by Tamara Aparton
BMAGIC’s 5th Annual Winter Ball on Friday, Dec. 18, at the Joseph Lee Recreational Center, 1395 Mendell St., San Francisco, is the event that youth in Bayview Hunters Point have been waiting for. All youth ages 14-18 who live, go to school or attend a youth program in Bayview Hunters Point are invited to this fun, positive and safe winter formal dance party to celebrate the end of the year and take pride as their accomplishments are recognized and honored.
Free admission to the formal includes DJ and dancing, dinner and professional photos. Formal dress is required at this alcohol- and drug-free event. Jeans, sports attire and fatigues are not allowed.
Bayview Hunters Point Mobilization for Adolescent Growth in our Communities (BMAGIC) was co-founded in 2004 by the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office to help improve outcomes in the juvenile justice system. BMAGIC and its sister program, the Fillmore-based Mo’ MAGIC, help build capacity of community-based youth and family organizations that assist San Francisco families overcome poverty and violence. Members of BMAGIC and Mo’ MAGIC work to improve economic, educational and juvenile justice for youth and families.
“A loving community of adult allies can make a huge difference in teenagers’ lives,” said BMAGIC Director Yvette Robles. “We want all youth in Bayview Hunters Point to know they have dozens of people and community organizations available to support them. It’s also important that youth have the opportunity to attend positive events that fuel their social skills and development.”
Formal wear is donated by partner organizations, small businesses, UCSF and the Public Defender’s Office. Teens who show up to the formal in street clothes are directed to the donation area to change and are able to keep the clothes they select.
Donations can be dropped off at the BMAGIC office inside the Public Defender’s Office, 555 Seventh St., second floor, San Francisco. Checks to support the event can be made out to Urban Services YMCA c/o BMAGIC. Parents and guardians of Bayview Hunters Point youth are encouraged to chaperone the event.
The BMAGIC Winter Ball is sponsored by the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, the Department of Children, Youth and their Families, Joseph Lee Recreation Center, the San Francisco Police Department, Spice It Up Catering, Renaissance Youth Movement and BAYCAT.
Public Defender Jeff Adachi noted that last year’s Winter Ball drew more than 200 Bayview Hunters Point teens. Young neighborhood residents help plan the party and participate in leadership trainings, event planning and community outreach workshops.
“The Winter Ball is like a junior prom for the youth in Bayview Hunters Point. With the support of adult mentors, youth from different neighborhoods learn how to work together to plan a very special and meaningful event. It’s part of BMAGIC’s mission to empower youth by breaking down barriers between them and help them create positive experiences in their own community,” Adachi said.
The mission of the Public Defender’s Office is to provide vigorous, effective, competent and ethical legal representation to persons who are accused of crime and cannot afford to hire an attorney. Established in 1921, the San Francisco Public Defender has a long, proud history of providing top-notch representation to its clients and championing programs that help people turn their lives around. Tamara Aparton can be reached at Tamara.Aparton@sfgov.org.