On Thursday, May 30th CCEO YouthBuild held its first fundraising event, the Young Leaders Recognition Luncheon at the Los Angeles Turners Center just north of LAX. The event had three main purposes: to raise general operating funds, celebrate the accomplishments of members and alumni, and honor Congresswoman Maxine Waters for her support to the mission. The Luncheon featured a full hour long program, silent auction, and displaying artwork from alumnus Kenneth Altamirano. The members contributed greatly to the event by preparing and serving food, setting up decorations, running registration, being featured speakers, greeting guests, guiding parking, cleaning-up, and more. CCEO YouthBuild is honored to have so many supporters throughout the community that attended and lent support.
The luncheon began with the Master of Ceremonies Bea Sweet, CCEO YouthBuild alumni class of 2000, introducing Executive Director Andy Delgado and Board Chairman John Oppenheim to the stage. After a short introduction to the organization, lunch was served by
Bootstrap Catering. Brad Lara-Gagne, head chef and president of Bootstrap Catering, not only prepared and served the food, but came to CCEO YouthBuild the day before and worked with members for three hours in the new Nutrition Lab, teaching them how to prepare meals for large catering events.
Shortly after lunch was served, the program began with student speakers Eduardo Loza, Eileen Galaviz, and Jose “Niko” Salas. Each member gave an honest and empowering testimony of their lives prior to and during YouthBuild. The courage and openness they exemplified really showed the strength of each speaker individually. CCEO YouthBuild is proud of your amazing speeches!
Tiffany Miller, CCEO YouthBuild’s Post Secondary Education Coordinator, led the next section of honoring alumni for their accomplishments, hard work, and dedication to school and work after graduating the YouthBuild program. Four separate awards were given out to the alumni:
1. Alumni Recognition Award: Monica Acevedo, Elias Campos, Gabriel Espinoza, Norma Garcia, and Evelyn Sagastume.
2. Outstanding Alumni Leadership Award: Whitney Hickman, Alexander Carrillo, Antonio Diaz, and Angel Martinez.
3. Alumni Mentorship Award: Kenneth Altamirano
4. Alumni Involvement Award: James Amaya and VanRay Murphy.
Each alumnus was awarded a certificate and small scholarship to use on schooling or career advancement. Congratulations CCEO YouthBuild Alumni! You are shining examples of perseverance, hard work, and dedication.
Congratulations CCEO YouthBuild Alumni!
The program continued with an inspiring speech by Congresswoman Maxine Waters. She was awarded the 2013 Champion of CCEO YouthBuild Award. Congresswoman Maxine Waters has always been there for the organization, acknowledging and greeting CCEO YouthBuild staff, alumni, and members at various community and civil engagements. Keynote speaker Sam “Bam” Cunningham followed, expressing his commitment to YouthBuild and acknowledging the courage of the young people. Sam has been a great mentor for members, speaking at the mid-year retreat to inspire motivation.
The program concluded with awarding Bea Sweet the 2013 Alumni Excellence Award. Bea is the South L.A. YouthBuild’s Leadership Coordinator and elected California YouthBuild Coalition Vice-Chair for Youth Engagement. She is an incredibly passionate individual who has grown up in a low-income urban community, overcoming many obstacles and barriers to be who she is today. CCEO YouthBuild is proud of Bea Sweet and honored that she could MC for the event.
The 1st Annual Young Leaders Recognition Luncheon was only a success because of the support from friends and family of CCEO YouthBuild. We would like to thank our sponsors:
Title Sponsor: Century
Platinum Sponsor: US Bank
Silver Sponsor: The Dibble Institute
Bronze Sponsors: SouthBay Workforce Investment Board, Vagrant Records,First Family Realtors, YouthBuild Charter Schools of California, INgrooves,Inyo County Superintendent of Schools, and James Sowards.
There were also many other contributors and supporters who helped make this event a success: Amber Drain, Deborah Oye and Amtec Business Forms, Sarah Delaney-Busch, Emily Suttmeier, Kaela Gallo, Mike Murray, Sam Cunningham, Dan Gil, Jill McCullough, Carole Brennan, Brad Lara-Gagne, Jennifer Fujikawa Photography, Bea Sweet, and the Luncheon Committee (Jennifer Chau, Rachel Albetski, Jessica Arzate, Derek Oye, and Nancy Posada). CCEO YouthBuild wants to extend their deepest gratitude and thanks to our volunteers, staff, and supporters of the event. You are all truly great examples for our young people.
From CCEO YouthBuild, thank you and we look forward to another year of success!
CCEO YouthBuild is holding it’s first Annual Young Leaders Appreciation Luncheon on May 30th at Los Angeles Turners Center. The luncheon will be recognizing alumni and current members for their success, as well as honoring Congresswoman Maxine Waters for her continual support to CCEO YouthBuild’s misson. If you would like to support the organization with a sponsorship, ticket purchase, advertisement, or silent auction donation please review the Sponsorship Package which gives in-depth information about the ways to contribute to the luncheon. All proceeds from the event will help support CCEO YouthBuild’s mission to provide leadership development, education, mentorship , counseling services, post-secondary education prep, and hands on job training in construction to at-risk youth.
On February 23, 2013 CCEO YouthBuild expanded its on-site tree orchard with a generous donation of 8 bare root fruit trees from the local non-profit Tree People. Tree People’s urban orchard expert Steve Hofvendahl worked with 25 staff and student Americorp volunteers to complete the project. Students and staff worked diligently for 4 hours digging holes in the hard dirt, as well as weeding and raking the areas around previously planted fruit trees. With advice and demonstrations from Steve the students learned the proper way to plant and care for fruit trees, and gained knowledge to plant a tree at home. The organization also beautified the campus by planting 6 rose bushes, two of which were donated by Armstrong Garden center. The organization’s resident master gardener Judy Kirshner directed the volunteers in digging out a bed for the roses alongside our community room. With perseverance and dedication, as well as some help from a jack hammer utilized by our construction manager Kirk, we were able to plant all 6 roses successfully. The day ended with a delicious meal of vegetable and meat lasagnas, salad, and home baked brownies and cookies. Cordon-Bleu trained chef Anthone Owens worked with the students in our recently remodeled kitchen to prepare the meal. Chef Anthone guided the students in chopping vegetables and preparing the lasagna, and even whipped up a vegetable dip with the leftovers. CCEO YouthBuild would like to thank Tree People and the Armstrong Garden Center
for their donations, as well as volunteers Steve Hofvendahl, Judy Kirshner and Anthone Owens for offering the organization their time and expertise.
Keep tabs on the progress of the organization’s on-site garden by checking out the dedicated CCEO YouthBuild Garden Blog! With generous help from Judy Kirshner, a master gardener from the UC Extension school, the organization has been able to replant and renew the garden. Currently growing in the garden is broccoli, kale, spinach, lettuce, carrots, cauliflower and colorful flowers. We are always looking to generate volunteers for the garden, so if you have a green thumb (or not!) and live in the area the organization would appreciate your assistance.
Contact Rachel Albetski at Rachel@centurycenter.com to find out how you can be involved.
November 13-16, 2012 the Executive Director of CCEO YouthBuild (Andrew Delgado) and three of his AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers attended the International GreenBuild Conference and Exposition in San Francisco. CCEO YouthBuild’s Green Project Leader, Rachel Albetski, was awarded an all expenses paid scholarship to the event from the National Chapter of the Center for Green Schools, part of the United States Green Building Council. This prestigious scholarship aims to bring together a diverse group of people from around the world and give them an opportunity to learn from industry leaders in green building and design. As a scholarship winner, Rachel was able to participate in the two day expo which included various educational and dedicated scholarship sessions. The scholarship sessions included inspirational talks from the conference Master Speaker Kevin Carroll, a poetry reading from Kirya Traber, a talk from author and designer Holly Henderson about how to become a green build professional, and conversations with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) professionals.
Exposure to these resources was immensely beneficial to our staff participants, and they returned to CCEO YouthBuild full of new perspectives and fresh ideas on how to incorporate green design and sustainable practices into the program and site. There were many innovative building products displayed at the exposition that CCEO YouthBuild would like to include in the Southbay Energy Efficiency Demonstration (SEED) House, a community resource for sustainable design solutions. One product, hemp insulation by American Lime Technology, was particularly intriguing for its completely biodegradable approach to insulation. The SEED house aims to showcase different types of sustainable insulation solutions, and hemp was one we had not heard of yet! We would like to thank the USGBC, and the Center for Green schools for putting on this innovative and inspirational event and allowing us to take place in it.
We are proud of our 2011-2012 AmeriCorps TA Jose Cuevas who is doing great things for community and Family Housing. He was highlighted in a recent newsletter from The Midnight Mission. Great job Jose!
On October 1st, 2012 we marked our first official day of the program year for CCEO YouthBuild Cycle 17. Ninety-three YouthBuild members walked through our doors that morning, having successfully completed three grueling weeks of Mental Toughness Training. We would like to welcome these new and returning YouthBuild members and wish them the best of luck throughout this coming program year.
Tony Diaz was a member of our CCEO YouthBuild class of 2012 and graduated from our program last June. We caught up with Tony and asked him to share some of his thoughts on his experiences at YouthBuild and also to see what he’s been up to since he graduated.
Tony grew up in the Lennox/Inglewood area and attended Hawthorne High School before coming to YouthBuild. He came to YouthBuild after being out of school for a while and after being encouraged by family and friends to finish school. He ultimately decided to become part of the YouthBuild family because he had a strong desire to accomplish something and make a difference in his life.
While at YouthBuild, Tony accomplished many things. He participated in our AmeriCorps and construction training programs and played an integral role in various community service and leadership projects. He says he had lots of great moments at YouthBuild, some highlights being the Health Fair, field trips, and time spent working in both the food bank and school. Before joining YouthBuild, he did not participate much at school; he says the value of participation is definitely one of the greatest things he learned through YouthBuild, thanks to the encouragement of staff and the wide variety of opportunities for leadership, learning, and community engagement offered at CCEO. YouthBuild also changed the way Tony views his community and taught him how to give back. He says he learned to be helpful, learned the joy of giving back to others, and realized how good it makes you feel.
Tony said his greatest accomplishments at YouthBuild included “completing the construction program, finishing projects on time, and graduating from YouthBuild.” When asked to describe what it felt like to graduate, he said “Awesome. It made me believe in myself.”
Since graduating from YouthBuild in June, Tony has been busy working, volunteering, and attending college classes. He participated in the STEM Training and Robotics Training (START) program at El Camino College and also joined the Career Advancement Academy (CAA) at El Camino. Currently he is taking classes and working towards his welding qualification. He hopes to have a career in welding in a few years but is also interested in movie production.
Tony has also spent time volunteering at the Midnight Mission’s youth summer camp program. The program provides a safe place for the children at the Midnight Mission’s Family Housing Program in Inglewood. Residents were formerly homeless and are on the path to improving their lives. Summer camp volunteers, including Tony and fellow CCEO YouthBuild alum Hamilton Garcia, provide activities for the children to keep them occupied and safe while their parents are at work during the day. Tony and Hamilton found working with the children all day challenging, but appreciated the fact that they were helping to take care of them and also supporting their parents in making positive change in their lives.
We asked Tony what advice he has for the next cohort of YouthBuild members and he replied “If you really want to make a difference, stay at YouthBuild. If you want to do that, YouthBuild is the place to be.”