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Teen Resource Guide



Teen Resource Guide


It’s here! Every spring Growing Up in Santa Cruz publishes an annual guide to resources available to teens (and their parents) in the Santa Cruz County area. Our goal is to provide an accessible, helpful list of resources to help teens and families navigate the complex needs of teens in ways that promote healthy avenues for growth, exploration and development. The resources in this guide offer support for dealing with academic, peer pressure and relationship issues, as well as recreational, job training and volunteer opportunities.


We encourage you to share this guide with your teen and post a copy up in your house so your teen has easy access to the resource list. As some topics may be difficult for teens to request support with, we also suggest giving a copy of this guide, and especially of the phone and text hotlines at the end of the guide, to your teen.


Teen Centers and Youth Programs


Boys & Girls Club of Santa Cruz

543 Center St., Santa Cruz



The Boys & Girls Club offers a variety of after school activities for youth ages 7-18. Teens ages 12 & up have a large room at the downtown Club dedicated just for them. The teen room is equipped with Apple I-Mac computers for research and homework, as well as an XBox for gaming and watching movies as well as other services for teens.


City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation

Teen Center

Louden Nelson Community Center

301 Center St, Santa Cruz



Stop in at the Santa Cruz Teen Center for recreational activities such as basketball, pool tables, Wii, X-Box 360, outdoor activities, foosball, movies, Internet, music and a pretty chill space. Also pick up our current calendar to find out what’s happening for teens in Santa Cruz. The Teen Center sponsors dances, band nights, special events, day and overnight trips, sports, and outdoor events in addition to daily activities. Check our monthly calendar and our Facebook for ongoing activities!


City of Watsonville Parks & Recreation

Gene Hoularis and Waldo Rodriguez Youth Center

30 Maple Ave, Watsonville


Come check out your one stop afterschool “chill spot.” The G.H.W.R. Youth Center offers programs and services for youth ages 6-22 years old. Kick it with your friends, get homework help, or check out a variety of exciting activities. Just want to chill? We also provide a Teen Room where you can hang out, watch TV or listen to music. You may also bring your game console and hook it up to our TV with surround sound. In addition, the Youth Center offers a variety of trips, classes, and special and late night events for middle and high school students.


Davenport Resource Center



The Davenport Resource Center’s Teen Center offers mentoring, tutoring, health services and more. Open in the afternoons, drop by to hang out and connect with a wide variety of fun and useful services. The Teen Center is free, open year-round and also offers fun field trips. The DRSC provides services support building a strong and integrated community on Santa Cruz County’s rural North Coast. The Center serves as an advocate and resource for the area’s culturally diverse and low-income population.





FOOD WHAT is a youth empowerment and food justice program using food, through sustainable agriculture and health, as the vehicle for growing strong, healthy and inspired teens. We partner with low-income and struggling youth to grow, cook, eat and distribute healthy, sustainably raised food and address food justice issues in our community. Teens can participate through spring internships, summer jobs, fall business management opportunities and through community events on the farm.


Nueva Vista Community Resources

711 East Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz


The Familia Center is a Latino-based community resource center that offers both recreational and educational programs for youth. Homework help, academic help and support are provided. Occasional field trips, recreational activities and outings are also available.


Santa Cruz Teen Book Crew


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SC Teen Book Crew is a group that puts out book reviews by and for teens. In partnership with Bookshop Santa Cruz and local high schools, SC Book Crew teens read and review upcoming young adult books, and have opportunities to meet, interview and learn from young adult authors.


YMCA of Watsonville

27 Sudden St., Watsonville


The YMCA offers a variety of programs for young people that combine fitness, education and entertainment while focusing on developing positive self-images and leadership skills. These programs include aquatics and karate classes, Night Hoops basketball league.



1740 17th Ave, Santa Cruz


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YouthSERVE is dedicated to connecting youth, ages 11-17, with rewarding community service projects across the Santa Cruz County. Under the direction of adult volunteer leaders, YouthSERVE volunteers contribute their talents to making positive change in our community.


Health, Counseling and Support




Alanon's Alateen Family Groups are a fellowship of family and friends of alcoholics and drug users. At Alateen meetings, teens that have parents or friends who are alcoholics can discuss their problems in an environment without adults and in complete anonymity. At Watsonville High School, students may attend Alateen meetings during the school day on campus. Please contact the school for information on dates and times of meetings. Please call Alateen for updated times and other locations.


Nannette Benedict DDS & Associates

5015 Scotts Valley Dr. A, Scotts Valley



We are really enjoying our new space, like Barbie it has everything! We have the latest high-tech instruments which I would love to show the teenagers, including CAD/CAM crowns with 3-D imagery. The youngsters can enjoy movies or cartoons on the IPad over the chair. We are open 5 days a week and 1 Saturday a month, and 2 specialists: periodontist and endodontist to better accommodate families.


Camp Recovery Center

Scotts Valley



The Camp is a chemical dependency program that provides a wide range of services for adolescents. The Family Program consists of lectures, videos, discussion and group activities. Residential treatment takes place on 25 wooded acres and offers counseling, group therapy, relapse prevention education, 12-step meetings, art therapy and recreational activities.


Dignity Health Medical Group—Dominican

1820 41st Avenue, Suite D, Capitola



Dignity Health Medical Group—Dominican is dedicated to serving the health care needs of the Santa Cruz community. Our board-certified pediatricians and family practitioners deliver comprehensive care for teens and young adults, offering a range of services from preventative health care (including the HPV vaccine) to the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic diseases. Additionally, our Urgent Care Center is open seven days a week (365 days per year, including holidays) from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Conveniently located on 41st Avenue in Santa Cruz, we offer same-day treatment for non-emergency medical conditions such as flu, colds, cuts, and fractures.


Individual, Couples, Parents, and Family Therapy

Santa Cruz

Bethany Kientzel

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #102272


Providing support for parenting from infancy through adulthood. Understanding developmental stages and developing strategies for making the best of the parenting years. Adoption, developmental/cognitive challenges, special needs, foster/kinship care. Accepts Central California Alliance.


Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance

335 East Lake Ave., Watsonville


Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance (PVPSA) is a nonprofit agency dedicated to providing education, training, and counseling and prevention services to students, families, and staff of the Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD). By helping prevent criminal behavior, gang involvement, truancy and school dropout, and drug, alcohol, and tobacco use, PVPSA improves the quality of life in our community and its schools.


Planned Parenthood

1119 Pacific Ave., Suite 200, Santa Cruz


398 South Green Valley Rd, Watsonville


24-hour Facts-of-Life Hotline, 1.800.711.9848

Planned Parenthood also provides educational services through schools and community agencies and has a peer education program. Planned Parenthood also sponsors support groups. For more information about any of our programs, please call (831) 758-8902, ext. 213. A 24-hour Facts of Life Hotline, 1-800-711-9848, and our Teen Wire website, www.teenwire.com, also provide general information regarding reproductive health and birth control methods.


Pregnancy Resource Center of Santa Cruz County

1570 Soquel Dr. Ste 3, Santa Cruz



Pregnancy Resource Center was founded in 1983 and continues to serve the women, families and students of Santa Cruz County with competent, compassionate FREE medical care. Our services include abortion options, pregnancy tests, ultrasound, counseling, parenting classes, material assistance, housing, post-abortion recovery, to name only a few.


Salud Para La Gente

204 East Beach St., Watsonville


A primary health care network with 12 clinic sites, including 7 school-based clinics in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District. It also offers Gay and Proud, a support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth that provides a safe environment to socialize, develop self-esteem and leadership skills, and share information about identity and relationships. This program involves mostly monolingual Spanish speaking youth ages 14-19. The clinics also provide confidential pregnancy and HIV testing.


Santa Cruz County Tobacco Education Coalition

1070 Emeline Ave., Santa Cruz


The Santa Cruz County Tobacco Education Coalition offers many opportunities for community members interested in smoking and other tobacco issues that impact our county. The Coalition also has lots of information on how to quit smoking. Call to request educational brochures or a list of classes in Santa Cruz County.


The Sensory Toolbox


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This is the place for education and resources about autism, ADHD, and sensory processing disorder. With all of the growth and transition that happens in the teenage years, sensory issues can become problematic in new and unexpected ways. As a community, we tackle your child's everyday sensory challenges, from creating sensory strategies to finding treatment services. Diana is a licensed and registered occupational therapist who specializes in pediatric sensory issues. You can read her sensory tips, find products, and get a free Sensory Toolbox guide at http://www.thesensorytoolbox.com/


Youth Services

709 Mission St., Santa Cruz


241 East Lake Ave, Watsonville



Youth Services is a component of Encompass Community Services that serves families and adolescents by helping them find positive solutions to the wide range of challenges facing youth today. They offer numerous programs at their two locations, some at no cost and others on a sliding scale. There are weekly therapy groups as well as a one-time use program. Youth Services works closely with the juvenile justice system as well as city schools and various community service agencies. Many more services and programs are available, please call or visit the website for more information.


Recreation, Entertainment & Enrichment


Adventure Sports Unlimited

303 Potrero Street, #15, Santa Cruz



Adventure Sports Unlimited (ASU) is the premier store for aquatics instruction in Santa Cruz. We teach infants through adults the joy of water through our Swim School. Our Ocean programs introduce families to our magnificent marine environments through the Seafood Foraging, and Kelp Pickling. We explore the world-renown underwater landscape of Monterey and Carmel Bays through our Open Water Scuba courses. It all starts in our custom-built aquatics facility with our tropically heated pool including Jacuzzi, and classroom. We want to make your entry into the water world truly enjoyable. ASU-you deserve it!


All About Theatre 

325 Washington Street, Santa Cruz



Celebrating 15 years and over 115 musicals in Santa Cruz County. We offer training in the performing arts for Tiny Tots (3-5), Tots (5-10), Youth (10-16), and Adults. Don't miss our Spring Season - upcoming classes and teen musical (13 the Musical) starting this March. We are also offering intensive summer camps, 4-week long productions and training classes taught by local professionals and Broadway artists. There's a role for everyone and everyone will leave with skills that they didn't have when they arrived. Come be a part of the magic... and give the gift of performing arts to your child. We are located in downtown Santa Cruz and at our midtown location. Check out our website for new and expanded classes and productions in 2018.


Cabrillo Extension Summer Youth Camps



This summer we have NEW camps designed just for TEENS! They can dive deep into that hobby or passion that they’re obsessed with in Game Design, Digital Photography, Creative Cooking or Printmaking. They can learn new skills in Jazz Camp, Coding, Sports Camps, Leadership Academy, 3D printing, or Arduino Robotics. And our camps always encourage teens to see into their future, and explore careers in Cyber Security, Graphic Design, Digital Illustration, or Underwater ROV’s. Join us on campus for our inclusive, safe and positive learning environment where teens develop life skills and have tons of fun in the process! 


Catalyst Spring Soccer Camps and Programs

2016: Young Player FUN Skill Development!



This spring, Catalyst Soccer is celebrating the beautiful sport of soccer with a top-level development and instruction for all soccer loving young players. Catalyst Soccer has been at the forefront of youth soccer development since 1999 and has helped develop thousands of young players towards the higher levels of the game with their passion and professional approach to youth development. Influenced by the top youth development models in the world, Catalyst Soccer will inspire and educate. Boys and Girls who love soccer will love the FUN and LEARNING of Catalyst Soccer! Catalyst Soccer looks to develop players in the skillful side of soccer and is taught by current college coaches and players with a FC Barcelona inspired curriculum to increase skill levels and tactical understanding. Programs for include Skills Mentoring Programs and Spring Break Camps for Boys and Girls include Little Skillsbuilders (Ages 4-6) and Super FUNdamentals (Ages 6-14).


Dream Maker Creative

1001 Center St. #2, Santa Cruz



Dream Maker Creative is an arts and crafts studio for do-it-yourselfers, offering creative opportunities for adults, teens and children. Enjoy make and take projects, take a class, or rent our space for a private crafting party for you and your besties. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @dreammakercreative


Nike Basketball Camps at UC Santa Cruz


1-800-NIKE-CAMP (645-3226)

Improve your basketball skills and have serious fun at one of Nike Basketball Camps top California locations. Train with UC Santa Cruz Men’s and Women’s Basketball this summer and learn what it takes to become the ultimate player. Camper will work on all aspects of the game including fundamental development, shooting technique, team play skills and basketball IQ. Camp is open to players of all abilities, ages 8-18. Boys and girls only programs are available offering extended day and overnight options.


S3 Basketball Academy

Scotts Valley Center

100 Enterprise Way, Scotts Valley


S3 Basketball Academy is laser-focused on helping athletes develop skills. Players learn fundamentals of the game and receive training in how to reach their basketball potential. From April through September, players can attend 60 hour-long sessions where they’ll get high-level coaching and workout with other players at their own skill level.


Santa Cruz Gymnastics Center

2750B Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz



Are your teens in need of a fun and healthy activity? Here at Santa Cruz Gymnastics Center we offer many choices geared for teens and pre-teens with a wide range of abilities. Whether they are an ex-gymnast looking to casually return to the sport, someone looking to improve strength and coordination for another sport, or they’ve just always wanted to learn how to flip, we have a class that will work perfect!


Santa Cruz Public Libraries

Downtown Branch

224 Church St, Santa Cruz



Branciforte Branch Library

230 Gault St, Santa Cruz



Garfield Park Branch Library

705 Woodrow Ave, Santa Cruz



Live Oak Branch Library

2380 Portola Dr, Santa Cruz



Capitola Branch Library

2005 Wharf Rd, Capitola



La Selva Beach Branch Library

316 Estrella Ave, La Selva Beach



Scotts Valley Branch Library

251 Kings Village Rd, Scotts Valley



Felton Branch Library

6299 Gushee St, Felton



Aptos Branch Library

7695 Soquel Dr, Aptos



The Santa Cruz Public Library system connects, inspires, and informs community residents through a network of 10 neighborhood library branches, a web-based digital library, a Bookmobile and innovative community-based programs. Teen programs include Homework Help, R.E.A.D. (Reading Comprehension), Chess Clubs, Minecraft, Santa Cruz Young Makers, Lego Clubs, Family Crafts and STEM/STEAM Based Activities.


Santa Cruz Soccer Inc.



Santa Cruz Soccer Camp has witnessed over 30 years of making a sport fun, entertaining, and empowering for boys and girls ages-5-15. At this camp, they are taught by skillful educators, most who have graduated our Leadership Development ages 12-15, having participated as young campers immersed in the philosophy of Making Soccer Fun.


Scotts Valley Parks & Recreation

361 Kings Village Road, Scotts Valley



Licensed Program #440710304

Summer registration is almost here for City of Scotts Valley Parks & Recreation classes/activities and Summer Camp. Registration for classes/activities begins March 19th; registration for Summer Camp begins April 17th. So many fun activities for all ages. Driving school, gymnastics, Parkour, dance, swim lessons, soccer camps, tennis and much, much more. Summer Camp is 10 one-week sessions/full and part time at our Vine Hill site in Scotts Valley. Enroll early – we fill up fast!


Seahorse Swim School, Inc.

Aptos, Santa Cruz

831.476.7946 (swim)


Teens & pre-teens love our Summer Jr. Guard Camps preparing them for future jobs in lifeguarding. Jr. Guard preparatory courses will get kids ready for ALL Little/Jr. Guard testing & Summer programs. Our Sharks Non-Competitive Swimteam integrates stroke refinement into heart pumping workouts while providing feedback on each competitive stroke. Beginning teens love the positive, corrective feedback we provide them in private lessons, helping them gain new skills & build confidence. Professional, patient & skilled instructors assist in developing & streamlining strokes while introducing water safety skills. Voted one of the BEST swim programs in the County, come see what everyone is talking about!


Academic Support & Schools


ALCANCE (formerly YCORP)

406 Main St., Watsonville


The mission of ALCANCE is to provide youth and adults with employment services, work skills development and community engagement. ALCANCE honors and serves those who are under-resourced, at-risk or involved in the justice system through opportunities for low-income youth and adult to improve their quality of life and to reach their full potential. ALCANCE offers employment services including workshops and one-on-one job readiness and resume writing support, leadership development, life skills, vocational training and meaningful community engagement.


Gateway School

126 Eucalyptus Ave., Santa Cruz



Gateway School helps middle school students achieve success in high school, college and beyond through challenging academics, a rich array of electives and attention to the developmental needs of adolescents. Our advisory program ensures children flourish in a safe and close-knit community. Long a leader in innovative learning techniques, Gateway has instituted a mindfulness program, a 1:1 iPad program, and a new Makers Space. Skilled faculty, small classes, overnight field trips, community service, leadership opportunities, and robust after school sports further enrich the Gateway Middle School experience. Our graduates are problem solvers and critical thinkers. They collaborate and communicate, and become responsible, engaged and compassionate citizens.


Holy Cross School

150 Emmet Street, Santa Cruz

831.423.4447 ext.11


Parent and teacher partnerships support students as they strive to achieve academic excellence through a program that enriches the mind, body, and spirit. Students are known as individuals, which strengthens their confidence and opens the pathways to learning. Competitive sports programs and Service-Learning projects develop teamwork, empathy and respect for others. Various Google Education platforms are accessed via a 1:1 iPad program and chromebooks.


Mount Madonna School, Pre/K-12

491 Summit Road, Mount Madonna



At MMS we strive to prepare well-rounded human beings who not only get into and succeed in college, but learn to value collaboration, form meaningful relationships and engage with their local communities, nation, and the world. Come see education through our students' eyes: Montessori-based Pre/K program, 355-acre campus, science and technology labs, outdoor adventure and life skills, regional, national and international travel, mixed-grade buddy program, marine biology and oceanography on Catalina Island, visual and performing arts. Since 1979, MMS has offered students an exceptional education based on academic excellence, positive character development, and creative self-expression. Accredited by CAIS and WASC.


Santa Cruz Montessori, Ages 18 months-15 years

Main Campus (Primary and Elementary)

6230 Soquel Drive, Aptos

Winston Campus (Young Children's Community and Jr. High)

244 Cabrillo College Dr, Soquel

831.476.1646, Enrollment: ext. 12


Santa Cruz Montessori is a non-profit, independent school founded in 1964 serving children ages 18 months to 15 years. Our Wavecrest Junior High program and facility is especially designed to meet the needs of the young adolescent. We nurture a strong, positive community of learners guided by teachers uniquely trained to work with this age group in a Montessori setting. Self-motivated students are given the opportunity to develop their talents and interests and challenge themselves academically. Students gain experience through hands-on work, student-inspired productions, sports, trips to Yosemite and Washington DC, and community service.


SLVUSD Charter School

325 Marion Ave, Ben Lomond



Would a different delivery model benefit your child? Have you considered more involvement in your child’s education? Our options may be right for you! Our credentialed teachers form strong relationships with families to support individualized learning. We have six hybrid homeschool programs: Integrated Arts (7&8), Coast Redwood MS (6-8), Coast Redwood HS (9-12) Quail Hollow (K-8), Fall Creek (K-5), and Mountain Independent Study (K-6). Classroom collaboration invites creativity, community, and environmental stewardship. Based on the ideal of the scholar-adventurer, the Nature Academy (6-8) offers a 5 day-a-week program to challenge students — academically, physically, emotionally, and socially. Join us!


Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Resources for Teens


Gay-Straight Alliances (GSA) in Santa Cruz County


A Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), Queer-Straight Alliance (QSA) or Sexuality and Gender Acceptance (SAGA) is a student-run club which provides a safe place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex & questioning (LGBTIQ+) students and their straight allies to meet, support each other, talk about issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity, and work to end homophobia and transphobia. Below is a partial list of the GSA's in Santa Cruz County:

Aptos High School


Georgiana Bruce Kirby Preparatory School

831.423.0658, Ext: 206

Pajaro Valley High School

831.728.8102, Ext: 3616

Watsonville High School


Delta High School at Cabrillo College


Lakeview Middle School

831.728-6455, Ext: 5977

Santa Cruz High School

831.426.3960, Ext: 173

Harbor High School

831.429.3810, Ext: 1320

Mission Hill Middle School

831.429.3861, Ext: 223

Shoreline Junior High School


Scotts Valley High School



Queer Youth Task Force (QYTF)

Chair: Stuart Rosenstein



Dedicated to improving the quality of life for all LGBTIQ+ youth in Santa Cruz County, as well as children and siblings raised in homes where LGBTIQ+ people live. Projects include: Queer Youth Leadership Awards; Safe Schools Project, Transgender Teen Project; Leadership Development Program; and Adult Ally Project. Middle School & High School Internships Available.


The Diversity Center (The Santa Cruz County LGBTIQ+ Community Center)

1117 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz



The Diversity Center is the LGBTIQ+ community center of Santa Cruz County. Services provided include a drop-in and meeting space; a lending library of over 2000 books; resources; a cyber center; youth weekly “Meet-Up” events in South & North County; senior programs; transgender programs; and a LGBTIQ+ Resource Directory. Visit the website for open hours.


Crisis Phone Numbers


AIDS Hotline



California Youth Crisis 24-Hour Hotline



Domestic Violence 24-Hour Hotline




National Runaway Safeline

24-hour hotline-will relay messages




Parental Stress Hotline




Sexual Assault 24-Hour Hotline




Teen Line – Teens Helping Teens


Text TEEN to 839863


Quit Smoking



Suicide Prevention Services




This is by no means a complete list of all the teen resources and programs in Santa Cruz County. GUiSC is not responsible for any errors or omissions, nor does inclusion in this listing constitute our endorsement of a program. Please call to verify the information listed.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 March 2018 23:52
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