Means&Matters
Stories of Money and sustainability

World of Powerful Youth: How can we get the youth more involved?

BY Jon Bell Author & Outdoor Enthusiast

Dec 28th 2020

Ashley Hammock was volunteering in her daughter’s school when she noticed a few things were missing: art programs, home economics, and other activities she enjoyed as a kid.

Ashley wondered: “What can I do to bring some of these types of programs back to Sacramento County? How can we get the youth more involved and make sure they actually have a voice?”

Her answer was to create World of Powerful Youth. The Sacramento nonprofit focuses on enriching and educating youth to help them become successful leaders in the future. Founded in 2014, WOPY now offers programs under 3 major themes: education awareness; art to build self-esteem; and health, sports, and food literacy.

“I wanted to teach them how to balance a checkbook and how to do things they’re not learning in school,” says Ashley.

“I wanted to provide them with skills they were able to utilize after they graduate high school.

Since Ashley launched WOPY, the nonprofit has been making a big difference:

  • It serves between 300 and 500 youth each year, up from 10 in its first year.
  • It has introduced a range of programs, including mentoring, athletics, entrepreneurship, art, gardening, and nutrition.

Ashley and WOPY became Bank of the West customers in early 2020 after attending a bank event for woman entrepreneurs. The fact that Bank of the West has a woman CEO and promotes diversity through efforts like the pitch event matters to Ashley.

“All of our board members are pretty much women, and we all have our own businesses,” she says. “It was awesome being able to meet more powerful women and being able to build those relationships.”

Learn more about Bank of the West’s actions on sustainability and diversity here.

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