PHOTOS: Youth Reach Towards Art, Community Change and a New Youth Center in Ashland

The event held at Edendale Middle School March 23 highlighted youth in art and achievement.

Friday evening brought local youth leaders and talented artists alike to the multi-purpose room at to highlight art's postivie effect on the lives of young people in the unincorporated San Leandro area and beyond.

is an . One of the big reveals durings the event was the new name of , which is currently being built on E. 14th in Ashland.

After much consideratio and with the help of the community's youth, the staff decided on Reach Youth Center.

"They [the youth] really loved the idea of being able to reach for what you want," said staffmember Vassi Juhri.

After settling on the name for the center, one of the youth being served by the organization pointed out the name's significance beyond what was initially realized. The name is and acronym for the areas the group has set out to impact in the lives of kids in the community: recreation, education, art (and culture), careers and heath. 

"We wanted to create something by young people, for young people," said Executive Director Pedro Naranjo.

That concept was very much on display Friday. Young people were on hand doing everything from henna tattoos and photography, to rapping and spoken word. 

To see some of what went on Friday evening take a look at the slideshow above. To learn more about Reach Youth Center, visit http://ashlandyouthcenterproject.org/.


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