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Karmagif

Karma Teens Empowered

Karma- Youth Empowered            Imagine                                             John Lennon

Kar-ma [kahr-muh] (noun) - a force created by one’s actions.

 

Mission Statement:
The mission of  Karma is to enhance the quality of  life, as well as expand opportunities for youth, through activities that energize their mental, spiritual and physical development of youth to seek success in life and to provide the most basic of all human needs: “A Sense of Belonging”

 

History:
Karma was established in 2004 as a result of the closing of the Teen Center at Brooks City-Base. Ronald Hayes, Karma’s founder had served as the center’s director for 14 years and saw a need for a community-based youth program in south Bexar County that could provide an encouraging life-supportive environment for youth.  He founded the Karma program in effort to provide programs for youth residing in the 78223 and 78210 zip codes.  Focusing on Football, Basketball, Baseball, Soccer, Tae Kwon Do, & Volleyball, Karma has grown to provide year round sporting activities for over 1100 youths within these zip codes through the Brooks Inner-City Sports program. In the last year the Brooks Inner City Baseball/Softball program increased more than we could ever imagine. We had so many teams and no field to call home for our kids on the South Eastside of San Antonio. Where did these purple teams come from and who are they; some said? So we have been Blessed to now have a new Field at Paul Pytel Park to call home. For the last two years, Karma has provided “The Summer Feeding Program” at our gym. A free lunch program for youth 18 and under, no questions asked, throughout the Summer with fun Games, Educational & Recreational activities to keep kids moving all Summer long.

 

Challenge:

Karma is dedicated to assisting Bexar County youth to meet and overcome many of the challenges they face in their lives. Of the many challenges faced by our youth:

 

Obesity

Studies have shown that San Antonio is known as “one of the fattest cities in the U.S.,” with diabetes at an epidemic proportion with the county diabetes mortality rate (41 per 100,000) being 40 percent higher than the Texas rate (30 per 100,000). Among school-aged children and adolescents, obesity and lack of physical activity have been identified as major factors contributing to the increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes.

 

Alcoholism and underage drinking

Texasleads the nation in the number of alcohol related traffic fatalities among 16 to 20 year old drivers and alcohol remains the drug of choice by young people in the United States. In fact, more young people in the United States drink alcohol than smoke tobacco or marijuana. In 2007, the San Antonio Police Department issued 1336 citations to minors for possession of alcohol with over 400 arrests made for driving while under the influence. Bexar County leads the nation in fatalities due to teen drinking and driving.

 

Teenage pregnancy

A study published in 2004 by Bexar County Metro Health's Project WORTH found that in 2002, the birth rate to female ages 15 to 17 was 43.5 per thousand, 88 percent higher than the national rate of 23.2 per thousand. Texas, Bexar County included, has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation, the statistics showed.

 

The community’s school drop-outs rate is the 2nd highest in 54 major cities in the U.S.

with 4,284 of 137,379 students, grades 7-12 having dropped out during the 2007-08 school year. This is a 3.2% rate for students.

 

 

Gangs and youth crime

The latest available data shows that of the 254 counties in Texas, Bexar County ranked the 4th highest in the number of teen violent deaths, and 5th highest in the number of juvenile violent crime. As of September 24, 2007, there were 8,504 documented gang members residing in Bexar County, with the heaviest concentration reported in the San Antonio’s Westside, Southside, Eastside, and an area known as “The Glen”. Of these documented gang members, 1,389 are juveniles. Many of these juvenile gang members commit violent crimes. Of the juveniles assigned to the Gang Intensive Supervision Probation Unit of the Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department, 82% were referred for assaults and/or felonies, up from the 45% reported in 2005. Overall, in 2006, violent felonies committed by juveniles accounted for 24% of the total felony referrals, with the number of violent felonies up by 16% over the prior year. The result of all this violence can be devastating on a community.

“It takes approximately $1,100 per year per child to provide positive programming

   vs. $35,000 per year to incarcerate an offender.” San Antonio Youth Centers  

 

Minorities and low wages

According to the 2007 U.S. census, Bexar County residents have an average household income that is nearly $20,000.00 under the U.S. average ( U.S. $60,374.00 vs. Bexar County $42,217.00).  The percentage of county residents living below the poverty level was 16.5% (Texas 16.3%).



Goal:
One of Karma’s primary goals is to establish a youth center in the southern quadrant of Bexar County to provide a safe environment for community youth to become empowered to take responsibility for their social and natural environment and begin to bridge the cultural and economic gaps that mark our society today. Secondly, Karma will establish a mobile teen center that can reach youth in all segments of the county and provide programs within the five focus areas (see below).

 


Objective:
Karma’s objective is to provide learning opportunities and activities to educate youth; that there are consequences for their own actions, both positive and negative. We give our youth M&M’s (motivation and momentum) by targeting major setbacks and helping them stay focused on their goals. We believe that if our youth has a realistic reachable goal, they will try harder not to deviate from them. We teach the teens to give back through community service, civic and patriotic duties. Karma wants to help develop the whole child in promoting the spiritual, mental and physical wellbeing through our educational and enrichment programs; Karma will continue its successful sports program to support and enhance Karma’s mission. Through the use of our year round sporting programs, youth participants gain valuable skills in teamwork, sportsmanship, discipline and fair play; while providing good physical workout and exercise which can lead to a healthier lifestyle.

 

Programs:
Karma’s programs are divided into 5 focus areas:

 

Education and Literacy

Youth Athletes

 

Workforce Preparation, Entrepreneurship, and Vocational Training

 

Health and Well-Being

 

Adult Mentorship


Accomplishments:
During Karma’s first 5 years, we are proud of having accomplished the following:

 

2007

  • Army All-American Bowl- 12 youth assisted with football field operations during game.
  • Kid’s Challenge Day- 8 youth assisted with activities for 10,000 youth attendees.
  • Fiesta Parade Booth- 10 youth assisted with food booth as Karma fundraiser.
  • National Night Out Against Crime- 8 youth assisted in hosting event in southeast quadrant of county with over 300 families attending.
  • Spur’s Drug-Free Basketball League - 120 youth participants
  • Halloween Carnival at St. Margaret Mary’s- 24 youth assisted with raising funds for school.
  • Paseo del Rio RiverParade- 4 youth assisted with setting up and served as ushers.

 

2008

  • Army All-American Bowl- 16 youth assisted with football field operations during game.
  • Kid’s Challenge Day
  • Basura Bash
  • Brooks Inner-City Sports Baseball
  • Mission City Soccer
  • Playground Build:
  •       El Carmen
  •       North West San Antonio
  • Movie Night at Brooks Landing
  • National Night Out Against Crime
  • Mission City Soccer
  • Brooks Raven’s Football
  • Brooks Park Development - Bond Committee
  • Halloween Carnival at St. Margaret Mary’s
  • Paseo del Rio – River Parade
  • Spur’s Youth Basketball League
  • Procured use of community gym for indoor sporting events, as well as community building activities

 

2009

  • Purchased van to provide mobile display for Karma and transport sports equipment
  • Army All-American Bowl
  • Kid’s Challenge Day
  • Brooks Inner-City Sports – Football
  • Brooks Inner –City Baseball & Girls Fast Pitch Softball
  • Mission City Soccer
  • Brooks Raven’s Football
  • Halloween Carnival at St. Margaret Mary’s
  • Paseo del Rio – River Parade
  • Spur’s Youth Basketball League

 

 

2010

  • Army All-American Bowl- 12 youth assisted with football field operations during game.
  • Kid’s Challenge Day- 8 youth assisted with activities for 10,000 youth attendees.
  • Fiesta Parade Booth- 10 youth assisted with food booth as Karma fundraiser.
  • National Night Out Against Crime- 8 youth assisted in hosting event in southeast quadrant of county with over 300 families attending.
  • Halloween Carnival at St. Margaret Mary’s- 24 youth assisted with raising funds for school.
  • Paseo del Rio River Parade- 6 youth assisted with setting up and served as ushers.
  • Spur’s Drug-Free Basketball League - 120 youth participants

 

2011

  • Army All-American Bowl
  • Kid’s Challenge Day
  • Signed a lease agreement with City Parks & Rec. for Pytel Park
  • Jennifer Ramos helped build a $98,000 baseball field at Pytel Park
  • Brooks Inner –City Sports Baseball & Girls Fast Pitch Softball
  • Brooks Inner-City Sports – Football
  • Summer Feeding Program – free lunch for anyone 18 and under; no questions asked. Provided activities at our gym to keep kids moving during the summer; in cooperation w/ SA Food Bank & USDA.
  • Mission City Soccer
  • Brooks Raven’s Football
  • Halloween Carnival at St. Margaret Mary’s
  • Paseo del Rio – River Parade
  • Spur’s Youth Basketball League
  • Met with Teens  - Ready to start a 4-H program in 2012.

 

2012

  • Football – Basketball – Baseball/Softball are now a year round sport
  • Selected to be on the 2012 Bond to improve baseball fields and parking at Pytel Park
  • Chartered as Karma 4-H in March
  • Hosted “Motion of Empowerment” a musical event that brought in performers like Patsy Torres and many local talents in a carnival type of atmosphere to raise funds for Karma.

 

 

Sponsors:

City Council Dist. 3 – Rebecca Viagran                                       Best Buy

Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union                                             Sam’s Club

Lowes                                                                                                 Home Depot

Academy                                                                                             Taco Cabana              

Broadway Bank                                                                                  WalMart

HEB

Chick-fil A

Whataburger
Panda Express

San Antonio Park Police Officers Association

Park & Recreation