Leadership

A future CEO in Training

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Karen G. recalls telling her mom,  “I want to go to KidWorks!” as a three-year-old when she saw her big sister, Gilda, head off each weekday to our after-school programs.  The persistence and tenacity that defines Karen’s personality to this very day meant she never let up until she convinced her mom to enroll her.  Never mind that at three, Karen was still a year short of qualifying for KidWorks preschool programs.

“I managed to get in to what I now call pre-preschool,” Karen laughs.  “I’m one lucky kid who got a special opportunity to be part of KidWorks from such a young age, up to and including today,” she says.

Now a junior at Valley High School in Santa Ana, Karen not only remains active at KidWorks but also plays on her school water polo team, is active in student body leadership and plays saxophone in the school jazz band.  She is also President of Community Leaders of Santa Ana (CLOSA), our youth-led initiative that helps improve the surrounding neighborhood with cleanup, sponsored events and other activities.  As part of this organization, she has spoken before the Santa Ana City Council and the Santa Ana Unified School District Board.  The first time she did this, she was only in seventh grade. "KidWorks has given so many great opportunities, I learned what it means to be a leader.” says Karen.

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Karen recently overcame a potentially life-threatening event.  She underwent testing and treatment because of a cancer diagnosis.  Despite the physical pain of her treatment, Karen stayed active at KidWorks, and kept volunteering on her school’s water polo and swim teams, despite being unable to compete due to her treatment.  We thank God that she is now cancer-free.  Each Friday, Karen leads a health a fitness workshop for our third, fourth and fifth grade girls to encourage students to stay physically active. 

Like all KidWorks high school students, college and career preparation are a major part of her focus.  As she plans her career, Karen knows that her next stop after graduating high school is to attend a university with a focus in sociology and social service.  Karen is always one to set her sights high. “One day, I hope to be executive director of KidWorks,” she says. 

Support students like Karen on the road to college this #givingtuesday! With the expanded KidWorks Dan Donahue Center 300 new students are joining our programs.

 

Celebrating our ‘star’ students: Maritza Urquiza is setting the table for healthy eating in Santa Ana

This April, our KidWorks blog series will highlight two extraordinary students.  All of our students are “stars” in our humble estimation, and the two we’ll introduce you to this month are examples of how your support develops them in ways that make them contributing members of society throughout their entire lives.  In this installment, we are proud to feature Maritza Urquiza.  

 

No one ever has to tell seventh grader Maritza Urquiza to eat all her vegetables.

 

In fact, she may be the one doing the telling!

 

That’s because this conscientious KidWorks student has made it her personal mission to help fight obesity and bring healthy eating to all residents of Santa Ana.

 

Just ask Emma O’Brien, our Youth & Community Engagement Coordinator for Health and Nutrition.

 

“Martiza is a youth representative for Santa Ana Health & Nutrition Advocates (SAHNA), a youth action team that is part of KidWorks Youth Empowerment Network,” Emma says.

 

In this role, Martiza plays an integral part in our partnership with the Santa Ana Unified School District to upgrade kitchens and cafeterias, while also providing students with nutritional choices that they will find appealing.  As part of that collaboration, our youth are developing a survey that SAUSD can use to help identify and provide healthier breakfast and lunch options.

 

For Martiza, healthy eating habits are just as important at home as they are at school.

 

“Martiza strives to live a healthier lifestyle in her own home, and encourages her family to do the same,” Emma says. “She and the other youth enrolled in our SAHNA program have also set their own personal health goals, including eating a healthier diet.”

 

Emma says that Martiza has really grown in her leadership abilities and self-confidence during the time she’s been part of SAHNA.

 

“I have personally seen Maritza develop as a leader,” Emma says. “She thoughtfully shares her ideas, keeps our team on track and leads by example.”

 

Emma also applauds all the SAHNA students who she says are “changing central Santa Ana from the inside out and in a very positive way.”

 

By Glenn Leibowitz, Volunteer Content Writer

 

Engage With KidWorks: The Joy of Giving

Editor’s note:  Our latest blog series is called “Engage With KidWorks.”  We’re excited to share the variety of meaningful—and fun—ways you can become part of the KidWorks experience.  In our first installment, we share research that shows how monetary donations to non-profits like KidWorks not only make a sustained meaningful impact—they also make us feel better as people!

A widely acclaimed Harvard Business School research paper published in 2009 (“Feeling Good About Giving”) concluded that those who give a monetary donation to those in need “reported higher levels of happiness.”

In the words of those researcher:  "Happier people give more and giving makes people happier, such that happiness and giving may operate in a positive feedback loop."

And there’s the Gallup World Poll conducted between 2006 and 2008 that found people who donated to charity “reported a greater satisfaction with life.”

Finally, consider these statistics from the Do Good Live Well survey of 4,500 U.S. adults who supported a charity:  68 percent reported that it made them feel physically healthier, 89 percent that it “has improved my sense of well-bring” (e.g., happiness) and 73 percent that it “lowered my stress levels.”

Our KidWorks supporters are among the most generous people we know.  So, if giving equates to happiness, maybe that’s why our volunteers and contributors have such positive outlooks on life.

Need a lift today?  Consider making a donation to your friends at KidWorks!

 

By Glenn Leibowitz, Volunteer Content Writer

KidWorks student, Isaac Michaca, named to City of Santa Ana planning committee

Isaac Michaca is a young man with both vision and passion for Santa Ana, a city he clearly loves.

In fact, this KidWorks student and Santa Ana College freshman is so committed to Santa Ana and its residents that he hopes one day to serve as mayor.

Before that happens, Isaac realizes that it’s “first things-first.”  In that regard, he’s just accepted an appointment as the only youth named to serve a one-year term on the City of Santa Ana’s General Planning Committee.

It’s a significant role that Isaac takes seriously.

“I especially want to be a champion for health and nutrition, urban agriculture, cultural knowledge and restorative justice,” Isaac says.

Those are the same areas of focus he’s had since joining KidWorks’ Youth Empowerment Network (YEN) in 2012.  He now serves as a coordinator with the group.  YEN is a youth-initiated and youth-led program that develops, designs and address issues that impact youth, their families and their neighborhoods.

One of YEN’s focus areas is one that Isaac plans to be a champion for on the City of Santa Ana General Planning Committee.  “Community composting and community garden programs, like the ones we have at KidWorks, will help promote healthy eating, combat obesity and help prevent diabetes,” Isaac says.

Isaac expresses his thanks to those who have helped him along the way.  “I have been blessed by the KidWorks staff, my fellow students and volunteers who have helped me to grow into a leader,” he says. 

“Isaac’s leadership skills and clear vision will ensure that the voice of Santa Ana’s youth will be reflected in the city’s plans,” says Frank Bejarano, our Director of Youth and Family Engagement.  “He will be a major contributor to a plan for Santa Ana that will positively impact the community for generations to come.  KidWorks is very proud of Isaac and we are grateful that his heart is so strongly with the community.”

 

By Glenn Leibowitz, Volunteer Content Writer

 

Karina Flores: Longtime KidWorks student is now a leader on our team

It’s inspiring and uplifting to hear the words Karina Flores uses to describe the impact she hopes to have in her newly promoted role as Site Coordinator for our Townsend Street Center:

“I hope that the students as well as the families see me as a person they can trust,” she says.  “I hope to have a positive impact in their lives, whether it’s by helping students with homework or just having a conversation.  I would like to be a positive impact in the students’ lives, in the same way that KidWorks made such a lasting impact in mine.”

And when she refers to the positive impact KidWorks has had on her life that speaks volumes.

Karina joined our programs as a sixth grader and continued through her high school years.  She was also a member of the first-ever group of students who comprised Community Leaders of Santa Ana (CLOSA), our youth-led organization that helps improve the surrounding neighborhood with cleanups, sponsored events and other activities.

She didn’t know it at the time, but her immersion in KidWorks was the perfect preparation for her to join our staff in 2012 as an assistant within the after-school program.  Since then, she’s had roles that have included assisting with KidWorks University workshops and a program leader at the Dan Donahue Center.  For the past four years, Karina has also been a member of the leadership team responsible for the kindergarten through fifth grade summer program.

Karina is the perfect person to take on the Site Coordinator role from Jessica Ellis, who was recently promoted to Site Director for the Dan Donahue Center.  That’s because Karina had been assisting Jessica at the Townsend Center in 2014.

“Karina is so caring and encouraging with each of the students,” Jessica says.  “She’s always motivating them and willing to share her personal story about the many obstacles she too faced while growing up in the community.  Karina sees the potential in each student and really tries to pull out the best in each one.”

Having grown up in Santa Ana, Karina is well suited to understanding the challenges and opportunities within the neighborhoods we serve.

In addition to the academic achievement she works to develop in each student, Karina also hopes to impart even more of what she’s gained through her KidWorks years: “I was able to grow both personally and spiritually.  I came to know God at a deeper level and grow in my faith.”

Outside of work, Karina has a full range of interests and hobbies.

“I absolutely love to dance!” she says.  “In high school I was part of the school’s performing dance team.  It has always been a passion of mine ever since I was a little girl.  I also enjoy doing arts and crafts, scrapbooking and painting.”

Please join us in congratulating this delightful member of the KidWorks team on her new role and in wishing Karina every success.

 

By Glenn Leibowitz, Volunteer Content Writer

A Closer Look: KidWorks’ Programs: KidWorks University Workshops

Editor’s note:  We are pleased to introduce our latest blog series, “A Closer Look: KidWorks’ Programs.”  We offer a full range of programs for children, youth and adults.  In this series, we focus on several of aspects, giving you a peek into what makes these programs tick—and sharing a few “little known secrets”!

You can always tell when KidWorks posts the list of workshops conducted by our volunteers:  Students crowd around the sheet, clamoring to sign-up for their favorites.

“Whether its music or woodworking, our KidWorks University workshops fill up fast,” says Noemi Juarez, KidWorks’ Director of After School Programs.

The workshops are individually tailored for students from kindergarten through 12th grade.

The idea behind KidWorks University is twofold:  First, it allows our students to learn to make the choices they’ll increasingly face as their educations progress, such as what major to select in college.  Secondly, it also gives the students a chance to develop their creative sides, which is part of our “whole student” approach to academics, character and spiritual development.

“In many ways, KidWorks University starts to give our students a taste of what a college or university environment will be like,” Noemi says.  “They develop skills and interests, and even have the chance to try something new, to have a variety of experiences.”

Variety definitely describes KidWorks University.  Classes have included music (classical, folklorico and more), ballet, acrylic painting, pop art, chess, soccer, physical fitness, computers, cooking, electronics (where they made their own flashlights) and poetry.

“Surprise—poetry was more popular than I thought it was going to be!” Noemi says.

She points out that the workshops are all volunteer-led.  Each workshop is four to five sessions and there are three to four workshop cycles each year.

“The volunteers are so passionate about their skills, talents and hobbies,” Noemi says.  “They are so delighted to share them with our students.  Some volunteers have been conducting workshops at KidWorks for years.”

Noemi says that workshop leaders have included anyone with a passion for something they want to share.  Volunteer workshop leaders have included high school and college students, Boy Scouts, professionals and retirees.

Interested in leading a workshop?  Just let us know.  Our students are sure to fill every seat!


By Glenn Leibowitz, Volunteer Content Writer

 

A Closer Look: KidWorks’ Programs: Youth Empowerment Network

Editor’s note:  We are pleased to introduce our latest blog series, “A Closer Look: KidWorks’ Programs.”  We offer a full range of programs for children, youth and adults.  In this series, we focus on several of aspects, giving you a peek into what makes these programs tick—and sharing a few “little known secrets”!

We’ve all heard the adage, “If you want to get something done, ask a busy person.”  At KidWorks, we have our own take:  “If you want to make positive change in the community, ask our youth!”

For several years now, the teens involved in our program have put their creative energies to work making the neighborhoods of Central Santa Ana safer, more welcoming and aesthetically pleasing.

They are part of our Youth Empowerment Network, YEN for short.  Today, YEN has 25 members, with participants ranging from sixth grade to early college.

“This is really a youth-initiated and youth-led program,” says Frank Bejarano, our Director of Youth and Family Engagement.  “They develop, design and address issues that impact themselves, their families and their neighborhoods.”

Funded by a 10-year grant fro the California Endowment, KidWorks’ YEN program is focused on four key areas where the youth continue to make an impact:

  • Restorative Justice:  Based on the concept of rehabilitation rather than only punishment, YEN has worked hand-in-hand with the Santa Ana Unified School district to find alternative ways to create restoration and healing.
     
  • Urban Agriculture:  YEN has helped create a community garden and compost operation at our Dan Donahue Center.  The youth are involving the entire community—children, youth, adults and seniors.  Their harvest so far has included kale, tomatoes, chilies and more.
     
  • Health & Nutrition:  With obesity continuing to be a life threatening problem in Santa Ana and nationwide, our youth are behind efforts to promote healthy choices.  One recent success is convincing the Santa Ana School District to again offer fresh salad bars in school cafeterias.  They have also mapped the location of fruit trees in the surrounding neighborhood, hoping to eventually establish a local farmers’ market and food exchange.
     
  • Active Transportation:  Active transportation lives right alongside the health and nutrition focus.  Here, the students have successfully advocated for bike lanes, skateboard parks and other ways to keep arms and legs moving.

“In addition to taking steps to proactively improve their neighborhood, our YEN members are learning leadership and project management skills that will last a lifetime,” Frank says.  “They take ownership of opportunities to make neighborhoods better—and then they get it done!”


By Glenn Leibowitz, Volunteer Content Writer 

A Closer Look: KidWorks’ Programs: Community Parent Council

Editor’s note:  We are pleased to introduce our latest blog series, “A Closer Look: KidWorks’ Programs.”  We offer a full range of programs for children, youth and adults.  In this series, we focus on several of aspects, giving you a peek into what makes these programs tick—and sharing a few “little known secrets”!

“They’re definitely fired up.”

That’s how Frank Bejarano, our Director of Youth and Family Engagement, describes the KidWorks Community Parent Council.

The Community Parent Council is a group of eight women from the neighborhood that’s nearby KidWorks’ Dan Donahue Center.  Over the past eight-plus years, they have turned fear and concern about the problems on the streets where they and their families live into action that has significantly improved the quality of life.

“When they started out, these women had never spoken before a city council or navigated through the processes required by a local governmental agency,” Frank says.  “Now, they can confidently sit at a table across from staff representatives from the City of Santa Ana or get all the permitting and approvals needed for a large street resource fair.  They are impressive to watch in action.”

While KidWorks provides meeting facilities and advice, the Community Parent Council is largely autonomous.  They identify the issues of safety, neighborhood improvement and community collaboration that matter most to them.  Then they get results.

Several examples of their success include having the city replace burnt out lights at Jerome Park, getting approval for a crossing signal to be installed at an intersection where pedestrians have been struck by cars and pushing landlords to spruce up rundown buildings. 

“One of their most effective outreaches was a community walk attended by the Director of Public Works, Code Enforcement Manager Alvaro Nuñez, Santa Ana City Manager David Cavazos and Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas,” Frank says.  “The women showed them first-hand the impact of gangs, illegal drug dealing and infrastructure neglect.  The community parent councilmembers are tenacious.  They don't quit.  Results soon followed.”

The KidWorks Community Parent Council focuses on external issues in the surrounding neighborhood, while the KidWorks’ Parent Advisory Council works with our staff to offer suggestions and ideas about how we can continuously improve our programs.

“Both are examples of how those we serve take a personal ownership in their community and the overall well-being of others,” Frank said.  “Their enthusiasm is a fire that never goes out.”


By Glenn Leibowitz, Volunteer Content Writer

 

 

 

 

Worship and Concert at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Feature Our Gifted Musicians

As the pews filled up at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach this past weekend, over 1,200 worshipers were in for a delightful surprise.

They were about to enjoy a Sunday concert and Sunday worship service featuring students from KidWorks’ Avanti program, who joined with Brandon Muchow, St. Andrew’s Minister of Modern Worship & Production, and several other professional studio musicians.

It all came together thanks to the efforts of KidWorks’ volunteer Joe Cristina, who began a KidWorks music program in 2012 called Avanti Music.  In Joe, the students learn from a professional musician with 37 years of experience in composition, arranging, orchestration and production.  

“The ‘KidWorks/Avanti Music Concert’ was a bilingual presentation, and therefore was a true bridge-builder since residents from Newport Beach and Santa Ana worshipped together,” Joe says. 

There are 18 KidWorks students currently participating in the Avanti program.  Those who performed at the St. Andrews concert included Lilian Ramirez (vocals) Liliana Ledezma (vocals and flute), Melisa Luis (piano), Julie Cons (violin) and Luis Lopez (guitar). 

The second event was held in the church chapel, and was equally well received. Lilian Ramirez joined Brandon Muchow and Hector Rivera on vocals.  Emily Barrios, 12-years-old, recently joined Avanti, and she joined in on percussion and vocals.

David Benavides, Executive Director, KidWorks & Councilmember, City of Santa Ana, also spoke to the congregation, sharing KidWorks’ story.

Dan Wendell, Minister of Missions & Outreach at St. Andrews says he is delighted with the result:   “Having the students up front, leading through worship was a beautiful example of extending the family and valuing them as part of our community.  I was particularly encouraged to learn that as a result of Avanti’s work, Lilian Ramirez, one of the vocalists, will be leaving for San Francisco State University to study music in just a few weeks. The ministry is changing lives." 

Lilian and our Avanti students are equally grateful to Joe and the staff at St. Andrews for providing them with such a special opportunity to perform.

"I couldn't get this experience anywhere else than KidWorks and Avanti,” she says.

Knowing Joe’s commitment to Avanti and our students, we can’t help but say, “Encore!” to him and “Bravo!” to St. Andrews for providing such an extraordinary opportunity.

I just wanted to celebrate a great collaboration between Gather and Send in featuring the students of Avanti/Kidworks at the 5:30 and 11:11 services. Having the students up front, leading through worship was a beautiful example of extending the family and valuing them as part of our community. I was particularly encouraged to learn that as a result of Avanti’s work, one of the vocalists will be leaving for San Francisco State to study music in just a few weeks. The ministry is changing lives.
— Dan Wendell, Missions Pastor

By Glenn Leibowitz, Volunteer Content Writer 

The Women of KidWorks: Melissa Peralta

Editor’s note:  This is the latest installment in our blog series, “The Women of KidWorks.”  We celebrate the tireless women who generously serve at our centers each week.  Some of these women also happen to be the mothers of our students.  Others are KidWorks employees.  Their humility, perseverance and love touch our students, staff and volunteers each day. This week, we highlight another very special mom!

Melissa Peralta’s six-month-old daughter, Alanis, isn’t exactly sure where her mom goes each morning.  All Alanis knows is that she definitely doesn’t want her to leave.

Melissa, who has been KidWorks’ Volunteer Resources Manager since 2014, knows that one day her young daughter will understand that the unlimited love she has for her also extends to the hundreds of children and youth that Melissa pairs with our dozens of volunteers.

Since her days as a student at the University of California, Irvine, Melissa has had a deep desire to help others.  Her position at KidWorks represents that ongoing commitment.  Prior to KidWorks, she’s served at Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and Olive Crest in roles that included case management and volunteer engagement.

As a child, Melissa spent summers and weekends with her grandmother, Chole, at Chole’s home just a few blocks from our Dan Donahue Center.  The neighborhood today still faces the challenges of gangs, drugs and violence that it did back then.

“As children, we weren’t allowed to go outside the gate; we had to stay in the front yard,” Melissa recalls.  “Whenever I heard the gunshots, my Mom would say, ‘Don’t worry.  We’ll make sure you are safe.’  It wasn’t until years later that I knew what I was being protected from.”

Melissa sees KidWorks as an antidote to the negative aspects of the neighborhood.

“The kids are so happy to come to our centers,” she says.  “They are eager to learn and to be safe from what is happening outside our doors.”

Melissa sees a clear link between the help our volunteers provide to our students and her own parenting responsibilities with Alanis.

“I do everything possible to invest in my daughter’s future,” she says.  “Our volunteers are also doing everything in their power to make the same investment in our students.” 

As KidWorks expands and accepts more students, Melissa knows that there is much hard work ahead to recruit even more volunteers. 

Her parents, Benjamin and Carmen, who worked long hours to provide for their family, inspire her.  “I am willing to put in as many hours as it takes so KidWorks continues making a positive impact in Santa Ana,” she says.  “I tell every volunteer that even if they are only able to dedicate one hour a week, they are having a crucial impact on young lives.”

As six-month-old Alanis grows older, we know that she will be filled with pride in her mom and all she does to help others. Of course, KidWorks and our dedicated volunteers already feel that way, Melissa!   

The Women of KidWorks: Karina Torres

With three of her six children currently learning how to play a musical instrument, Karina Torres knows the importance of perseverance and determination.

She puts that philosophy to work at KidWorks, where this mom has volunteered for over seven years.

“Like with a musical piece, a plan is only successful if it is well thought out and you work really hard to make it the best it can be,” Karina says.  Then she smiles and adds, “I don’t like to just sit around, and if something needs to get done, I don’t need to be asked; I jump in!”

Sonia Rios-Guzman, our Parent Engagement Coordinator, says Karina is definitely a woman of action.

“Even though it might seem like Karina’s plate is full with six children, she still manages to volunteer and support KidWorks in so many ways,” Sonia says.  “And she does all of this while fully supporting her children in their educations.”

One of the ways Karina helps KidWorks is with our “Love & Music” program for aspiring musicians.  Karina is proud that three of her children are in the program:  Evelyn, 13, and Ashley, eight, who are both learning the violin and Jesse, 10, who is mastering the flute.

Karina volunteers in many other ways at KidWorks.  She is part of our Parent Advisory Council, has helped with neighborhood clean up days and both our Myrtle and Townsend Street Resource fairs.  For the most recent Myrtle Street Fair, she helped make over 150 ham and cheese sandwiches that were given out for free to those from the surrounding neighborhoods who attended.

Karina enrolled her daughter, Evelyn, in our after school programs six years ago when Evelyn was still in elementary school.

“KidWorks is not like other after-school programs, I see it as the best of all,” Karina says.  Then she adds with a grin, “On the very first day Evelyn started at KidWorks, I told her, ‘Get used to it. You are going to be there until you graduate from high school."

Recently, her 10-year-old Jesse gratefully told her, “Mom, you are always around for us.”

“Kids don’t always say it out loud, but it was his way of saying ‘thank you’,” Karina says.

Karina, we also can’t say “thank you” enough for all you do for our students and the community!

By Glenn Leibowtiz, Volunteer Content Writer 

Noche De Las Estrellas

On Friday, June 10th, we celebrated our annual Noche De Las Estrellas (Night of the Stars). Noche De Las Estrellas is an evening to celebrate our graduating seniors and this year was one for the books! 

We are so proud to be sending our students into the world better equipped for college, the workforce, relationships, volunteerism, and community building! But our job doesn't end here, we are committed to doing life with these rock stars for the long haul. 

Help us congratulate the KidWorks Class of 2016!

A Tale of Two Santa Anas: Kaely Catalan

Editor’s note:  We are so proud of our graduating high school students, who later this year will begin attending colleges and universities. “A Tale of Two Santa Anas” is our latest blog series, where the seniors tell their personal story in their own words.

I’m an optimistic person.  Maybe I got that way because I’ve seen difficult situations and learned the importance of making wise decisions.

For about 10 of my 17 years, my family and I have lived in an apartment where the neighborhood confronts the bad that comes from gangs, drugs, violence and poverty.

When my family first moved into the neighborhood, my twin 17-year-old sister, Leslie, and me looked around and said to each other, “What is this all about? Are we going to be safe?”

But I came to realize that new surroundings are also new beginnings.  The gangs and drugs did not attract me.  Instead, I said to myself, “That’s a problem.  Avoid it.  Don’t get pulled in.”

In June, my sister and I are graduating from Godinez Fundamental High School and in September we’ll both begin attending California State University, Fullerton.  I’m majoring in communications.  I’ll focus on either public relations or speech.

I love to write, and I’m an active blogger about music on social media, with over 3,000 followers!

So much credit goes to my parents and to the staff and volunteers and KidWorks who helped me all these years. 

My parents always emphasized the importance of family.  “Family first,” is one of my Mom’s favorite sayings.  Another is, “Everything comes in its time.”

To me, these words of wisdom mean to put others above material objects and to not grow up too fast.

Some of my friends ask, “What’s the name of that center you go to?”  “It’s called Kidworks,” I say. 

We need more places like KidWorks and more people like the staff and volunteers there who help students like me!

By Kaely Catalan

Our Youth Have a ‘Bucket List’ to Help the Environment

For four years, we, the Youth Empowerment Network Compost program, have recycled and processed more than 60,000 pounds of organic waste into nutrient-rich compost.  Our goal is not only to reduce waste in landfills but also to create our own soil for use in our garden and to share with the community. 

Our program creates opportunities for other youth to get involved with their community and learn about agriculture. 

We collect buckets of waste from families in our neighborhood and process it in our garden. However, the bucket lids are not very pleasing to families because they are difficult to open.

The money raised will be used to replace the lids to more manageable ones. The funds would be appreciated any time between April 12 and May 7th. Replacing the bucket lids is important because the families contribute significantly to our program, and this would be a way of showing our gratitude. 

On May 7th, we will be honoring the families' participation in our program by hosting a dinner at our community center. We would love to surprise them!

We,the youth, would be extremely grateful for any funds, even the smallest amount would be appreciated and be of help to us. 

Interested in helping?

Thank you,

Youth Empowerment Network's Compost Program