CYO Founding Director
Pastor Anthony Ortiz was awarded the 2004 California Peace Prize by the California Wellness Foundation in recognition for his work in violence prevention and promoting peace in the community. An ex-gang member and ordained minister, Pastor Ortiz has used his first-hand knowledge of gang life to minister to young men and women who have fallen prey to gangs and drugs.
Over the years, Pastor Ortiz has become a nationally recognized expert in the field of gang intervention and prevention services. He has been honored for his work by the California Legislature, the California Youth Authority, and the City of San Jose.
Although retired, Pastor Ortiz continues to serve in prison ministry. He currently facilitates chapel services to provide hope and encouragement for the incarcerated and conducts Criminal Gang Members Anonymous Groups in Avenal State Prison, the re-entry hub Northern and Central California, to prepare inmates for successful re-entry to the community.