Esperanza Centers Offers Free After School Fun and Learning

Mar. 10, 2014 / By

KARLA MARTINEZ/Coachella Uninc

COACHELLA — Tutoring, making new friends, and helping the environment are just a few of the reasons that students come to Esperanza Youth and Family Center (EYFC) every day after school.

“I like coming to Esperanza because it’s fun here, and Willy is always acting silly around everyone. I’ve made many friends here and get help with my homework I don’t really understand,” said Emily Lucero, 8, a student at Palm View Elementary School.

Willy Alvarez, an employee at EYFC, added, “The center keeps kids out of trouble and gives them a chance to do better things with their spare time. The kids can stay at Esperanza while their parent are working and allows them to also get involved in other activities.”

In addition to schoolwork assistance, many students are coming to the youth center to join the Environmental Youth Alliance (EYA). This group started three years ago as a way for youth to build a healthier community.

“The EYA recently began a household battery disposal program. The students advocated and brought awareness of the effects of batteries, which are hazardous for the environment, ending up in landfills. They partnered with the city of Coachella and Esperanza is now an official household battery drop off site,” said Vivian Perez, director of EYFC.

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Coachella Unincorporated

Coachella Unincorporated is a Youth Media Startup in the East Coachella Valley, funded by the Building Healthy Communities Initiative of The California Endowment and operated by New America Media in San Francisco. The purpose of the project is to report on issues in the community that can bring about change. Coachella Unincorporated refers to the region youth journalists cover but also to the unincorporated communities of the Eastern Valley with the idea to “incorporate” the East Valley into the mainstream Coachella Valley mindset.