As you gather with family and friends to give thanks this year, we hope you’ll take a moment to reflect on the power of a close-knit community filled with connectedness and care. At Oakland Planning and Development Corporation (OPDC), our School 2 Career (S2C) program provides youth in grades 9 through 12 with afterschool mentoring, tutoring, career development, and access to life-changing opportunities...and it all happens right here in our community!
For Cheyenne and Jordan Vining, siblings who live in the Hill District, attending S2C has become a family tradition. Cheyenne graduates from high school in 2019 after attending S2C for four years, and her brother, Jordan, just started high school and began attending S2C.
“I joined S2C to pursue a job while gaining skills and working with an academic focus,” recalls Cheyenne. “Through S2C, I learned that I like forensics work, and the S2C staff based my job placement on that interest. I have learned so much through my S2C job placements over the years—meeting professionals in science fields and teaching my peers and little kids a variety of topics, from zoology to microbiology to robotics.”
And Cheyenne’s hard work is paying off: she recently was accepted to a local university, and she just learned that the university is presenting her with a sizable merit-based scholarship. “What I’ve learned at S2C and the opportunities I’ve had will help support me in the next chapter of my life,” says Cheyenne.
Jordan was encouraged by his dad to join S2C because of the benefits to his sister. “Through S2C, I’ve already established my own bank account and defined a career path. I love playing on my computer, and I want to create video games or work in cybersecurity,“ says Jordan. “Our mom always taught us to be polite and respect one another, and S2C made me think about how to pull everything together—school, job, and my own interests.”
With your support for S2C, we are giving young people in our community the tools they need to build a better future—a future of their own design. We are delighted to announce that Dawn and Chris Fleischner are offering a generous matching challenge to inspire giving to S2C. Please join us in advancing the youth in our community with a gift to S2C that will be matched dollar-for-dollar.