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From Camp to Church Plant

Byron, a recent graduate of the 90 Degrees Certification Program, is launching a youth church in the West Adams neighborhood of South Los Angeles. When Byron was fifteen-years-old he was brought to The Oaks Camp and Conference Center by youth workers from the World Impact Teen Center. I happened to be the speaker that weekend, […]


Engaging the Trauma Youth Face

Sometimes we get in over our head. Our youth experience life-changing and traumatic situations that we are not prepared to deal with. The way in which we engage those situations is crucial to how our youth understand God as a loving father. It opens their eyes to the hope of the Kingdom of God. UYWI […]


Be a Part of the Impact

We are excited to celebrate our 25 years of helping urban leaders grow their capacity and impact in the inner city. We hope you are enjoying the stories of impact we have been sharing with you as we connect, learn, grow, lead and launch leaders like you to have a greater impact in the lives of urban youth. We need your help to […]


We suffer in Isolation

“We suffer in isolation but we heal in community.” If you have ever been around Larry Acosta you would have heard these words. At UYWI we believe in this statement. What you do and who you work with can change the world. But that won’t happen alone. There is an amazing network of Kingdom workers […]


You’re Part of this Community

There is a deep sense of comfort and understanding when you have lived through something that is unique and you meet someone else who understands it. When you don’t feel the need to explain systems of poverty or why young people make bad choices. When you connect deeply with others who understand the pain of […]


Exciting Things to Share

For 25 years we have been resourcing, training and developing urban leaders like you to have a greater impact in the inner city. YOU have done incredible things in the name of Christ; and we have been so honored to walk with you, cheer you on, cry with you and support you in your work […]


25 Years of Impact

In 1993, Larry Acosta had a dream to help ethnic leaders working in the hardest places in our country be resourced, trained, and developed. This was the birth of Urban Youth Workers Institute. Larry’s bold leap to move out of a great church ministry role into trailblazing the leading urban youth ministry in the country […]


I’m ready to come home

When a 13 year old takes responsibility for his actions and puts his mind to allowing God to change him you know there was a process to get there. For Malachi, that process started long before he was even born. Malachi’s mentor is Damon Johnson. Damon started and runs TCF, Tennessee Chosen Few Basketball, a […]


Unreachable Goal

“OUR GOAL WAS UNREACHABLE, BUT GOD HAD A DIFFERENT PLAN…” Caleb Reed is the Executive Director of Aim Right Ministries in Phoenix Arizona, and the idea of Big Holy Audacious Goal (BHAG) has stuck with him ever since he learned about it in the UYWI 90 Degrees Certification Program. In 2017, he was creating his strategic […]


Bulletproof Center

WHEN GOD GIFTS YOU A BULLET PROOF COMMUNITY CENTER, YOU CAN’T SAY NO. Eric and Shawana Myhre have been youth pastors for the last 16 years but felt God calling them to more. They live in Oakland on the edge of what is known as the Acorn which are housing projects in West Oakland. Eric and […]


You Make Things Happen

A personal account from a faithful and generous UYWI financial supporter. In February, I was blessed to have hosted in my home, the first ever Urban Youth Workers Institute Women’s Urban Youth Workers Speaker Training Retreat. This event was led by two outstanding speakers Noemi Chavez, Pastor at 7th Street Church in Long Beach, and […]


New Year, Old Message

From all of us at Urban Youth Workers Institute, Happy New Year and welcome to 2017! With the start of every New Year, people embrace the opportunity to have a fresh start.  We make resolutions to improve our quality of life, pursue interests we want to develop into habits and set ambitious new goals to […]


How Long Can You Wait?

by John Park, UYWI During the Christmas holiday you will see countless Nativity scenes in driveways, posters and even live scenes (note please don’t do this to your youth students).   And while most of these scenes are highlighting the birth of Jesus, what is very significant is not just the wondrous announcement that today a […]


Give Thanks

Give Thanks to God. Why and For What? by John Park, UYWI Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love endures forever This are the words echoed by all Israel when the ark of God is brought into the city of David after defeating the Philistines in 1 Chronicles 16. This is […]


Recruiting Volunteers

by John Park, UYWI No matter what, it’s hard to do youth ministry on your own. There’s a lot you can do but at some point you either realize you need to get some help in the form of volunteers or you end up burning out from all the demands you find yourself under. Really […]