Stockton is known for its issues with crime and violence, but there’s a group of teens working to change that. It’s a YMCA program called BACK2B.A.C. with “BAC” standing for “Believing and Changing” Stockton.
Charity Brant Community Outreach Coordinator with the YMCA of San Joaquin County said, “(Back2BAC) started as adults trying to get together to figure out things for young people to do.”
Brant said they realized it wasn’t effective so they decided to let the teens be the ones who would plan events, “The adults take a step back and let the teens thrive.”
Teen leaders Malkiel Mao and Jose Cuevas talked about the benefits of “BACK2 BAC”.
“Give back to my community during the (school) break,” said Mao, “Not stay at home and be on Facebook all day.”
Cuevas believes the program can change the community because it gives kids something to do. “Trouble tends to happen when you don’t have nothing to do,” he said.
BACK2BAC is operated out of Impact Teen Center, which has lots of different activities for teens to do. They can play table tennis, make art, rock climb, bowl, and try new things.
Mao has liked learning how to make a song in the recording studio as well as break dancing.
Before Cuevas started the program he knew nothing about photography, now he’s gotten interested in that and videography. “Been on a roll with it,” said Cuevas, “I’ve done a couple videos.”
But the teens also get out of the center and into the community.
“Last Saturday we went around the neighborhood and pick-up the garbage,” said Cuevas, “The teens got to see the community and the community got to see the teens giving back to it.”
Those activities happen every week, but during school breaks BACK2BAC steps up and holds special activities with one happening this week. On Thursday they’re hosting a break dance battle and on Friday a talent show.
All teens are welcome.
For anyone not sure about being part of BACK2BAC Mao said, “You only live once just try it.”
The two day event is free and happening at the Impact Teen center on January 3 and 4 from 12:00pm until 4:00pm. Teens who want to attend just need to register on-line: http://www.ymcasjc.org