OAKLAND (KPIX) -- For programs like the East Oakland Youth Development Center, every dollar counts so a $100,000 donation from Amazon was a cause to celebrate Thursday.
EOYDC was one of three local groups chosen for six-figure cash infusions because of their commitment to providing safe and supportive spaces for students afterschool.
Danika Hunt, who coordinates EOYDC's afterschool leadership program, said the groups provide much needed mentoring.
"We have so many like awesome people to look up to that look like our kids that look like us," Hunt said. "I think that is so important to see somebody that you could be."
EOYDC helps students work on their academics outside of the classroom, giving them attention to any gaps they may face for their grade level.
It also offers activities that develops important social skills. Children in Kindergarten all the way up to young adults benefit from the services at the center.
"The ability to be able to be themselves, to be able to give back to community," said Landon Hill, the chief program officer at the Center. "It means the world to us every time that someone decides to invest in our young people and entrust us with that."
Hill is an example of someone who benefitted from the opportunities at EOYDC and now gives back as a staff member. He spent part of his teen years as a youth leader and came back after getting a master's degree.
"There is something more than just having a job but there's something about being mission driven," he told KPIX 5.
In addition to EOYDC, Oakland Promise and Tech Exchange received donations.
Oakland Promise works with families to help students pursue a variety of higher education options including college and technical schools.
Tech Exchange helps schools and individual students get access to computers for free or at an affordable price.
Hunt focuses on children between kindergarten and fifth grade. Her activities are focused on developing important academic skills. She is proud to work in East Oakland and have an impact on young children each day, seeing the difference the nonprofit can make by spending extra time with these students outside of school.
"I get to be the role model that I didn't have as a kid and that to me just means the world," said Hunt
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