Children come to “Power”, our youth program, to have a safe place to go after school, receiving homework help and enjoying enriching activities. The children also receive important support to help them cope with stresses and traumas they have experienced. Many of the children have witnessed violence and addiction, and so Power teaches the skills and values needed to build resiliency, helping the kids to solve their problems non-violently, to care for others, and to believe in themselves.
Teen Leaders like Virgen, a senior at Edison High School, work in the program and serve as role models for the children. Vee is now preparing for college, and she’s excited to pursue a career working with children in crisis. She has formed strong bonds with some of the older girls in our program, like Jelilah, who look up to her. As Jelilah says, when she’s having trouble with her homework, Vee “puts it into words that I can actually understand.” Jelilah also appreciates Vee’s friendship and humor, and she hopes to one day follow in Vee’s footsteps as a Teen Leader helping younger students. “Being here isn’t about the money,” Vee says. “It’s about the kids’ future. Many of them don’t have anyone in their lives who is always there for them to be able to help.”