Sometimes you just have to take time out to assess and appreciate your progress. Last week, we took a brief break from the hard work of preventing and overcoming violence to celebrate how far our clients have come and to express our appreciation to the social workers of Highland Hospital, who we work with to support victims of violence in Oakland. Over a delicious dinner and the sounds of happy chatter, laughter and Game 6 at Oakland’s Blind Tiger Restaurant, Youth ALIVE! and the Office of Senator Nancy Skinner honored 15 graduating seniors in our Teens on Target program, two of the amazing moms we work with whose sons were homicide victims, and 8 young clients working hard to recover — not just physically, but emotionally — from shootings and other life setbacks. They keep a positive spirit; they refuse to quit. And they inspire our staff every day. Given what so many of our clients are up against in life, whether they are recovering from being shot, grieving a loved one lost to the gun or navigating daily life in a neighborhood beset by gun violence, we are consistently awed by their strength, resilience and love. Ajahnay Cooper, one of our TNT graduates from Castlemont High School in East Oakland, was the keynote speaker. Ajahnay is on her way to Sacramento State University in August. We presented her with a surprise $1,000 scholarship from an anonymous donor. We thank that donor and our event sponsors, including Gallagher and Burk, Ernst & Young, Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health, AT&T, Boston Properties, Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety. Thank you, friends!