Beyond Emancipation

Tim: Giving Back

Tim is an inspiring example of a young person paying it forward and giving back to his community. Tim teaches hip hop dance and music to school kids, many of them refugees, throughout Oakland.

“I think it’s important for young people to have a creative and artistic outlet for their words and feelings,” Tim shares. “Working with children is emotionally rewarding for me, and it’s also a learning experience. I learn how to be patient and find ways to communicate.”

Tim hasn’t always had the capacity to give back. Tim was homeless for almost two years and came to B:E for housing.

Through B:E’s host housing program, a family friend offered Tim a room in their home for two years. In that time, Tim says, “I was able to go to school, maintain a part-time job, and establish the framework for independence.”

While Tim was in our host housing program, we helped him apply for a housing voucher with the county. He has been living and thriving in his own home since last year.

“Home is my safe place,” Tim tells us. “For years I tried to fill that emptiness, searching for a home, and now that I have it, it’s where I want to be.”

With a stable and safe place to call home, Tim recently graduated from community college. B:E’s book money, laptop stipend, and transportation programs helped him through school. Tim is now applying to Cal State East Bay to pursue a career in juvenile justice.

“I initially wanted to become a juvenile defense attorney but after working directly with the community, I hope to find work that will also allow me to help outside the courtroom.”

With support from B:E and through his own discipline and hard work, Tim is becoming the adult he wants to be.

“I can take on a bigger responsibility in society than being just a foster youth. I can shed that label of being helpless and instead help others,” Tim shares.