Season 12 Nonprofit Partners

YES Nature to Neighborhoods (Joe Montana & Stephen A. Smith)

Diablo Regional Arts Association (Jose Antonio Vargas vs. Michelle Maklin)

Contra Costa County Historical Society (David McCullough)

Contra Costa Child Care Council (Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner)

Girls Incorporated of West Contra Costa County (Prime Minister Julia Gillard)

Kennedy-King Memorial College Scholarship Fund (Martin Luther King III)

YES Nature to NeighborhoodsYES

Summer months are typically the time when low-income youth have fewer opportunities to combat “summer learning loss”, access nature, and participate in affordable enrichment activities. However, YES Nature to Neighborhoods, a nonprofit in Richmond, CA has been changing the learning loss script by making residential summer camp experiences available to hundreds of students from the West Contra Costa Unified School District each year since 1999.

In addition to making it possible for youth to attend sleep-away summer camps, YES brings over 100 families to weekend Family Camps, and provides year-round teen and adult leadership training back in Richmond. Together with nature, YES is nurturing young people whose facilitated experiences outdoors act as a catalyst for them to become leaders in their schools and neighborhoods.

When kids return to Richmond from camp, their leadership development continues with YES’s year-round Camp to Community (C2C) program, designed to leverage summer camp experiences to connect youth back to their urban home environments.

YES programming isn’t just for kids. Parents and families can participate as well. In collaboration with two Elementary Schools in Central and North Richmond, YES brings entire families to a weekend of Family Camp in the Redwoods four times a year.

With the empowerment workshops and activities provided at Family Camp, many parents return to Richmond looking to connect to YES’s Wellness Program, an adult leadership program where parents engage in grassroots peer leadership and advocacy practices. 

By engaging both kids and their parents in nature-based leadership programming, YES is building and diversifying a new generation of environmental stewards while improving the health and wellness of their Richmond community.

YES runs several community and fundraising events throughout the year. To get involved as a volunteer or donor, please visit

Please visit our website at

Diablo Regional Arts Associationjfk

DRAA’s Arts Access School Time Program

Arts education and outreach have always existed at
the Lesher Center, but times have changed. Schools have eliminated field trips, music, and visual art teachers and programs, creating a huge void. DRAA stepped front and center and created the Arts Access School Time Program in 2008 to give low-income students access to the Center at no cost to them or their school.

In less than 10 years more than 40,000 students and teachers have received free tickets, transportation and study guides and have become an audience to live performance at the Center.

The program has grown so popular and so vital to our community that demand has increased exponentially. Last year more than 5,000 students had to be turned away because of lack of funds. Each child who visits is becoming, is a promise. It is the charge of DRAA to help as many children as possible to fulfill their promise to become future Einsteins, Mozarts, O’Keefes, good citizens, poets, and builders of the American dream.

Every child deserves to be entertained, to witness the power of live theatre, to wonder: How do they do that? Can I be up there? And it’s not just about the next generation of artists, actors or musicians--it’s also about helping them find their heart, their passion.

For more information visit us at

Contra Costa County Historical Society and History Center

The History Center, founded in 1982, is a place where the mementos, memories, and written and pictorial records of Contra Costa County’s past are collected. Residents and collectors may offer photos, letters, and records for consideration as part of the Society’s archive. Containing more than 200,000 documents, the archive includes photographs, naturalization documents, superior court documents, historic maps, newspaper clippings, and many special collections. A bookstore and exhibits complete the services to be found in our 5,000 square foot facility in Martinez.

Our mission is to preserve, protect, and provide public access to the records and heritage of Contra Costa County, California

Though Contra Costa County’s 1 million citizens are the primary potential recipients our services, we also serve people from all over the world, as well as across the United States and in California. Our website gives in-depth access to the materials available at the History Center, with many of our 60,000 or so photos available as thumbnails, indexes to the names in our obituary and naturalization files, and many essays regarding the history of Contra Costa County. People contact us throughout the year with queries relating to genealogical, naturalization, and property history questions whose answers can be provided by our clippings files and special collections.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of the CCCHS. At the History Center, they contribute countless hours (more than 6,000 last year) to interacting with researchers, finding primary sources, answering inquiries, and entering information into our comprehensive databases.

Our repository of research information is available to attorneys, environmental firms, state parks officials, and other professionals as well as to professional genealogists and family researchers.

Visit our website

Contra Costa Child Care Council

Celebrating 40 years, the Contra Costa Child Care Council serves a critical role in the well-being of children, families and communities. As the only child care resource and referral agency serving all of Contra Costa, our nonprofit organization is at the center of the child care delivery system. Through innovative, multi-faceted programs and services, we partner with parents, child care providers, businesses, governments, and the community to promote quality care and early education so that children are ready for school success and parents can work. Our mission is to provide leadership to promote and advance quality care and early education. With experts in early childhood education and child development, including child health and nutrition and inclusion services for children with special needs, the Child Care Council serves thousands of Contra Costa children, families and early educators each year. At the heart of our services is the Early Start to Success initiative to provide unbiased, free child care referrals and parent education to help all families support their children’s optimal development and make informed choices about child care, including infant/toddler, preschool and school-aged care for children 0-12. The Innovations in Quality (IQ) Program delivers training based on the latest research so child care professionals can build sustainable local businesses and provide quality care and early education. The Contra Costa Child Care Council strives for excellence in its many services to benefit children, families and our community. As we invest in the next generation, our vision remains to ensure that Contra Costa’s children achieve their full potential. Together, we can improve lives… one child at a time.

Please visit our website

Girls Incorporated of West Contra Costa County

Girls Incorporated of West Contra Costa County (Girls Inc.) is a nonprofit organization located in Richmond, CA, that serves girls between the ages of 6-18 living in West Contra Costa County. The Girls Inc. mission is to inspire all girls to be “strong, smart, and bold®.” Our purpose is to respond to the complex and diverse needs that underserved girls contend with through the provision of programming that affirms their self-worth and empowers them to assert their autonomy.

During our rich 40-year history, Girls Inc. has served over 6,000 girls. We are an affiliate of the National Girls Inc. organization; however, we receive no direct funding from National and must fund our programming ourselves. The majority of our program participants live in households with incomes well below the Area Median Income, with 89% living in single-parent led households primarily from economically underserved communities. Additionally, over 70% of our participants are eligible for the free or reduced lunch program. We serve students in the West Contra Costa Unified School District high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools. Additionally, we partner with the City of Richmond to present our programming at their recreation facilities and apartment community venues. We have also established meaningful partnerships with many Bay Area community-based organizations.

Girls Inc. employs a small, yet dedicated team of professionals committed to the organizational mission and positively impacting our community. The team’s efforts are supplemented by assistance from more than 40 volunteers annually, who have donated more than 3,000 hours of their time. Girls Inc. provides life-changing programming in the areas of health & wellness, career & education, economic literacy, life skills education, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) and leadership.

Kennedy-King Memorial College Scholarship Fundcatholic

To provide opportunity to our young people so they can use their own initiative to benefit themselves and their community.

The late 1960’s were a tumultuous time in America.  Two men paid the ultimate price for their belief in equality of opportunity—Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were assassinated.  Visionary residents of Contra Costa County moved by these events founded a living memorial to continue the fight for equal opportunity.  Forty-eight years later the Kennedy-King Memorial College Scholarship Fund continues to seek opportunity in education for all.

Kennedy-King scholarship recipients are drawn from the three Contra Costa community colleges—Contra Costa College, Diablo Valley College, and Los Medanos College.  They are chosen for their financial need, academic promise, and determination to obtain an education.  Scholarship recipients are drawn from minority groups under-represented in the California College and University system, principally African-American, Americans derived from Spanish speaking cultures, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders.

Scholarship Awards
Kennedy-King awards two-year $10,000 undergraduate scholarships, and one-year $5,000 graduate scholarships.  The fundamental requirement is that students are matriculating from one of the three County community colleges to a four-year degree granting university.

Since 1968 Kennedy-King has awarded 744 scholarships totaling almost $4.1 million.  Prior recipients are now contributing members of the local community as medical professionals, lawyers, teachers, engineers, scientists, business men and women, and government officials.  Three former scholarship recipients now contribute as members of the Kennedy-King Board of Directors.  As an all-volunteer organization Kennedy-King continues to use over 95% of contributed funds for scholarships.

Let’s meet a former scholarship recipient—Krystal Hinojosa, a 2004 Kennedy-King Scholarship Recipient

  • “With the generous support Kennedy-King donors I was able to complete my formal education, and also give back to the community that gave me so much.”
  • Currently Chief of Staff to County Supervisor Karen Mitchoff;
  • A former Los Medanos College student;
  • Received a BA degree in Rhetoric and a BS degree in Conservation & Resource Studies from the University of California;
  • Currently serves as a Planning Commissioner in the City of Antioch.