Sixty organizations that provide free counseling and other services to youths will gather in Anaheim on Sunday, June 12, for the first My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) SoCal Challenge Community Resource Fair, hosted by the California National Guard’s Sunburst Youth ChalleNGe Academy.
“We work intensively with Sunburst cadets for nearly six months, instilling them with the values, work ethic and skills they need to excel later in life,” said Lt. Col. Joel Armstrong, director of the Sunburst program. “One of the most difficult things we have to do is watch them leave after graduation, knowing we can no longer provide daily guidance. By gathering together in one place a wide swath of resources to help all our graduates, we can further set them up for success after high school.”
Sunburst recruited experts in 10 subject areas from six Southern California counties – Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego – to counsel students in college admissions and financing, mentoring programs, job placement, health care, LGBT resources, homeless assistance, addiction treatment and more. Attendees also will have opportunities to network and are encouraged to bring multiple copies of their resume, as employers will conduct on-the-spot interviews that could result in a same-day hire.
Sunburst plans to host a free Resource Fair in Southern California every six months, to coincide with cadets’ graduation from the residential phase of Sunburst’s transformative program for at-risk students. Sunday’s event will follow the Saturday graduation of 201 cadets from the program’s 5 ½-month residential phase.
The MBK Resource Fair, however, is open to all youths, not just Sunburst cadets.
Sunburst, which is based at the Cal Guard’s Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos in Orange County, is hosting the MBK SoCal Challenge Resource Fair through a partnership with the My Brother’s Keeper initiative. The White House launched the MBK program in February 2014 to address opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and to ensure all young people can reach their full potential. Sunburst’s student population is a diverse mix of boys and girls from different backgrounds, though most are young men of color.
The MBK SoCal Challenge Resource Fair will welcome all youths from 9 a.m. to 12 noon on Sunday, June 12, at the Anaheim Business Expo Center, 1960 S. Anaheim Way. Attendees must register at http://mbkscc.eventbrite.com.
Sunburst’s residential-phase graduation ceremony, celebrating the success of 201 cadets, will be held June 11 from 9:45 a.m. to 12 noon at the Cottonwood Church in Los Alamitos, 4505 Katella Ave.
Media interested in attending the Sunburst graduation or the MBK Resource Fair, or in obtaining further info on the programs, should contact Brandon Honig, public affairs specialist, at 805-458-3825 or [email protected].
This article was released by the California National Guard.