The mission of the Urban Oasis Film Academy is to empower underrepresented youth of Los Angeles by providing them with the tools, knowledge and mentoring to express themselves in the video medium, giving voice to their stories while awakening the possibility of employment in the film industry. The Urban Oasis Film Academy is a program of Youth Mentoring Connection.


The Urban Oasis Film Academy has the honor of working under the umbrella of Youth Mentoring Connection (YMC), a non-profit that awakens at-risk youth to their power, unique gifts and purpose. In 1998 their maiden worksite mentoring program was launched at the offices of HBO.

In 2007, inspired by the success of that program, HBO Director of Community Affairs Cristi Catlin reached out to filmmaker/mentor Mark Schwartz to initiate a program bringing hands on filmmaking to the underserved youth of South Central LA. The film that emerged from that pilot program won 4th Place at the Bresee Youth Film Festival and the Academy was born. With HBO’s ongoing support, hundreds of underserved teens from across Los Angeles have told their stories, dozens of films have been made, multiple awards have been won at the Bresee Fest (including a sweep of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in 2011), and several of our projects have been invited to screen at the Los Angeles Film Festival Future Filmmakers event.

Our alumni have gone on to study film and creative writing at universities and several are beginning to find employment in the entertainment industry.


Youth Mentoring Connection is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization at the forefront of the mentoring movement, utilizing innovative ways to get more adults involved in mentoring programs. Our primary strategy is to bring kids to the workplace, making it as easy as possible for busy employees to participate and for kids to see professionals in action. We provide the expertise and guide the process every step of the way.

To learn more about Youth Mentoring Connection, visit www.youthmentoring.org


Youth Mentoring Connection is located at
1818 S. Western Ave., Ste 505
Los Angeles, CA 90006