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Our mission is to create pathways to college, employment, and entrepreneurship for Compton youth through engagement with education & the arts. 



The dream started at Willard Elementary in Compton, where Sara Bomani volunteered in her friend’s classroom to teach arts education to 3rd graders.  



Community Arts: Re-Imagining Education (C.A.R.E.) was born after Bomani and Jennifer Alvarado met while working on their Master of Art Education degrees at California State University, Long Beach.  



Bomani led over 400 hours of community service, including the painting of 70 community murals at 10 public schools in the Compton Unified School District and provided free art classes at local elementary and middle schools.



Community conversations took place at City Church of Compton, regarding the needs of the community. After researching the statistics and witnessing the challenges surrounding education, crime, poverty and unemployment, an expanded vision seemed necessary.



Unearth and Empower Communities was born.

1st UEC Summer Art Camp serving over 80 students



Each One. Teach One. After School Program started with 15 families

1st Ladies of Integrity Retreat

1st Men of Integrity Retreat

1st Trip to Mexico to volunteer at orphanage

1st EntreArts Summer Internship Program learning about entrepreneurship



1st High School Graduate & College Scholarship awarded



Increased the number of families served to 30 at our after school program



Awarded over $8,000 in college scholarships to graduating seniors and college students



Students learn how to play the ukulele at our Each One. Teach One. after school program



UEC college student teaches at Summer Art Camp

Featured in VoyageLA magazine (click to read)



Created Houses of STEAM for Compton families to experience building projects that are related to science, technology, engineering, art and math.

Hired 1st Intern

Featured in New York Times op-ed article by David Brooks (click to read)


Created the Little Creators program to provide FREE activities and art supplies for a fun, interactive sensory play experience for our littlest students (0-4 years) in their own home!


Awarded $10,000 in college scholarships to graduating seniors and college students

UEC Staff-low quality.jpg
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Registered Charity: 46-3566978


Houses of STEAM Staff:
Barak, Sara, Kora, Paty & Jen




De'Jon Jackson is the Director of Operations and the OSH Officer for The ACLU Foundation of Southern California.  De'Jon has found success as a small business owner and entrepreneur in the fields of engineering and nonprofit management. He consults on multi-million dollar projects for community based non-profits and develops operations plans and budgets.  He has a passion for health, wellness, and investing in other people.

De'Jon Jackson

Non-Profit Management

UEC President


Amber Kim has over 20 years of experience in managing HR strategies for non-profit organizations in Southern California, with the ACLU, KHEIR Center, Goodwill Industries, and currently with Planned Parenthood as the Vice President of Human Resources. She is founder and Chief Human Resources Consultant for People Compass LLC, an HR and management consulting firm. Amber is deeply committed to improving the communities she serves through her work in providing opportunities for people, and partnering with organizations in creating an equitable and diverse workplace culture, championing change, and investing in employees’ well-being, growth, and success. 

Amber Kim

Human Resources Management

UEC Vice President


Bruna is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has been working as a children’s mental health therapist for the past five years. She has a husband and two beautiful kids. One of the treasures we appreciate about Bruna, in addition to her generous spirit, is that she is multi-lingual and is raising her children to learn Portuguese, Spanish and English.

Bruna Soares-Thompson

Family Therapy & Social Work

UEC Secretary


Victor currently works for SCS Engineers and is enjoying 17 years as an Environmental Design Engineer in the areas of Landfills, Litigation, Remediation, Evaluations and Geology.  He was elected a deacon at his church, has been married for 12 years and is a father of five.

Victor Chew

Environmental Engineer

UEC Treasurer

"My kids create things daily. It gives them life and I believe that Unearth and Empower's programs will equip them to think deeper and bigger and spark new ideas for them to run with."
~Charrise, parent



Barak Bomani

Executive Director

& Co-Founder

Barak is the Executive Director & Co-Founder of Unearth and Empower Communities. He and his partner Sara create pathways to college, employment and entrepreneurship for Compton youth through engagement with STEM education and the arts.  Barak, a revolutionary educator who disrupts broken educational systems, was handpicked to be the founding principal of a charter school in Oakland, CA (first high school built in over 40 years).  Bomani and his team of educators created a school culture where 100% of senior graduates, African American and Latino students, earned at least one acceptance letter to a four-year college. A huge advocate of social emotional learning and what he calls heart, mind & soul work, Bomani curates safe and healthy spaces for communities to heal from trauma and to re-imagine a culture of living free in a diverse world.  Bomani is a 3-time business owner, community activist, artist, published author & songwriter, cook, worship leader and lover of tennis.  Barak earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from Dartmouth College and his Master of Arts in Educational Leadership & Supervision from San Jose State University, where he graduated with highest honors. He is married and has two sons.


Sara Bomani

Co-Founder &

Co-Executive Director

Sara Bomani is the Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director of Unearth and Empower Communities. The UEC vision started in 2008 when she volunteered to teach art in her friend’s classroom in the Compton Unified School District. With a bachelors in Graphic Design and a masters in Arts Education from Cal State Long Beach, Sara loves to share her artistry that she learned from her mother while growing up. Sara has created art camps and workshops that have served over 1,000 youth in Paramount, Long Beach and Compton over the past 13 years. Sara created and coordinated the painting of over 70+ murals on school campuses throughout Compton Unified School District. As a business owner of Color Your World Design Studios, she has created art and gardening classes for homeschooled youth as well as providing graphic design services for over 15 years. One of the treasures we appreciate about Sara is how she always finds a way to include all kids regardless of their abilities to create art.

“My daughter joined the program last year, and she learned so much. Most importantly, she was able to step out of her comfort zone to participate and speak at the in-person events. She looked forward to it every Monday and Sunday Fun Day.” ~Marta, Houses of STEAM parent



Valerie is UEC's current Program Assistant. Valerie attended Paramount High School, and during her senior year she volunteered over 40 hours for UEC. She was a mentor to our K-5 students before she started to attend Cerritos College. Upon high school graduation, she earned a $500 college scholarship from UEC for her exemplary commitment to our community.  In her new role with UEC, she is responsible for assisting with our three program areas of art, education and pathways. She is also currently enrolled in the Impactful Bites Culinary Arts program at Compton YouthBuild. One of the treasures we appreciate about Valerie is her inquisitiveness and desire to always learn something new.


Program Assistant


Brisa currently attends Long Beach Community College as a freshman. She has participated in our programs since the age of 8. Brisa said she has taken great inspiration from our free programs and wants to help us the way that UEC helped her. She hopes to gain more experience in helping her community and growing more connections with other people as she continues to work with us. She is the co-creator of our Girls Support program and heads up our social media department.


Program Assistant

Board of Director
Exec Staff
Media Kit
Program Staff
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