UECC Service and History
- Eastside's Rich History
As one of Riverside's oldest and largest residential neighborhoods, the Eastside community enjoys a rich history. It is filled with stories from the African-American and Mexican families who settled in the area. These families were eager to own property, start a business and give their children a better life. Poverty and crime eventually haunted the Eastside. Families struggled to make ends meet, often leaving the next generation in need of guidance and educational support.
- United in Purpose
Despite the hardships, residents and community leaders banded together to revitalize the neighborhood. Businesses partnered with the City of Riverside to enhance the entrepreneurial spirit, while community programs supported Eastside's youth.
- Time for a Change
In the early 1990s, the Eastside community was known for its large minority, low socio-economic population. Community unrest prevailed. Families struggled, and Eastside's youth were in great need of academic assistance and youth programs.
- A Unique Partnership
In 1994, officials from the City of Riverside, the Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) and the University of California, Riverside (UCR) came together to help Eastside's youth and community at large. The result? The University Eastside Community Collaborative (UECC). UECC's purpose is to provide a "safe zone" for families and students to learn and engage in their community. Enlisting college students as AmeriCorps members, the UECC launched its pilot program in 1995. After one year of service, 149 UCR student-mentors had logged over 5,000 tutoring hours for 729 elementary students and 78 adolescents.