The Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks Pacific Region, South District, in conjunction with the C3 Foundation and Pressline Entertainment recently held the “Invention to Innovation, See Yourself–See the Future” Urban Youth Technology Fair 2012 at St. Andrews Park, 8701 St. Andrews Place.

Armed with a mission to expose today’s youth to the knowledge, information and opportunities that can help them build their future through science and technological advancement, program director Derek Haskell and his team at C3 Foundation seek to educate, motivate, and encourage today’s youth to engage self-determination and learning to effectively use today’s technology to help create positive change in their communities, before they enter the working world.

Haskell and his team seized the opportunity to introduce urban youth to aerospace science, eco and green issues, medicine, aquatic and marine sciences, automotive technologies and engineering disciplines, which are not often seen in their community.

“Invention to Innovation, See Yourself–See the Future” provided young people the chance to meet and greet successful African American professionals from the field of technology, in the public and private sectors.

“It was our second year doing the fair, and it was great,” said Haskell. “We partnered with the Tuskegee Airmen to expose the youth to aerospace science as well with the Los Angeles Port. We do a lot of programs in the neighborhood and it’s really all about focusing on the youth and the community as a whole.”

Haskell identified a number of programs that C3 is involved in with the youth in community, but the organization doesn’t leave out the elderly.

“We also have programs which are geared towards closing the digital divide in the community, so we have young people come out and teach the elderly about email and other technology to get keep them updated,” he said.

The C3 Foundation stays busy hosting a community events, either at St. Andrews Park or in Leimert Park every month and the programs are always free to the public.

“We held a community health fair in January where people could come out and get testing and education. In February, for Black History Month we had a cultural youth program, and in March we had a youth fashion seminar in Leimert Park where designers came out and talked to youth about careers in the industry; we are always doing something,” said Haskell. “I’m a product of the parks, so I want to see these types of programs continue.”

As for upcoming projects, the C3 Foundation will host Youth Museum Day on June 16. The program is for youth ages 11-18 and will take students from the 4319 Gallery in Leimert Park, to the California African American Museum, the California Science Center, and the Natural History Museum. Youth will be provided with transportation, breakfast and lunch and the cost is only $20.

To register for Youth Museum Day, call the organization directly at (323) 596-5117 or email 1c3community@gmail.com with “Museum Day Reservation” in the subject line.

The C3 Foundation–community create change–mission is to serve as a centralized hub for transparent, economic-based philanthropic giving to underprivileged and underrepresented communities, both nationally and internationally. For more information on the organization, visit the website at www.onec3.org.