CHICO – Tina Tindall helps children find better choices in life and a place to be and be safe.
I was so impressed when I spoke to her. Tindall, along with her partner Ayana Venalve, sets up a youth community center called Trust and Believe in Chico.
“It’s important to get kids electives, work on art, and use computers,” Tindall said.
The center is only for high school students, so it caters for grades 9-12. The center is open Monday to Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Tindall and Venalve have been circulating the idea for the center for a few years.
“We’re trying to get kids off the streets and focus on something positive,” Tindall said. “In the summer we plant gardens. We help make children happy.”
The center will most likely open around Thanksgiving break or right after.
“Kids need this during the holidays,” Tindall said. “Children have trauma and need something to inspire them.”
The center will also have a drug and alcohol program. Tindall said she saw students fail and drop out of school and end up on the streets.
Tindall worked in behavioral intervention at Pleasant Valley High School and saw crimes and other disturbing events happen.
“Children will be in a safe environment and will be able to be who they want to be. Kids often feel judged,” Tindall said. While working at Fairview High School in 2012, she told students, “You may be from different gangs, but when you’re here, you’re family and united.”
Tindall said she saw goth kids ganging up with gang members.
“They became best friends because they shared art,” she said.
Tindall said the students have been through a lot with COVID-19 and the fires.
“You’ve lost how to communicate in a healthy way. The center will give children space and better opportunities. We use community sources,” she said.
Tindall said that instead of suspending children, they should complete community service hours.
“We want children to make better decisions. I’m tired of seeing violence. We want to show kids that they’re worth it,” Tindall said.
She will bring in a music teacher from Butte College and teach the students music.
Tindall worked as a campus supervisor and advocated for children and their parents.
“I want us to believe in ourselves and know what we’re doing as a good team. Besides, I’ll be my own boss!” she said.
Tindall said the students would have a lot of fun witnessing the ribbon cutting of the center. She said most of them had never attended one before.
“Booths will be set up and Kona’s will be making sandwiches,” Tindall said.
The center is hosting a concert on November 18 from 6pm to 9pm
Trust and Believe can be found on Instagram at @trust_and_believe_center. The center can be reached at 354-0410.
A ribbon cutting will be held at 1095 Nelson St. Suite 110 at noon on Wednesday to mark the official launch of Trust and Believe.
Jennie Blevins’ weekly business column is published on Sundays. For any suggestions, comments or ideas, email her at [email protected]