Community

Bayshore Christian Ministries: Equipping youth to develop as community leaders


Courtesy of Bayshore Christian Ministries
Students in Bayshore Christian Ministries, above and right, grow spiritually, gain life skills and develop as leaders so that they have hope and a future.

• Mission: Bayshore Christian Ministries (BCM) equips East-of-Bayshore youth to grow spiritually, gain life skills and develop as leaders so that they have hope and a future.

Jorge Peraza, a college graduate who has been both a BCM participant and intern, expressed his appreciation for the organization.

“BCM opportunities allowed me to expand my social capital and cultivate in-demand skills,” he said. “I gained my first professional work experience at BCM and developed new skills like emceeing and public speaking. … (BCM’s) work is a true testament (to its) mission statement to ‘equip youth to grow spiritually, gain life skills and develop as leaders.’”

• 2019 update: BCM celebrated its 35th anniversary this fall. The community may have changed over the past three-plus decades, but the vision for BCM has not. The nonprofit organization continues to build relationships with East Palo Alto youth and their families; recruit and train scores of volunteers to tutor and mentor students; and provide the space, curriculum and operational support for holistic growth to occur.

Licensed mental health experts trained BCM staff and volunteers this year, with a goal of incorporating additional mental health support in its teen programs. BCM also hosted a fourth Vacation Bible School site, offered a high school workshop aimed at seeding a future competitive robotics team, began a late-night study-space pilot program to support local college students and presented a Social Justice workshop series at four church partners.

In cooperation with the nonprofit Canopy, BCM undertook a tree-planting project that revitalized an empty lot adjacent to its headquarters. The end result was the transformation of the lot into a natural, tree-filled area leveled for future development.

• Why the Holiday Fund is needed: In the coming year, BCM will extend the mental health education offered to its staff and volunteers and expand its community Bible clubs and STEAM activities for grades 1-12. Leaders also hope to see the newly leveled and tree-planted field filled with grass, a basketball court, a barbecue area for youth events and new play areas.

Bayshore Christian Ministries

Location: 1001 Beech St., East Palo Alto

Founded: 1984

Annual budget: $1.225 million

Staff: 24 full- and part-time employees; 307 volunteers

Information: bayshore.org

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