Improving the Life Chances of Vulnerable Youth
Dear AES Friends and Family,

I hope this message finds all of you and your families safe and in good spirits. It’s been a challenge to say the least, but we believe that we will come out on the other side of this a stronger organization. Our young people continue to inspire me with their dedication and creativity in creating innovative ways of reaching other young people. With themes around mental health and models that focus on positive communications, they continue to push forward in spite of all that is going on.

To that end, I encourage you to use this time to find true connections with your family, friends, and neighbors. It’s the time to really think about what we can accomplish on the other side of this pandemic. It’s the time to see all the kindness that’s in the world, and not get sucked up with the negativity.

This is our hope - that we can and will come together to do remarkable work on the other side of crisis. So, let’s commit to being there for all people, especially our youth, and remember that together, in the near future, it will be our time to connect, engage and love all that we are and all of the possibilities that are in front of us. I look forward to seeing and connecting with all of you real soon. Until then, stay positive and let's keep pushing forward!
With Respect and love,
Charles "CC" Carter
Young Artists Connect in Virtual Voices of Change
In response to COVID-19 and sheltering in place, AES created a space for young people to come together virtually and use their talents to express how they are feeling during this time.

AES's first Virtual Voices of Change Community event took place on April 24th. Seven young artists shared songs, spoken word, and digital art. As shared by Performer Akima,"My talent helps me get the dark thoughts out of my head and onto paper. Out with the dark and in with the light - singing it out or writing spoken word. Struggling with mental illness or trying to maintain everything while being at home is very hard, especially for young people suffering at home from an abusive household. I love that we are being provided a platform for our voices to be heard. I love to get my voice out to express what people are feeling."

The next Virtual Voices of Change Community event will take place on May 22nd. Encourage young people you know to join the community by submitting a video of their talents to .

Check out this video of Performer Keni talking about the inspiration for his talent:
Street Talks Give Youth Virtual Voice
During this time of social distancing, the AES Street Team launched the new Street Talks initiative to create a virtual space for youth and adult allies to come together to talk about how COVID-19 is affecting young people. Weekly topics have ranged from suspension of ACT/SAT testing requirements to education inequality during sheltering at home.

As shared by Program Director Ana, "There is a heart work connection in everything that we do. Although COVID-19 has stopped our in-person programs, it hasn't stopped the methodology in how we empower young people. No matter if it's a Zoom session, YouTube video, or Instagram/Facebook post, we are always trying to connect heart to heart and empower youth to speak truth to power."
Check out this abbreviated version of a recent Street Talk about how COVID-19 is affecting seniors, entitled "From Senioritis to Coronavirus." You can watch full recordings of AES Street Talks on AES' YouTube Channel or find them here on AES' website .
Play and Connect - Supporting Youth Virtually
AES is launching a new initiative in May that focuses on the first component of our programming philosophy - PLAY. We believe that to truly support and empower young people, our programs need to include Play, Connection, and then Teaching.

However, with social distancing, online school, and new home responsibilities, our youth have lost their in-person social outlets. This new initiative will create a virtual space for young people to PLAY virtually and reconnect socially with their friends and other young people.

As shared by Street Team Member Jose, "The new initiative will give us the opportunity to connect with young people in a fun, creative way that we hope will encourage them to stay positive throughout this unprecedented time. I am most excited about the relationships that will develop as we host fun virtual events such as game nights and DJ competitions."
We Appreciate Our Volunteers!
April was National Volunteer Appreciation Month
AES would not be able to help vulnerable youth without our generous volunteers who give of their time, energy, and talents to help our programs be successful. Thank you to all of our volunteers! Your Heart Work makes a difference!
Want to Volunteer Virtually?
AES volunteers are still active and helping (virtually) during this time. Would you like to know how you can be an AES Virtual Volunteer? Email for more information.
Thank you Sacramento Kings Foundation!
On February 20th, AES was honored to be selected by the Kings Foundation to be a charity benefactor of their 50/50 Raffle. Our team had a great time partnering with Kings Foundation staff to encourage others to buy tickets. And at the end of the night, the Kings Foundation donated $1695 to AES from the raffle proceeds. Thank you Sacramento Kings Foundation for investing in vulnerable youth!
Thank You Golden 1 Credit Union!
On March 8th, AES had the honor of participating in Golden 1's Charity Shootout during the Kings vs. Raptors game. Representing AES, Anthony made a layup, free throw, and 3-pointer in 45 seconds - just barely missing a half court shot! Golden 1 presented AES with a $4000 donation for the three shots made within the time frame. What an exciting night! Thank you Golden 1 for letting AES participate in your Charity Shootout and for treating AES youth, volunteers, and staff to the Golden 1 Suite!
Thank YOU to our Monthly Donors!
Monthly Givers Keep AES Programs Going!
During this time of social distancing, monthly supporters allow AES to adapt to virtual programming, keep youth staff employed, and continue to provide support, education, and connection for young people. Thank you to AES' generous recurring donors! Your monthly support is needed more than ever.
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Social distance doesn't mean emotional distance - connect with us virtually!
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