I donated $50 in support of this campaign.
"in honor of Kenji"
"My name is Anthony and I'm glad there was a program like Sacred Rok to give me another chance. Without Mr. Ron Kauk making it possible for us and our Yosemite trips I don't believe I would have come this far."
Anthony is one of our Sacred Rok youth from juvenile hall. We cannot use his real name because he was incarcerated as a minor, after growing up in a family fractured by poverty and substance abuse. Sacred Rok is like family to him. He said about one Yosemite trip, "One of my favorite memories is when we went to a restaurant with Ron and sat down like we were a family gathered up at the dinner table, enjoying a great meal, joking around, and enjoying life."
The trips to Yosemite are transformational – experiencing the healing ceremony of nature and developing mutual respect with trip leader Ron Kauk.
"It's really a blessing when you realize how much a person cares about trying to teach the world and not only what he knows. It was a type of privilege to be with Sacred Rok and achieve more knowledge and motivate me to do better. I lost time with my family but now I'm working as a construction interior repair team member and I'm only seeing me doing better. Thank you Sacred Rok for giving me another chance."
Sacred Rok has partnered with Juvenile Hall in Merced County for 8 years, and with Juvenile Hall in San Benito County for two years. The Merced Probation Department brings the kids up to Yosemite every month, and Ron goes down to their classroom twice a month bringing organic lunch fixings. But when the kids get out, they end up back in their old neighborhood, with no support. They often stay in touch with Ron through Facebook and text, and express the desire to come back to Yosemite. We want to offer them the support they need to rebuild their lives.
Imagine helping these young people to feel safe and find their voice, knowing that they are loved and trusted. And the Sacred Rok model is all about building relationships - we need a mentor/staff to support Ron Kauk, help with transportation, and build a connection with the kids.
It costs more than $90,000 a year to keep a youth locked up.
We want to continue to help Anthony and other kids to experience nature after they get out of juvenile hall. Please help!
And here is a video with some of our incarcerated Sacred Rok youth; their faces are blurred to protect their confidentiality.