Female tattoo artists make their mark in Oakland

The artist wears black latex gloves and dips a needle into ink. She then draws blue waves around a colorless outline of the Buddha, carefully wiping excess ink off of her living canvas. The mechanical hum of the mechanized needle doesn’t interfere with the interaction between tattoo artist, Melissa Taylor of Oakland’s Sacred Tattoo, and her client, the recipient of a large back piece. “Tattoos can be symbolic, they can be a tribute or a memorial, ” Taylor said. “It…

Young girls learn about health and fitness through Double-Dutch

Oakland, once a hub for Double-Dutch jump rope competitions, is now staging a revival of the sport as its mission is to help inner city children fight obesity. “We used to have competitions back in 1998, 1999,” said Andriana Mitchell, a girls’ Double-Dutch coach who has been teaching the sport since 2000. “We had a lot of support from parents and the community.” “I love working with kids. It’s my passion,” Mitchell added. “I’m trying to bring Double-Dutch back to…

Bay Oaks Botafogo team kicks their way into college

Over the last couple of years, the Bay Oaks Botafogo 96′ youth soccer team has racked up 129 wins, claimed the California Youth Soccer Association two years in a row, and finished in third place at the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships in July.

Women veterans find peace in Alameda community group

When former Staff Sergeant Starlyn Lara joined the Army fresh out of high school in Roswell, New Mexico, it was a time of peace for those who were serving in the military. Then came September 11. Suddenly, for many who joined the armed forces in search of serving their country—what Lara calls a desire to “be a bigger person than I was”—that peacetime was no more. “I sat there for about an hour, just dazed and confused, in awe of…

Girls Inc. hosts groundbreaking ceremony for future move to Oakland

The energy was palpable, with people filling the entryway, shaking hands and engaging in excited conversations as they waited for the ceremony celebrating the opening of Girls Inc’s new location in downtown Oakland to begin on Thursday. The organization works with girls to help them with literacy, career goals and to learning to care for themselves, both emotionally and physically.

Girls Inc. headquarters moving to Oakland, rehabbing downtown building

Last June, Girls Inc. of Alameda County purchased a five-story building as the site for their new headquarters located in downtown Oakland. The 34,000 square foot structure is strikingly different from their current headquarters in a 1950s warehouse in San Leandro, and it will include staff and administrative offices, a mental health clinic, fitness center, teaching kitchen, and other amenities for the 145 teenage girls who are served by the organization.