What Now America

Rating: 5 stars   4 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Education, Job Training

Location: 1651 Adeline Street Oakland CA 94607 USA

Mission: What Now America (WNA) is a free drop-in youth resource center open every Saturday, 12-5pm in Oakland. We are dedicated to working with inner city youth to provide support in the areas of academics, health education and social development.
Target demographics: Low-income youth and children, ages 5-18.
Geographic areas served: West Oakland
Programs: The organization leads K-12 grade appropriate, hands-on activities in the areas of science, language, art and math. These academic areas constitute the program SLAM. It is a 100% volunteer organization and is always looking for help to develop and implement the program, as well as have fun with the youth. WNA believes that success in academics must be balanced by attention to comprehensive wellbeing. Therefore, they teach and model the importance of healthy lifestyles by providing nourishing lunches, structured physical activities and nutritionally balanced take-home grocery bags for youth and their families each and every week. In addition to the weekly drop-in program, they provide information and resources in the areas of mental and physical health support and career and educational advancement opportunities. They also host various community engagement events each year. You can help give youth the personal interaction and support they need to become well-rounded adults. On a typical day, volunteers work one-on-one with youth or in small groups of participants reading together, facilitating the academic program SLAM and playing outdoors. There are numerous volunteer opportunities to fit your schedule and interests.
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

In just a few short months What Now America has shed new light on the lives of West Oakland youth. The rich academic and social programs are augmented by nutritional meals and one-on-one mentoring many of the program participants rarely encounter. As an all-volunteer run organization I know my participation makes a difference not only for What Now America but for the youth who need it most.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the repeat attendance by several elementary and middle school aged children. These kids choose to spend most of their Saturday at WNA because they have fun, they learn and their parents know they are safe.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Well - I'm helping to run this organization and we have a lot of plans in the works to move WNA forward. We're enhancing our academic and social programs, recruiting more volunteers, engaging one on one with participants and beginning an aggressive marketing plan to grow the organization into what we know it can be.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The volunteers are great. Everyone on our board works so hard to make sure we are providing these kids what they really want and need. We all have other jobs, go to school and have lives - yet take the time to dedicate to WNA because we believe in our work.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Awesome!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Open up a full service center with a full time staff, kitchen and dining facilities, sports equipment, computer lab, separate facilities per age group. Oh yeah - and actually be able to pay all the hard working volunteers!

Ways to make it better...

I were able to attend every Saturday.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Lack of funding.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Volunteer with or donate to What Now America today!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

I just want to let everyone out there know what great success we have had so far. We started off in the area with minimal exposure and now, after just 3 months, the number of our participants has grown exponentially. Kids and their families love the program as I do myself. They are enthusiastic about activities that are planned out every week and some really strong bonds are being created through this. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of this and invite everyone to check us out, on-line, on-site, over the phone, by email, and however else you can...

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

youth and their families coming back to the program every week.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the level of involvement of the youth and their families growing week after week.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

exceptional; everyone does what they do absolutely from the bottom of their hearts.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

have its own facility and serve the community on a daily basis.

Ways to make it better...

WNA had its own facility, so we could better organize the space we have to meet our specific needs.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

building the trust and relationship with the participants that is beyond a Saturday program.

One thing I'd also say is that...

WNA has had a great start and we are looking forward to a greater involvement in the community as we go along.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I really liked the organization, for it really hits home to the people of Oakland by providing them after school activities. A study comparing the scores of children on reading and math shows that students from upper class families scored better than students gradually as more summers pass by, indicating that they spend more of their free time reading, which is where WNA comes into play.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Having kids come more often to their events.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to get more volunteers.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that I have great 1-1 quality time with the children, hence build strong connections with them.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

college students that were as enthusiastic as I am.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

save a lot of Oakland children from straying from school, and put them to 4 year universities.

Ways to make it better...

I had gone every weekend to volunteer.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

lack of volunteers, given that it's a completely new non-profit, and still has to make its name.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I look forward in volunteering now that I am no longer a student.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

What Now America has been a life changing experience for me. Seeing the smiles on the faces of the students makes all the hard work well worth it. Working with a very talented board and student volunteers makes the program what it is. I would strongly encourage anyone who is looking to give back to the community to join this organization either as a board member or volunteer to work with the youth Saturdays from 12-5.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

changing the lives of the youth and parents.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

working with the youth and seeing their smiling faces at the end of every program

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

exceptional! Very talanted UCB students with a wide variety

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the lives of ALL at risk youth in California.

Ways to make it better...

This was my full time-job

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

getting funding.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

Blackbaud Inc.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-12-01

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