About Us

The South Coast Community Youth Cultural Center is a 501(c)3 Charitable Organization.

The SCCYCC's objective is to provide Santa Barbara's kids in need with access to participate in a broad curriculum of programs - a curriculum to be comprised of sport and cultural activities, leadership development, education and counseling - to form a safe, affective and comprehensive after-school program, known collectively as the "Cultural Center Youth Program."  The SCCYCC purpose is to become Santa Barbara's "central learning and development hub" for kids in need, with each program component being one of the many "educational spokes" of the SCCYCC's Cultural Center Youth Program.  More specifically, the Cultural Center Youth Program will consist of the following:

  • An Athletic Program - including karate, wrestling, jujitsu, boxing and others.
  • A Cultural Activity Program - including dance, theater, art, film and other activities of a cultural nature.
  • A Leadership Development Program - the essence of community service where advanced students volunteer their time to teach their peers in different SCCYCC curriculum and serve as mentors.
  • An Education Program - a tutorial program in the core subjects of Math, Reading and Science.
  • A Counseling Program - providing individual, relationship and parental counseling services and workshops through third party collaborations.
SCCYCC programs are designed to promote a positive sense of self-identity and encourage youth to discover and further understand learned social behaviors and patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions and other products of human thought and work found in our community and culture.

Why the SCCYCC?

The SCCYCC's Cultural Center Youth Program sets itself apart from existing after-school programs for several key reasons:

  • Superior Coordination of Efforts with Community - the SCCYCC's objective is to provide youth with access to participate in a broad curriculum of youth programs, whether under SCCYCC supervision or in collaboration with local government agencies, religious organizations, social services agencies and/or other local nonprofit agencies.
  • Strategic Locations - the SCCYCC headquarters and collaborative locations have been strategically placed to address the growing youth gang problem in Santa Barbara.  The Santa Barbara Police Department Gang Injunction designated a "Zone A" and "Zone B" in Santa Barbara (see map below), which represent areas in which youth are frequently targeted by gang members.  The City has identified 150 youths who are associated with gangs, and an additional 800 juveniles who are at risk of falling into gang life. (Santa Barbara to Consider Bolstering Gang Task Force, Daily Sound, July 31, 2010).  Because of the access and use of facilities in the gang injunction zones, the SCCYCC will play a vital role in keeping those "most at-risk youth" on a positive path and away from gang member influence.  

Youth gang deterrence will be one SCCYCC objective.  Another central focus will be the core needs of every youth in Santa Barbara faced with an "at-risk" component.  At-risk youth include male and female youth who come from a single parent home, are living at or below the poverty level, reside in high crime neighborhoods, suffer from emotional or physical abuse, and/or have few support systems.  Regardless of individual circumstance or the nature of the "risk," the SCCYCC aims to give every youth opportunity to participate in the empowerment of themselves towards positive change in their life.  With locations on the Eastside and Westside of Santa Barbara, the SCCYCC is positioned to provide access and opportunity to many of our youth.

  • Hours of Service - the SCCYCC will initially run programs during prime "at-risk" after-school hours from 3pm-6:30pm, hours which studies have shown to be the most critical times that affect our youth.  These hours are the peak time for juvenile crime and experimentation with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and sex. (Bureau, Urban Institute Estimate, 2000, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 2002).  The SCCYCC will look to expand program hours and envisions a program that provides a safe place for youth from 1pm-8:30pm, five days a week and all day during school breaks and vacation periods when youth are in dire need of a safe, stable and supportive environment.

  • SCCYCC Philosophy - the philosophy employed to administer SCCYCC programs will characterize the philosophical, moral and ethical principles that are at the heart of the martial arts.  
Philosophy - the love and pursuit of knowledge and wisdom.  Inquiry into the nature of things based on logical reasoning.
Morals - of or concerned with the judgement of the goodness or badness of human action and character.
Ethics - a set of principles of right conduct.

The study of Budo (the philosophy taught in martial arts) places a strong emphasis upon building an admirable character through the cultivation of a sound philosophy, a correct sense of morality and a constructive code of ethics.  It is a complete and total life philosophy which is compatible with constructive thoughts, actions and values in order to promote unity of the mind, body and spirit and to promote health, happiness and prosperity.  The basic elements of Budo philosophy include humility, truth, self-discipline, self-reliance, peace, respect, unselfishness, honor, courage, loyalty and perseverance.  This philosophy promotes knowledge and understanding of self to allow for knowledge and understanding of others.

The SCCYCC philosophy: The course one follows or takes in life is known as the "middle course."  To realize a happy, healthy, and rewarding existence through self-examination and self-improvement is the fundamental concept of the discipline of martial arts and its philosophy.  Budo is the working philosophy where thought and action are linked together to affect all areas of life.  As human beings we must be responsible for our own cultivation before we can hope to raise the level of life on the whole.  This is the philosophy of the SCCYCC and the discipline, optimism and empowerment we seek to introduce to our youth.  

Why We Need Your Help?

Youth involvement in gangs leads to devastating consequence for the individual and our community.  Resources such as Fasten (www.urbanministry.org/wiki/gang-statistics) and the National Gang Center (www.nationalgangcenter.gov/About/FAQ) illustrate the serious community concern:

Risk factors for males getting involved in gangs:

• Low income
• Learning disabilities and emotional disorders: 60% - 78% of Incarcerated gang members have emotional and learning disabilities. 
• School Failure and Truancy
• No involvement in positive activities outside of school
• Friends and peers who are delinquent
• Early involvement in petty theft and behavioral disorders in grade school

Risk factors for females getting involved in gangs:

• School failure and learning disabilities: Close to one out of three girls in gangs have been in special education
• Lack of involvement in positive activities in or out of school
• Sexual abuse and victimization
• Family dysfunction
• Low Income
• Early drug use and sexual activity
• Emotional disorders
• Exposure to violence

Where You Can Find Us

SCCYCC programs primarily run at its Santa Barbara Westside location at 1427 San Andres St., and at other approved Santa Barbara locations that meet SCCYCC objectives and curriculum.

About the Founders

Mr. Tony Becerra has been committed to youth development in Santa Barbara for over 29 years.  He has chaired several nonprofit organizations including the Santa Barbara Junior Chamber (Jaycees), established the South Coast Wrestling Club and has been the Co-Chair of the Santa Barbara Easter Relays Committee for many years.  For over a decade he has been the San Marcos High School Varsity Wrestling coach, formally at Santa Barbara High School after attending SBCC and Humboldt State.  He is also the Chief Instructor at the Koei Kan Karate-Do Academy and holds a 6th degree black belt.

Mr. Jason Miller is a graduate of U.C. Santa Barbara and received his law degree from McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.  He is a local business owner (former owner of Pizza Mizza) and in 2010 volunteered his time for the Santa Barbara County Public Defender.  With a background in boxing and now a martial artist, Mr. Miller has joined Mr. Becerra in his community based endeavors in support of nonprofit activities for youth and as an Assistant Instructor at the Koei Kan Karate-Do Academy.


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