Although one of the Bay Area’s most valued characteristics is its diversity, this rich cultural quilt is vulnerable. In Redwood City 50% of public school children are on AFDC (Aid for Families with Dependent Children). But innovative programs are providing youth and adults alike with employable skills. One downtown restaurant now trains teens in the culinary arts with funds from the City’s Youth and Family Assistance Program. Canada College recently opened a downtown branch to bring business assistance to the folks who need it most. Offering courses in computer, office and entrepreneurial skills, low- and moderate- income downtown residents from diverse ethnic backgrounds are packing the classroom.