YWFC has had transformative impact for almost three decades – raising up movement and community leaders, changing the narrative about systems-impacted girls, women and TGNC people, transforming programs, laws, legislation, public systems and institutions to do less harm and be more responsive to our needs. The young people that have come up through YWFC have gone on to provide influential leadership in prison reform, violence prevention, women’s rights, and economic, racial and gender justice. They have led as public officials, executive directors, foundation presidents and movement and community leaders.

Our key impacts and accomplishments include:

On an annual basis:  

  • Annual 79%-85% reduction in recidivism among young women and TGNC people who complete our program; 
  • Up to 90% of those who complete the program maintain employment and reach educational goals at 6-, 12-, and 18-month follow up; 

In the past year alone: 

  • Lead role in closing of SF Juvenile Hall with three SF Supervisors, reallocation of funds, and facilitation of community-driven process to identify community-based alternatives for prevention, diversion and re-entry;
  • Lead role in launch of Santa Clara County initiative to End the Incarceration of Girls; 
  • Introduction of SB42 – the Get Home Safe Act – in partnership with Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner; and,
  • Incubation of Sister Warrior Freedom Coalition with over 200 formerly incarcerated and systems-involved members.

Julia Arroyo first found out about CYWD when she was a peer outreach worker at SAGE (Standing Against Global Exploitation). She then came to CYWD in 2010 as a homeless, young mother still involved in the underground street economy. She participated in Young Mother’s United and was hired as a Self-Determination Coordinator in 2014. Shortly after being hired, Lateefah Simon sent Julia to the United Nations to meet other women and girls from around the world working on their freedom and liberation. In 2015, she served as a Program Manager, in 2016 as the Detentions Director and in 2018 as the Program Director. Julia is now the SF Site Director and part of the heart and soul of YWFC. Julia’s daily practice and commitment is an example of the transformative power of sisterhood and the magic and method of YWFC.