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Starting my junior year in high school, I became affiliated with the East Oakland Youth Development Center through the head track coach for the E.O.Y.D.C. I had always heard it as the “Center” but didn’t know what it was. I decided to find out by joining the track team. Twice a week we practiced at the E.O.Y.D.C. After several months of training, the E.O.Y.D.C. became like a second home to me. Every time I walked into the building, I felt that this place really wanted to make a difference in the community. The employees were always friendly and supported the track team a great deal. Being on the track team meant that each athlete represented the E.O.Y.D.C. I believe that the E.O.Y.D.C. was a place that brought out the best in people. Volunteering for the Center, I saw that the character of the children began to change because they new that despite their life circumstances, somebody cared for them and had their best interest at heart. I believe that my character as a person grew from having the mind of young girl to young women through the lessons I learned. The Center emphasized learning lessons about success in life from the activities that were offered and presented. The Center gave me a reason to rise above and beyond the expectations that I had from my coach or myself. The Center helped me reach my potential and apply my knowledge toward my goals of going to college and running track.