“Night Life Turned Right’s” Final Weekend In Del Paso Heights

DEL PASO HEIGHTS – When the “Third Annual Night Life Turned Right” summer program kicked off last month, an unwanted disturbance took place that probably happened at the precise time. It was a wakeup call that put everyone on notice.

The guilty parties were sent home from the Robertson Community Center, where the six-week event is held, and were told not to return by the organizers of a program that offers a safe haven for the participants.

Open and free to youths of all ages, families and members of the community in Allen Wayne Warren’s Council District 2, the program has served as a beacon for the area behind the efforts of Darrell and Tina Roberts.

The Roberts are the co-founders of the Roberts Family Development Center, also located in North Sacramento. Night Life Turned Right was created in response to numerous violent crimes in North Sacramento.

The program, conducted on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, welcomes young people during the most vulnerable times of the evening — when they have nothing to do.

Councilman Warren, the Roberts, and now retired director of Neighborhood Services for the City, Vincene Jones collaborated to advocate for a plan to help guide the community and to make it safe for the kids.

The young people have had access to classes such as photography, cooking, free food, fashion, resource centers, game-fit sports training, talent contests, and game trucks. The Sacramento Police Department is also a partner for the program.

“Allen has been supportive of us and had asked us to step up as leaders in the district,” Derrell Roberts said. “He (Warren) came to us and said ‘I think you can help make (things like Night Life Turned Right) happen.”

The Roberts and their partners did make it happen three years ago and each year the program has gotten better for young adults in Del Paso Heights, Robla, and a small contingent from South Natomas.

The Meadowview Neighborhood Association also ran a version of Night Life Turned Right in South Sacramento, which some of the volunteers from North Sacramento offer their services.

But if any bad apples want to attend the program by bringing a different agenda or unsavory attitude, the organizers will take a stand. Not only is safety a concern, but fostering a positive environment, bringing about unity, and respecting one another are the primary goals of Night Life Turned Right.

There is always something exciting within the three days of activity at the Robertson Community Center, which includes self-esteem classes for young girls. Last week Fresh Empire touched down at Night Life Turned Right. Fresh Empire, FDA, is a first public education campaign created to prevent and reduce tobacco use among at-risk youth ages 12 to 17 who identify with the hip-hop culture.

Flip Kirby, a world-class musician and drummer from the area, brings his mobile recording studio to the event to teach the young people how to make and record music with the best in today’s technology.

Another aspect to Night Life Turned Right are the volunteers who have lived that life, the hardcore life on the streets.

These individuals take the time to interact with the youth by sharing their stories and offering advice to someone headed down a negative path.

“Night Life Turned Right is a wonderful program,” KDEE FM 97.5 radio host Jay King said. “I want to end it with full-family participation.

A lot of people have worked hard to run this operation and we need that support,” he added.

Night Life Turned Right ends Aug. 5.
By Antonio Harvey
OBSERVER Staff Writer