The Rev. Dana Olds, who is known in the Southeast Washington neighborhoods around her church as an activist who will challenge drug dealers, speak out for tenants and provide food for hungry children, has a new enthusiasm.
Since January, Olds, 30, has worked as community coordinator for a federally funded program designed to help keep children from becoming involved with drugs.
As community coordinator for TEAM (Talented, Educated and Making it), developed by the Office of Substance Abuse and Prevention, Olds is the program's main recruiter. She canvasses the area near her Jesus Loves Me Church at Sixth and I streets SE and the Arthur Capper and Carrollsburg housing projects nearby to find candidates for the program.
Olds said there are 40 children, ages 6 to 13, enrolled in the six-day-a-week program. Its primary purpose, Olds said, is to build the children's self-esteem through a variety of activities, such as sporting events and trips to museums that celebrate the achievements of blacks.
Many of the children's parents are substance abusers, Olds said, and their homes are in dangerous neighborhoods.
"We're trying to provide a haven for the children," Olds said. "They'd either be on the street, or at home watching videos. It gives me a chance to spend more time in the community, and that excites me."