On October 13th,2011,Esperanza Tervalon-Daumont, the Executive Director of Oakland Rising, shared with the women of Ignite CA her personal story and approach to civic engagement in the city she calls home; Oakland.

Ignite CA is a promising program serving low-income and immigrant high school students at Sobrante Park’s ASPIRE campus. This program aims to increase the self-efficacy and leadership skills of young women so that they will become engaged citizens who believe they have the capabilities to create the change necessary for their own communities but more importantly possess the tools.

Esperanza shared with the women of Ignite CA the personal story that led to her path of service. Amazingly engaged and articulate young women like Esmerelda shared their stories and concern about reducing youth, domestic and gang violence. Together, Esperanza and these amazing young women, discussed Oakland’s current political landscape; opportunities for professional engagement in civic life outside of being an elected official and our personal responsibility in creating the Oakland we all want to live in.

Upon returning to the office, Esperanza said that she was more inspired than ever knowing that these up and coming leaders were on their way.

To learn more about Ignite CA, check out their website at: http://igniteca.org, or contact Sara Guillermo-, the Program Coordinator at the Oakland Aspire campus, to learn how you can get involved!