BAYAC/OCASA AmeriCorps is an intermediary organization that collaborates with over 40 community service organizations to serve youth and families in all 6 counties of the San Francisco Bay Area. As part of AmeriCorps, a federally funded national and community service program, BAYAC/OCASA Members commit to a full time term of service(1700 hr).
Members are trained in Youth Development Best Practices and provide direct services to youth within existing school and community based programs. BAYAC/OCASA AmeriCorps also aims to develop emerging leaders and to strengthen communities through the relationships and programs developed by the partner agencies.
June 27, 1969 – March 26, 2011
Pete Hudson died of brain cancer on March 26, 2011. Pete was more than a member of BACR’s staff; he was a member of our BACR family. During his tenure with BACR that spanned over 10 years, Pete was treated many times, and each time came back to our BAYAC National Service program to help make it the stellar program it now is. Pete was responsible for a variety of very complex and demanding administrative activities and always practiced the BACR value of perseverance in performing his work.
Pete had a heart big enough to personally touch each and every AmeriCorps member he came in contact with. Pete had a soft-spoken, powerful presence and impact on the lives of many co-workers that will remain with us far beyond the years we were blessed to work with him. Our condolences go out to Pete’s family.
Of all the experiences in my life I feel that BAYAC has presented me with the opportunity to overcome some of the biggest obstacles as well as achieve the greatest rewards.
I currently am serving at a non-profit organization called the Bill Wilson Center which serves thousands of people in Santa Clara County specifically serving homeless youth. Working with the homeless and at-risk youth has taught me a lot about what is truly important in life and how small actions can truly make a huge difference in another person’s life.
BAYAC has provided me with the support and training to be able to confidently work with the youth I serve and always know that I will be supported to the fullest by the staff. My year with BAYAC has opened my eyes to the needs and wants of the community and how I can truly be an asset with the gifts and talents that I have been given.
The training and support I have received has been key to my success and allows me to have the ability to thrive and truly give back to an underserved population—which has always been a goal of mine. I want to thank BAYAC for giving me this opportunity and allowing me to truly see the power of one individual working towards strengthening my community and hopefully someday the world!
I think it’s fair to say that when I first got the call to come work for BAYAC, I was very nervous. I had just found out that I was going to be offered another job, one that would allow me to also work with youth, be paid more, and one that was closer to where I was living. On top of that, I was going to be working with kids from East Palo Alto, a place where in high school, and even today, has a reputation of being a very dangerous area. However, after talking to my parents, I realized the great opportunity that I was being presented by coming to work for BAYAC, both for personal and professional growth.
Through my experience this year, I have seen how wrong stereotypes can be and so fortunate to have worked with students who have changed my life.
I currently work at East Palo Alto Academy High School, a school that is very different from the one I went to. The demographic is mostly Latino and African American and many of these students will be first generation high school graduates as well as the first in their family to go to college. On top of that the school is very small, with the total size of the school being about 300 students. On the contrary, my high school was about 1600 students and primarily from an affluent White and Asian community.
I work primarily with the students who are enrolled in the “Early College Success Program”, a program that allows them to take classes from Cañada Community College so that they can earn college credit in high school. More importantly however, I serve as a tutor and mentor to many of the students that I interact with, helping them with homework, college and scholarship applications, and helping them navigate their world to the best of my ability.
This year has been nothing short of transformative for me. As a recent college graduate from Stanford, I was looking for a way to spend a year before graduate school that would allow me to both have a great job and be “walking the walking” of public service. Of the many options that I explored, I was very fortunate to be hired by East Palo Academy as a corps member and special needs paraprofessional.
I came in to this job, as a eager but shy kid who was still sorting out my future, and trying to find that balance between life and work. I will be graduating July, a confident, focused women prepared to enter the world of education as a Stanford Teacher in Education student, and Annenberg Teaching Fellow. Both my admittance to STEP and my fellowship can, in large part, be credited to my work with BAYAC this year. I will carry the things I have learned this year with me for the rest of my professional life.
However, while this was an amazing professional opportunity, what will really stick with me are the relationships I’ve built with my colleagues and the members of the San Jose/Peninsula crew. In addition to being an incredibly supportive environment, these are also some of the most brilliant, hard-working, and fun group of people I’ve ever encountered. More importantly, they are infinitely good people to their core who will no doubt, be making incredible contributions to whatever community they live in. These are the kind of friendships you hope to maintain for life, and in the case of our group, three of us will be going to grad school together next year.
This is a great opportunity to spend a year (or two!) doing jobs that have a real tangible impact, and that will allow you to meet people who are nothing short of extraordinary, whether they are members of the population you are serving or your fellow core members.