50 Fund Playmaker: Rudy Corpuz and United Playaz

Our 50th 50 Fund Playmaker is United Playaz, a San Francisco-based youth violence prevention and youth development organization. United Playaz provides a comprehensive range of services to prepare vulnerable youth for higher education, employment, and healthy living within a safe, nurturing and collaborative environment.

United Playaz’ programs provide youth with adult support, academic enrichment and leadership skills to prevent them from entering and re-entering the justice system. Their programs include in-school violence prevention at 7 high schools in San Francisco in order to provide in-school violence prevention and support. The program provides youth with a way to get to know United Playaz while developing leadership skills and participating in violence prevention events. Additionally, United Playaz provide after school programs, community and crisis response services, case management and workforce development. Staff are on call 24 hours a day to help kids.

United Playaz wants to recognize founder Rudy Corpuz Jr., who has worked tirelessly to end youth violence in SoMa since 1994.  Corpuz “chose to make a lot of bad choices” growing up, and found himself in and out of jail due to incidents related to gangs, drugs and violence in the early ‘90s. After his last release in 1993, Corpuz decided to make a life change, and has been focused on keeping young people off the streets ever since. His first violence-prevention teaching experience was at Balboa High School in 1994, a time when the school was plagued by immense violence between students based on racial differences. One of his focuses at the time was to create more on-campus activities to keep students busy and turn the diverse group of feuding students into a campus organization. The organization thrived on campus for about ten years. Soon after beginning his work at Balboa High School, Corpuz started United Playaz in SoMa, where he was born and raised. It is now in its 21st year in operation. Corpuz’s motto is, “it takes the hood to save the hood.” He strives to use his firsthand experience with youth-based violence to teach younger generations the alternative routes they can take to face their problems and change their lives for the better.

50 weeks. 50 grants. 50 opportunities to recognize Bay Area residents who are making a difference through their service to our community in celebration of Super Bowl 50. The 50 Fund’s Playmaker program was designed to showcase the real difference Bay Area nonprofits are making in the lives of our children, and people behind the scenes who are making that impact possible.

Every Tuesday, the 50 Fund—the legacy fund of the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee—will reveal a new Playmaker and share that nonprofit’s story of inspiration.