Genealogy and Youth

Ancestral Project | Alternatives in Action and Sup. Keith Carson

From February 2011 to June 2013, I had the wonderful opportunity to mentor more than 300 youth in the Alameda County, CA area by teaching them the value of their family history and how to discover and document it. It was a project that I had been waiting years to do, and I was absolutely honored, and ready to take it on. It is one of the best blessings I have ever received.

In short, this program merged personal storytelling and genealogy so that participants are given the opportunity to learn about themselves and are given the skills to communicate what they’ve learned to their communities.  After drawing up a site specific curriculum and planning out our sessions, we worked with a team of volunteers, including members of the African American Genealogical Society of Northern California (AAGSNC), California Genealogical Society and Library (CGS), San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society.  Volunteers were key in helping facilitate genealogy research sessions and participating in intergenerational dialogue with the youth.  the Oakland FamilySearch Library library also partnered with us as the site of many of our sessions, especially for groups of youth such as those in WETA.

Sites for the Ancestral Project were as follows:

  • Spring 2011 sites – McClymonds high school, Alameda County Beyond Emancipation (b2b), Berkeley Technological Academy
  • Spring 2012 sites – McClymonds high school, Alameda County Youth Probation Weekend Training Academy (WETA)
  • Fall 2012 sites -Alameda County Youth Probation Weekend Training Academy (WETA), Alameda County Beyond Emancipation (b2b)
  • Spring 2013 sites – Life Academy, McClymonds High School, Alameda County Youth Probation Weekend Training Academy (WETA)

Media Coverage

KGO (ABC) News, San Francisco, CA, May 12, 2011. “East bay youngsters search for roots and history” by Carolyn Tyler.