Friday, May 19, 2006

Youth Film Festival

Shannon joined me as part of my class headed to downtown Los Angeles for a youth film festival. The festival was hosted at the Bresee Foundation. This community center offers amazing services to the Pico Union, South Central LA, and Korea Town population. It was quite remarkable to see the many different resources and services they offer to a community that could easily be overlooked. I was impressed with the range of ages they serve. When you first walk into the building, you come across the medical clinic, which offers low cost/no cost medical attention to children. Down the hall is a Computer lab, offered to adults 18 and over. The cost to use this computer lab is $5 for a year!!! Down the hall from that is a Youth Center, filled with a pool table, games, food, and just places to hang out. The schedule of the center goes like this: from 3-4pm, the teens are able to come in, unwind, and just hang out. From 4-5pm is a mandatory homework time, monitored by the tutor volunteers. After 5 they have many different programs, workshops, and services for any and all to attend. The programs can range from tutoring, digital editing, college prep, chess clubs, and any other specialty offered through the volunteers. Once a week from 6:30-7 they offer a time for the teens to explore current questions on politics, religion, culture, and world news. Needless to say I was amazed to see such a wonderful place, transforming the community around them. I love the fact that it is a non-profit group, run by a church, but it is not merely a guise for evangelism. They are all about building continued relationships with the youth and adults of the community, seeing this as an active way to live the message of Christ in a broken world. Now I just need to find a place similar to this one that is close enough to volunteer on a permanent basis.

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