Tag Archives: ursula sherman village

BOSS to honor Berkeley’s ‘Rising Stars’ on Thursday

Kyle Evans, one of the Rising Star honorees, has been accepted to Brown University. Evans was homeless only last year
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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.

“Adversity is a chance to find the God in you,” said Evans, who has been accepted to Brown University and plans to become a doctor. “It makes you a stronger person.”

Evans is one of 20 youth who will be honored Thursday at the first annual “Rising Stars” gala, put on by local advocacy organization Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS) to recognize youth for achievement in the face of adversity. The group is also raising money this week for a scholarship fund for award recipients; scroll down for details.

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Rotary Club builds new play structure for homeless kids

Installing platform of play structure. Photo by Don Melandry
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For more than two years, the homeless children at the Ursula Sherman Village on Harrison Street in West Berkeley only had an empty lot to play in. The decrepit play structure that had stood in the yard for years was shut down because it was no longer safe.

“It was old,” explained Boona Cheema, the Executive Director of Building Opportunities for Self Sufficiency (BOSS) which was founded in 1971 and runs the village. “It wasn’t safe, so we took it down.”

Thanks to the intervention of the Rotary Club of Berkeley and assorted affiliates, the 24 children at Ursula Sherman Village now have a state-of-the-art play structure and playground to play in. Officials from the Rotary, BOSS, and the city of Berkeley gathered Monday afternoon for the official ribbon cutting ceremony of the playground.

“It’s already made a huge difference,” said Cheema. “The kids feel it’s their place, that it was done for them. They are so excited.”

Evidence was everywhere Monday that the kids were enjoying the structure. As adults mingled around chatting before the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the children ran all around the play structure, climbed up its stairs, and played on its bars. … Continue reading »

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Operation Frontline: Teaching the needy to cook in Bay Area communities

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A couple of Saturdays ago, on a gorgeous sunny day when many Berkeleysiders were likely heading out for a hike, contemplating another coffee, or barely out of bed, I stopped by a cooking class taught at Ursula Sherman Village on Harrison Street, a transitional living facility for the  homeless in West Berkeley.

Sponsored by Operation Frontline, a national program that offers cooking classes to low-income families, the class of eager kids and interested adults was the final … Continue reading »

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