Service Learning Projects
AAA and YSRO engage young people in community service and leadership to improve the quality of life for the low-income population here in San Francisco. Both AAA and YSRO youth leaders are trained and equipped with leadership skills such as public speaking and facilitation. There are college readiness workshops such as SAT prep, college campus visits, and personal statement workshops. In addition, AAA youth are provided with professional development workshops that prepare them for the real world.
AAA was found in 1991 by Rev. Norman Fong and local high schoolers. The mission of AAA started with alleyway beautification projects through clean-ups, however, has expanded since then to include service learning projects with elderly tenants and younger children from families who are low-income and live in residential hotels called single room occupancies.
Youth for Single Room Occupancy
YSRO is the sister program of AAA, found in 2006. YSRO began by providing culturally and linguistically appropriate disaster preparedness workshops in single room occupancies to build a disaster resilient community. The program offers intergenerational service activities, including field trips and cultural exchanges between elderly senior advocates from Community Tenant Association and youth leaders.
Chinatown Alleyway Tours
In 2001 Chinatown CDC’s Youth team conducted oral history interviews and academic research to develop a more comprehensive perspective on Chinatown’s history. From this research the youth developed CATs—designing a tour route, script, and training manual—and began to offer guided tours through Chinatown’s many alleyways. The tours include a history of Chinatown and offer alternative perspectives of the neighborhood you might not get on regular tours. The youth lead tours for individuals, families, schools and groups.
Campaign Academy is a year-long commitment to community service through the identification and coordination of an issue campaign. Youth contribute a minimum of eight hours monthly to campaign activity and receive 12 hours of peer development and leadership training. This program is entirely peer-led, and participants select the issue they will focus on, develop campaign goals and tactics, conduct community outreach and organize service-learning opportunities. This work is augmented by a comprehensive curriculum of workshops, training and focused retreats by Chinatown CDC youth staff and Campaign Academy graduates. Previous youth-organized campaigns include: advocating for healthier school lunches, improvements to the Community HUBS/Open Space Project in Chinatown, implementing Ethnic Studies in the San Francisco Unified School District, Free Muni for Youth, Seniors and people with disabilities, and most recently Pedestrian Safety.