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September 4, 2009

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September 4, 2009

I had the privilege of interviewing several Urban Compass students about their connection with nature. Because Urban Compass is located in the heart of gang activity in Watts, I assumed these children would not have much interest in nature. I was amazed to find that these children, who have it so tough, still have their hearts open. Several of them were able to describe truly contemplative and peaceful moments in nature. Urban Compass is largely responsible for this connection because they have taken kids out of the city on surfing and whale watching field trips. Those experiences were mentioned by most of them. Urban Compass also organized a planetarium trip and afterward two of the girls' mothers spread blankets for them in their backyards and they recounted joy in looking up at the stars. Urban Compass is doing a tremendous job helping these kids stay open to possibility. It is an organization that is effectively keeping the futures of these inner city children as bright as their spirits.

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

bright and enthusiastic. They showed topnotch organizational skills and a contagious enthusiasm about serving the Watts community. The combination seems to have captivated Urban Compass students and their families alike.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

August 14, 2009

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August 14, 2009

My job has introduced me to many fascinating people. People with vision. Folks who truly want to bring forth change. Theresa Gartland is one of them.I looked at Theresa, she seemed to have more in common with suburbia than the inner city. I asked her why. She replied “I want to help”…straight and to the point. Her dream is to help others achieve their dreams.Urban Compass dream of giving kids a good environment for after school activities is not only noble, its smart. Especially given that these kids are surrounded by some of the most notorious gangs in L.A.!

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

Better place itself within the Watts community. Taking kids to more educational and informative venues. Assisting tutorial programs and increasing the chances of life outside of gangs... even branching out into other gang ridden communities

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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