Kids Tell Their Stories at Dogpatch Media Center

Kids Tell Their Stories at Dogpatch Media Center

Last month, 200 people gathered at a suite in the American Industrial Center, on Third Street, to celebrate the fifth anniversary of BACYAT, a little-known Dogpatch jewel. BAYCAT, an acronym for the Bayview Hunters Point Center for Arts and Technology, offers education and employment to under-served youth, particularly in Southeast San Francisco. But BAYCAT is no ordinary training program. The nonprofit blends free, digital media classes for at-risk youth with socially conscious entrepreneurship.

Inspired by the work of Bill Strickland – who serves as president of Manchester Bidwell Corporation, a pioneering enterprise dedicated to fostering community through art and entrepreneurship – BAYCAT was founded in 2005 by Potrero Hill resident Villy Wang, who directs the organization. Wang grew up in New York City public housing, where her mother taught her the value of art, education, entrepreneurship, and storytelling. Stints as a banker, lawyer and a credentialed teacher prepared Wang for her BAYCAT role. “I started BAYCAT with the idea that the power of media is something that needs to be harnessed… especially to help under-served teens,” Wang said.

In its first semester BAYCAT taught three students in an undeveloped space on Third Street. Today, it’s nearly outgrowing its stunning warehouse space. Wang raised $1 million to remodel the space, and designed it herself to…read more

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