Welcome to Youth Interactive
Youth Interactive is a shop and art gallery in Santa Barbara’s funk zone where high school students have a chance to show their talents. It gives them a chance to explore their creative outlets while teaching them how to run a business. There are 5 business that are run out of their site down on Anacapa Street.
“We ignite youth imagination, mentor creativity, and help close the opportunity divide.” — Youth Interactive
The students have access to mentors, and these mentors help guide them through their creative outlet or business. Montecito Biscotti is one of the businesses that is run out of “The Funk Zone Shop”. The “biscotti team” does a great job baking the perfect treats to go along with coffee, and you can try both in their store, since they sell Caribbean Coffee Company cold brew on tap.
Another one of these small businesses creates up-cycled wine and tealight holders. So not only are these students learning about business, but also how to use some basic tools in a creative way.
Another one of their innovative businesses creates these Funk Zone graphic tee-shirts, which are student designed tee-shirts that promote the Funk Zone as a whole.
There are many tools that the students and mentors of Youth Interactive use, and all of them help to create the amazing environment that they get to work in each day.
Another awesome business lets students learn how to sew, and through this outlet they make fun beach bags! All them are reusable, so you can use them for your weekly grocery shopping as well.
“The Funk Zone Shop” is one of the many labels the shop houses. The collective prides themselves on giving students a different outlet of learning. One that is creative and supports entrepreneurship. In addition, they employ teens from all walks of life. Including students with a criminal record. Here at Youth Interactive students have the chance to be employed regardless of their record or their background.
This Nathalie Gensac (executive director) and Geofferey Berz (program director). During my visit, I definitely could sense that they were happy doing this project, and working closely with the kids. Geofferey was happy to answer all of my questions, and put on one of their “Funk Zone” shirts for the photo!