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EOYDC was a family to me. I never really grew up with my parents. I’m the youngest and my brother and sisters were far away, so I didn’t have anybody to look up to through my teen years.
I found the EOYDC coming from a library. I went onto the building to check out the place. It had so many activities that I wanted to do but the art center was “it”. Coming into the art center, everybody was so welcoming. I loved to draw and do a lot of art activities. Art was my favorite hobby. I went every single day it was open throughout my high school years. Everybody was really helpful with my art projects for school. They brought the best out of me. I was the best in my art class in school and as a result, I received a certificate.
I grew very close to everybody at the EOYDC. They were family because they were there for my through my problems. People that worked there were like my parents, giving me a piece of their mind to guide me in the right way. I also experienced what it was like to have little brothers and sisters by being with younger students in the art department. Being the oldest in student in the art class became a step up for me. I learned the responsibility of helping and teaching in some of the art classes. I loved teaching and helping the other students in art.
Everybody and everything in the East Oakland Youth Development Center was my inspiration. I am talented and I am proud to say that I am because I know I am thanks to everybody at the EOYDC.
Sophia Chein, Castlemont Graduate Class of 2005