<< Neighborhood Reports, The Teen Guideā€”It's all part of L.A. Youth's Health Project

By Matthew Jones, 16, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies
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For most of this summer, six teen staff members of L.A. Youth and I embarked on an unending journey through thousands of phone numbers, addresses and manila folders. As we put together L.A. Youth’s first Teen Guide, our six-hour work days were only interrupted with fast-food lunch breaks and various conversations about the Bionic Six. (You remember that show? It was dope.)

We started out with more than 2,200 organizations that needed to be contacted for information regarding their services for teens. Trust me, it wasn’t easy. We had to call some places three and four times before we could get a response. But it was worth the trouble. I was introduced to numerous organizations that exist for one purpose—to help the youth. Many of these places are right around the corner from me but I never knew they were even there. In reading this directory I hope you will find some of these worthwhile places in your neighborhoods, too.

The organizations we called ranged from sports programs to suicide prevention hotlines so there should be something in there for everyone. A lot of them were pretty youth-friendly, but don’t get discouraged if you run into a receptionist on a bad day. The L.A. Youth staff members and I all have horror stories of the extremely rude people we had to talk to on a daily basis. They might be a little rude on the phone, but it doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from and enjoy the services they offer.
There are places that really want to help youth and give them as much information as they can give. Some places called me back several times and seemed interested in the directory and L.A. Youth. They sent faxes, mailed information and phoned in with all the information they could provide.

The organizations listed in our directory all have something to offer. This directory is a great way to find out more about the various groups around Los Angeles County that serve teens. This is the first services directory created by and for L.A. teens. Look for it at your school or library, and share it with friends and family.

I just hope that you can read this directory and find something you didn’t know about before. Take advantage of these places that are waiting for you.