Youth Mentoring Action Network

Tax ID:


Budget (2019):

Revenue: $171,251
Expenses: $159,586
Assets: $13,855



Claremont, California


Youth Mentoring and Education Organization



Co-Founder and Chief Visionary Officer:

Torie Weiston-Serdan

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Youth Mentoring Action Network (YMAN) is a left-of-center youth mentoring activism organization focused on young people, primarily LGBT, Black, Latino, first-generation college students, and low-income youth located in California. As of 2021, it was attempting to expand its reach nationally.

Critical Mentoring

Youth Mentoring Action Network follows the method of “critical mentoring,” claiming that traditional mentoring of young people isn’t appropriate for Black, LBGT, or other “marginalized” youth groups because it relies on a hierarchical structure. The term and concept of critical mentoring was created by YMAN co-founder and chief visionary officer, Torie Weiston-Serdan. 1 YMAN partnered with SummerSearch, Mentor: The National Mentoring Partnership, and Amped Strategies with the goal of spreading critical mentoring across the United States. 2 YMAN claims that traditional mentoring “ignores systemic inequality” and has “anti-blackness” qualities. 3

YMAN and Weiston-Serdan assert that communities have been “created and targeted by white supremacy” and that there is an “attack on black progress and advancements,” while calling on mentors to use “radical” methods to reach vulnerable youth. 4


Wellness Collaborative

By partnering with local California organizations, including The Self Care Lab and Gente Organizada, Youth Mentoring Action Network has created the Wellness Collaborative to provide a network of free health and wellness services. YMAN is raising $1.3 for this program. 5

Black Girls (EM)Power

YMAN began the Black Girls (EM) Power initiative to support and allocate resources to black women and girls through education and mentoring. 6 In 2021, the first Black Girls (EM)Power Building Retreat was held for black women and girls to help build and fund the Black Girls (EM)Power Fellowship. The fellowship focuses on the “radical” work of young Black women from the ages of 15-25 through funding and access to a network of black women leaders, including “rest and restoration” that would allow the recipient “time and space for regeneration and innovation.” 7 The fellowship includes two retreats, one in Laguna, California and another in Ghana, West Africa. YMAN is raising $1 million for this program. 8

The initiative is run by Zyahna Bryant, a Black activist and student at the University of Virginia. She created Black Women Built This and was appointed to the Virginia African American Advisory Board by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D). She also serves as a member of the University of Virginia’s President Jim Ryan’s Council on UVA-Community Partners. 9 Bryant claims to have started the five-year campaign to remove Confederate monuments across the state of Virginia and the U.S., including the statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia. 10

Mobile Music Studio

YMAN’s Mobile Music Studio is run by YMAN co-founder and chief music officer Gayle Weiston-Serdan. This program seeks to raise $500,000 to transform a van into a mobile music studio for music education and therapy. 11

Funding and Partnerships


In February 2018, Youth Mentoring Action Network partnered with Jordan Brand Wings, an education scholarship program for disadvantaged youth. 12 With the program, seniors who are part of YMAN and who have been accepted to college receive free Jordan branded items, including hoodies, shirts, socks, shoes, and are able to attend events hosted by Jordan. 13

YMAN is partnered with Grantmakers for Girls of Color, 14 Mentor New York, 15 SummerSearch, Mentor: The National Mentoring Partnership, Amped Strategies, 16 Gente Organizada, Huerta del Valle, Evolution, and The Self Care Lab. 17

YMAN was a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, an annual conference hosted from 2005 through 2016 by former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. 18


Grantmakers for Girls of Color has allocated money to YMAN from the Love is Healing fund, which focuses on COVID-19 and its impact on girls and youth of color. 19

In 2020, YMAN received $678,682 in gifts, grants, memberships, or contributions. 20


Torie Weiston-Serdan and her wife Gayle Weiston-Serdan co-founded YMAN in 2007.

Torie Weiston-Serdan is the chief visionary officer. She is an educator, researcher, and practitioner who focuses on mentorship and youth programing. She oversees the M.A. degree in Community-Engaged Education and Social Change in the School of Educational Studies at Claremont Graduate University. 21 Torie Weiston-Serdan wrote Critical Mentoring: A Practical Guide and hosts a podcast, Reimagining Youth Work. 22 She works with organizations to train mentors who specialize in working with diverse youth populations, including LGBT, black, Latino, first-generation college students, and low-income youth.  She also founded the Center for Critical Mentoring and Youth Work, which focuses on a place to promote critical mentoring and involves researchers, youth, and community members in research, curriculum creation, evaluation, and training. 23

Torie Weiston-Serdan is a founding board member of Mentor CA and serves on the boards of Give Build Share, Big Brothers Big Sisters LGBTQ National Advisory Council, and the research board of the National Mentoring Resource Center. She completed her undergraduate degree from University of LaVerne and her doctorate from Claremont Graduate University. 24

Gayle Weiston-Serdan is the chief music officer and co-founder of YMAN. She is an educator and musician and oversees the music program at YMAN where she works with minority youth. She obtained her doctorate in Musical Arts in Jazz Studies from University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. 25


  1. Resource – Critical Mentoring. Mentor: The National Mentoring Partnership. Accessed October 21, 2021.
  2. White Goode, Robin. “Critical Mentoring is Critical to College Success. Black Enterprise. July 13, 2016. Accessed October 18, 2021.
  3. CMA Admin. “Critiquing the Anti-Blackness in Mentoring.” Diverse. August 11, 2016. Accessed October 20, 2021.
  4. [1] Weiston-Serdan, Torie. “How to Support Black Youth in the Aftermath of the Chauvin Verdict and Ma’Khia Bryant’s Killing. Newsone. April 21, 2021. Accessed October 18, 2021.
  5. Programs – Wellness Collaborative. Youth Mentoring Action Network. Accessed October 20, 2021.
  6. Weiston-Serdan, Torie and Marek, Kiersten. “More Than Magic: What Funders Can Learn from Black Women and Girls.” Philanthropy Women. May 4, 2021. Accessed October 20, 2021.
  7. Bryant, Zyahna and Weiston-Serdan, Dr. Torie. “We Invited Young People to Lead a Funder Retreat. Here’s What We Learned.” Inside Philanthropy. September 28, 2021. Accessed October 10, 2021.
  8. Weiston-Serdan, Torie and Marek, Kiersten. “More Than Magic: What Funders Can Learn from Black Women and Girls.” Philanthropy Women. May 4, 2021. Accessed October 20, 2021.
  9.  Zyahna Bryant. Zy Bryant Official. Accessed October 10, 2021.
  10.  Bryant, Zyahna. “Charlottesville’s Robert E. Lee Monument is Coming Down, Thanks to Me and Black Women Like Me.” Teen Vogue. July 10, 2021. Accessed October 10, 2021.
  11. Programs – Mobile Music Studio. Youth Mentoring Action Network. Accessed October 21, 2021.
  12. Our Partners – Community – Wings. Nike. Accessed October 18, 2021.
  13. “YMAN Partners with Jordan Wings.” Youth Mentoring Action Network. February 20, 2018. Accessed October 18, 2021.
  14. Weiston-Serdan, Torie and Marek, Kiersten. “More Than Magic: What Funders Can Learn from Black Women and Girls.” Philanthropy Women. May 4, 2021. Accessed October 20, 2021.
  15. Racial Justice and Equality. Mentor New York. Accessed October 21, 2021.
  16. White Goode, Robin. “Critical Mentoring is Critical to College Success. Black Enterprise. July 13, 2016. Accessed October 18, 2021.
  17. Twitter. Youth Mentoring Action Network. March 13, 2021. Accessed October 21, 2021.
  18. Commitment to Action – Clinton Global Initiative. Clinton Foundation. Accessed October 18, 2021.
  19. [1] Support – G4GC Grantee Partners. Grantmakers for Girls of Color. Accessed October 21, 2021.
  20. Youth Mentoring Action Network, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990), 2020, Schedule A, Part II, Section A, Line 1. Accessed October 8, 2021.*1hiuv7l*_ga*MjEwODE5MDUzMi4xNjMwODU2NDg3*_ga_0H865XH5JK*MTYzMzcxMTAzOC4zLjEuMTYzMzcxMTE5NS4w*_ga_5W8PXYYGBX*MTYzMzcxMTAzOC4zLjEuMTYzMzcxMTE5NS4w&_ga=2.12363953.480176053.1633711038-2108190532.1630856487
  21. Torie Weiston-Serdan. Accessed October 10, 2021.
  22. Podcast. Reimagining Youth Work. Accessed October 10, 2021.
  23. About. Torie Weiston-Serdan. Accessed October 10, 2021.
  24. About. Torie Weiston-Serdan. Accessed October 10, 2021.
  25. Podcast. “A Legacy of Music and Love with Gayle Weiston-Serdan.” Episode 7. Reimagining Youth Work. July 20, 2020. Accessed October 10, 2021.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: April 1, 2011

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2019 Dec Form 990EZ $171,251 $159,586 $13,855 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)