Founded in 1972 in response to the large number of Chinese immigrants arriving in San Francisco, YCE promotes self-development, communication skills and a positive attitude to help immigrant youth and elderly adapt to a new country.
New immigrant youths need a sense of belonging and the knowledge that they are doing something positive for themselves and others. Through their interaction with the elderly, they can develop the social skills and self-confidence that will help them transition into mainstream culture while maintaining their own heritage, cultural awareness, and past ties.
As the economy and influx of new immigrants continue to generate an increasingly competitive society, the elderly are often ignored. They may no longer play as vital of a role in their families as they have in the past. Problems arise when they have little or no ability to communicate with English-speaking caregivers, service providers, or other residents. YCE provides youth intergenerational partners for them and reconnects them with the community to prevent feelings of isolation and loneliness. Through the sharing of their life experience with the youths, the elderly regain their dignity and sense of purpose in life.
YCE helps new immigrant Chinese youth adapt to their new country—promoting self-development, positive attitudes, and greater communication skills, while offering numerous opportunities for youth to volunteer in the community, connect with elders, and each other. YCE clubs are established at nine high schools: Balboa, Burton, Galileo, Lincoln, Marshall, Mission, San Francisco International, Wallenberg, and Washington. Members from each high school will get a chance to explore leadership opportunities in support of:
- The Adopt-A-Senior Building project (AASB) fosters intergenerational relationships with seniors at 15 seniors buildings through shared monthly activities, including arts and crafts, exercise, and holiday celebrations.
- Community Tablet Classes gives youth an opportunity to teach seniors and other community members how to use smartphones and tablet computers, which directly helps the seniors, while allowing youth to develop their leadership and communication skills.
- Disaster preparedness training: YCE trains and empowers youth to teach other youth, elders, friends and families, and the community about disaster preparedness, fire safety, and other health and safety issues.
- Community Engagement events such as neighborhoods cleanups, beach cleanups, planting trees, and community-based events (Halloween, Lunar New Year, Autumn Moon)
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