Welcome to YMC

For over 20 years, Youth Mentoring Connection has been dedicated to strengthening youth with a very unique approach – by seeing their gifts and acknowledging their wounds…

Power of Initiation

YMC programs reclaim the positive and constructive aspects of initiation settings, and the result is that youth develop a sense of self and the desire to make positive contributions to the community…

Building trust

In our worksite mentoring programs, young people form an individual supportive relationship with their mentor, are exposed to a professional workplace, and develop the soft skills necessary for success…

Ocean healing

“I feel so alive when I am in YMC’s surf program. I feel like this is my life. If I make a wrong turn, I’m thrown back and encouraged to try again. When I choose the right path, I’m led to the most awesome waves to ride.”

Making us proud

Year after year, we witness our mentees improve in so many vital areas: school performance; personal and vocational goals; social and interpersonal relationships, self esteeem, and empowerment to name a few…

In trying times

Youth Mentoring Connection was blessed with tremendous support when the pandemic hit, allowing us to serve our youth through virtual programming, food delivery, and vital emotional support. Your generosity is changing lives…

We can't do it alone

Interested in being a mentor? There are no special skills required, just the desire to help a young person reach their full potential…


YMC’s Mission & Vision

The Mission of Youth Mentoring Connection is to transform the lives of at-risk youth by caring for their wounds and shining a light on their gifts through an ongoing mentoring community, creative expression, and life-changing experiences; thus inspiring them to become thriving adults. Our Vision is of a community that brings vital connection, love, and healing into the lives of at-risk youth.

Our Vision is of safe communities worldwide using our Gifts Centered Approach to bring vital connection, love, and healing into the lives of at-risk youth, so they may live fully into their passion and purpose.

About Us

Youth Mentoring Connection (YMC) was founded in 2001 by Tony LoRe, a prominent corporate executive and independent consultant. Since YMC’s inception, over 6000 vulnerable youth have been positively impacted by dedicated and caring adults who empower youth with long-term, consistent support, guiding them toward developing positive characters, good decision-making skills, and enhanced self-esteem to maximize their capabilities.

Be A Part Of The YMC Community

Your generosity is what makes our work possible:

  • Donations keep our programs running strong and help us expand our reach to meet the varied needs of this underserved  community.

  • Other volunteer opportunities are available, whether your company would like to become a corporate partner, or you as an individual would like to volunteer in fundraising, recruitment, marketing, or another area.


What Our Community Is Saying

"At the time I joined YMC my only refuge was the streets. Til this day no one has shown me the love and respect like Youth Mentoring Connection and my mentors there. They showed me the potential that I didn't even know I had, and are still continuing to stand by me"

-YMC mentee

“The concept of our gifts and wounds living right next to each other was a very powerful concept for me...  The ability to share life experience and point of view vs advice was great. It gave me perspective on the kinds of "problems" we deal with at work vs. those my mentee was and is dealing with. It increased my level of gratitude but also... made me more empathetic in general.”

-Nate, WMG Mentor

"Our new relationship with YMC is strong due to the enormous positive feedback we got from our participants, not to mention the incredible love for the young people that is demonstrated by the YMC staff. They engage and build a trust with these students that is impactful in many ways..."

-Kristal McKanders

VP, Communications & Marketing, Warner Music Group


Programs and Events

Mentoring is at the core of our work. Our worksite and community programs create lasting relationships that endure for a lifetime. But that’s not all! Our surf programs, monthly ECHO gatherings, Initiation retreats, and Urban Oasis Film Academy, all offer empowerment and healing in a variety of ways…

Core Mentoring Programs

9 months in duration, our proven model of mentee and mentor recruitment and training, group and direct 1:1 mentoring, case management, extensive staff monitoring, life skills workshops, parental involvement, and mentor and mentee rap sessions produce program outcomes that surpass national averages in high school graduation.

Initiation Weekends

Our four-day Initiation Weekend mountain retreats are where our deepest work is done. This intensive experience uses initiation rituals drawn from indigenous cultures to create a community in which youth begin identifying their wounds and discovering their gifts. YMC’s partner organizations, Street Poets, Rhythm Arts Alliance, and Western Gates Roots and Wings, help provide opportunities for creative expression through poetry, writing, music, dance, and ceremonies that awaken the ancestral wisdom living deep within their bones.  Other activities include a ropes course, drumming, climbing walls, and hiking. The retreat is followed by nine months of innovative mentoring. To read more about the power of initiation, click HERE.


Youth Mentoring Connection’s STOKED CITY SURF CAMP provides Los Angeles youth the opportunity to ride the waves at local beaches. For many of our youth, this program means seeing the beach for the first time in their lives, despite livinge less than a 30 minute drive away. Others who did not know how to swim learn to be comfortable in the water.


ECHO is a monthly gathering where we come together to share stories, uncover wounds, and discover gifts. We use indigenous rituals, ancient stories, poetry and sometimes music to create a space for deep healing conversations. Facilitated by Youth Mentoring Connection staff, men and women meet in separate concurrent spaces for two or more hours of open sharing. These gatherings are open to all guests, though the nature of discussion is usually best suited for high school age and above.

Urban Oasis Film Academy

Supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, our Urban Oasis Film Academy is where youth learn about script writing, cameras, acting, producing, directing, and editing. The young people involved learn the power of their own voice and the importance of telling their stories. 

Our Supporters


Contact Us

YMC staff are available to answer your questions about the programs we offer, how to become a mentor, or anything else in service to the youth of Los Angeles.

Call Us