Maintained by a Seven Tepees senior, the youth blog is called 7 Voices and is a place where Seven Tepees youth participants can get updates on things happening in the Learning Center programs. It is updated weekly with information on upcoming trips and major events, birthdays, videos, pictures, and work that youth want to contribute to the website!
Sean Wilson Memorial
On July 11, 2011, 7 Tepees lost one of our shining stars. 20-year-old Sean Wilson was shot to death outside his Hayes Valley home in San Francisco.
Sean was a 2009 high school graduate of the 7 Tepees program. He was set to move to Los Angeles to begin college this month (September 2011).
This might have been one of those stories that people scan by in the newspaper if it weren’t for Sean’s family, friends and all of his 7 Tepees family who are stepping forward to make sure he is not forgotten and that he doesn’t become another statistic on the city’s homicide list.
Sean graduated two years ago and had been working at Abercrombie in San Francisco to save money to put together with his 7 Tepees’ scholarship to start his higher education. He was excited about making this big step in life.
He continued to stay active in 7 Tepees, showing up at the learning center to mentor his younger brother A.J. and cousin Trey who are also a part of the youth program. His sister Terri Lynn began with the program this past summer.
A.J. looked up to his big brother and says "Sean was a good loving person. He was always there for his family and friends and he was a good father”. He recalls that Sean could be tough and hardheaded but also how much love he carried with him.
Sean’s mother Catina, also shares that Sean was his “own man, loving, but very clear about his boundaries and stood for what he believed”.
At Abercrombie in San Francisco, fellow employees remember that he was a “happy guy, always laughing and telling jokes”. His manager, Jared Garcia says “nothing got to him, and it can be busy here.”
Eric Yen knew Sean from high school when the two would play basketball together. Eric says “Sean tried hard in everything...and he had a great sense of humor”. “He was fun to be around, very open and laid back” a tearful Amanda Najieb told us. “He had just had his birthday and he was excited to go to school this fall.”
Sean was truly one of our miracle stories at 7 Tepees and he was just on the precipice of stepping out into the world to make his mark and do what all big brothers do...guide the way for his 3 younger siblings.
We love him and miss him and ask that you help us not let his name and presence be forgotten.
To date, San Francisco police have not solved Sean’s murder. Keep him alive by reposting this tribute on your Facebook page or send to others in your address boxes.
Sean leaves behind his young son Ta’Sean, 3 younger siblings, A.J., Terri Lynn and Cher’rell, as well as his cousin Trey, and his mother Catina.
Seven Tepees' participant, Carlos, created a special blog to showcase our youth
and activities! Please read to get the inside scoop coming straight
from our youth's perspective. Visit seventepees.blogspot.com or click
on the image above.
Elsa Ramos knows what it’s like to live in a tough neighborhood. Growing up near the intersection of 16th and Mission is not easy, especially when you’re sharing a one-bedroom apartment with a large family of eight. When her dad got sick and had to stop working, her family ran into money problems. To help, she found a job that would help her mom pay the bills and also opened a savings account.
When Elsa joined Seven Tepees along with two of her sisters, she was the shyest girl in the program. After participating in environmental trips, she made many new friends with both students and staff. From rock climbing to snowboarding, youth created a strong and family-like community by cooking, cleaning, and playing activities together. "This program taught me how to step out of my comfort zone and try new things. I remember on every field trip, the staff would tell us, 'Step up and step out of your comfort zone.' Now I am very open minded and willing to take risks. They helped me believe in myself and realize that anything is possible, and that is the most precious lesson in life," Elsa says.
One of the most important lessons she learned from Seven Tepees was how to give back. Today, she works as a middle school tutor at Seven Tepees and all the youth see her as a role model and leader. She is currently attending City College of San Francisco, and will be transferring to UC Santa Cruz next year.