Old Skool Café Receives 2009 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award
|FBI San Francisco November 18, 2009|
Today in San Francisco, Stephanie Douglas, special agent in charge of the San Francisco office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation presented the 2009 Director’s Community Leadership Award to Old Skool Café, a non profit organization dedicated to helping neighborhood youth avoid gangs, drugs, and crime through mentoring and apprenticeship. The annual award recognizes individuals and organizations that take extraordinary steps in the area of drug and violence education and prevention.
Old Skool Café was launched in 2005 by Teresa Goines, a former corrections officer who has worked with gang-affiliated boys and girls for over a decade. Through working with incarcerated youth, Ms. Goines realized filling jails was not solving the root causes driving young people to gangs, crime, and violence. As a result, she conceived of Old Skool Café as a way to teach at-risk kids job and life skills, build within them a sense of responsibility, and pave their way out of poverty and hopelessness. Addressing the fact the fact that high crime rates go hand in hand with unemployment, Old Skool Café draws youth from all over San Francisco and engages them in learning experiences which give them solid, realistic alternatives to lives of crime and poverty.
Old Skool Café operates out of Ms. Goines’ Bayview home, and brings together kids from neighborhoods all across the city. They learn the skills they need to succeed in the restaurant and entertainment industries, while developing their individual talents, learning responsibility, and working to break down barriers dividing them. Old Skool Café also offers mentoring and training in life skills to address the needs of today’s youth beyond job skills and work experience.
Over the past two years, more than 100 young people have been a part of Old Skool Café; the vast majority were failing in school, or had already dropped out. Today, 100% of those young people are attending school full-time, have increased their GPA over 3.0, and are preparing for college.
Old Skool Café continues to expand and hopes to move into the old 1912 Portrero Hill police station as a permanent home. The vision is to turn the abandoned police station into a 1940s style fine-dining restaurant complete with live, youth-presented entertainment and a menu hand-crafted by the same young people that have been mentored through Old Skool Café’s apprenticeship program.
Old Skool Café is made possible by a group of volunteers from all over the local area, as well as several corporate and private sponsors that recognize the growing potential of the program, including the Lennar Corporation, Robert Half International, the NFL Alumni Association, Jardiniere, and Vision Cellars.