Youth Stories

Nobody embodies or communicates the Destiny spirit like our youth.

Watch and read what Destiny means and how Destiny impacts some of the members of our youth community.

The DAC classes I attended for ‘at risk’ youth in elementary school were filled with valuable lessons about the acceptance of each person’s individuality and abilities, the building of friendships and a nurturing space, and of finding courage and leadership skills. Soon after I started participating in Destiny programs, things rapidly started to turn around for me.”

Daudi Manent’o

Destiny Alumni (1990 - 1997)

College Graduate, Scientist

I think it is fun and exciting to learn how to dance and do each move and do martial arts to learn how to defend ourselves. If someone is trying to hurt us, we use our fighting skills, but only if we have to. We use our feet and our words first.”

Rosalyn Green

Age 10

Peralta Elementary School in Oakland

Growing up in Destiny, I didn’t know how special it was to have a safe place where I was nurtured creatively and emotionally, and supported to make deep connections with peers from totally different economic, racial, and cultural backgrounds.”

Chandrika Francis


Dance Program

When I got my first belt stripe, let me tell you: Spielberg – watch out! because at Destiny, not only did I find a practice that made me confident in my body, not only did I find a community of teachers and peers I wanted so badly to be just like, not only did I find a philosophy, a code, every word of which articulated just how I saw myself and world around around me.

Ethan Zatko


Current Destiny Program Manager

Being involved with Destiny has shaped my childhood and my new adulthood in ways I am only now being able to realize. It has given me sisters and brothers and mentors and afforded me the opportunity to celebrate our differences and our similarities as a community.”

Amber Espinosa-Jones