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The BEST program's mission is to empower Oak Park youth ages 12-18, who live in zip codes 94817 and 95820, with community pride and life skills which will enable them to become confident and self-sufficient members of our society.
Building Empowerment Skills Today (BEST) is a subsidiary of the nonprofit, Williams Memorial Development (WMD), an out reach initiative of William's Memorial Church of God in Christ(COGIC), a church serving Sacramento for 84 years. The program's goal is to provide skills necessary to improve the quality of the participant's lives through neighborhood beautification and/or planting edible gardens, and interactive educational seminars. We are a three to four week summer Youth Development program recruiting youth,ages 12 to 18, from the 95817 and 95820 zip codes. In the mornings, youth work side-by-side with contractors and other adults, completing home improvement project that help Oak Park homeowners improve the facade of their homes, including implementing editable gardens. After working at the home sites in the mornings, the youth convene at the church site to have a nutritious lunch. In the afternoons, the teens attend interactive "life skills" seminars. We provide a six-hour oasis for the youth who are faced with gang and illegal drug activity daily. The participants enjoy a safe, nurturing environment as they interactively learn about Home Maintenance, Nutrition, Anger Management, Communication Skills, Financial Education and Job Etiquette. Embedded through out the day, is guidance on avoiding anti-social behaviors, such as gang and drug activity. As an incentive, the youth participants receive twenty dollars for each day attended.
- Josephine Watts
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