity.

“I’m honored to share art expression with children of the local communities that shaped me into the person I am today,” said Jazlyn Zepeda. “Shedding light on mental health and vulnerability is what I needed when I was younger. Now I am blessed to give just that to each of the children enrolled in the Camino Scholars program. Thank you to the California Arts Institute for this opportunity!”

This funding was provided by the California Arts Council’s Creative Youth Development Grant, which funds youth programs that occur outside of traditional school hours in arts venues, community centers, school sites, and other student-oriented settings. Funding is aimed at providing young people with meaningful, cultural arts-learning experiences to help them reach their full potential.

The program will be administered through the PSHH education program: Camino Scholars, which provides students throughout the Central Coast with free, innovative math and literacy skill-building afterschool programs. As evidenced by standardized test scores, the curriculum significantly improves math and literacy skills and sets students on the path to lifelong learning. Through in-person programming and its counterpart distance learning model, Camino Scholars provides students and their families with year-round academic assistance and extracurricular support.

“We cannot thank the California Arts Council enough for their support through this innovative funding,” said Joanna Dominguez, PSHH Director of Education. “With the collaboration of Jazlyn and our incredible team of educators, we hope to build students’ confidence and provide more opportunities for creative expression into our curriculum.”

With a mission of strengthening arts, culture, and creative expression as the tools to cultivate a better California for all, the California Arts Council invests in statewide community organizations, local government, and creative individuals through competitive grant programs that are administered through a multistep public process. The organization aims to make the economic, educational and civic benefits of the arts available to all communities by broadening public access to the arts and reducing barriers to cultural participation.

This is just one of a number of grants received by Camino Scholars to support programs designed to improve the health and wellbeing of Camino Scholars students. Other funders include the California Department of Justice’s Youth Beverage Consumer Education and Research Fund’s grant which supports nutrition and health curriculum and the Cottage Health Foundation which benefits behavioral and mental health interventions for young students.

To learn more, visit pshhc.org.

About People’s Self-Help Housing (PSHH)

Founded in 1970, PSHH is the longest-serving nonprofit affordable housing organization on the Central Coast. With a mission of building homes and providing services to strengthen communities and change lives, PSHH serves low-income households, working families, seniors, veterans, farmworkers, those living with disabilities and the formerly homeless. It also provides homeownership opportunities through a self-help, “sweat equity” program that has seen over 1,200 homes successfully completed. PSHH has a presence in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Monterey counties, manages over 2,000 rental units, and employs over 200 staff members. PSHH acknowledges the indigenous people of the territories that our organization occupies, including the Chumash, Salinan, Yokuts, Kitanemuk, and Tataviam people. To read the full land acknowledgement, visit pshhc.org/IDEA. For more information about the organization, visit pshhc.org, email info@pshhc.org or phone (805) 781-3088.


Media Contact: communications@pshhc.org; (805) 548-2340

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