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Best Local Nonprofit

Struggling Though These Hard Times

July 22, 2009, 12:00 am

1 Warehouse 21
1614 Paseo de Peralta

Warehouse 21 is exactly what one would expect a youth-oriented nonprofit to look like: a rambling warehouse, stenciled wall art, unintentional poster collages and thousands of origami crane chains. It seems almost too much like a teenager’s ideal bedroom to possibly be a successful organization in the real world, except that it is and has been for 13 years—although its new building is only a year old.

Here, Executive Director Ana Gallegos y Reinhardt explains, teenagers and young adults up to age 24 can “get paid to learn in all the little industries,” such as merchandising, fashion, printmaking, marketing and digital arts. W21 also provides a safe, fun place where teenagers can hang out or attend any of the very loud, very popular concerts hosted on the premises throughout the year.

Right now it’s even more important to impart money-earning skills to the next generation, but things have been difficult at the nonprofit, economically. The W21 staff has learned, according to Gallegos y Reinhardt, “to do more with resources, less with funding,” and W21 is still in large part “run on energy” from both the staff and the teenagers.

Everyone involved is just that committed. Help is still needed from the community, though, “to turn on the engine” and really crank out some fine future citizens. (Caroline K Gorman)

2 Kitchen Angels, 1222 Siler Road, 505-471-7780
3 Food Depot, 1222 Siler Road, 505-471-1633



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