Artist Markos Egure of Wes Kos Images spent weeks hand-painting a mural for the newly unveiled youth room at the White Rock Village apartment complex in El Dorado Hills. Photo by Jana Rossi

Feature Photos

All hands in for youth room grand opening

By From page A1 | May 10, 2017

White Rock Village is celebrating its youth room’s grand opening, and nobody could be happier than Eddie Zacapa. Since Zacapa was hired three years ago as the residence service coordinator for Mercy Housing, he noticed there was a large, empty room in the El Dorado Hills location with a lot of potential, going unused.  Today the one time vacant, colorless room is barely recognizable.

After a piano was donated a few years ago, the room has had other updates, including a fresh coat of paint. Donated ping pong and foosball tables have also been added, along with two televisions and a variety of video game consoles. The family youth room is now the central hangout for kids ranging in ages from 5 to 18 years old.

The beautifully painted mural is the biggest transformation to take place. Titled EnVision, the mural greets visitors the moment you walk through the door. Named for the “vision” of artist Markos Egure, as well as input from the kids that enjoy this incredible space, the eye is immediately drawn to the bright, vivid colors, and to the spectacular scenery where every painting tells a different story.

“The hands coming together in a handshake is more of a holding of hands,” explained Egure during the grand opening April 21. “The rainbow on the other side of the wall depicts the hopefulness after coming out of the darkness.”

Twelve-year-old resident Sabella Cordova really wanted a turtle to be painted on the mural, so Egure decided to paint a kite in the shape of a turtle. He then added a dragon shaped kite to depict the fire and drive of wanting to do more. Doing more is what the community of White Rock Village and Zacapa are constantly striving for.

Recently, a $15,000 grant from the Mercy Foundation was received and new computers were added to the complex’s computer lab. A junior youth empowerment program is also offered for children ages 11 to 14 years old, and the Kid Zone is exactly as it sounds, a place for kids to have fun.

Fourteen-year-old Christian Pothast is a student at Jesuit High School who regularly volunteers and tutors at White Rock Village. Pothast has been donating his Halloween costumes to White Rock Village since he was 5 years old. “I felt like I needed to help out,” Christian said.

Tom Kuhn moved into housing at White Rock Village three and half months ago and loves volunteering and teaching the kids. “It makes my heart feel joyful,” he said. “It’s a joy to teach children.”

“So many people have played a part to make it happen,” Zacapa said at the youth room grand opening. “This is what humbles me.”

Julie Samrick

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