By James Corr
For a college student athlete, there is no season more important than your senior year. It’s the year when everything could soon be coming to an end: the long practices, the extra work on weekends, the countless hours in the library. For many, it is a bittersweet reality.
Ayana Dominguez, an aspiring hairstylist and 18-year-old recent graduate of Berkeley Technical Academy, was gunned down last week in a Wendy’s restaurant parking lot in Oakland, according to police.
A year ago, Kyle Evans and his family were sleeping in motel rooms and, at times, their car. Despite his circumstances, Evans focused on keeping his grades up and being a role model for his younger sister. He had to forgo various activities enjoyed by his peers, as his family didn’t have the money to pay for them. He managed to keep a positive perspective and achieve success despite the odds.
Berkeley is facilitating free lunches and snacks for under-18-year-olds this summer at locations across the city.
When Kevin D. Williams first found himself at Berkeley Youth Alternatives, it was, he says, a “naked building.” His mother, Niculia Williams, now executive director of the nonprofit, which supports underserved youth, had joined the staff in 1988 and brought her family along to help. Though still a student at UC Berkeley, Williams “fit in where [he] could” between classes by cleaning up the building, tutoring or helping coach the basketball team.
Two weeks after two multiple shootings rattled southwest Berkeley residents, more than a hundred neighbors gathered in the gym at Berkeley Youth Alternatives on Bonar Street on Monday evening, just a few yards away from the first shooting, to discuss possible causes, as well as preventive measures.
Berkeley's alternative food programs and businesses in the spotlight on a food soverignty tour co-hosted by Bay Area Green Tours Saturday.
Update, 6:34pm: An earlier version of this story erroneously reported that the city had withdrawn funding this year for the garden program which is closing. The funding was in fact for the BYA’s landscaping program. In addition, Calworks funded BYA’s Steps to Success Program in 2010, not the garden program as reported. We apologize for the confusion.
For four years Kim Allen has served as garden program manager for Berkeley Youth Alternatives (BYA), which provides a minimum-wage, internship program for socio-economically challenged adolescents ages 14 to 18. Some come to the garden through word-of-mouth from family or friends, others as part of mandated community service.