The first day I went to Kid City is the day things started to get better and better.
I can still remember the summer I became a Kid City kid. It was before my senior year of high school and Kid City was offering job training, SAT math and verbal prep, personal statement writing, and many other workshops. I met Anne and Laura and bright faced high school students, all of whom made me feel comfortable and valued. Even though I was a bit shy and unsure of my abilities as a student and a leader, being at Kid City helped me take notice of my abilities. They encouraged me to participate in the job training course to enhance my ability as as speaker. Kid City has guided me to resources and information, such as toastmasters, to help me overcome my speech apprehension. Without Kid City, I might have remained a nervous girl with a dream to be a leader, but without knowledge of where to begin.
Through Kid City, I have learned to help myself and others through college and financial aid applications, find college resources and programs, and obtain summer jobs and internships. That first summer was the first of many experiences where I felt truly accomplished. Laura and Anne became the resources that as a first generation college student, I could not find in high school or at home. Now, as a California State University Northridge junior, I, like many others, could not wait to come back to Kid City, to provide the same quality of support and guidance that I received. Kid City is not only Anne and Laura -- it's college students, high school graduates, mentors, volunteers, parents, and friends that all make Kid City what it is.
This summer I am teaching a course on gender for Kid City students, and helping with publicity for the 5th annual Splash of LA fundraiser, which takes place August 8th. I hope everyone comes to Splash of LA to support Kid City and the wonderful resources they offer to urban youth like myself!
-- the Urban Foundation thanks Nancy Avelino, CSUN junior (women's studies major) for her big heart, kind words, and for presenting this short speech at Wilshire United Methodist Church, Journey of Faith Fellowship.