afterschool and summer challenge

Middle School Youth Visit Sacramento to Support After School Programs

Mar 27, 2019

On March 11 and 12, middle school youth from The Richmond Neighborhood Center Beacon visited their representatives in Sacramento as part of the 15th annual California Afterschool & Summer Challenge, an event that brings students together from all across the state to advocate for more funding for afterschool programs.

Organized by the California School-Age Consortium (CalSAC) in partnership with other youth organizations, the Challenge seeks to address the fact that nearly 1 in 4 afterschool programs are expected to close their doors in 2020 without additional state funding, denying access to about 91,000 students. And under the Trump administration, federal funding for these programs may disappear entirely.

Accompanied by our Beacon staff, the group met with San Francisco Assemblymembers Phil Ting and David Chiu, as well as State Senator Jeff Stone of Riverside, and shared their own personal stories about what our afterschool programs mean to them—and how their lives would be negatively impacted without these opportunities. Staff members then asked the representatives to pledge their support for Assembly Bills 1725 and 1744, both of which would address critical afterschool funding needs.

This is the third year youth from The Richmond Neighborhood Center programs have attended the Afterschool & Summer Challenge, and according to Multicultural & Identity-Based Program Manager AJ Frigillana, it was once again an empowering experience for the students.

“Our youth got a lot of practice in self-advocacy,” she said. “Going in, they were understandably nervous. But with the support of their own community and the other groups from around the state, I think they realized they were a part of something bigger that could make a real difference.”