Alma Arce

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    My EOYDC Experience

    I first got involved with the EOYDC when I was in ninth grade. I was asked to go there to get some community service hours. I had to go there, because my teachers told me to; there was no choice for me. It is now about four years later and I am still an EOYDC participant, but not because my teachers told me to, but this time out of my own free will. Choosing to get involved with the East Oakland Youth Development Center and staying connected even after my community hour goals were reached was one of the best things I could have done. The center has open up so many opportunities for me and has made tremendous efforts in helping me with a lot of things.

    One way the East Oakland Youth Development Center has helped me is with my education. The center has this program called Pathways to College that mentors high school and college students in everything. They help us fill out applications, inform us about college fairs, and they even take us to college tours. All the background knowledge I got about college from the Pathways to College program helped me a lot in the decision of where to go to college. They also provided us with their own scholarship and many others. I was lucky enough to be one of this year’s scholarship recipients of the Pathways to College award.

    Another way the East Oakland Youth Development Center has benefited me would be by providing me with experience. I am an aspiring child psychologist. Not only has the EOYDC provided me with my first real job, but also my first full time job as well; and I was working with children in both. I started off working during the school year at the center afterschool as a math tutor. I would help the kids out with their homework and read to them in the homework center. I really got a sense there on how it was with just working with kids. When the summer came, I transitioned from being a tutor to an assistant instructor. My friend Josue and I taught art to kids from the ages of five to thirteen years old in the Summer Cultural Enrichment Program. The SCEP program is a program that the EOYDC has had every summer. This program really taught me not only how to work with kids, but also gave me the whole experience on how to raise them as well. I learned how to discipline them when they needed to be and also how to get their attention when they were not listening. This helped me build my character and taught me on how to be more assertive. At the end of the program, I not only took away with me the important lessons learned, but also a strong bond with the kids and friendships.

    The last way in how the East Oakland Youth Development Center has supported me is by keeping their doors open. Ms. Regina has provided a safe haven for me to come and just get some work done by just keeping the center open and available to me and anybody else who needs it. She has provided many resources and has made it very clear that I can go to her or the center when I need any type of help. Being involved with the EOYDC I not only made a lot new friends, but I have also got a lot accomplished academic wise, and received many opportunities that has benefited me. I am truly blessed to be a part of this family and am extremely grateful of all the gifts and treasures they have brought me. Thank You Ms. Regina

    Alma Arce

    August 6, 2010

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