Jefferson Award Winner Bishop J. E. Watkins

Congratulations to Bishop J. E. Watkins who was just named as a Jefferson Award Winner

"This week's Jefferson Award winner is Pastor of the Jack London Square Chapel. But don't expect to find him spending all his time in the pulpit. As Kate Kelly reports, his work is out in the community, giving others a voice." (from

Video Program Helps Young People Find Their Voices


elcome to Overcomer's With Hope 2nd Chance!
We train Youth ages 16 – 24 in the Digital Media Arts to realize their creative voices, explore career options and contribute to their  communities.

With Overcomer's With Hope 2nd Chance, students engage in a year-round schedule of basic and advanced technology training, collaborative and individual media projects that promote a greater understanding of youth perspective and local and global issues, self-directed interactive learning, and field internships.

We believe that when young people are given the space, support, and skills to articulate how they see themselves and the world around them, they learn to think in new ways, learn to challenge dominant view points, and learn to interact with a world larger than the confines of their neighborhoods.

Most importantly, through media-making, youth move beyond being social service consumers and become conscious creators of their own personal and
social agendas.


Each student will be required to participate in community service.




Overcomers With Hope 2nd Chance’s staff conduct informational and outreach sessions at local high schools and with non-profits to each out to 16-24 year olds in the community.  Interested students fill out applications and every student who applies gets a chance to do an in-person interview.  Students are then selected by a committee based on criteria such as interest, motivation, commitment level, need, and potential contribution to the program.






Our Overcomers With Hope 2nd Chance video classes are led by one Video Instructor and one Teacher’s Assistant, a graduate from the Overcomers With Hope 2nd Chance program who is interviewed for the position.


The class consists of twelve video students.  Each student works at her/his own computer equipped with software such as Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack Pro, Ultra 2, Studio 10 and other editing and mastering software.


Instructors explain that their roles are job supervisors as well as producers/mentors.  Students are expected to be punctual, to call if they are not going to be late, and to behave as if they were at a job.  On the first day of class, students review and sign policy handbooks in which they agree to attendance and conduct standards.




Classes are divided by age groups.  Students attend class 2 - 4 times per week for 4 hours during the school year and 4 hours during the summer. Onsite tutoring will be offered to students requiring help with their regular school homework.





Each class hosts one Friends and Family Night, where parents, guardians, siblings, teachers and friends are invited to visit the classroom. Visitors meet staff and instructors, receive a tour of the facility, and look at student work.  Students also share what they have learned by demonstrating their skills using software and equipment.







In order to assist students in their path towards college and career, Overcomers With Hope 2nd Chance staff members hold resume workshops in which each student creates her/his own resume.  We also host workshops with representatives from Local News Stations who talks about graduation requirements, college options and financial aid.  To give students a perspective of what it’s like to work in media, Overcomers With Hope 2nd Chance staff will arrange a Career Panel of media professionals who visit the class to talk about working in the media profession.






Screenings of the students’ work are held for friends, family members, teachers, and other members of the community.  These screenings take place at the end of each session, and are held at a local hotel conference room or local theatres.  At the screenings, students participate in question and answer sessions with the audience members, giving them a chance to received feedback, to measure the impact of their pieces, and to speak publicly about their work.






After advanced students receive a Certificate of Completion, we assist them in finding paid media internships, with local businesses and non-profit organizations.  During these internships, students apply their technology skills in professional environments, learn job skills, and develop contacts for their futures.


Overcomers With Hope 2nd Chance, is a not-for-profit media arts training (after school and summer academy) Program.  Founded in 2014 by Bishop J. E. Watkins, Pastor of Jack London Square Chapel in Oakland, California, the program brings together the combined power of video/media with the imagination and energy of youth.


Overcomers With Hope 2nd Chance’s methodology for success is built on persona inner spiritual enhancement, love and hope, to give at-risk youth, broad support, guidance and civic pride as tools to become successful. Each student will be involved in a community project to enhance their individual and personal commitment to their community

The whole involvement completely beated many of our predictions.



Overcomers With Hope 2nd Chance has established partnerships with other non-profits and for profit corporations, community, city and county agencies, such as Youth Radio and Mind Seed Studios.  These partners will provide workshops, training and other resources in media production.




To re-integrate at-risk, ex-offending youth, and the underserved community, back into society with hope, life skills, and the framework of career building in order to foster their development to overcome and become productive adult citizens in society for years to come. 





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