(Community Schools Initiative)

Multiple times a week we have presentations provided by our community partners or programs. Topics covered have included internet safety, dating violence, human trafficking, gang, and drug awareness.  We appreciate the continued education from our community.

Welcome to CSI

Our CSI (Community Schools Initiative) after school program has attracted participation and support from some of the best leaders in the greater Phoenix community.

By volunteering to support the CSI program through speaking with and being engaged with our students, these leaders and role models offer our vulnerable youth an opportunity to see the broader world as a place where they might someday interact and be successful.

While doing so and through the interactive presentations, the volunteers and speakers increase the students’ awareness of the many risks they might face due to their difficult life circumstances, while exposing them to the caring community, previously invisible to them.

A Rich & Varied Program

Some of the topics addressed by our speakers have included sex trafficking, internet safety, pornography, healthy relationships, gangs, and gun violence. These discussions offer the students both an awareness of and the tools for a healthier life style, and perhaps ways to respond to the threat. Indeed, we have found that in many instances, the youth have already been exposed to these issues, and had not fully recognized the inherent dangers.

The richness of the program and the variety of topics we are bringing to them offers a chance to learn the life skills needed for self-sufficiency to which they otherwise would likely not be exposed.

The CSI Program

CSI meets four afternoons each week while school is in session in the Clubhouse space offered at CFA. The curriculum continues to expand as we gain more exposure in the community.

Following are the activities and life skills programs offered to empower our youth and help them prepare for a productive adulthood.

In this after school entrepreneurship program, we provide many opportunities for our young people to interact with caring adults. Cookies for Change provides experience in on-the-job/project-based learning, self-esteem and teamwork.

This activity also focuses on developing leadership skills that are needed for success, not only in business but in life, like planning and implementing projects, positive risk-taking and problem solving. Students also learn budgeting, branding, sales and marketing skills, and experience the positive results of hard work.

To further enhance this program, students from the College of Business at ASU are working on the Cookies for Change business with the CSI students to develop a business plan, website, marketing opportunities, and field trips to the campus to introduce the project to other programs at ASU.  

This national program sponsored by King Arthur Flour, selected the CSI program to be part of their campaign to teach science, math and teamwork through the baking of bread. The program allows the kids to experience the satisfaction that comes from helping others by providing the students with enough ingredients to eat half of what they bake and donate the other half to those in need in their community.

The students will work with the ASU Business students and professional Web Developers to create and manage an online presence for the CSI program and Cookies for Change.

Held once per week and led by a trained professional chef, this nutrition and cooking activity teaches students the basics of cooking, nutrition, kitchen safety, and meal costs along with skills to prepare healthy foods.

ASU students in the USL program are selected to serve continuously for at least 13 weeks throughout the semester as interns. They will assist during CSI program hours, acting as peer mentors to ultimately encourage our CSI students to stay in school and attend college.

With the help of the USL students, we will offer a chess club, film club and book club. Age appropriate media are offered and the students meet to discuss what they’ve seen or read. Chess will help teach them critical thinking and consequence of actions, along with the many other benefits of this strategic game. These activities will help develop social, conversational and critical thinking skills.

To broaden the students’ exposure to the community and offer positive experiences, field trips to local sites of educational and cultural interest will be conducted.

Held once per week and led by a trained professional chef, this nutrition and cooking activity teaches students the basics of cooking, nutrition, kitchen safety, and meal costs along with skills to prepare healthy foods.

Why CSI is important

Many of the youth in our CSI program lack the influence of a world where positive models of commitment, work ethics, and/or goal setting have been demonstrated.

Because of circumstances beyond their control, they often live in a chaotic world and struggle with substandard or lack of housing and food insecurity. They often witnessed violence, drug use, abuse, and neglect, yet have overcome the many obstacles that might otherwise have daunted their spirit.

These are amazing kids!

For these kids, school is a “safe space” and we know they can be vulnerable to harm by those who see in them an opportunity for exploitation. As a result, we have created the CSI Clubhouse, furnished entirely by community donations, as a place that they can call “home” after the school day ends.

Through the program, we offer a healthy group alternative to gangs, drugs, abuse and chaos.


Data on High School graduates show that about

0 %

Continue on to college

0 %

Of that 50% obtain degrees

Our Goals

Our goals include preparing our student participants to be life-long learners, productive citizens and critical thinkers who will have the education, character and tools to overcome obstacles that challenge their opportunities for success. We want to encourage them to stay in school, helping them recognize that this is one of the things they can control in their lives and that making it through high school graduation will offer opportunities to be a successful citizen and adult.

We are grateful for those who have come forward to help enrich our after school program for these deserving kids, and encourage others to reach out to see how they can become involved.

Get Involved