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Volunteers clean up Business Improvement District

Fruitvale Avenue and Foothill Blvd got a little bit more beautiful last week thanks to local youth employed in summer jobs!

Askara Helms (left) is a junior at Oakland Technical High school. He has been working with Youth Employment Partnership (YEP) for about 3 years now. “I recommend this program because it keeps you busy and active during the summer. If I wasn’t for this, I would probably be at home sleeping or watching TV,” said Askara. YEP offers job readiness training and summer employment to at-risk youth and young adults in Oakland. It exposes them to new role models and mentors and invites them to re-imagine their future.

Emeree Robinson (right), 20, became a part of YEP when he was fifteen years old. He left the program after he finished High School, and this summer he was invited to come back, this time as a Team Leader.  His duty now is to lead a group of students, fill out their timesheets, make sure they are being safe, and mentor and coach them. He said, “I see myself in them all of the time, I was once doing what they were doing and going through similar experiences as them. I’m glad I can come back and show them that no matter how rough life treats you, you can still achieve your biggest goals.”