OAKLAND (KPIX) — For programs like the East Oakland Youth Development Center, every dollar counts, so a $100,000 donation from Amazon was a cause to celebrate Thursday.
EOYDC was one of three local groups chosen for six-figure cash injections because of their commitment to providing safe and supportive spaces for students after school.
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Danika Hunt, who coordinates EOYDC’s after-school leadership program, said the groups provide much-needed mentorship.
“We have so many great people to look up to who look like our kids who look like us,” Hunt said. “I think it’s so important to see someone you could be.”
EOYDC helps students work on their studies outside of the classroom, paying attention to gaps they may face for their grade level.
It also offers activities that develop important social skills. Children from kindergarten to young adults benefit from the centre’s services.
“The ability to be able to be yourself, to be able to give back to the community,” said Landon Hill, program manager at the Center. “It means the world to us every time someone decides to invest in our young people and entrust this to us.”
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Hill is an example of someone who took advantage of the opportunities at EOYDC and is now giving back as a staff member. He spent part of his teenage years as a youth leader and returned after earning a master’s degree.
“There’s something more to having a job, but there’s something to being driven by a mission,” he told KPIX 5.
In addition to EOYDC, Oakland Promise and Tech Exchange received donations.
Oakland Promise works with families to help students pursue a variety of higher education options, including colleges and technical schools.
Tech Exchange helps schools and students access computers for free or at an affordable price.
Hunt focuses on children between kindergarten and fifth grade. Its activities focus on the development of important academic skills. She is proud to work in East Oakland and impact young children every day, seeing the difference the nonprofit can make by spending more time with these students outside of school.
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“I’m becoming the role model I didn’t have as a kid and that to me just means the world,” Hunt said.