Although ABT was officially established in Los Angeles in 2014 as a 501(c)(3) organization by José Yenque, it has existed since Yenque visited Tijuana while participating as an actor in the Oscar-winning film Traffic (2000). The vision of ABT is based on Yenque’s own experience and personal growth as a teen and his use of the performing arts to overcoming mental barriers.
ABT provides an educational, therapeutic, and social integration platform, so that its student participants acquire both personal and occupational skills. Every student is treated with respect and, in turn, develops self-respect towards others. Students go through a process of emotional healing, as they acquire other skills through the ABT program. They are given the tools to better face the world, thus becoming active, functional, and self-sufficient members of society.
ABT now has 14 years of uninterrupted experience, working independently in Tijuana orphanages, where it began conducting workshops, but also holding talks and lectures in high schools and universities. A decade of mentoring and research resulted in a formal work program that more fully meets the needs of ABT’s students. Due to their success, these activities have spread to U.S. educational institutions in high-risk areas.
ABT serves underprivileged youth in Los Angeles, Tijuana and hopes to launch in San Diego in 2017. The majority of Tijuana student participants resides in orphanages or remote and disadvantaged areas. Los Angeles-based students attend underfunded inner-city schools, with little access to enrichment programs. Our target populations frequently come from environments of abuse, neglect, poverty, violence and homelessness. Without intervention and positive alternatives, ABT students are at risk of failing and falling into destructive behaviors and activities.
Board of Directors
Sandra Washington (LAUSD Principal)