History & Foundation

Arternatives CYDP was founded in 1994 in the City of Los Angeles, California.

(teacher, counselor, youth advocate). Hector Rios 1994 – 2018

Mr. Rios was contracted as a worksite supervisor and assigned by the City of Los Angeles to head the SYETP Mural Division in Mid Valley Youth Center. Prior to this, He had spent several years working directly with inner-city youth in the arts, producing murals throughout the county. The city-hall Cultural Affairs Department under Al Nodal, The Mayor, and Mrs. Helen Samuels from EarthCrew-2000 recognized and awarded these projects.

Many productions were accomplished including an historical mural for the Government of Mexico, in Mexico City with CPJ (Consejo Popular Juvenil) which is a grassroots youth council (1992), and an invitation to paint and exhibit at the International World Summit. (1993)


The initial summer program was designed by Brandeis University faculty and was introduced to this metropolitan area as the “City of Los Angeles Summer Youth Employment Training Program” * [SYETP], it was a successful implemented foundation.

Mr. Rios was then hired as a full time teacher and counselor by the youth rehabilitation facility under the training and directorship of Mr. Chuck Happold and Dr. Peggy Wilson Jordan, to develop, install and chronicle a continual youth arts program which would work directly with 80 to 100 minors on a daily basis, integrating the clinical psychological perspectives of the facility and daily regulated youth responsibilities and social skills. (1995) HR

During this time, various approaches failed and were redefined, while others worked with clear results. Several minors who had never had art experiences started producing skilled works and thought-out projects that truly held and promulgated further participation and transformation*

Community Service hours were worked off in community beautification projects, and the initial youth were trained in basic secretarial and business skills in order to acquire their own paint donations and supplies.

Arternatives began issuing the first versions of READ ‘N DRAW ADVENTURES TM as a non-filtered mechanism drawing platform in order to get children interested and active in the regularly scheduled art classes, therapeutic tied-in group sessions and exterior community mural projects.

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This was our very first mural as Arternatives started. Van Nuys, Ca. 1995

The following is the published final version in California Mural textbook.

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At this point, Department of Probation Office DPO and Social Services DCFS children were assigned, by contract, to Arternatives for rehabilitational and creative outlets* Daily court-assigned kids, further therapeutic integration and internal reports were then introduced as well as applicable training for staff involved with caseloads*

Successfully and systematically, the Arternatives program was thence born*


1994 SYEP

* SYETP was the initiation of today’s SYEP and L.A. YOUTH ORG. http://www.hirelayouth.com/summeryouthemployment.htm