Every year Civicorps puts on an Annual College and Career Fair in order to expose our students to different college and career opportunities in high-demand industries in Oakland.
This year, we invited representatives from: Laney College, University of California at Berkeley, Tech Exchange, Centro Legal, The Town Kitchen, US Army, and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.
“It was important for me to find people to talk about their passions, why they chose their career path, and what kind of education requirements they needed to get there,” said Matt Norona, Career Counselor. “We wanted students to be able to have small, intimate conversations with someone actually in the field they might be interested in.”
Civicorps alum, Bradon, kicked off the fair by talking about how he leveraged his Civicorps training to secure a career with Alameda County Public Works Agency. Bradon’s supervisor, Henry, attended the fair and was moved to speak about the value of a Civicorps education.
“I have to shout out the importance of this program – the importance of having Civicorps on your resume – that makes a difference,” said Henry. “Keep moving forward. Get all the training and certificates that you can. On paper, Bradon was the ideal candidate because of Civicorps.”
Throughout the day, students navigated through small group discussions in classrooms with the college and career representatives and had the opportunity to ask questions and exchange contact information.
Students earned raffle tickets for attending the presentations and for dressing in professional attire. At the end of the fair, a drawing was held and two students won brand new Chromebook computers, while four others received gift cards and college-branded hoodies.
“I never really thought I could go to UC Berkeley,” said one student, “but now that I know that other people with hardships like me have gone there – that’s where I want to go.”
“Seeing the auditorium packed full of family and friends, it hit me – it’s finally happening – I’m graduating!” – Civicorps graduate
Our relationship with these grads doesn’t end when they receive their diplomas. We continue to assist them with college applications, resume building, and connecting them with family-sustaining careers.
“When I’m on that stage, I feel like I can be whoever I want to be.” – Civicorps Student
Students wowed the audience on Thursday night with a lively performance of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. We laughed, we wondered what would happen next, and we were inspired as students weaved a tale of forbidden love, escape, betrayal and loyalty.
Last week’s Shakespeare performance is part of a not-for-profit alternative learning program called Midnight Shakespeare. Every year, a group of Civicorps students work with directors from the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival’s Midnight Shakespeare program to learn a Shakespeare play. Students perform the classic version in the fall and then recreate the play in their own context for a performance in the spring.
This year, Civicorps students selected the play Cymbeline and performed it with pizzazz and the audience loved it!
“I think it says a lot about the program to see so many returning students participating in Shakespeare for a second, third, or fourth time,” said Service Learning and Support Coordinator, Kerrin McKenney, who assisted with the production. “In a pep talk before the final performance, a few of the returners reminded the group why they started in the first place: when they’re on stage, the students can jump into other lives, create their own characters, and express themselves in a completely new way.”
Students who performed in the play walked away not only with some new skills under their belts, but also a newfound sense of confidence:
“I loved being on stage. I plan to come back for all the future Shakespeares,” said Lovell, who played Iachimo, the villain of the story and a crowd favorite.
On June 9th, with over a hundred parents, siblings, friends and community members in attendance and only standing room to spare, 24 Civicorps graduates crossed the stage to accept their diploma and take the next step in their journey toward success. During the ceremony, graduates beamed with pride as community leaders offered words of inspiration and teachers and peers praised their collective achievement.
“It feels amazing to be graduating. There were moments when I didn’t think I could do it, but the other [students] and teachers encouraged me to keep pushing through, and now here I am. I’m excited for what’s next!”
– Civicorps graduate
Donate today to support our graduates as they take the next step or enrolling in college and securing internships or union apprenticeships!
On April 1st, our students performed their original and evocative performance of M4M Remix to a packed house! Our donors enjoyed a glass of wine and appetizers before the show and then exciting conversations with the actors following the performance. Also, our student poets performed their original poetry before the play began!
Set in Oakland and inspired by Shakespeare’s Measure For Measure, The Measure of Oakland (M4M Remix) explored the topics of consent, power, and justice in modern society.
In January and February, directors Stephen Muterspaugh and Maryssa Wanlass of San Francisco Shakespeare Festival began private interviews with about 20 students from Civicorps. In the interviews, students were asked about their experiences living in Oakland, and they shared intimate stories and reflections on their lives. These stories were then used by playwright Davern Wright to shape an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Measure For Measure – the play that Civicorps performed in the fall. He worked hard to write the script in a way that reflected the themes and experiences of life in modern day Oakland, through our students’ eyes. What truly made this original theatrical performance both heart-breaking and inspiring, is that many portions of the script were born out of the true experiences of our students.
Life-Changing Experience for our Students
“It was a lot of work, but it was cool. I felt famous.” – Tai
“This is my third Shakespeare play. I love it because it’s pushed me to prepare for my future.” – Telicia
“Shakespeare taught me how to act, and I can take that anywhere with me in life.” – Kyndall
“Shakespeare helps me open up to be a better person.” – Miki
As the newly appointed mayor of Oakland, Sampson vows to “clean up” the city. He devises a plan to incarcerate all of the poor citizens of the city, in order to build high-rise luxury apartments for the rich. His transformation of the city is unprecedented and appears unstoppable. Will the community be able to come together to cease this injustice, or will the city of Oakland become another haven for the wealthy? This original theatrical performance will find an answer to this dilemma, while highlighting the power and importance of reclaiming personal voice and allowing our stories to be heard.