Youth Institute Founder &

Vice President of Community Development Bob.Cabeza@lbymca.org
Mr. Cabeza has twenty-eight years experience in youth development, group work and digital media arts programming resulting in the ability to build and lead unique programs designed to better the lives of children, youth and families. Mr. Cabeza has worked in both group dynamic development, community engagement and group work with both children, youth and families for the YMCA, Foundation for the Junior Blind and Village Camps / ETR Tours in Switzerland. His special emphasis has been to help diverse youth develop good interpersonal and working relationships with each other through both the Youth Institute and Change Agent Productions. Mr. Cabeza has a special focus on youth development and technology equity for underserved communities as it relates to developing both academic and workforce success. Prior to becoming Vice President of Community Development, he served as Executive Director with the YMCA of Greater Long Beach, YMCA Youth Institute Director, Associate Executive Director of the Ketchum Downtown YMCA in Los Angeles, Youth Services Director for the YMCA of Greater Long Beach, and Director of Camp and Recreation Services for The Foundation for the Junior Blind. He is the founder and creator of both the YMCA Youth Institute and Change Agent Productions social enterprise. He is a fellow of the ZeroDivide Foundation Z-Fellows Program and has been a panelist and presenter at several national conferences. Mr. Cabeza is the first non-school-based educator to be named an Apple Distinguished Educator by Apple Inc. He is the recent recipient of the Don and Rosemary Vial Award for Digital Inclusion given out by the California Emerging Technology Foundation and the California Public Utilities Commission. He is a sitting Board member of the California After School Network (CAN) and the League of California After School Practitioners (LCAP). He is presently on the California State Senate Task Force on Intersession and Summer Programming for Youth. He has also been named an Honorary Member of the Golden Key International Honour Society with California State University Long Beach. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from San Jose State University. He has been married for 19 years and has an 16-year-old son.

Les Peters

Executive Director of Youth Institute & Curriculum Development

Mr. Peters has over seventeen years of experience in youth development and over fourteen years in digital media arts technology. He develops and implements after-school and year-round programming for low-income urban youth of color. Provides diversity training and develops creative academic & social skills through the use of multi-media technology. Mr. Peters implements a Youth Development model to create a safe and enjoyable environment for youth of color in an urban setting and uses technology as a tool to develop 21st Century skill sets. Mr. Peters also develops and implements hands-on project based content standard Digital Media Arts Curriculum for clients of Change Agent Productions. He has experience & knowledge in outdoor education, office management, grant writing & reporting, sound reinforcement, field & studio audio recording, field & studio digital video production, digital photography, studio & location lighting, computer networking & troubleshooting. Mr. Peters currently works for the YMCA of Greater Long Beach, Youth Institute, a national recognized Teen Youth Development & Digital Media Arts program as the Executive Director of Youth Institute & Curriculum Development. He provides technical and curriculum support to 18 Youth Institute Replication sites throughout the US, Canada and South Africa. Prior to Youth Institute, Mr. Peters served as an Education Specialist & Assistant Camp Director for the Yakama Nation Summer Camp Program in Toppenish, WA. He is a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society and Who’s who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges. He is a national trainer on middle & high school Youth Development, Project-Based Learning, 21st Century Learning Skills, Internet Privacy & Safety, Digital Media Arts and technology in after school and with the national YMCA of the USA for developing new Y-Arts programs. He is also a Guest Lecture for the American Indians Studies Department at California State University, Long Beach. Mr. Peters holds a Bachelor of Arts in Film & Electronic Arts and in American Indian Studies from California State University, Long Beach and a Music/Video Business degree from the Art Institute of Seattle. He will be pursuing a Masters of Education degree, specializing in the field of Education Technology and a PhD in the same field. Mr. Peters has been married for 16 years and has an 12-year-old daughter.