Sylmar Biotech Health Academy (SBHA) joined YPI’s family of schools in August 2012. It is located in Sylmar High School and currently serves 112 ninth graders. By the year 2016 the school will reach a maximum occupancy of 500 and will enroll all high school grade levels. Educators takes pride in challenging students academically while encouraging them to become active global leaders. Biotechnology and health education are central to the curriculum.
SBHA students benefit from small learning environments and participate in a Linked Learning model that combines A-G college preparation courses. These courses provide career and technical education curricula designed to prepare them for college and a subsequent career by graduation.
Because SBHA’s learning pathways focus on biotechnology and health careers, students are concurrently enrolled at L.A. Mission College where they are further exposed to the medical field, clinical field trips and intensive college preparation workshops.
Thorough its partnership networks, YPI helps SBHA students acquire summer jobs, internships and mentoring opportunities. Current partners include the L.A. County Medical Association, Facey Medical Group and Kaiser Permanente.
YPI has five full time AmeriCorps VISTA members through funding from the Points of Light Institute that provide student, parent, teacher and community support programs at SBHA. Other supporters like Teen Valley Clinic, Hathaways, Phoenix House and Totally Family Clinic enrich the student experience by regularly providing tutoring, family counseling and leadership building activities.
Intervention programs like the ones mentioned have helped increase student’s academic achievements. In Fall 2012 SBHA went from having 93 “D” and “F” students to 24. Measures are being taken to ensure that the figure continues to decrease.