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The CREATE summer camp at BCM is a five-week program for middle school students who want to immerse themselves in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). As one might expect, BCM’s staff at the camp teach skills like experimentation and the scientific method in their daily programming. However, they also work hard at creating an environment where students learn to work with each other, open themselves up to the world, as well as have fun! One of BCM’s staff members at the camp, Angie Menjivar, particularly enjoys creating this experience for the students.

This is Angie’s second summer working with the CREATE camp. Outside of her summer months, she is a rising senior at Saint Mary’s College where she plans to graduate with a major in Sociology. Angie is proud of her choice to major in sociology because it has expanded her view of the world and of other people. “Learning sociology has opened my mind up, and opened my perspective and point of view. I’m a person who likes to listen to others’ perspectives even though I might not agree with them.” Alongside going through academic workbooks and building catapults with her students, she also brings this considered and open view of the world to the camp classroom. “When a student says a general stereotype, I like to say “Hey, not everyone is like that.” I try to give them more information. I have a sociological viewpoint now, it’s just stuck in my brain.

When she’s not giving her students important life perspectives, she loves having fun with them and just hanging out. She describes herself as someone who is very laidback when working with students, which she has done ever since high school. She likes to joke around with them, and goes out her way to get to know them. Every day at CREATE summer camp, Angie has a policy during break-time to get to know as many of the students as possible. “I like to talk to the other students during break that aren’t my students, because I want to give all the students some attention and get to know every one of them. The students like to play basketball sometimes, and I like to play with them.”

Getting to know them is the most exciting part of the camp for her, and she hopes that making new and long-lasting friendships will be the most exciting part of the camp for the students. She recalls fondly her childhood experience of attending East Palo Alto Tennis & Tutoring (EPATT), an afterschool program that she was a part of from 2nd grade to the end of high school. Through EPATT, she has gotten to know many close friends whose friendships she treasures to this day. “What I’m most excited for is to see how much these students have grown compared to when they first came in. I’m already looking back to the first day when everyone was quiet, and now everyone’s starting to learn each other’s names. I hope they become friends in a way, and when they see each other in the future, they’ll say 'oh hey!’ Those friendships are so valuable.”

Angie has been working with youth for a long time now, but this years' experience of weathering COVID-19 is certainly new to her. “We have to take a lot of policies into consideration. We have to make sure that all the students have their masks on. If they touch a ball or sit on a desk, we have to sanitize everything – to make sure that we provide the students a safe environment, and to make sure that we as teachers have a safe environment too.” Despite the limitations of these necessary public health policies, Angie has found a way to make the day-to-day of the summer camp work for herself and the students in her care. 

Almost every day during this year’s summer camp, Angie starts her day with a smoothie (fruits, peanut butter, flax seeds!) before picking up a student and a co-worker on the way to BCM. Once there, she preps to make sure that her students get the most out of their classes and projects even though they have to be less hands-on than previous years. One of her ideas in the classroom is to offer her students incentives to finish up their projects through a ticketing reward system. One of the projects her students have done with her is making their own ice cream! (Mostly yummy, though some were too salty.) After finishing up her day around late afternoon, Angie likes to chill by getting into video games (she usually loves the outdoors in pre-pandemic times). Animal Crossing is her game of choice for now. 

Angie concludes that she is very thankful for her life and situation right now. She is in a happy place, and she hopes that by teaching at the summer camp, she can help her students, “Grow up and do something cool but also enjoy living their lives now, because they’re kids!”

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We are so proud of our 2020 LiT high school graduates! They have worked so hard and are now on to the next steps of their journey. Our LiT program manager is proud to share with you more about their accomplishments - there is much to celebrate.

Violeta, also known as V to our group, has been a leader at LiT from day one. V has been a part of StreetWorkz and LiT and has also served as a volunteer with VBS and as an intern and classroom leader for CREATE Academy. Some of the things I appreciate most about V are her strength and resilience and heart to give back to others.

V is incredibly mature, driven and responsible and is always willing to share her experiences and story to encourage others. I’ve been so blessed by her desire and ability to serve in so many different capacities, from speaking at our banquet, to leading activities at LiT to bravely sharing her own journey of growth and learning to encourage others. It’s been really special to see how God has specifically used her to encourage and teach students she’s worked with in VBS and CREATE.

Working with kids at BCM helped affirm V’s dream of becoming a teacher, so I’m so excited that she’s graduated from Menlo Atherton High School and will be attending San Francisco State University this fall to study child development to pursue this goal. I am excited to see how God will continue to use her to bless others in her future.

Unlike V, Yenifer joined LiT in the start of her junior year of high school at Menlo Atherton. V brought Yenifer to visit LiT one day and encouraged her to stay, and she quickly became a part of the BCM family. Yenifer has been such a joy to have in program and even as a newer student, she was and is a great leader and example for our younger students and for the rest of our program.

On our retreat last year, she was our only junior and was able to share her story with our group during a sharing time. This encouraged others to do the same and helped students and volunteers become closer. This also led to a special time of prayer and worship for our students. I don’t know if Yenifer knows how much of an impact she’s had on the program, but I’ve seen her learn more about herself and demonstrate incredible thoughtfulness in her reflections on how God is at work in her life and in the lives of others, even during this season of pandemic. I have been so blessed by her attitude, openness and faith and her heart for worship. I know that she has blessed the program immensely. Yenifer also graduated from MA and is going to SFSU.

She hopes to work in health care and obstetrics in the future. I am so proud of both V and Yenifer and know that they have worked incredibly hard to graduate high school and get into college. God has already done amazing things in their lives and I am excited to see them continue to grow in this next season!

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Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 

Lamentations 3:22-23 

June 2020 

Dear BCM Family, 

During these unprecedented times, Bayshore Christian Ministries is grateful for the professionals working on the front lines to provide essential services to our community. Like so many youth-serving organizations, BCM had to quickly adapt to our shelter in place reality by modifying programs to connect with our youth “virtually.” Our team will continue to finish the school year interacting with East of Bayshore youth remotely, even as we gear up for in-person summer programs that will be critical to the children of East Palo Alto’s essential workers. As the health orders continue to evolve, BCM is permitted to reopen its building with the proper safety protocols. For example, we must create classrooms with appropriate social distancing, establish stable, small groups of staff and children, and follow additional procedures to ensure a safe learning environment. 

As I begin my transition away from BCM leadership, the essential nature of our work is clear. We receive daily confirmations from our teens and parents about how much they appreciate the love and support we share with each of them. This is especially helpful given the rising anxiety and stress levels of our students and their families. The academic learning loss during this time of distance learning is expected to be quite high for many of our elementary students. Thus, our mission remains to equip East of Bayshore youth not just academically and in life skills and leadership development, but more importantly, to help them discover and accept the love of Jesus. We desire to shine the light of Jesus into these dark times.

BCM’s summer plan is to offer as robust a program as safety allows: five weeks of daily academic enrichment for both elementary and middle school students. Our faith-based programs will continue to function remotely, building relationships through our Bible Clubs and middle and high school fellowships. We plan to modify our Vacation Bible School program to offer both outdoor, small groups and virtual programming. I love that our work is wholistic! 

Will you support BCM as we continue to reach students in East Palo Alto and Belle Haven? Enclosed you will find a Summer Giving Guide, which explains ways you can be part of BCM's summer ministry. We welcome your support through prayer, volunteer efforts or financial support. Thanks to the Jeremy Lin Foundation, your gift will be matched dollar for dollar and its impact doubled for the first $10,000 raised. To discover your donation options, please visit

I am looking forward to seeing how God will grow our students this summer! 

With gratitude, 

Rolando Zeledon 

Executive Director 

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