Students find a home at Civicorps

Civicorps student John Laws III (center), with staff members Rodney Dunn and Tessa Nicholas, says he’s finally found the school that’s right for him. Students find a home at Civicorps.Students Find a Home at Civicorps

“A young person who’s dropped out of school or wound up in jail doesn’t have to give up.

There’s hope yet, thanks to a cool place called Civicorps, headquartered in a former industrial building near Jack London Square.”

Check out this awesome article about Civicorps in the San Leandro Times!

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Step Into Your Power

On February 19th, Civicorps hosted a Step Into Your Power Youth Summit where 42 students from Civicorps, Treasure Island Job Corps, MetWest High School, and College of Alameda came together to brainstorm solutions to community issues and then presented their ideas to a panel of community leaders.

After a moving keynote speech by Kamau Walton, Critical Resistance and Black Lives Matter East Bay, and a leadership panel by our Student Action Team, students broke into small-group work sessions where they brainstormed ideas that would have a positive social impact on their community. These sessions were lead by Student Action Team members, Civicorps staff, and activists from Young Invincibles.

Summit attendees brainstorming solutions to community issues / Step Into Your Power /Civicorps

Five campaigns were created and presented to a panel of community leaders:

1) #NoBeds media campaign highlight the scarcity of beds and the complexity of the public housing system
2) Urban Rejuvenation about how to rehabilitate urban blight
3) LGBTQ community meeting
4) Police Brutality Hurts community event with a community altar to honor the dead
5) Ban the Box organized walk out

Panel of Community Leaders:

Lieutenant Leronne Armstrong from the Oakland Police Department
Isabel Cortes from Senator Loni Hancock’s office
Mark Salinas from the National Equity Project
Rodney Brooks from Supervisor Keith Carson’s office
Diego Santiago from Assemblymember Rob Bonta’s office

Youth Summit panel of key leaders / Summit attendees brainstorming solutions to community issues / Step Into Your Power /Civicorps

Our panel of key leaders shared personal stories and advice for students about how to step into their power.

“If you are waiting around for someone else to solve problems, the answer is probably in you” – Mark Salinas

“Align yourself with people who believe in your potential.”
– Isabel Cortes

After listening to the powerful presentations, our Student Action Team chose two projects to put into action: the LGBTQ community meeting and #NoBeds: a media campaign about how to create adequate, accessible, affordable housing, especially for felons. Stay tuned for news as these projects get put into action!

The theme of the this summit was: Step Into Your Power — Transform Your Community and 100% of attendees said that they now feel inspired to make change in their community.

“We all have something inside of us that can useful to the world.”

“Today I learned specific steps that I can take to start civil action.”

“We need to put words into action. If you want to make a change in your community, you have to start with yourself.”

“We are the future.”

…and the future looks bright.

Student Action Team / Youth Summit panel of key leaders / Summit attendees brainstorming solutions to community issues / Step Into Your Power /Civicorps

Check out more pictures from this amazing day of empowered social change.

Donate today to support powerful leadership opportunities at Civicorps!

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Justice - Mercy - Revenge - Forgiveness

Justice – Mercy – Revenge – Forgiveness

On March 27th, Civicorps students in partnership with San Francisco Shakespeare Festival will perform Within Us: an urban exploration of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice set in modern Oakland.

The student performers are currently working with a playwright to re-write the original play. The result will be a powerful story that interweaves Shakespeare’s timeless themes of justice, mercy, revenge, and forgiveness with contemporary issues.

After the performance, the student actors will join the audience for riveting small group conversation about the play’s themes.

Light appetizers and wine will be served
Admission is free — RSVP is required

March 27, 2015
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Civicorps Job Training Center
1425 5th St.
Oakland, CA 94607

Justice - Mercy - Revenge - Forgiveness / Civicorps

Read more about the artistic process to re-write this play!

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Harris featured in SF Chronicle!

Harris, Corpsmember of the YearWe are thrilled to share with you the inspiring story of Harris Cox, 2015 Corpsmember of the Year, who is featured in today’s San Francisco Chronicle.

After being badly burned at age six, he spent the next six years in a coma. When he awoke, his only family member, his grandmother, slipped into a coma and died.

For many years, he was angry and alone, lashing out at a world that didn’t care for him — until he came to Civicorps and found his family.

Read Harris’ incredible story of “reaching and flying for hope” in today’s San Francisco Chronicle article.

Afterwards, we encourage you to watch Harris’ emotional and moving Corpsmember of the Year speech. Every year The Corps Network choose five outstanding youth across the nation for this prestigious award. Civicorps is proud to have him honored.

As a supporter of Civicorps, you are part of this man’s incredible journey and we thank you for supporting our work to help youth like him heal from past traumas and connect to their inner greatness.

Thank you for your belief in Harris and your belief in Civicorps.

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Flying and Reaching for Hope


Every year The Corps Network chooses five outstanding youth for the prestigious Corpsmember of the Year award. Civicorps is proud to have Harris Cox honored with this award.

Civicorps graduate, Harris Cox, is in Washington DC for the national conference where he gave an emotional and inspirational speech about flying and reaching for hope.

Watch his incredible speech:

In addition, Harris met with Congressman Eric Swalell who congratulated him on his achievement!

Harris Cox meeting Eric Swalell / Flying and Reaching for Hope / Civicorps

We are so proud of Harris and here’s hoping his story inspires others to never give up on themselves and their dreams.

Read the feature article about Harris in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Read more about Harris in this Buzzfeed article.

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