“Due to the resiliency that youths have, if given the chance, they can overcome anything”
Youth Assistance Coalition (YAC) was founded in 2017 by a group of motivated volunteers including Heather Lezon who saw the pattern of youth homelessness in San Diego and wanted to break it. YAC focuses on a community approach to breaking this pattern and has built up powerful partnerships with many organizations in San Diego who are also committed to helping these youth get off the streets in a lasting way.
10 Things About Heather Lezon & Youth Assistance Coalition
#1 I grew up in San Diego, California.
#2 Mexico and Central America are some of our favorite travel destinations.
#3 At the top of my bucket list is to retire from my day job and donate all my time to YAC.
#4 Somewhere along the line, I have learned the amazing gift of finding the good in even the most challenging situations.
#5 Each day gives us an opportunity to be better and do better. So, choose good.
#6 My pets are my loves; they help balance the world for me. All of our animals are rescues. We have two horses and a 110-pound Rottweiler.
#7 From a young age, I struggled with alcoholism and all of the bad choices and behaviors that come along with that disease. I entered recovery in 1996 and I have been sober ever since. Those negative years gave me the experiences that make my work with our youth so much more impactful.
#8 My favorite kiddos are the ones who are the toughest cases or have the toughest stories. We can show them something positive maybe for the first time in their life.
#9 When we met Cyanne, she was 19, addicted to drugs, a 9th grade dropout and on the streets. We placed Cyanne in a few sober livings and rehabs but she would end up leaving. When she was finally ready, she completed a drug program, and then went into sober living. YAC paid for all of her schooling, testing, bus passes, tutoring, and the other help she needed to get back in school and achieve her GED. Cyanne now has a 3.9 GPA in her 2nd semester of Jr. College. I had the honor of taking her to dinner to celebrate her two years of sobriety. I talked with Cyanne about the possibility of her studying abroad. I watched her eyes start to water as she realized that this could actually be a reality for her.
#10 We are 98% volunteer. We are here because we care, not because we are paid. We are here to fill the gaps, most importantly we are here to build lasting relationships with our youth.