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Empowering Change with Youth Empowerment

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

Featuring Youth Empowerment

Arthur Soriano, Chief Executive Officer and Niki Martinez, Chief Operating Officer of Youth Empowerment know their community’s needs. Having both spent the majority of their adult life in prison, they have experienced many of the same challenges. The two lead a growing organization with a tested program model that employs lived experience mentoring, building transformative relationships with justice-involved individuals to break the cycle of poverty, crime, and incarceration. Youth Empowerment has seen an influx of funding in recent years allowing it to expand its programming to serve an even greater number of individuals from youth on probation, to parents, and children in schools. However, almost 90% of its funding is restricted, leaving little time and money to invest in strengthening its organizational functions.


This is where Social Venture Partners comes in. At the nonprofit’s request, an SVP Team, including Lead Tom Watlington, Ami Curtis, and Joyce Ross came alongside Arthur, Niki, and their leadership team to do what they do best: strengthen organizations so the nonprofit could do what they do best: empower change in their community. While SVP Partners may not be the Credible Messengers that Youth Empowerment’s staff are, they each bring incredible talent to the table with expertise in startups, strategy, human resources, and board governance.

“The structure the team brought was unmatched.” - Arthur Soriano, Chief Executive Officer

Together, they developed a five-year strategic plan and revised Youth Empowerment’s staffing structure. SVP supported the nonprofit in implementing best practices in governance and recruiting additional board members. The team also helped to improve financial reporting and advised in the launch of the organization’s new social enterprise program to provide trauma-informed care.

Youth Empowerment’s mentors encourage their program participants to invest in themselves. The nonprofit followed its own advice this past year with the commitment of time and energy to strengthen its operations and develop its leadership. We’re confident the investment will allow the nonprofit to reach an even greater number of individuals, changing hearts, minds, actions, and a community, thanks to a team of business-minded Partners.


Do you, like our Partners, find yourself with a passion for the community and the business expertise nonprofit organizations often seek? Use your skills to empower change. Apply to join SVP.

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