Building Lives Inc. (BLINC)

Building Lives INC.

Building Lives INC.To Empower, Inspire, and Connect

 

BLINC started out as a ten-week program bringing students together from all backgrounds to share insights, work through struggles, and feel supported in their journey.

Today, nearly a decade has passed, and BLINC has grown into a truly unique program, open to all high school aged students in the Ojai Valley. Most recently Aaron Gardner, educator and poet, lead the group with weekly meetings involving food, friends, writing, sharing, and listening.

BLINC was traditionally broken down into 3 themes: Character Building/Empowerment, Vocational Training/Role Models, Storytelling/Goal Setting. The first hour of every night is used as an Open Mic Forum where those who feel comfortable can read personal pieces of writing or perform songs. The second hour features a writing activity or guest speaker, group activities, and/or questions. Mentors have ranged from passionate business owners to young professionals to free spirits that have traveled the world learning.

BLINC participants gain self-confidence, a deeper understanding of their potential, and learn different approaches to establish and accomplish goals. According to program facilitator Aaron Gardner, “BLINC is a place to find your voice and be heard, to express yourself without fear or judgement, to manifest your beauty and power through words, and to find a community of young people who support you.”

  • Kenzie and Gus

    Thank You for Attending MLK Jr. Day, Community Celebration 2020!

    We are so grateful for the awesome youth on the 2020 MLK Jr. Day Committee! A small group planned and hosted the 20th annual MLK Jr. Day Community Celebration on Monday, January 20, 2020. Julie Tumamait, a beloved Chumash elder, brightened everyone’s day with a beautiful blessing and opening ceremony. Several classes of young kids captivated and entertained the audience with songs and a play; teen students from Villanova and Ventura inspired and enlightened with powerful poetry and spoken word. Beloved local musicians Perla Batalla, Allan Thornhill, Martin Young, and John Espinoza played glorious music for all to enjoy. Susan Pelfrey, a chosen family member of the Kings, shared personal stories about Dr. King and his family. Youngsters and elders played Peace Sticks together in Libbey park, and kids got their faces painted by Ventura Interact. Lastly, King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech played loudly from speakers, his voice and energy omnipresent and uplifting for all who were downtown.

    Tentatively, committee meetings will resume on Wednesdays starting in summer, 2020, on Nordhoff HS Campus (Email us for exact location). To learn about our 2019 event, visit HERE!

  • OVYF Ripples Program ROCKS

    OVYF is planning another great RIPPLES program. This year, in partnership with Learning to See, we invite a dozen youth to join us for a series of experiential art workshops and local artist tours. Space is limited for this free program; please contact us to be notified when we reschedule and we are free to gather together again. Last year’s participants went rock climbing with Trails By Potter, hit up a slam poetry night at Da Poetry Lounge in West Hollywood, and created art with local Ojai artists. Read more on the RIPPLES page…

     

  • BLinc Graduation

    Building Lives, Inc. Postponed Until Future Notice

    BLINC is a beloved OVYF program that brings Ojai youth together weekly throughout the school year. High-school students from across the Valley are welcome to join us for good company, to play Peace Sticks, and enjoy music and food– all free, as always. Once school resumes, we will convene on Wednesdays at Nordhoff HS, from 3-5P. Feel free to call or email with questions.

    More on the BLINC page…