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Instilling confidence

What comes to mind when you think of theater? Perhaps you recall fond memories of high school drama class, a song from a favorite musical, or a touching storyline. Theater is a boundless source of entertainment, but it can also boost confidence of kids who participate. It is this unique aspect of theater that drew Ish Amitoj Kaur to found The Theater Factory.

The Theater Factory is a place for children to learn the skills of drama while building self-confidence and leadership skills. Kaur, who has a professional background and training in the performing arts, was inspired to start a theater-training group for children in the Bay Area after the birth of her son. After many years of traveling around the United States for various theater groups, Kaur needed something more home-based. She also felt that there was a lack of professional theater training for children in the region. From these needs, The Theater Factory was born.
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Students display art skills in AP Studio show

Mt. Eden Gallery of Art (MEGA) is proud to present the finest work from seniors in Advanced Placement (AP) Studio: Drawing and AP Studio: 3D Design. This show features work from our top artists; its the only opportunity they have to show their best pieces before they are mailed in their AP portfolio. We hope you can join us to celebrate these outstanding artistic achievements!

The show features 75 pieces from 16 students; all graduating seniors in AP Drawing with teacher Carrie King and Geoff Landreaus AP 3D Design (sculpture) class. Participating students also submit a portfolio of work to be considered for college credit. Drawing students must submit some digital and some actual work, while Sculpture students submit all works digitally. Several student artists have applied to art colleges and are waiting for final decisions. Many have already received pre-approval at California College of the Arts, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and other schools.
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Successful job program opens Union City branch

The Cypress Mandela Training Center, a nationally-recognized nonprofit that specializes in job training for disadvantaged youth, has just opened a satellite branch at the former Barnard White Middle School in Union City. The program is based in West Oakland, and will now serve south Alameda County.

The new center, which officially opened Monday, February 9, is the result of a lengthy collaborative process between the City of Union City, New Haven Unified School District, and Cypress Mandela. At the opening ceremony, Union City Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci announced, The program is going to benefit the entire region. WeÕre helping to establish the next generation of the workforce.

United States Secretary of Labor Tom Perez has warned of a decline in the skilled trade workforce as people retire over the next seven years. There is therefore a great need for more apprenticeship programs nationwide. Cypress Mandela Training Center offers a 16-week, free pre-apprenticeship program for anyone over the age of 18. Training is both hands-on and classroom, with a boot camp style that gives students discipline and focus to help them become successful in life.

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