Jon Osaki is a native San Franciscan and has served as the Executive Director of the Japanese Community Youth Council since 1996. Prior to being appointed the Executive Director, Jon held several direct service staff positions for programs which focused on early childhood development, substance abuse prevention, and youth employment. In addition, he was a child participant and later a youth counselor in JCYC’s summer daycamp program.
During Jon’s tenure as Executive Director, JCYC has built a continuum of services, which can support children and youth from the time they are toddlers to the time they are ready to move onto college. Over the past decade, the organization has significantly expanded the range of services it provides to include college access assistance, community organizing, early childhood development, substance abuse prevention, youth employment, and youth leadership development.
In addition to his work within the Japanese American community, Jon has also worked extensively with other communities throughout San Francisco. Under Jon’s leadership, JCYC’s programs have received national recognition for achieving outstanding outcomes for youth and the organization is frequently called upon by the City of San Francisco to implement new initiatives for children and youth. In recent years, JCYC has also been singled out to lead key youth initiatives of the past 2 Mayoral administrations, which include the San Francisco YouthWorks program established by Mayor Willie Brown and the Mayor’s Vocational Program and New Directions program established by Mayor Gavin Newsom.
JCYC has also distinguished itself as one of the principal conveners of multi-ethnic collaborative youth programs in San Francisco. JCYC currently serves as the lead agency for collaborations such as the Mayor’s Youth Employment and Education Program (a 12-agency collaboration), Asian Youth Prevention Services (an 8-agency collaboration), and Safety Network program (an 8-agency collaboration). JCYC has also initiated a partnership with the San Francisco Department of Human Services to increase services and support for youth in the foster care system.
In addition to overseeing the implementation of JCYC’s current programs, Jon continues to be active in local planning efforts focused creating new and expanded services for children and youth. In 2004, Jon led an effort to establish the Asian/Pacific Islander Youth Advocacy Network to create a “single voice” for the unmet needs of A/PI youth in San Francisco.
Jon was honored by the Western Association of Educational Opportunity Personnel for providing outstanding support and guidance in efforts to restore funding for education at the federal level. In addition, he was the recipient of the KQED/Union Bank of California Asian Pacific Heritage Month Local Heroes Award. Recently, Jon was honored by the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) at its 2007 Silver Spur Awards luncheon, an annual event which recognizes the contributions of remarkable San Franciscans.
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