AACI Youth Speak Out Against Budget Cuts!
May 19, 2011
On May 12th and 17th, AACI joined other health and human service providers, clients, and supporters to oppose the drastic budget cuts in services to senior nutrition and youth programs. If funding cuts are passed by the City of San Jose and County of Santa Clara, agencies who receive funding from Healthy Neighborhood Venture Fund (HNVF), Bringing Everyone’s Strengths Together (BEST), and Senior Nutrition will face significant cuts to their services. The main sources of funding for AACI’s services to seniors and youth are at risk.
Speaking out against the funding cuts, AACI youth clients shared the impact AACI has made on their lives. The youth are current clients of Project PLUS, a program of AACI Youth Development Services that consists of group life skills sessions, one-on-one mentoring, a self-improvement project, and field trips. All services are provided on-site at middle and high school campuses during school hours.
In front of a crowd of over 400 community members, eleven AACI youth stood up during the budget hearings to share their story. One female youth client stated, “Before AACI, my life was very challenging. I hung out with people who were affiliated with gangs and did drugs with them. I also became truant since I felt no need in making my family proud. With all that AACI has taught me, I became a better person. AACI has taught me the values of school and with that I am an incoming High School Senior with good grades. Now I actually want to attend college and become a neurosurgeon. AACI has done so much for me and I’ve learned so many skills from them. DO NOT cut AACI’s youth programs.”
If you are interested in getting involved, please contact members of San Jose City Council and Santa Clara County’s Board of Supervisors regarding these budget cuts. To help AACI maintain services that impact the lives of youth every day, please contact Darcie Kiyan at firstname.lastname@example.org or donate online.