Youth Xplosion* is designed to help members of the Sacramento community live, learn and create positive changes in their own lives regardless of age or socioeconomic status.

Founded in 2007 by local Sacramentan, Mark Jacobs, Youth Xplosion engages in more than just adolescent outreach. Early on Jacobs did a vision board exercise with the youth and found that parental involvement is necessary to transform those visions into reality. With resources like YXP that focus on the needs of children and adults, any community can flourish.

YXP programs feed, educate and exercise its participants with programs such as: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty, Turn-A-Page, Hoops for Health and Sunrise Community Engagement Program. YXP also serves as a networking resource, a conduit for academic and occupational education, health and nutrition. With solid roots in Oak Park and relationships ranging from social groups to elected officials, this organization remains neighborhood based, and continues to reach out to surrounding areas.

Jacobs sees Sacramento as the perfect size for financial and social growth, it has a “willingness and openness for change” which provides “opportunity” for everyone. Through YXP, Jacobs can “be the change you want to see.” Accordingly, Jacobs provides a welcoming, motivating environment wherein community members want to invest in themselves, better their lives and in turn, reinvest in their community. Jacobs believes that “sincerity shows in your actions” and by keeping positive associations, knowing all the volunteers and meeting all the participants and sponsors, that everyone’s needs can be met.

What helps this organization thrive is Jacobs’ unrelenting faith in the human psyche, that everyone has a purpose, and if lost, YXP can help you find it.

* YXP is an independently owned organization not affiliated with any religious or political party, but maintains critical relationships and receives gracious assistance from a variety of different groups.  Please visit for more information on its amazing programs and how you can get involved!

Nicky Park is a Sacramento writer currently pursuing her master's degree in creative writing at Sacramento State University.

Photography by Kevin Cortopassi.