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: , , , , , , ,

Civicorps Alum, Tyneisha Crooks in the East Bay Times

Share the Spirit: Woman who got help at Civicorps to turn her life around now wants to help others

By Thomas Peele | Bay Area News Group
December 15, 2018

OAKLAND — Tyneisha Crooks’ late father didn’t want his children “stuck on stupid,” she said. It was his way of telling her and her 10 siblings that to get anywhere in life they needed an education.

“Education was a big thing to him. You have to get a high school diploma to support yourself,” was part of his mantra, she said. “Without it you can’t do anything.”

Crooks admits it took her awhile to heed his wisdom. At Antioch High School her senior year, “I wasn’t feeling it. I would leave for school and not even go to school almost every day.”

Read More…

Filed under: Alumni News, News

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: , , , , ,

KQED Podcast: Stories of Persevering for a Diploma

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, NPR One or wherever you get your podcasts to hear three Civicorps graduates share their stories: why they didn’t graduate high school, what convinced them to come back to school, and how they made it through.

“On a sunny day in early June, 12 young people received their high school diplomas at a moving ceremony at the Oakland Museum of California. Graduations are always full of emotion and excitement, but this one was a little different because these young people left high school, but came back to get their diplomas. The friends and loved ones gathered to celebrate their achievement knew exactly how hard they had worked for this moment and the obstacles they’d overcome.”

“High school dropout is a label I’m thankful to tear off me as a person,” said Jeremy Ward during his graduation speech.

Filed under: Blog, News, Student Spotlight

A New Chapter at Civicorps: Executive Director's Transition

AUGUST 1, 2018

After seven years of leading through a period of intense growth and change, our Executive Director, Alan Lessik, leaves Civicorps.  Alan has been instrumental in evolving the organization, developing public and private relationships throughout the East Bay and greater community. His leadership in the development of our public/private relationship with the Waste Management-Teamsters Union Apprenticeship Program has created opportunities for our talented and skilled Corpmembers to gain family-sustaining careers. Alan has positioned Civicorps for continued growth and improvement as well as long-term stability. He leaves the organization in a very strong position as we embark on our next phase. The Civicorps Board thanks Alan for his many years of leadership and dedication and wishes him all the very best in his next adventures.

The Civicorps Board of Directors is committed to carrying our mission forward and ensuring a smooth transition.  We have created a transition plan that will be open, transparent and, above all, will ensure the quality of education and other services we provide continue without interruption. 

As we embark on the search for a successor and frame the vision for the next chapter of the organization, we will invite Civicorps partners, supporters and members of the organization to provide feedback.  We value your input and want to hear your thoughts and hopes for Civicorps’ future.  More details to come as we set up the mechanisms to engage Civicorps friends and community.

We are grateful for your continued support and dedication as we look ahead to the next chapter of Civicorps and serving the Bay Area Community. 

Sincerely,

Nita Kirby
Board President

 

Filed under: Blog, NewsTagged with: ,

Foster Youth - The Chronicle of Social Change

Equal Footing: Oakland Program Keeps Foster Youth on Track to Graduate with Their Peers

by Shane Downing | May 31, 2018

When Tramischa Cole, a homeless 24-year-old mother of one, stumbled across a Civicorps flier in 2015, she didn’t expect to be accepted into the Bay Area’s only accredited high school and job training program for 18 to 26 year olds.

It’s not that Civicorps had a waiting list: Cole was worried her parenting responsibilities and lack of housing would be an issue.

“I told them I’m homeless and I don’t have child care,” Cole said. “I thought everything I was telling them would be something to stop me from coming and being successful. They said, ‘We’re here for you.’” …

Filed under: News