Boys Hope Girls Hope of San Francisco Bay Area provides HOPE—a home, parenting, opportunities, and education—within a residential setting to improve the lives of children regardless of their financial circumstances. Youth enter the program between the ages of 10 and 14 and live in the home through their high-school graduations. While there, they engage in educational activities, counseling, and summer-enrichment programs and have access to health care and personal stipends. After young people graduate from the program, Boys Hope Girls Hope continues to support them through adulthood, providing them with financial assistance and emotional support for college, temporary housing during summer breaks, and aid in gaining employment.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
Kiteboarders skim across the tops of ocean ripples, propelled by the wind, seemingly free of gravity. But a lot of science goes into each ride, and Ovi Banuta founded KITE415 to help aspiring boarders learn to manage their multipart excursions. He and a crack team of instructors—all of whom are certified to teach by the International Kiteboarding Organization and the Professional Air Sports Association—begin lessons on land, teaching students how to read wind direction, control their kites for optimum power, and use divining rods to locate the ocean. The instructors focus on a logical, from-the-ground-up education in the science of kiteboarding to eliminate the learning curve that often stymies beginners. Once students master the basics, instructors throw them into the ocean’s deep end to take on the waves. Ultimately, Ovi and his team aim to quickly produce kiteboarders who can safely hop onto any sea in the world for a high-flying ride without the hassle of lassoing a seagull.
No matter the time of day, patrons always dine at twilight inside Arabian Nights Restaurant. Painted palm trees arc cross a dark-blue sky in minaret-shaped frames, and exposed rafters high above the dining room evoke the feeling of an outdoor meal along the Mediterranean. The kitchen matches the dining room's traditional touches with a flame-fired oven that bakes fresh pita bread to order and crackling wooden embers that give kabobs their rich, smoky flavors. Guests also share small plates of hot and cold mezza, such as falafel and tabbouleh, as the light from ornate chandeliers casts freeform shadow puppets against linen-covered tables.
When pursuing a culinary degree at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris isn't going to fit into your schedule, there's Sour Flour, a school dedicated solely to the preparation of one of San Francisco's most iconic foods: sourdough. Held in the Mission at La Victoria Bakery, its workshops draw aspiring home bakers fascinated by the serendipitous product of the Bay Area's ambient yeasts. Of course, Sour Flour breads also pop up in baskets at dozens of S.F. restaurants, and can be bought at most markets. But there's nothing more fulfilling than learning to bake your own delicious flatbread, then taking a starter home as a nucleus for loaves of chewy sourdough and excellent pizzas, indefinitely.
The ClubHouse Training Schools help aspiring baseball players reach new athletic peaks under the tuition of seasoned coaches and professional baseball scouts. Well versed in the arts of hitting, pitching, and yelling for bags of peanuts, the instructors hone players' skills in a 17,000-square-foot training facility, which facilitates year-round practice with indoor batting cages and a full on-site gym with free weights and stationary bikes. A regimen of fitness and performance training helps athletes stay in shape on and off the field—sure to be an asset during the ClubHouse's fall high-school baseball league, when students put their skills to the test by pitching crumpled math homework.