Upward Roots was founded to develop leadership and empower under-resourced youth through youth-led, youth-driven community service.
In 2010, Upward Roots was founded to address the service opportunity gap, launching its first pilot program in the spring of 2011 at Esperanza Academy in East Oakland with 28 boys and girls.
Since then, Upward Roots has enrolled over 1000 students attending 14 Oakland Title I elementary schools and has supported over 80 youth-led service projects directly benefiting their schools and communities. Participants have focused on areas such as homelessness, environment, health, and violence in their communities.
Youth engage in a dynamic curriculum focused on leadership and community service.