KTVU: Recycling Lives by Recycling Waste

KTVU: Recycling Lives by Recycling Waste / CivicorpsPublished on KTVU.com on December 30, 2013 by Tom Vacar

William Montoya and Fua Fatai, clients of Oakland’s Civicorps, are learning the skills needed to recycle restaurant wastes.

The food waste they collect in Oakland, currently being composted, will soon go to the Eastbay Municipal Utilities District (MUD) Oakland sewage treatment plant.

“We realized we can recycle these kinds of new urban wastes and do it in a way that provides us with renewable energy at the same time,” says Andrea Pook, Eastbay MUD Spokeswoman.

When those food scraps are digested, the methane gas that comes out of them goes into a turbine which can create enough power for 2500 homes.

“At the same time, we develop a product called bio-solid which is the digested solid material that’s used for agricultural fertilizer as well as alternative cover at landfills,” said Jackie Kepke, Eastbay MUD’s Environmental Services Manager.

For Montoya and Fatai, it’s nothing less than life changing.

“I see this as a stepping stone, you know, and just opening up doors for me in the future. It’s exciting to know that I’m part of something big,” said Fatai.

“This program actually saved me from doing a lot of bad stuff. I focus on my future, my family, my son,” Montoya said.

Civicorps’ Bruce Groulx is proud of this program and these men.

“We take society’s waste, recycle it, as well as recycle young people’s lives,” he said.

They are lives ultimately recycled by the clients’ own self-worth.

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Filed under: News, Student Spotlight

“This is the justice work of our time”

Civicorps Academy article in EDsource / “This is the justice work of our time” / CivicorpsJustice Work Of Our Time

Published on EdSource by Kathryn Baron on October 7th, 2013

Not a single student at one of Oakland’s public high schools has to be there. They all arrive by choice – willingly, happily, sometimes desperately – at Civicorps Academy, a charter school for young adults who have aged out of traditional high school but aren’t too old to want another crack at earning a high school diploma.

“People tell me, ‘You’re getting a diploma? (You’re) 22.’ I am,” Tyneisha Crooks said she tells her incredulous inquirers. “There are people older than me getting (a diploma) and I commend them for that; that’s a big step. You got to start from the bottom to get on top and that’s what I’m doing.”

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Filed under: News

Oakland: Homicides A Common Occurrence in the Life of Marquis Jones

Oakland: Homicides A Common Occurrence in the Life of Marquis Jones / CivicorpsPublished in the Oakland Tribune by Scott Johnson on April 4, 2013

An intimate look at how the loss of almost 40 friends and family to gun violence has impacted a Civicorps student and how our school is helping to transform his life.

“I think that if all of my family was still here, I would have had my high school diploma already,” Marquis Jones, Civicorps student, said. “This is what I have to get done, not just for me but for the rest of my family.”

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Filed under: News

Civicorps Offers High-School Dropouts a Second Chance

Civicorps Apply Now / Civicorps Offers High-School Dropouts a Second ChanceHigh-School Dropouts

Published in the Oakland Tribune by Scott Johnson on April 4, 2013

This in-depth look at Civicorps’ effective education and job training program highlights our use of trauma theory to understand how our students’ past trauma influences their behavior. Our staff then provides the support services youth need to address the root issues.

“We do a lot of hand-holding, a lot of encouragement, teaching them what’s important about life, about friends, about jobs,” said Rodney Dunn, an administrator and a Civicorps graduate. “With a lot of these kids, something happened along the way that prevented their success, so part of our job is asking: What happened?”

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Filed under: News