Youth Making a Difference in City Heights
Although the buildings at 4185 Fairmount Avenue in City Heights had undergone extensive renovation in the summer of 2013, La Maestra Community Health Centers (LMCHC) was in dire need of a new railing system for its growing Teen Center.
What remained was a broken metal railing that was an eye sore for those passing by daily. On October 12, 2013, construction began with direction from a local teenager.
Derek Shafer, a scout and sophomore at Westview High School (and whose father is an alumni of the local Hoover High School) was in search of a project that would not only help teens, but also seniors. The La Maestra Foundation has started a “Generations” program that seeks to integrate all ages and cultures. One aspect is developing an After-School Program.
“With the help of my dad and fellow scouts, we raised over $900 for materials and spent a couple months planning” said Derek. “The best part was seeing it all come together in one long day!”
The railing now serves as a landmark for displaying the positive changes in City Heights. Zara Marselian, Chief Executive Officer, was on hand to witness the final touches.
“This is a huge benefit to all that use the services here at La Maestra. All the planning and hard work is very much appreciated. It is great to see teenagers take on responsibility and excel.”
The new railing system is just one of many new upgrades to the LMCHC buildings along Fairmount. It coincides with the opening of the Teen Center After-School Program that holds sessions on Mondays from 4-6pm. Teens have the opportunity for healthy snacks, homework assistance, and learning a variety of skills from Art, Music, Leadership, and Technology.
La Maestra Community Health Centers is a Federally Qualified Health Center located in City Heights, a community that is home to more than 90,000 residents. Many of the City Heights residents are recently settled refugees and immigrants from over 60 countries, with unique health and well-being needs. LMCHC has additional health center locations in El Cajon, Lemon Grove, and National City, and four school-based health clinics in City Heights. To learn more about La Maestra Community Health Centers, please visit www.lamaestra.org