In 1998, the Agency began doing business as (dba) California Youth Outreach (CYO) to better reflect its mission and program services. Through its evolution, CYO has developed the ability to provide cost effective youth and gang intervention services by hiring staff members who have themselves undergone rehabilitation and successfully overcome gang lifestyles.
CYO’s bilingual/bicultural staff members understand the impact negative lifestyles have on youth’s lives and are effective role models who promote healthy lifestyles, free of violence, drugs, and gangs.
Pastor Tony Ortiz was awarded the 2004 California Peace Prize by the California Wellness Foundation. An ex-gang member and ordained minister, Pastor Ortiz has used his first hand knowledge of gang life to minister to young men and women who have fallen prey to gangs and drugs.
Over the years, Pastor Ortiz has become a nationally recognized expert in the field of gang intervention and prevention services. He has been honored for his work by the California Legislature, the California Youth Authority, and the City of San Jose.