Scotlan Youth & Family Center

Oakland Youth First


OYF is an innovative career-exploration Jefferson Award winner component of the Scotlan Youth and Family Center services,

Oakland Youth First offers:

  •   Land: digital and media arts; renewable energy industry; small business development


  •   Air: commercial and private aviation; ground school certification; air traffic control


  •   Sea:maritime industry; boating safety and operation; port operations and opportunities


The Youth First Development Center Career Exploration OYF Land-Air-Sea Story
Job readiness is essential for transitioning youth at risk of poverty, homelessness and crime on to meaningful paths toward self-sufficiency, healthy self-esteem, academic success and economic independence,
For almost half a century,  Scotlan Youth and Family Center has served the needs of troubled Oakland families through is extensive wrap-around services that include PTSD counseling, career development, family support, parenting and other adult classes. In 2013, it launched ”Oakland Youth First Land-Air-Sea” ” to provide career exploration opportunities within industries many urban teenagers would never consider and others had only dreamed.

Linked Learning, Common Core and STEM* Components
Using flight and boating simulators; getting creative with digital arts and film; learning to install panels on buildings; developing a business plan for creating an App start-up. These are some of the techniques OYF staff use with proven educational concepts - to motivate learning, stimulate critical thinking, and inspire at-risk youth to aspire toward productive, constructive and rewarding lives and careers.


The United States has become a global leader, in large part, through the genius and hard work of its scientists, engineers and innovators.
Yet today, that position is threatened as comparatively few American students pursue expertise in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)—and by an inadequate pipeline of teachers skilled in those subjects. 

The Common Core State Standards
provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.


Linked Learning integrates real-world professions with rigorous academics, transforming education into a personally relevant, wholly engaging experience - and opening students to career and college opportunities they never imagined.

Many young people, especially those in low-income households, have untapped potential to participate more fully in the workforce and community life. With deeper knowledge and skills, and stronger high school graduation rates, Linked Learning can help many more of California’s youth gain the capacities and opportunities needed for post secondary education and high-wage employment.

Four Elements Define Linked Learning

Linked Learning builds on more than four decades of experience gained by California schools that combine academic and technical content to generate high student achievement. It combines four elements that research identifies as vital to student success:

· Challenging academics: A rigorous academic core curriculum featuring instruction in essential college preparatory    subjects such as English, math, science, social studies,foreign  language and visual and performing arts.     

· Technical skills and knowledge: A demanding combination of career and technical course work emphasizing the practical use of academic learning and preparing youth for high-skill, high-wage employment.

· Work-based learning: A range of opportunities to learn through meaningful real-world experiences, including internships, apprenticeships and school-based enterprises.

· Support services: Academic and social supports, such as counseling and additional


·  Instruction in reading, writing and mathematics, with the goal of helping all students succeed in and outside school.