Crazy About Kids

Young Life thinks the world of kids. We believe that every teenager deserves to know what life can offer them.

Being a teenager with special needs offers unique challenges, but at Young Life Capernaum we help overcome these challenges by believing in each other, providing support, and creating lasting friendships. Capernaum Clubs are full of social, emotional, physical, and spiritual experiences that leave a life long mark.

We offer an environment where teens and young adults enjoy being who they are and experience what life is about: FUN!

“We are acting as a bridge by which kids with disabilities can find life. It is being a friend and helping them to get to place they cannot go on their own. It is sharing Jesus Christ with friends who happen to have disabilities. It is ministering to and being ministered to by Jesus in a wheelchair.”

-Nick Palermo
Metro Director and Founder Young Life Capernaum Ministries and Young Life Capernaum Project


Young Life Capernaum is a non-profit Christian ministry devoted to serving the needs of youth with physical and developmental disabilities. We believe that young people with disabilities have the right to experience all of life’s opportunities; fulfilling friendships, fun and adventure, activities which build self-esteem and challenge their limits, and the ability to explore a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. 

Our orientation toward youth with disabilities is an unconditional one that welcomes all persons regardless of the ethnic background, race or religious beliefs.


In 1986, Nick Palermo, a the leader in a traditional Young Life Club, launched the first-ever Capernaum Club right here in San Jose. Nick had been visiting his Young Life Club members at their high schools when he noticed that the students with disabilities were isolated from the rest of the student body. After several conversations with these students, he realized that they did not have the opportunities to enjoy life like their able-bodied peers due to issues such as a lack of adequate transportation. Nick had the desire to open up a world of fun and adventure where teens with disabilities would feel welcome, loved, and accepted.

Nick approached his Area Director with the question, “Can we do Club for these kids?” At that time, Young Life had not branched out into the world of disabilities. Nick was given permission to start an after school Young Life Club designed especially for teens and young adults with disabilities; Capernaum in San Jose was born.

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Young Life Blossom Almaden Capernaum | 1123 Hanchett Ave San Jose, CA 95126-2602

Phone: 408-417-2687

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