321 W. 102nd St. Los Angeles, California 90003
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How the Gangs in the ‘Hood Became a Fairy Godmother ~ by Dolores Sheen
It was 1980 in South Central Los Angeles – next door to Watts. There was combat between the ‘red’ and the ‘blue’. Sheenway students feared for their lives and often missed classes to avoid the dangers of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Comedian/actor, Richard Pryor, agreed to help Aunt Dolores organize a hallmark summit to establish dialogue with the warring factions, and to find at least one resolution to foster more peace in the ‘hood. After two meetings with local gangs and with cholos in East L.A., all agreed that the bottom line was “jobs or jail”. Mr. Pryor made a generous donation to purchase connecting land parcels within our city block, and to expand outreach for comprehensive education to the underserved, and for the perpetuity of The Sheenway Experience to continue efforts toward upward and lateral mobility. Subsequently, the Adult Literacy Program was born, and the Sheen Educational Center became a refuge for community youth and adults, and hope for those with dreams deferred.
Sheenway had a good crop of pumpkins that fall, and after exhausting bake sales of pumpkin pies, Aunt Dolores created a recipe for pumpkin bread and gifted
Mr. Pryor with several loaves in appreciation for his generous contributions of self and cash donations. He ordered more and more loaves, and the Sheenway Student Bakery was born!
Thirty-seven years of serving a variety of sweet bread products to private circles of family, friends and supporters, including luminaries such as Walter Matthau, Olivia Cole, Sir Ian McKellen, Lionel Richie, A Taste of Honey, and Jodie Foster, have advanced a gesture of thanks tha was baked for our hero, into an entrepreneurial opportunity for striving community youth...pumpkin magically turned into royal vehicles for the newly claimed princes and princesses of the ‘hood. Today’s youth is determined not to be criminal statistics. Sheenway’s PREP (Professional Readiness & Entrepreneurial Proficiency) Program is a prevention of crime, a hand-up to the power of education and to the greatness that is earned with honest work.
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