Reconnecting Youth Campaign

Unleashing Limitless Potential

Yesterday, Civicorps Corpsmembers, alumni, staff, and community partners conducted a meeting at the Oakland offices of Congresswoman Barbara Lee. We were thrilled to help represent constituents of California’s 13th congressional district in legislative advocacy with the Reconnecting Youth Campaign. The RYC is a collaborative national campaign calling on Congress to invest in America’s future by funding 1 million pathways to education, training, national service and employment opportunities for youth ages 16-24 who are neither working nor in school.

We met with Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s District Director, Press Secretary and a Congressional Aide, and shared information about the opportunities Civicorps creates for youth. Corpsmembers and alumni shared their personal journeys of success and the benefits of programs like Civicorps.

For over 35 years, Civicorps has provided vital services to disconnected youth, by re-engaging young adults to earn their high school diploma, gain job skills, pursue college and embark on family sustaining careers.

One startling statistic we shared with the Congresswoman’s staff: in our Congressional district, 7,096 Opportunity Youth have been separated from pathways to productive adulthood. These young people seek opportunities to provide for themselves and their families, and their talents offer an untapped opportunity to contribute to our community and economy. Even more staggering to note: nationally, 4.6 million youth lack these pathways to success, and federal funding only reached about 350,000 youth in 2017-18.

Existing programs like Civicorps address the multiple barriers faced by Opportunity Youth and offer unique approaches and program models to reconnect them with education, job training skills and employment opportunities.

We’re grateful for Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s longstanding leadership on behalf of the youth of Oakland and Alameda County.  We’re delighted to be able to participate in the Reconnecting Youth Campaign, calling for increased funding for existing programs with demonstrated success.

Help spread the word, call or tweet at your Member of Congress and ask them to support funding for Opportunity Youth!

RYC_Oakland_Mont..01.9b Music/sound remix from Lowdownhaus / Thayer N. Walker on Vimeo.

The RYC interviewed our Corpsmembers for a forthcoming video about Opportunity Youth in this congressional district.  This video of alumni Samantha Vitti and Bethany Rivard (now a Civicorps staff member) is an example of more to come.

Filed under: Blog, Civicorps Events, NewsTagged with: , , , , , , ,

Corpsmember of the Quarter: Francis Sanson

Francis exhibits outstanding leadership skills and demonstrates an earnest commitment to service and civic engagement. A dedicated member of the community, he volunteers with homeless shelters on the weekends and in his very first term, has already completed all community service hours required to graduate from Civicorps. Francis sets an excellent example of citizenship for Civicorps and beyond.

A quiet and hardworking, noble leader, Francis is a role model for their cohort and for the entire Civicorps community. Watch out for this young individual because they are undeniably going places!

Filed under: Blog, Student SpotlightTagged with: , , ,

Civicorps Ski Trip 2019

What do you get when you have a detective, an angel, 3 mafiosos, and a cabin full of Corpsmembers? Mafia! This party game of deception, intuition and storytelling was so much fun during this year’s Civicorps weekend ski trip.

This past weekend Corpsmembers partook in Civicorps’ annual ski trip. Six Corpsmembers, 4 staff including Civicorps’ Jesuit Volunteers, and 7 Environmental Traveling Companions Guides and volunteers shared a cabin in Arnold, CA, and cross country skied at Big Trees State Park. It was the first time Corpsmembers experienced the snow.

“My favorite part of the weekend was seeing snow. I’ve only seen snow on TV. I’ve also never skied and falling was my favorite part. Everyone kept a smile on their face as they tried their best. Thank you to the ETC staff and volunteers for making this possible.” – CP, Corpsmember

The weekend forecasted a winter storm, however the excitement of being in the outdoors did not prevent our Corpsmembers from staying indoors. We suited up in our ski gear and went out in the cold to experience something new.

“I’m really impressed with everyone’s attitude. This was a huge storm. Nine out of 10 groups ETC hosts would have stayed away. But everyone’s attitude was great, and we made it a great weekend with 3 feet of snow. My favorite moment was when we reached the split (halfway to our destination), and everyone wanted to keep going.” – Jake, ETC Winter Program Leader

“The ski lesson on the parking lot was my favorite moment. It was so hard, folks were crisscrossing their skis and falling. But people were smiling. Even when Jake kept recommending to take off the skis, [Corpsmembers] were determined to stay on them and learn.” – Naseem, ETC Winter Program Volunteer

After a long day of skiing, we returned to the cabin where we made dinner and engaged in fun activities like Mancala and Apples to Apples. One of the most popular games that everyone liked was Mafia. Folks were passionate and really got to share in their story telling abilities.

“My favorite moment of the weekend was meeting everyone and playing Mafia. That’s the best game I’ve ever played.” – Rakeem, Corpsmember

When Sunday morning came, we were snowed in and the power went out due to a falling tree on the highway. During that time, Corpsmembers went sledding, while staff and volunteers shoveled snow. We finally made it out and arrived safely back to Oakland. This weekend would not have been possible without the support of ETC’s volunteers and guides. We thank them for welcoming us to their cabin and making it a home for us. It’s always a pleasure bringing our Corpsmember out of the town and into the outdoors.

See more photos on our Facebook Page!

Filed under: Blog, Civicorps EventsTagged with: , , , , ,

Corpsmember of the Quarter: Aaron Chanthavong

 

Mr. Chanthavong has done an excellent job at using his resources at Civicorps to help launch him into his career path. He is currently an intern at Tech Exchange where he leads the sales of refurbished computers; and he has taken it upon himself to guide, train and make new interns feel welcomed. He is a successful full time college student at Merritt College, earning A’s and B’s. He hopes to graduate with honors as he earns a degree in Computer Science.

Civicorps is delighted to recognize Aaron Chanthavong as Corpsmember of the Quarter for Summer 2018.

Filed under: Blog, Student SpotlightTagged with: , ,

Season of Giving with the Warriors

Five Civicorps families were selected for a holiday shopping spree courtesy of the Warriors, Lucky and 18 Reasons’ Shop and Learn. Corpsmembers were part of an instructional store tour and participated in a friendly interactive shopping challenge in which the families were tasked with buying ingredients for a nutritious meal under $20. Each family was paired with a Warrior’s figure including #2 Jordan Bell, #21 Jonas Jerebko, Assistant Coach Bruce Fraser, and American former professional basketball players Ruthie Bolton and Adonal Foyle.

“It meant a lot to my family, not just because we are a Warriors fan, but because we were able to learn and work together. To complete the challenge, we were creative. Instead of making regular lumpias, we made naked lumpias that did not require a wrapper and used brown rice instead for the side.

“We are really thankful that the Warriors are doing this for the community. And grateful to have had Jordan Bell shop with us!”

-Francis, Civicorps Corpsmember

After completing the challenge, each family went home with a bag filled with cookware, and a Lucky’s gift card to help support their family holiday feast.

Civicorps is so grateful for the generosity of the Warriors to make our student’s holiday extra bright this year!

Check out more photos on our Facebook Page!

Filed under: Blog, NewsTagged with: , , , , ,

A glimpse at our December 2018 graduates

Join Civicorps’ December 13th Class of 2018 Graduation Ceremony at the Oakland Museum of California | RSVP

Moniqué 

By graduating, I am proving to myself that “si se puede, YES YOU CAN!”

Even though it’s taken me longer than planned, I am graduating, which is something that my parents and many of my family weren’t able to accomplish. I am grateful for the obstacles I’ve encountered because I have learned and grown from them to become independent, a better partner, and a leader. Having that diploma in my hand is a representation of my drive to succeed.

I am grateful for my partner Lamont. He and I started Civicorps together, and are graduating together. He is my rock as I am to his. Mr. Dunn (Dean of Students) has always said that we would be a distraction to each other, but that just fueled our want to succeed and prove him wrong. And we did it! For that I am also grateful for Mr. Dunn.

I plan to enroll in college, take business courses and dive into my entrepreneurial personality. I have dreams of getting my cosmetology certificate and a Bachelor degree in business administration. Then… embark in several of my start up ideas that includes a beauty skincare line… but for now, I want to enjoy the bliss of graduating, walk on stage wearing my high heels, glitter and make up!

 

Nuk

I first came to Civicorps in 2013, took a break in 2014 and came back in 2017. It’s been a journey to finally reach it to the end and receive my high school diploma.  I am grateful for the support I received at Civicorps and for finally seeing a best version of myself here.

One of my proudest moments while at Civicorps was when I won an award for an art piece I submitted to the ACLU. I love art, and have a talent for it. People know me as an artist, which at first, was hard for me to acknowledge. But when your passion is being recognized by others, it really makes you believe in it.

I am grateful today to have even been commissioned to do art work for others.  Who knows, maybe in the distant future I will have an art show. It’s all about perseverance, staying on track of your goals and fighting against your adversities. And that’s what I will continue to do.

I am setting an example to my family by crossing that stage and receiving my high school diploma. I want my son to know that his father will always work hard and will continue to achieve my dreams for him to be proud of.

Sandi

My oldest daughter came home from school one day and asked me if I went to college. It hurt me to say that I didn’t even graduate from high school. It was in this moment when I realized that I needed to be more of an example for my kids and show them that they should not settle for less.

I want opportunities to open up. I want to give them everything my parents didn’t give me. When I walk the stage to receive my high school diploma, I will tell my daughter that this diploma is for her. Going through Civicorps I have seen opportunities present themselves that I would have never seen staying at home. My education will continue, and I will not stop until I have achieved an Associate’s certification and a Bachelor’s degree.

I have two chainsaw certifications from Civicorps, not too many woman have earned that. I currently am a Customer Service Intern at Civicorps. From being in the field, to working behind a desk, I am capable of anything.

Tony

I am one of few Civicorps students that is graduating within a year, 10 months to be exact. That itself is something I am very proud of.

Growing up I was on track to graduate high school and go on to a 4 year university. But ever since 9th grade, I knew traditional school was not for me. I was bored, unmotivated, and felt unsupported. My parents always had the need to compare me to others. And it was these expectations that ultimately made me give up on myself.

Civicorps was my choice to try something new and on my own terms. It was here that I got to be independent and not have to feel like a failure. My teachers really believed in me and that’s what motivated me to begin thinking about the future and pursuing the things I want to do.

I am happy I will continue to remain part of this community as I complete a one year internship at Civicorps. In the fall of 2019, I will be enrolling in college studying biochemistry. My goal is to teach science and maybe become a science teacher at Civicorps. If I put my mind on it, stay focused, I know I can accomplish it.

Filed under: Blog, Civicorps Events, Student SpotlightTagged with: , , , ,