— The young artists of East Oakland Youth Development Center
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Happy, energetic, creative, serious, fun, focused, passionate, inspiring and full of life. These words describe the children I met at the East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC) I spent an afternoon with about 25 of Oakland's finest young people recently as they created their signs for the Oakland Neighborhood Project. If you don't know the work of the East Oakland Youth Development Center, you should. Fore more than 40 years, EOYDC has been working tirelessly to ensure that "disenfranchised young people receive the same training and opportunities as students with wealthier backgrounds." Each year, EOYDC works with some 2,000 at-risk young people in an East Oakland community that "struggles to overcome widespread poverty, rampant crime, low educational attainment, high unemployment, and poor health outcomes."