YOUTH EMPOWERMENT SERVICES (YES)
The mission of YES is to advance and support youth in educational breakthroughs in life development and other activities focusing and envisioning a community where all young people have the opportunities and the access to education, without restrictions from race or socioeconomic status. YES considers families as an integral partner and participant in improving and reaching the goals set by the program. YES anticipates that, everyone who attends our program regardless of the obstacles placed before them will be capable reaching their fullest potential.
YES has developed a continuum of programs and services that serve our youth ages eight through college. YES strategies are culturally competent, tailored to the specific needs of the communities served, and demonstrate effectiveness in both qualitative and quantitative evaluations. YES specific services have developed and implemented in Oakland, but not limited to serve other areas nationwide.
GCEA runs a Youth Empowerment Services (YES) program. YES is a program that mentors and develops youths for leadership roles in the near future.
We offer seven day’s a week classes. These classes can range from supplemental academic instruction, to rendering help with projects/assignments or to students with serious academic challenges. In addition to that students are taught digital technology classes like graphic design, screen printing, photo and video editing, film and video production, social media training, and African dance class. Our convenient weekend classes also cater to another group of youths and parents especially with busy schedules
Our summer camps offer our youths an opportunity to explore their hobbies, passions and creative sides. Our youths make suggestions on what extra-curricular activities they want to participate in at the summer camp and we try to accommodate it to the best of our abilities. In addition to creative activities, camp instructors stress positive values, equality, and social justice—beliefs that make them productive contributors to society.
GCEA has hosted several youth themed workshops with local schools and organizations. Under the program, disease prevention workshops are organized. Natural health education, healthy eating habits, and healthy cooking classes are taught. A licensed speaker is brought in to engage our youths in a lively setting. We also offer “life development workshops” that involve the participation of parents and children where conflict resolution, violence prevention, self-esteem, and college placement workshops.
Presently, GCEA works in coalition with many grassroots organizations. Some of the organizations include: Youth Uprising, Oakland Votes, We Lead Ours (WELO), The East Oakland Collective, The MenTouring Project, B.H. Minds Project Inc and The Focus Leadership Initiative in many different projects. One example of such project is the “Take Back Our Streets” series that works on preventing street violence.
We also facilitate a yearly youth trip to Africa: “Trip to Africa”. The trip is cultural and humanitarian at the same time. Our youths visit a different African country every year and are given a guided tour of historical sites. Our youths also supply local schools/orphanages with books and school supplies funded by our sponsors and partners.