BY JORDAN KILLEBREW | June 24, 2019
In the fall of 2018, a student at Lompoc High School approached math teacher Jacob Brown, inquiring about creating a Black Student Union (BSU) for African-American students on campus. Brown worked with this student and other staff from neighboring high schools to create the charter for Lompoc High School’s own BSU. In March 2019, the Lompoc High School BSU, with support from the Endowment for Youth Committee (EYC), sent a delegation of representatives to the United Black Student Unions of California (UBSUC) Convention in Bakersfield, California.
“I want to empower our African-American students,” said Brown, advisor for BSU. “It’s important to me that they have opportunities like UBSUC.”
With a theme of “Colors of Tomorrow” the UBSUC convention brought together BSUs from across the state. “It was refreshing, I could relax and just be,” said Michael Lewis, freshman and Sergeant at Arms for Lompoc High School BSU. “Being around people like me, that share my culture and interest, made me realize I am not alone.”
The conference offered opportunities for students to network, learn, and see themselves reflected on a large stage. The convention also included a tour of California State University Bakersfield, as well as free time to enjoy a pool and fitness activities.
“It was so powerful to have us all come together,” said Alena Garcia, a freshman member of BSU. “Meeting new people was inspiring and showed me that together we can change the future.”
Mr. Brown, who also attended Lompoc High School, recalled that when he was a student there were more African-Americans attending the school, but there wasn’t a push for a BSU. Nowadays, with less representation, the students have prioritized the club and opened membership.
“This club isn’t just for black people,” said Clifton “CJ” Yearwood, freshman and Treasurer for BSU. “This club is for anyone that identifies with our culture and wants to be in community with us. We are looking to grow our membership, have events at school to showcase our culture, and to give back to our Lompoc community.”
Since 1986, EYC has been one of the largest organizations on the California Central Coast dedicated to the educational success and advancement of Black/African American youth. EYC currently has an Agency Endowment Fund with the Santa Barbara Foundation, which means they entrust their funds to the foundation for one of our investment portfolios, and benefit from our comprehensive investment process, strong fiduciary oversight, and expertise in investment management and administration.
Please visit EndowmentForYouth.org to learn more about their commitment to our youth, their success, and their future.
For more information on Agency Endowments, please visit SBFoundation.org.