Alternatives in Action with Congresswoman Lee

It’s not just “after school” at Life Academy!
At Life Academy, we realize that we need to connect with kids and get them excited about learning, every hour of the day.  Our Extended Day Program (EDP) is designed to engage students in the learning process with support for academic classes as well as other programs which take place before, during and after school.   These programs are sponsored and coordinated by our programming partner, Alternatives in Action.

Alternatives in Action offers youth and their families a broad range of after school programming and school-linked services that prepare young people for success in college, career and community leadership.

Through our Community Programs, we partner with school staff, youth, parents and organizations to create powerful, real-world learning opportunities for over 200 high school youth in our “Six Pillars of Collaborative Programming”. These include After School Community Projects, Academic Support and College Preparation, Career Development, Parent Engagement, Health and Wellness, and Cascading Leadership. We offer a place and supports that meet the needs of the whole child, from leadership to tutoring to physical check-ups.

As young people progress and grow, they may take on roles of greater influence in the school and co-lead programs with other youth. We became the Lead Agency of collaborative programming at Life Academy in Oakland, where we facilitated the development and implementation of a cohesive strategy for academic intervention, enrichment, and parental involvement. In large part because of our accomplishments at Life Academy, our youth take positive action that makes a difference in their school and their communities.

Our mission at Life Academy:  In order to help Life Academy to dramatically interrupt patterns of injustice and inequity for under-served communities in Oakland, Alternatives in Action works with youth to realize their leadership potential and prepares them for college, career and community.

Current Programs

Middle School Calendar


Cara Johnson: Director of Community Programs
Cara is excited to join the Life Academy family this year as the Community Programs Director with Alternatives in Action. Before Life Academy, Cara worked for five years as a high school English teacher and Community Programs Director at the McClymonds Educational Complex in Oakland. As Community Programs Director, Cara oversees a collaborative of programs including academic supports, leadership development, college and career readiness, community impact programs, mentoring, health education, and parent engagement to support implementation of a full service community school at Life. She is committed to developing strong partnerships between administration,  staff, students, parents, organizations, and community members to make school a positive experience for all students. In her free time, Cara goes on long hikes, cooks, and rides her bike.

Pablo Venturino: Community Programs Site Coordinator
Pablo is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he earned his Professorship and Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology at the University of Buenos Aires, Faculty of Philosophy and Letters. As a first-generation college graduate, Pablo has both a professional and a personal passion for, and commitment to, working with youth from under-served communities and supporting them in reaching their goals and full potential. Pablo began his career in education working as a teacher in a high school located in a shantytown in Buenos Aires, after which he immigrated to the United States. Pablo worked in the Washington DC area for three years, where he ran leadership programs for high-school students and developed a multicultural educational training and support program for new-immigrant Latino youth with Identity Inc, and taught Spanish and social studies at an international school. Currently, Pablo coordinates the Extended-Day Program and runs several project groups at Life Academy. In addition to his passion for education, Pablo also loves playing and coaching fútbol (soccer), listening to tango music, drinking mate, hiking, exploring museums and national parks, and dancing cumbia.