The PAL Center and PAL Charter Academy held its annual State of Youth Employment Event on April 18, 2019. During this event, various community and state leaders met and spoke about the importance of positively engaging our San Bernardino youth in employment opportunities. The question was, “What are you doing about youth employment?”
Dwaine Radden Sr., Chief Executive Officer for the PAL Center opened the event thanking Mr. Edward Brantley, Director of Community Relations for the PAL Center, for his efforts to connect the dots in our community. Radden’s welcome set the overall theme for the event. He stated that connecting the dots was central to achieving success during and after the conference.
After the introduction, all community and state leaders had an opportunity to describe their organizations and their work with the community. During the speeches, every speaker connected the dots by reflecting on how their organization and others in the room could work together to provide opportunities for students.
Throughout the day, everyone was interchanging business cards and supporting the “connect the dot” analogy that Radden envisioned at the opening of the event. He quoted an old African proverb, “The child who is not embraced will burn the village down to feel its warmth.” Radden said
San Bernardino is burning because our youth need to work and have positive activities and facilities for them throughout the city, and their community. He volunteered to put together a website for the Inland Empire community base resource agencies to post and share services for families and the youth.
Various organizations attended the event, from faith-based programs to San Bernardino County programs, businesses that provide job opportunities for youth, and California State Senator, Connie Leyva’s office. Mr. Andre Bossieux, or as he refers to himself, “Dre from TAY,” expressed the power of communication and staying in touch with our people to help guide them. His message was strong and inspiring. He asked the members of the audience to be mentors and leaders for our communities.
Mr. Majadi, Director of the Center for Youth and Community Development, articulated the need for our communities to support our youth and provide opportunities for them to succeed. Mr. Stan “Amini” Futch from the Westside Action Group explained the importance and need to have a resource database. He stated that we should have various events to keep up the momentum and bring in more resources for San Bernardino and its youth. PAL Charter Academy showed a school video where it highlighted their student work. It also showed the real-time work with youth that had graduated from one of their programs.
The video expressed how the morale and life skills for these students could be taken with them professionally. Several enrolled students at the PAL Charter Academy talked about their academic success, their involvement in ASB, the Upward Bound Program, and other involvement at the school that led them to success that they never thought they would achieve. The milestone event also provided a lot of other resources and information that could benefit the youth in San Bernardino. The event was very positive, motivating, and it supported the continued need to work together.
The landmark occurrence concluded with an opportunity for all of the audience members to comment and express their thoughts. Many participants described the event became more personal when an added theme was tied to the overall message of the event. It opened the door for many to make sure that they connect with as many other organizations and programs as possible to strengthen our services and employment for our youth in San Bernardino and outside of the city.
By Jose Estrada