Week two has flown by, and it has been an incredible week of learning at Session 1 of the Summer Youth Development Academy. Students further explored what it means to be a leader and uncovered how they can use their strengths and gifts to lead. During their classes, students practiced expressing thoughts and ideas creatively through art and writing projects. Swim lessons and team-building activities allowed time for students to get active while having fun. And high school students heard from special guest speakers, including Joyce Sharman, wife of the late Bill Sharman, 10-time NBA Champion, and Chris Wilson, field representative for Assemblymember Mike Gipson. On Thursday, students learned to lead by serving during a day of giving back to the community. Check out some of this week’s highlights in the photos below:


YDA Service Day: Students arrive at Wilmington Senior Center ready to help beautify and clean the space to create a refurbished, welcoming environment for community members. Thanks to Phillips 66 for generously providing funds to allow us to complete this important work!

Students eagerly jump into their work at the senior center, knowing they are making a tangible difference for the community of Wilmington.

Students chat with local residents who will benefit from the work they completed.

During an art lesson, students decorate the covers of their creative writing journals as a way to express who they are through art.

Together, the students’ journals create a mural, designed by local artist, PeQue.

High school students work on creating a point of view presentation board to highlight a need in their community.

Enjoying lunch, thanks to our friends at Chick-fil-A!

Joe Buck, a USC and RUHS alumnus and professional basketball player in Europe for 11 years, stops by for lunch with students who sold 10 or more Toyota Opportunity Drawing tickets and encouraged them to reach for their goals and persevere!

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