Archive for the ‘Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development’ Category

Have you ever been at a loss for words when it comes to something that you are passionate about? The feeling is so overwhelming that you just can’t find the exact words to describe it? Well, if you have, that is where I am at when trying to describe my summer so far… There is no words to really describe how it is working as a Youth Squad Supervisor for Summer Night Lights – unless you experience it yourself, of course.

The morning of July 7th, I had no idea how the summer was going to be like. However, I did know that it was going to be challenging to me and help me grow – through what experiences though, I would have never imagined. I have stressed over big problems involving the safety of the community to small ones such as running out of buns for the night; all in all, I learned from the obstacles I was faced with each night. Now, with a week left of the program, I can honestly say that I am very sad to know that I only have a little while longer at the park. In my last post, I had tons of energy promising that I was going to post and keep my blog updated of SNL events and happenings. Little did I know that I wasn’t going to have time or energy to post about it, so for that, I apologize. Another thing that also hindered my posting was that my camera was stolen from the park. Lucky me right? But that is only a minor setback in blogging about my summer. I wish that there were more pictures to document my summer but here are a few.

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Summer Night Lights was a great experience for me. It has definitely entered into my heart as Homeboy Industries has… ::Quick Sidestory: The most recent winner of Last Comic Standing, Felipe Esparza comes from Boyle Heights and is associated with Homeboy Inds. Word up! Congratulations to him!:: … I am definitely proud to be a part it and continue on with the work that I love doing.

P.S. Anyone know of a job opening? I’m now unemployed again 😐

[[Mercc]]

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Hi all! I am very pleased, proud, happy, and excited to announce that tonight Summer Night Lights officially starts! Woo! All over the Los Angeles county, there will be 24 parks that will stay open until midnight tonight serving free food, free games, activities for the family. To reiterate the mission and goal of SNL: it is to provide alternative activities [and free food] to kids who would otherwise be up to no good during the restless summer nights. Of course this does not limit who can go and enjoy the music, food and games that we will be having at the park; many families will come and enjoy all the activities as much as the next person.

I will be no doubt documenting the entire summer via pictures, video and my blog. You ready? I know that I sure am!

LET'S GO TEAM!

[[Mercc]]

Yesterday, I received some good news, no, some great news! … I was chosen to be a Youth Squad Supervisor for this years Summer Night Lights program in Los Angeles!! I am very excited about this program for several reasons. Firstly, the process has been in the works since March, so I have been waiting for a while. Secondly, it is in line with my ideal career and what better way to start off then to work with the Mayor’s office? And finally, I get to further my knowledge and experience of working with juvenile and at-risk youth… my favorite part! Thanks Caitlin for telling me about this!! :]

summer night lights 2010.

The program was first introduced in the summer of 2008 with the idea that if kids had an alternative place to hang out and spend their long, restless summer days/nights, then gang activity would decrease; the program proved to be a success.

Beginning with 8 parks, Summer Night Lights have expanded to 16 participating neighborhoods that have dangerous levels of gang activity. One way to engage the youth of the surrounding area, the Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development [GRYD] hire youth to be come Youth Squad Leaders. In this position, they are given the responsibility of a maintaining the program and to enjoy the summer themselves. According to research, youth usually commit crimes between 4 p.m. to midnight, and with the lack of school and the long days, crime rates peak even higher during the summer.

I am very excited to see what comes from this summer. I will no doubt enjoy the summer nights along with the hard work set out for me. Check this video out from last summer to see what it’s all about:

[[Mercc]]