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I love the East Oakland Youth Development Center because of the opportunities it gives to the people in my community. In a city where so many young people give up on education and themselves, EOYDC is there to give students the motivation, encouragement, and skills they need to succeed.
I started coming to the EOYDC in 1995 when I was thirteen. I would watch the girl’s basketball teams play when they hosted the Mark Curry Basketball Tournament. Once I started playing basketball for Castlemont High School in 1997, I got a lot more involved with the Center. I started receiving awards and accolades for my achievements in basketball and academics from the Center. They always motivated the players to put school before sports. The staff was very friendly, and so were the other people that would visit the Center, I always felt right at home. In 1999 I worked as a leadership counselor in their Summer Cultural Enrichment Program.
In 2000 my senior year at Castlemont, I received a full athletic scholarship to Xavier University of Louisiana. My EOYDC family was right there when I signed my Letter of Intent. They also celebrated my selection as one of Ebony Magazine’s Top 40 High School Seniors in America. They have consistently supported me in all of my efforts.
Although I have been away at college, and busy with basketball, whenever I come home the EOYDC is the first place I go. The doors are always open and the smiles are always bright. From cooking to art, basketball to photography it gives youth a variety of skills and quality experience that will follow them throughout life.
My brother and nephews are following in my EOYDC footsteps. I know that they’ll be well taken care of.
Thank you EOYDC for helping to put the odds of success in my favor.
Xavier University Class of 2005