For Immediate Release
August 16, 2021
Contact: Rhonalyn Cabello,, (916) 584-3897

California Volunteers Invests Over $1 Million To Support Young Men Of Color

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, California Volunteers, Office of the Governor announced a historic $1.6 million in state funds has been awarded to Improve Your Tomorrow (IYT) to support their mission of increasing the number of young men of color attending and graduating college. This investment was made possible through new funding made available by Governor Newsom’s unprecedented investment in service.  

“During times of great need, service has proven to be the answer to solve some of our state’s most pressing problems. As part of my Comeback Plan, we are funding service opportunities that uplift educational and economic opportunities for all Californians,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “Today, we are continuing to build equity and opportunity for California’s young men of color by bringing people together through service.” 

With the $1.6 million investment, IYT will work alongside school districts and universities to expand program offerings to 26 additional school sites in Stockton, Modesto, Sacramento, and Humboldt County for the fall of 2021. Extending services across these communities will allow IYT to serve and uplift 3,000 young men of color. This funding will create over 90 new AmeriCorps positions, which will be a total of 167 AmeriCorps year of service opportunities for college students to provide mentoring, tutoring, and youth development services in their community. AmeriCorps members serving through IYT receive a living stipend and scholarship up to $10,000.

“Innovative organizations like IYT are using service as a strategy to improve educational outcomes in some of our most underserved areas,” said Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday. “Expanding the reach of this program will not only benefit young men of color but also their communities.” 

IYT maintains long-standing plans to close the college achievement gap by expanding its program areas and partnering with additional school districts to dramatically increase the number of young men of color attending and graduating college. 

“This funding will directly translate to an improvement in the lives of the young men of color participating in our programs and enable us to reach more of them in other underserved communities,” said CEO Michael Lynch. “We applaud Governor Newsom and California Volunteers for recognizing the impact of our work and the ability to provide additional services and educational opportunities to our young brothers.” 

With the support from AmeriCorps members, IYT’s programs have consistently surpassed statewide averages and improved the educational and life outcomes for young men of color. IYT currently provides service to young men of color from 7th grade and continue all the way through college. Participants in IYT’s programs have seen a 99% high school graduation rate (compared to 80% statewide) and a 90% college attendance rate (compared to 54% statewide). Currently, IYT has 75 AmeriCorps members who serve over 1,000 young men of color in Sacramento County, San Joaquin County, and Yolo County. These AmeriCorps members come from the communities they serve, enabling them to effectively relate to IYT member students and produce positive educational outcomes.  

IYT is a community-based nonprofit that was founded in 2013 with the mission to increase the number of young men of color to attend and graduate from colleges and universities. For the past eight years, IYT has implemented successful college access and completion programs in schools and neighborhoods that suffer from high poverty, violence, low educational attainment, and underinvestment.  

To learn more and sign up for mentor fellowship positions in your community, visit 


Led by California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday, California Volunteers, Office of the Governor empowers Californians to take action to improve their communities. #CaliforniansForAll is a California Volunteers service initiative launched in response to COVID-19 to establish a volunteer corps to support the state’s response to emergencies and disasters.