Buckingham Youth Brigade Celebrates 15th Anniversary

The Buckingham Youth Brigade (BYB), a project of Arlington’s BU-GATA Tenants Association, will celebrate 15 years of achievement – providing educational seminars, leadership workshops and recreational activities to almost 200 Arlington immigrant youth. The Youth Brigade was established in 1998 to reduce educational and employment barriers for youth from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds.

“Tenants created the Buckingham Youth Brigade to increase the number of Arlington teenagers who complete high school and move on to college,” said BU-GATA President Willians Silva.  “Some of these young people have succeeded in getting jobs with Arlington and Alexandria county governments, one has even become a police officer.”

BYB’s after-school program helps youth with math, science and English and teaches them about career opportunities in nursing, psychology, child development and other fields. “This program motivated me to graduate from George Mason University and improved my public speaking skills,” said BYB alumna Vicky Sorto-Sanchez, 24.

The program also encourages teens to engage in civic action like working in homeless shelters and mentoring younger children. “These service activities have really helped our group learn about each other and unite our community,” said Tommy Bayou, 15,  a high school student participating in this year’s Youth Brigade.

Brigade participants have designed and painted two murals—one at the corner of N. Glebe and N. Pershing Drive and another in the new Buckingham Gardens Cesar Chavez Community Center. In 2011, Arlington County recognized the achievements of these teenagers by presenting them with its James Hunter Human Rights Award for community service and leadership development.

Walter Tejada, Chair of the Arlington County Board, will be the keynote speaker. In addition, The Youth Brigade will present aCommunity Award to Arlington County’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program which provided the project with initial funding.


WHEN:                                       Thursday, October 24th, 2013 at 6 PM


WHERE:                                      National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

4301 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA


KEYNOTE SPEAKER:    Walter Tejada, Chair of the Arlington County Board


Contacts:                                     Alyssa Duda and Saul Reyes, 571-483-0345



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