Teenage school friends smiling to camera, close up

It’s here! Every spring Growing Up in Santa Cruz publishes an annual guide to resources available to teens (and their parents) in the Santa Cruz County area. Our goal is to provide an accessible, helpful list of resources to help teens and families navigate the complex needs of teens in ways that promote healthy avenues for growth, exploration and development. The resources in this guide offer support for dealing with academic, peer pressure and relationship issues, as well as recreational, job training and volunteer opportunities. We encourage you to share this guide with your teen and post a copy up in your house so your teen has easy access to the resource list. As some topics may be difficult for teens to request support with, we also suggest giving a copy of this guide, and especially of the phone and text hotlines at the end of the guide, to your teen.


Community Bridges Family Resource Collective
La Manzana Community Resources – 521 Main Street, Ste. Y, Watsonville
Live Oak Community Resources – 1740 17th Ave., Santa Cruz
Mountain Community Resources – 6134 Highway 9, Felton
Nueva Vista Community Resources – 711 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz
The Family Resource Collective works with individuals and families in Santa Cruz County and the Pajaro Valley to build safe, healthy, and compassionate communities through education, resources, and advocacy. We offer a variety of bi-lingual, bi-cultural services to meet each family and individual’s needs. Our programs and services include food distribution, mental health counseling, parent education workshops, youth tutoring and more.

“I like to come to the Nueva Vista afterschool homework program because I like to get help from the volunteers, they’re all so nice!”

Sophie, participant at Community Bridges’ Nueva Vista Community Resources


Gateway School K-8
Santa Cruz, CA
Gateway School has provided students in grades Kindergarten through 8th grade with an exemplary education for over 50 years. Our Middle School offers a dynamic, challenging education that prepares teens for the fast-changing world by focusing on scholarship, citizenship, and compassion. The Kindergarten through 8th grade model allows students to become leaders and engage in age-appropriate activities which leads to higher levels of self-esteem and academic achievement. Our graduates have an inquiring spirit, are confident, act with grace and courtesy, and stand up for those who need help. Visit www.gatewaysc.org to register and experience all that Gateway has to offer!

Live Oak School District
984-1 Bostwick Lane, Santa Cruz
[email protected]
We invite families to enroll at Live Oak School District’s Shoreline Middle School. Music, sports, art, physical education, social-emotional health, safety and nutrition resources are available at all LOSD primary and middle schools. We support the education and well-being of students, their caregivers, and all members of our school district community. Visit us online at sl.losd.ca.

Distrito Escolar de Live Oak
984-1 Bostwick Lane, Santa Cruz
[email protected]
Invitamos a las familias a inscribirse en la Escuela Intermedia Shoreline del Distrito Escolar Live Oak. Música, deportes, arte, educación física, salud socio-emocional, recursos de seguridad y nutrición están disponibles en todas las escuelas primarias e intermedias de LOSD. Apoyamos la educación y bienestar de estudiantes, sus cuidadores, y todos los miembros de la comunidad de nuestro distrito escolar. Visítenos en línea en sl.losd.ca.

Mount Madonna School
Preschool-12th grade
491 Summit Road, Mount Madonna
Mount Madonna School (MMS) prioritizes the social, emotional and physical well-being of its students, while emphasizing academic excellence, positive character development and creative self-expression. MMS strives to prepare well-rounded human beings who succeed in college, value collaboration, form meaningful relationships and engage with their communities, nation and the world. Now enrolling for fall 2022. Financial aid and transportation available, with bus stops throughout Santa Cruz County. MMS does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, medical condition, gender identity or gender expression.

Santa Cruz Montessori
Ages 18 months – 14 years
Main Campus (Primary and Elementary)
6230 Soquel Drive, Aptos
Winston Campus (Young Children’s Community and Jr. High)
244 Cabrillo College Drive, Soquel
Montessori is a non-profit school serving children 18 months to 14 years. Our beautiful classrooms and outdoor environments engage the children’s senses as they learn. Based on a deep understanding of child through adolescent development, our programs meet the interests and needs of our students, engaging and challenging them to do their best. Our Junior High program, Wavecrest, supports 7th and 8th grade students to develop self-discipline, confidence and peer connections through collaborative learning and community involvement. Students work weekly at Live Earth Farm and develop an understanding of their personal vision through community involvement and a challenging academic experience. Now accepting applications for Fall 2023.

SLVUSD Charter School
325 Marion Ave, Ben Lomond
Since 1993, San Lorenzo Valley School District’s SLV Charter School has offered a range of programs that support a variety of learners. Active learning, parent involvement, and student voice are key components of our programs. In addition to supporting all academic areas, charter programs foster student creativity, social-emotional development, and the pursuit of individual student passions. Built on a foundation of strong ongoing teacher, student, and parent connection, SLV Charter boasts a wide variety of program structures including one 5-day a week program (6-8), six 2-4 day a week homeschool-hybrid programs (K-12), and an independent studies program (K-12).


Adventure Sports Unlimited
303 Potrero Street, #15, Santa Cruz
We teach infants through adults the joy of water through our Swim School. Our Ocean programs introduce families to our marine environments through the Seafood Foraging, and Kelp Pickling. Explore the world-renown underwater landscape of our local bays through our Open Water Scuba courses. It starts in our custom-built aquatics facility.

Be Natural Music
740 Water St, Santa Cruz, CA
(831) 515-8369
Learn and perform Jazz, Rock, Reggae, Motown, Pop & more at our two locations: Santa Cruz and Cupertino. We offer ongoing private Music Lessons, Real Rock Band classes for teens, & young adults, Workshops, and Summer Music Camps. We offer lessons on voice, piano/keyboard, guitar, bass, drums & percussion, saxophone, clarinet, ukulele, harp, theory and composition. Summer camps, kid & teen musicians showcase their talent & creativity as they compose original music, script music videos, and record their song on stage! The final high-quality music video is posted on our YouTube Channel to jump-start your kid’s career.

Community Boating Center, UCSC
790 Mariner Park Way
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
The UCSC Community Boating Center has been teaching local juniors how to sail for over 30 years. All classes are hands-on, co-ed classes, ages 8-16 and are taught in RS Quests, RS Visions, and Lasers. Students learn the basics in the protected Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor and progress to the beautiful Monterey Bay. Enjoy sailing in a safe, fun, and supportive environment with knowledgeable, experienced staff. Sign up today! (Adult classes are also available!)

Dientes Community Dental Care
Main Clinic: 1830 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz 831.464.5409
Live Oak: 1500 Capitola Road, Santa Cruz 831-276-7010
Beach Flats: 302 Riverside Ave, Santa Cruz 831.464.5411
Watsonville: 1430 Freedom Blvd., Suite C, Watsonville 831.621.2560
Dientes Community Dental Care is a full-service dental provider located throughout Santa Cruz County. We practice whole family dentistry aged 0-100+ including: young children, tween/teens, adults, and seniors. Our patients are cared for by experienced pediatric and general dentists. As a non-profit dental service provider, our focus is on high-quality, affordable oral health services, including exams, x-rays, fillings, sealants, and root canals. We accept Medi-Cal and we have affordable sliding scale fees for uninsured patients. We offer bi-lingual services. Se habla Español! Dientes, providing dignity through dentistry for over 30 years.

Jim Booth Swim School
Watsonville indoor pool and coming soon to Toadal fitness
Be a water wonder! From our Little Otters swim class for parents and their babies to Aquaphobics, our adult beginner class, the whole family splashes together at Jim Booth Swim School. Little Otters is a gentle introduction to our 94-degree pools that will make you confident that you are guiding your infant to a happy water experience. Our group lessons emphasize quality swimming in an exciting class taught by our caring, well-qualified teachers. Soon offering a non-competitive swim team to help develop strength, endurance & technique. The whole family can swim at Jim Booth Swim School!

Kinnect Volleyball Club

Kinnect Volleyball Club offers exceptional volleyball training for boys across Santa Cruz, Monterey, Santa Clara, and San Benito counties. Our principles are focused on player development, character growth, and community support. We strive to develop players holistically by teaching fundamental skills, strategic thinking, mental toughness, character development, physical fitness, and academic excellence. At Kinnect, we prioritize coaching the whole player and the whole game, enabling our athletes to gain a comprehensive understanding of volleyball. Our goal is to support players in their growth, both on and off the court. Join us at Kinnect for a top-tier volleyball experience.

Mount Hermon
37 Conference Drive, Mount Hermon
Mount Hermon is a Christian Camp and Conference Center located in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains and offers various camps and retreats for all ages. Our 7-12th grade summer camp, Ponderosa Lodge, is a one-week camp experience full of fun, community, and worship where students experience life to the fullest. At Ponderosa, students can surf, play laser tag, make new friends, swim, ride one-wheels, and experience our zip line or rock climbing wall. Most importantly, in one week at Ponderosa, students will encounter the God who knows and loves them and who wants to change their lives for eternity.

Santa Cruz Public Libraries
224 Church St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060
The Santa Cruz Public Libraries support teens throughout the County with safe spaces after school, bilingual homework help, reading comprehension tutoring with certified teachers, project-based learning, free WiFi, and lendable laptops and hotspots. Programs include JavaScript coding, Dungeons and Dragons, Chess Clubs, Teen Zine Club, Minecraft, and Afternoon STEAM. Teens can develop as leaders, steer library programs and spaces, and earn volunteer credits with our Advisory Council of Teens (ACT), which meets monthly in Capitola and in Felton. Of course, there’s print and online resources to help with schoolwork, find a great read, and just have some fun.

Crisis Phone Numbers

AIDS Hotline

California Youth Crisis
24-Hour Hotline

Domestic Violence 24-Hour Hotline

National Runaway Safeline
24-hour hotline-will relay messages


Parental Stress Hotline

Sexual Assault
24-Hour Hotline


Teen Line
Teens Helping Teens
Text TEEN to 839863

Quit Smoking

Suicide Prevention Services

This is by no means a complete list of all the teen resources and programs in Santa Cruz County. GUiSC is not responsible for any errors or omissions, nor does inclusion in this listing constitute our endorsement of a program. Please call to verify the information listed.