Partnering with Homeboy Industries

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Having a sense of pride and responsibility for the community is something Cloud & Fire tries to instill in its students through service projects. We want our students to be positive, thriving members of their communities so they can be a part of the solution and not the problem. It’s always great when our students work together to do something for their community.

Our leadership class recently started a service project where, with the help of their peers, they gathered items to be donated to Homeboy Industries. Homeboy Industries is a non-profit organization located in East Los Angeles and was started by Father Gregory Boyle in 1988 to help people affected by gang life. After running a competition between the homeroom classes to see who could collect the most items to be donated, leadership students headed to Homeboy Industries to take a tour and drop off the collected donations.

Below is a reflection from one of our attending leadership students Lizbeth Castillo:

Growing up among youthful offenders made me desire and strive for something better. The trip to Homeboy Industries impacted my life in an amazing way. Walking through the doors of the organization and seeing many former gang members trying to better their lives brought so much joy to my heart. My childhood friends are gang members and everyday that I walk home and I see them outside I pray that they would be there the next day and that God would guide their path for a better tomorrow. Homeboy Industries gave me the courage to tell some of my friends about this amazing organization that helps change one life at a time and helps those that just got out of jail back on their feet. Homeboy Industries is a unique organization.

I can relate to the  people there because the same way that many of them see Homeboy Industries is how I see Cloud & Fire. Just as Cloud & Fire is a second home for me, Homeboy Industries is for the people they help. I felt the same way walking into Homeboy Industries as when I walk into YouthBuild, I felt a second chance and a better future waiting on the other side of those double doors for me and for many others to come.

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Race it Forward 2015 Recap

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Two 10k runners dancing across the finish line.

Race it Forward has come and gone and we just wanted to say…THANK YOU!

Thank you for everything you did to make this a fun and successful event! It was inspiring to watch our students cross the finish line with smiles on their faces and a sense of accomplishment in their hearts. We raised almost $3,000 for student counseling and intervention services and we could not have done it without your support and dedication to our mission. Some Highlights from the day…

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Cloud & Fire student Julio races toward the finish line, placing 2nd in the 10K race.

Thanks to many of you who participated in “Sponsor a Student Runner”  campaign, many of our students were able to run in the race. One of our students, Julio I. Trigueros, signed up for the 10K race and ran it with pride. He placed 2nd without any formal training and impressed the most athletic of participants with his perseverance and sportsmanship.

A long time Friday Night Church member, Gildi, and her family ran the 5K and added one of the sweetest moments of the day. Bryant, Gildi’s oldest at 7, ran the 5K with his mom, dad, younger brother and sister, who were being pushed in the stroller. At the finish line, Bryant expressed his frustration with coming in after his mom and younger siblings. He said, “I was so tired, I wanted to quit, but then I remember this was for the Cloud & Fire kids. I wanted to help them, so I kept going!”

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After a struggle, Bryant hears the cheers and finishes strong!

Friends and family from Reality LA, Refuge LA, and CSUN InterVarsity Matador Christian Fellowship came out to run for our cause! We are so grateful to Children’s Hunger Fund for donating water bottles and to all our friends and supporters who made this event the success that it was.

Check out more photos from  Race it Forward on our Facebook page!