Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Students discuss their work in class at the MESA center at American River College on April 25, 2024. (Photo: Cristian Gonzalez/CalMatters)
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Archives

    City of Oakland promises youth brighter future

    Oakland Promise organization pledges to support students

    TalkOver 500 people gathered under a large tent erected on the Oakland High football field this past Thursday, Jan. 28, for the launch of the Oakland Promise program. Among the speakers were Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, UC President Janet Nepolitano and Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.

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    There are over 75 such programs already implemented around the country dedicated to flipping the narrative from “at risk” to “at promise” youth — doing so in the hopes of putting the self-fulfilling prophecy to rest once and for all.
    For years, Oakland youth have suffered in a cycle of violence and poverty that so often takes them away from higher education. 
    Hoping to end the Ouroboros once and for all, teams of Oakland-based politicians and businesspeople have teamed up with schools in the area to present the Oakland Promise. 
    The hope is that with a comprehensive “cradle-to-career” program that will empower and encourage students through every step of their education, the community can have a hands-on experience with building a future that they’ve always wanted to see in their communities but just didn’t know how to ask for.
    There are four main initiatives in the program designed to boost underprivileged students out of the streets and back into schools. Brilliant Baby is the first such initiative, which, simply, starts a $500 savings account for each qualified individual at birth, to accrue interest until college bills come knocking. 
    Next, the child would see K2College, which provides more savings security for the children. Another important facet of the initiative is Future Centers, which provide increased technology access that the student might not have access to otherwise. 
    Finally, as the student becomes of college age, the program will help them apply for scholarships and stay focused on college completion by providing mentoring, peer support, and other services.
    The program has already raised 25 million dollars in donations from the private sector, with more support coming in every day. 
    Heretofore, the odds that a child born into one of Oakland’s worst neighborhoods and sent through the over-stressed, bursting-at-the-seams public school system would send even the most steadfast Vegas bookie running for the craps tables, but this program wants to take the bets out of the equation, or at least hedge them substantially. 
    With the continued success of similar programs all around the country, and tenacious leaders who believe in our children and our future, hopes are looking up. As Schaaf said, “I believe we can triple the amount of college graduates in our town — this is our time. That’s my Oakland Promise.”
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    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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