Dreams come true: SERA promotes youth and prepares for August celebration

Dreams come true: SERA promotes youth and prepares for August celebration

Dreams come true: SERA promotes youth and prepares for August celebration

The Spokane Eastside Reunion Association’s mission to help today’s youth was on display last week at the Fresh Soul restaurant, where teenagers were having fun and cleaning up after working in the kitchen.

With the organization’s creation of a community celebration on Aug. 10, underprivileged families can come together not only to learn, but also to dream, play and realize that their backgrounds don’t define who they can become, Michael said. Brown, founder of SERA and Fresh Soul.

He summarizes what he produces and shares with the community in events like the “big picnic” on August 10.

Through the program, kids could begin learning new life skills and more about themselves, from dribbling a bright orange basketball to serving restaurant staples like ribs or gumbo while chatting with customers about SERA.

The basketball camp is offered for six weeks in the summer for children between the ages of 5 and 14. Graduates of the basketball camp can receive a certificate and be invited back to mentor and even win a $500 scholarship. The vocational training program for young people between the ages of 14 and 18 lasts 12 weeks. The teenagers get paid for their work at the restaurant and have something to put on their resumes.

“When you’re starting out, nobody wants to give you money because you don’t prove it,” Brown said.

Brown emphasized the importance of portraying integrity and kindness to all people as the foundation of the SERA program.

After seeing people’s hardships and struggle to afford simple things, Karen Sutula, SERA’s director of operations and programs, spoke about the happiness of having an opportunity to be able to produce free events for everyone to enjoy. Field games, face painters and balloon twisters will be among the activities at the event.

Virla Spencer, CEO of The Way to Justice, arranges for the donation of bicycles, shoes and backpacks with school supplies to help parents with their ongoing struggles. Spencer was able to win 10 cash prizes of $500 each, which will be given away in a raffle. A donated night at the Davenport Hotel is also in the mix.

Path to Justice supports SERA’s work to normalize opportunities for families.

“The Path to Justice, when we come in, we like to be able to amplify it,” Spencer said.

This upcoming celebration isn’t just a fundraiser, she said; it is a showcase of the achievements of SERA youth and a way to support local communities.

“The need is even greater than it was last year,” Spencer said.