Comunidad Cesar Chavez is an emergency homeless shelter in Boyle Heights that gives families 90 days to find a place to live. Kids who have been uprooted and are living in temporary housing feel stressed and lonely, but Create Now gave them relief with our three fun classes in Singing, taught by Melinda Salcido, Dance taught by Sonic and Acting with Joshua Ssettuba. They had a blast as they developed skills and made new friends.
DeAnthony, age 12, shared, "Acting cheers us up when we're down." Angel, age 10, had stage fright and felt shy, but he really liked the dancing class, as did his 9-year-old brother Jaden. Their mother Lluvia remarked, "I saw them happy and excited when they practiced. Now they're outgoing and confident."
Michelle Baek, Children's Program Coordinator at the shelter, expressed, "These classes boosted their confidence and made them aware of their talents. I saw a lot of kids coming out of their shells. They created bonds and had a great time even though they're going through all of this."
Olive Crest is an agency in Bellflower that offers a broad spectrum of care for abused, neglected, and at-risk children and their families. Create Now implemented three more classes in Singing with Nasi Nassiri, Dance with Sonic and Acting with Joshua Ssettuba for 20 kids who are at-risk of being removed from their families. This program also culminated with a Talent Show for their families and friends, and was a huge hit with all the youth.
Resource Coordinator Carissa Cheung stated, "These classes taught the children how to be confident in themselves and
they built their self-esteem. Their behavior is worlds apart - 180° - from when they first started this program. Their parents have been coming up to me nonstop and asking for more opportunities. Without Create Now, Olive Crest would not be able to do this."
As with all Create Now programs, every participant received goodies, like backpacks, sunglasses, unique Certificates of Completion and other souvenirs to remind them of their accomplishments.
Watch this short video to see the Olive Crest Talent Show in action: