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For Immediate Release

S. Bronx Youths to Renovate La Casa de La Raza in Santa Barbara, May 1-7 1999


Us Foundation, a Santa Barbara based non-profit, is sponsoring a group from Banana Kelly's Youth Build program of S. Bronx NY, to help renovate Santa Barbara's La Casa de La Raza May 1-7, 1999. Youthbuild is a self transformation and leadership development program for youths who have dropped out of traditional schools to learn both academic, and trade skills. Ten youths and their instructors from the Banana Kelly Youthbuild Program is coming to Santa Barbara put into practice what they have learned.

Us Foundation is collaborating with City at Peace and several other local organizationsso that youth from both sides of the country to share and learn from each other. "We are establishing a Youthbuild program here for our youth in Santa Barbara. We feel this is a wonderful way for us to share with, and learn from other communities who already have successful Youthbuild programs," said Marilyn Tam, executive director and founder of Us Foundation. "La Casa de Raza is in need of renovation and the S. Bronx youth have the construction skills and the desire to learn about the world outside of their local community. It is a situation of mutual benefit. We are grateful that Banana Kelly has HUD funding to allow them to travel, since we have no money in our budget for that," she added.

The S. Bronx youth will also be offering behind the scenes support for Santa Barbara's City at Peace youth's drama performances at Center Stage Theater May 5 & 6 at 8:00pm. City at Peace, our local conflict resolution training program for at risk youth, is performing a play that they have written the words, music and choreography for. "We are using every opportunity to facilitate more meaningful exchanges between the teams from both coasts, we feel that we all have much to gain from the others' experiences," said Marilyn Tam.

Violence, drugs, and the detailed media coverage of the worst humanity has to offer are making growing up in America more frightening and confusing than ever before. Us Foundation is committed to sponsoring alternative ways for youth to experience the more positive aspects of life. This summer, following last year's successful camp, Us Foundation is organizing another camp for 80 local at risk teens at Camp Whittier by Lake Cachuma, August 23-27. The theme of the camp is "It's Your Life You Get to Choose."

The mission of Us Foundation is to facilitate communication, and to develop and implement local, regional and global action plans to address the economic, social, and environmental issues as we enter the third millennium. Us Foundation is a founding member of the World Peace 2000 Network, candidate for the Best Practice Award from the UN's Habitat II and endorsed by the United Nations’ University for Peace.

Us Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit, totally dependent on the contributions of volunteers in both time and money. We have no paid staff. We are seeking help in the form of human effort and financial support to create these programs.

Please contact Marilyn Tam at tel.: 805-969-7685, fax.: 805-969-1266, email:, website: or PO Box 5780 Santa Barbara CA 93150 for more information.