The Social Fabric Initiative builds more connected communities by mobilizing youth to engineer creative solutions to real-world issues.

SFI takes a multi-dimensional approach to peacebuilding and changemaking in San Diego and Tijuana through the creation of Threads: small and diverse teams of local high school students (Youth Peace Leaders), a university Intern, and a field-based Mentor who utilize the summer to design, monitor, and implement a community change project.

What is SFI?

Youth Peace Leaders

(formerly known as Volunteers)

Youth Peace Leaders are high school students interested in gaining real-world experience in design-thinking and project management.

Interns

Internships are available to undergraduate and graduate level students interested in developing professional skills for the competitive market that lies beyond graduation.

Mentors

We are always looking for professionals who are interested in working with youth to develop impactful and meaningful change projects.

Community

Local organizations play a vital role in the success of our Threads and their change projects by offering support, partnership, and opportunities to learn what is possible in our community.

Our goal?

The ultimate goal

of the Social Fabric Initiative is to prepare youth for success while contributing to a more connected and peaceful San Diego. We believe that if youth are given the opportunity to work collaboratively in diverse teams and to make positive contributions to their community, then they will gain the skills and relationships necessary for success. And, the strong social networks created by the youth will strengthen the social fabric throughout San Diego as a whole.

Learn more

Case Study Spotlight:

Documentando a los indocumentados

Take a look back at a thread from Season 1, who focused on capturing the voices of undocumented individuals.

Read More

"The Youth Peace Leaders I worked with created and executed their own project to address plastic pollution. As a Mentor, all I did was provide some resources and advice. SFI understands that when it comes to learning, there is no substitute for real-world experience. Every future leader stands to benefit from a program that puts them on the front lines, rather than just keeping them in a classroom."

Mitch Silverstein, Chapter Manager, Surfrider Foundation San Diego County

"The number one thing that I took away from the SFI experience was that my age does not affect the type and amount of change that I could create. In a matter of weeks I saw the true power in people my age."

Kaseba, Youth Peace Leader, Academy of Our Lady of Peace

“Thank you for taking into consideration the power of youth. You bring us all a hope in life to continue being leaders, making history happen. Without the representatives and directors of this opportunity, the voice of our youth would continue being silent. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

Miguel Lamas, Student, Instituto México Americano del Noroeste

"My experience with the Social Fabric Initiative was pivotal. I entered as a Youth Peace Leader with a desire to learn, but after two months of hands on experience I emerged with a greater understanding and new outlook about the complexities of reformative and juvenile justice. I came away from my experience more deeply aware of how difficult it is to affect positive change in a system rooted in a tradition that no longer works. The program gave me so much more than I expected."

Henry, Youth Peace Leader, La Costa Canyon High School

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Thank you to all of our sponsors!

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