Christopher Yco, formerly of the Lomita-Torrance-Airport Rotary Club, joined Sharefest to work full-time changing the learning environment of at-risk students. (He met Todd Doram, a Sharefest guest here tonight, in Rotaract.) Chris presented a video of a workday last year showing volunteers renovating school classrooms, gardens, playgrounds and athletic fields. (This is similar to our Club’s workday scheduled at Wilmington Intermediate School on April 29.)

Among Sharefest’s projects is the Summer Youth Development Academy in partnership with CSU Dominguez Hills, providing youth with opportunities to expand their potential and experience hope as they identify needs in their communities and discover leadership skills. This programming includes daily instruction and leadership development, mentoring, academic enrichment, swimming and athletics for at-risk students. A 4-week high school program is scheduled for July 10-August 4, 8-1 PM M-F, and a similar middle school program is scheduled for the same time. They are served breakfast and lunch, and are bussed in if necessary. These programs have demonstrated higher graduation rates and test scores, and decreased gang activity. Chris invites us to come to CSU Dominguez Hills during this program to see what they do there (see

Other Sharefest projects include activities at 4 LAUSD Continuation Schools, a year-round Youth Leadership Council, and a Youth Development Center. Funding comes from community organizations and corporate donations, and depends on volunteers like us to do the work. Those who volunteer for the service projects (such as our project at Wilmington Intermediate School) experience the gratification of making a meaningful difference in the lives of youth who are struggling to transition to productive adult lives.