About us

Our Mission

Scotlan Center / Oakland Youth First uses innovative, evidence-based client-centered services to teach participants life, job and conflict management skills to reduce recidivism and encourage learning. 

Located in West Oakland, Scotlan Youth and Family Center is a California nonprofit serving East Bay families since 1966. 

Oakland Youth First is the banner under which SYFC operates its career-exploration classes, extensive wrap-around teen-and family support services, and academic assistance programs. 

Our Team

Our amazing team of regulars and part-time volunteers are committed to helping others. OYF has invested resources to train our staff to address the prevailing overwhelming trauma experienced by our reentry and local populations in Oakland related to gun and domestic violence.

A few things we’re great at

In each child lives a greatness. 

It is vital that every one of our children come to know this truth; and to have the guidance and opportunity to achieve their true potential. 

Often negative experiences and years of accumulated stress become overwhelming, creating disengagement and a sense of hopelessness. For many youth, the dreams that once inspired them are now difficult to even recall. 

Our mission is not only to rekindle those dreams but also resolve the barriers that prevent these dreams from becoming reality.

“If not us, then who? If not now, then when?” ~John Lewis 


Oakland Youth First provides training through digital and media arts. Our State-of-the-Art production studios develop skills in music and streaming video broadcast. In addition, our OYF Land Program trains our participants to use renewable energy options as keys self-sustaining futures. OYF partners with the East Bay Regional Parks OYF students engage conservation and park research and services. Our program teaches financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills through our Small Business Development Program.


OYF youth learn aviation skills and career opportunities in commercial and private aviation unmanned aerial vehicles and related support industries. The Tuskegee Airmen, and the Bay Area Black Pilots Association provide FAA certified Flight instructors that certify ground simulator and aircraft flight hours for our participants. 

The Scotlan Center has over 25 flight simulators and an air traffic control tower simulation room that can monitor over 10,000 flights world wide.



Oakland is the 5th busiest port in the United States. The Serendipity, OYF’s 32’ cabin cruiser, explores the Bay Area marine environment, estuaries and shorelines. Certified Coast Guard instructors and retired service personnel train OYF participants for marine related careers. 

OYF’s interwoven career alternatives allow our participants opportunities to gain knowledge in STEM and life skills related areas of learning. Our Linked Learning approach ensure our young students are better prepared in life and are more positive contributors to their communities.

life skills

Certain skills may be more or less relevant to you depending on your life circumstances, your culture, beliefs, age, geographic location, etc. However, in 1999, the World Health Organization identified six key areas of life skills:

Communication and interpersonal skills

Decision-making and problem-solving.

Creative thinking and critical thinking

Self-awareness and empathy, which are two key parts of emotional intelligence

Assertiveness and equanimity, or self-control

Resilience and ability to cope with problems

Join us! It will only take a minute

contact information

CALL US AT 510-832-2088 0R EMAIL US AT:
[email protected]