By David Drabkin
On weekdays, Oakland resident Cynthia Slater is a Human Resources director at UC Berkeley. On weekends, she transforms the lives of five and six year old children at the Willie Keyes Recreation Center, 3131 Union Street in West Oakland.
Since 2008, together with other volunteers from the Oakland Baha’i community, Cynthia spends her Saturdays promoting “spiritual empowerment” through art and music projects. In addition to providing healthy snacks for children in need, the volunteers teach 10-20 children such basic values as kindness, generosity, community, and love through cooperative, non-competitive games.
Forming bonds and ties of friendship and love between kids and their families has helped her understand the underlying issues in community and community building. Most of all, Cynthia is passionate about her volunteering because she is unlocking hidden potential — she is helping youth “understand that they have innate abilities within themselves to achieve.”
On Saturday, February 26, readers are invited to attend an “Appreciation and Encouragement Brunch,” at the Willie Keyes Recreation Center from 11 a -2 pm.