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Everyday Courage

[Chronicle of Philanthropy] Indiana’s Lessons for Philanthropy: Timing and Agility Matter
Apr 07, 2015 |

[Chronicle of Philanthropy] Indiana’s Lessons for Philanthropy: Timing and Agility Matter

As Christians were celebrating Holy Week around the globe, the course of American history for gay and lesbian Americans was unfolding in Indiana. Passage of a religious-protection law in Indiana sparked a national conversation on the place of LGBT people in our society. That conversation went to the heart of our most basic access to the services and accommodations of everyday life and the issues that all of us in philanthropy care about deeply. Long-simmering questions about religion as a justification for discrimination came to a full boil in newspapers, on television, and via social media. Voices from nearly all corners of society — business, labor, religion, academia, athletics, government, even comedy — took center stage for this defining exchange about our core values as a nation.
[Richmond Pulse] A Local Leader, a National Movement
Feb 02, 2015 |

[Richmond Pulse] A Local Leader, a National Movement

On a brisk morning in March 1965, he packed his car for a long trek from Delaware, Ohio to Selma, Ala. answering Martin Luther King Jr.’s call for people to join what would be the final and successful march from Selma to the state capitol in Montgomery to persuade white lawmakers of the need for a voting rights act.
[The kNOw Youth Media ] 'When my brother comes' - New regs could discourage prison visits
Jan 30, 2015 |

[The kNOw Youth Media ] 'When my brother comes' - New regs could discourage prison visits

My brother is the only one in our family who visited. My dad and another brother couldn’t come because they have records and so failed the background check. With my dad it would be a lot of awkward silence anyway. We never talked much. My brother’s visits allowed me to feel connected to the outside. I know lots of guys get visits every month and a few every weekend. I know there are guys who don’t get any visits. It’s a lonely and pathetic place to be when people just forget you and you’re left to rot away without anyone caring. I’m glad I got to see my brother. It really helped me feel a part of society.
[Youth Media for Building Healthy Communities] A path to college in City Heights
Jan 29, 2015 |

[Youth Media for Building Healthy Communities] A path to college in City Heights

Reality Changers is a program for youth from the inner city to work their way into a good college. Inspiration comes in the form of college graduates who tell their young counterparts to aim high, and who can relate to the life situations of under-resourced kids who might not have the support they need at home to navigate the higher education system.
[Oakland Local] Mentoring is a two-way street
Jan 26, 2015 |

[Oakland Local] Mentoring is a two-way street

Children in West Oakland face many challenges, including unstable home lives due to poverty, incarceration and substance abuse. Their parents, many of whom lack functional literacy skills and did not complete high school, are often not well equipped to help them succeed. Boost! West Oakland is an exceptional program that provides intensive academic and social support to over 100 students every year in grades K-5 by matching each student with their own designated volunteer tutor/mentor for 1.5 hours or more of support each week. Moreover, they do so with outstanding results, thriving from the one-on-one relationships. They demonstrate improvement in academic performance, self-esteem, motivation, and willingness to take on new challenges.
[The Know Youth Media] After jouvenille hall, youth want a new start
Jan 16, 2015 |

[The Know Youth Media] After jouvenille hall, youth want a new start

Across the country today, there are more than 61,000 young people who eat, sleep and go to school in juvenile detention facilities; and a look at the data on those young people makes it safe to say that life becomes a lot harder for them once they enter the system. The recidivism rate — the percentage of those who return to the system after being released — for the juvenile population nationally is close to 70 percent, roughly the same as the adult prisoner population. What’s more, the chances that a young person will achieve academically go down dramatically once a young person comes into contact with the juvenile justice system: young people age 16 and under who are arrested and detained are 26 percent less likely to finish high school by the time they turn 19
[KPIX] Students Thrive With Jefferson Award Winner’s Constant Support
Nov 26, 2014 |

[KPIX] Students Thrive With Jefferson Award Winner’s Constant Support

He’s helped hundreds of Oakland students go on to college, but this week’s Jefferson Award winner says most of the work happened outside of the classroom. Jeff Duncan-Andrade says the key to student success does not start with the academics. It starts with relationships. When Jeff Duncan-Andrade is your teacher, you get a lot more than you bargained for. Robert Bisquera Jr. gets texts and phone calls from him outside of class
[VoiceWaves] One Long Beach Dreamer’s Success Story
Nov 21, 2014 |

[VoiceWaves] One Long Beach Dreamer’s Success Story

When police cars and a hovering helicopter surrounded college student Ana Roman after a car accident she was not at fault for, a wave of fear and frustration filled her heart and mind. At that time, she had a lot to lose. She was undocumented and had nothing but a Mexican identification card in hand. “I was 19, by myself,” said Roman, who ended up getting her car impounded after the accident because of her status. “I wasn’t a criminal. I was just trying to get home from work.” Roman is one of the 587,000 unauthorized immigrant youth who met the criteria for the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and received DACA status. That number is only 55 percent of the 1.2 million youth eligible.
[The Redwood Voice] My Father’s High
Sep 08, 2014 |

[The Redwood Voice] My Father’s High

Events involving my father seem to have happened in a previous life. I feel detached from them. Somewhere between the domestic violence and the drug use, I became numb to feelings about my father. His actions drove my mother away, after several “lessons” involving broken bones and other physical harm. Sometime after the separation, my father made an attempt to reconnect with me and my brother. We were invited for ice cream. We had no reason not to accept, though it was awkward and uncomfortable. We sat through it. I noticed that he looked odd, but I didn’t know why. I would find out years later, on my sixteenth birthday. He asked to meet me at the lighthouse. It was gloomy and overcast. I wasn’t aware of the damage he had done to himself over the years after he had driven us away, but it was evident when I saw him. Most of his teeth were gone. The rest were rotten. He had sores and scabs on his face and body, and he tripped over his words when he spoke. The meeting did not last long. He gave me a birthday card in the end containing five dollars. He scribbled “happy birthday sun” on the inside of the card. The spelling of “sun” still stands out in my mind, adding insult to injury. He was so removed from my life—and from reality. He wasn’t even referring to me, his child, but to the literal sun, on the card. Our community has its fair share of broken families and scattered parents. Sadly, my story is not uncommon.
[Fresno Bee] Merced’s first LGBT community center opens to the public
Sep 02, 2014 |

[Fresno Bee] Merced’s first LGBT community center opens to the public

A historic moment took place Saturday, as a rainbow flag was raised above the corner of G and 18th streets to mark the opening of Merced’s first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community center. For volunteers like Jules Carrillo, 23, who’d spent much time helping to prepare the center for its grand opening, the occasion was beyond exciting and emotional. It was a key milestone that had been years in the making, accomplished through hard work, dedication and activism. Organizers say the role of the center, located at 1744 G St., is to link the local LGBT population with important resources, support and guidance. “Just seeing something like this open in our community – growing up in this town with not a lot of support. It just pulls at your heartstrings, knowing that people growing up here are going to feel safe,” said Carrillo. Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/08/31/4097813_merceds-first-lgbt-community-center.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy
Surviving ‘La Bestia’ – a student recalls his journey to the U.S.
Aug 26, 2014 |

Surviving ‘La Bestia’ – a student recalls his journey to the U.S.

Youth Media for Building Communities The gangs and drug-related violence blazing in El Salvador have sent its citizens fleeing across the border, and many of them end up hopping a train nicknamed La Bestia, The Beast, because of the number of people who died falling from it. As thousands of children continue their harrowing escapes to the United States, one South Kern high school student recalls his own journey at eight years-old.
[Redwood Voice] They Never Told Me Why
Aug 25, 2014 |

[Redwood Voice] They Never Told Me Why

Youth Journalist Lydia Anderson, age 16, tells her story: I grew up with two drug addicted parents. I was taught how to transgress the law and get away with it. I was taught and trained to fear authority—to know which police officers sold drugs just like my parents did, who would smooth my path if I got into trouble, who would throw me in a cell if I wronged him. And most of all, I was taught never to ask any official for help. Ever. Drugs swallowed my parents’ lives, something not unusual in this community. And my parents lost the ability and desire to parent me. I lived on the street along with many other kids in Del Norte County. I started living on my own when I was ten. I slept at friends’ houses some nights and some nights I slept outside. I was surrounded by drug addicts. No one signed me up for school, though I deeply desired to go. For more than a year and a half of this—of not laying in a bed to sleep, of not having a parent to help me, of not having the education I wanted, of being so hungry I forgot what feeling full was like—I decided I couldn’t take it anymore.
[Richmond Pulse] For Depressed Youth, A Chance to Break the Silence
Aug 25, 2014 |

[Richmond Pulse] For Depressed Youth, A Chance to Break the Silence

When Amber Cavarlez was 16 years old, her mother was diagnosed with cancer. As the oldest child, she cared for both her mother and her younger brother. During the time that her mother was sick, and even after her mother’s passing, the family didn’t discuss what was happening, and Cavarlez kept what she was feeling to herself. Her younger brother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and repeatedly attempted suicide while Cavarlez was in college. Still, there was no discussion. Over time, the silence in her life gave way to depression.
[Quartz] Growing up poor erodes a sense of control over life well into adulthood, study finds
Aug 25, 2014 |

[Quartz] Growing up poor erodes a sense of control over life well into adulthood, study finds

More than a half century after Stanford University’s landmark marshmallow test, in which children who managed to defer the pleasure of eating a candy for a few minutes were rewarded with two, self-control is still said to be the key to success. And current educational thinking exalts the value of overcoming obstacles with grit and perseverance. But those very qualities, said to lead to achievement and happiness, are eroded by the experience of childhood poverty, researchers say. A University of Minnesota study (pdf), released Wednesday by the American Psychological Association, presents evidence suggesting that growing up poor can influence people’s sense of control over their lives well into adulthood, even if they have become much wealthier. The result, the researchers say, is more impulsive decision-making and giving up quickly on challenging tasks in uncertain situations.
[Huffington Post] More care, less fear
Aug 25, 2014 |

[Huffington Post] More care, less fear

By Robert K. Ross, M.D., President and CEO of The California Endowment, and Tonya Allen, President and CEO of the Skillman Foundation, who are co-chairs of the Executives' Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color -- a growing network ...
[Richmond Pulse] For Depressed Youth, A Chance to Break the Silence
Aug 18, 2014 |

[Richmond Pulse] For Depressed Youth, A Chance to Break the Silence

When Amber Cavarlez was 16 years old, her mother was diagnosed with cancer. As the oldest child, she cared for both her mother and her younger brother. During the time that her mother was sick, and even after her mother’s passing, the family didn’t discuss what was happening, and Cavarlez kept what she was feeling to herself. Her younger brother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and repeatedly attempted suicide while Cavarlez was in college. Still, there was no discussion. Over time, the silence in her life gave way to depression. Cavarlez describes sadness and depression as “an invisible subject” in her Filipino household. “I feel like I’ve been socialized to avoid it,” she says. She’s not alone. Stigmatized in many communities, depression and other mental illnesses often leave sufferers to figure things out on their own. Cavarlez spoke at a forum in San Francisco earlier this month on breaking silence around youth depression, organized by New America Media with support from the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. Cavarlez and other young people shared their stories about dealing with depression, and a panel of experts in the field weighed in on cultural attitudes toward depression and what the future holds for children’s mental health care.
The Power of Sisterhood Rising
Aug 15, 2014 |

The Power of Sisterhood Rising

What happens when fifty young women from all over California come together for a 4-day retreat?  While mainstream media may portray cat-fights and name-calling among women to be entertaining and the norm-- the outcome of Building Healthy Communities’ ...
[The Bakersfield Californian] JOSE GASPAR: Teen, tenacious mom working hard to save young lives
Aug 10, 2014 |

[The Bakersfield Californian] JOSE GASPAR: Teen, tenacious mom working hard to save young lives

While some well-known public figures have emerged from Kern County, there are lesser-known individuals who fly under the radar while working for the benefit of their neighbors. They seek no political office, but are just as determined to get the politicians moving in the name of humanity. I think two individuals and their families should be on the list. One is a 14-year-old about to enter high school, the other is a mom turned activist.
[Juvenile Justice Information Exchange] OP-ED: How Do We Build Resilience Among Youth?
Aug 07, 2014 |

[Juvenile Justice Information Exchange] OP-ED: How Do We Build Resilience Among Youth?

How can the juvenile justice system — and other agencies that serve children — build post-traumatic resilience among youth? The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the nation’s largest foundation dedicated to improving the health of all Americans, is exploring how it can contribute to ending the culture of violence and trauma that is an obstacle to good health for too many vulnerable Americans. We cannot call ourselves a healthy nation if we continue to be a violent one. A new report from the Juvenile Law Center, commissioned by RWJF, makes it clear that in addition to providing trauma-informed services, we need to be mindful of how we use our knowledge of a child's trauma to help and not to hurt.
[The Redwood Voice] Bullying: Defining the Problem
Aug 05, 2014 |

[The Redwood Voice] Bullying: Defining the Problem

Last year, 10 year-old Cole Price was being bullied by a student in his class at Pine Grove; he says he was called “loser” and “fat” every day when he stepped on the school grounds. Cole explains, “You really can’t do anything because you’ll tell the teacher over and over, and they’ll do one thing that’s not very big and then it will just keep happening.” His mother, Lisa Price, pulled him out of Pine Grove and started homeschooling him. She was frustrated by regular comments from other parents telling her “He needed to learn how to deal with it.” Lisa Price couldn’t believe their lack of support. “Why does someone need to learn how to deal with someone calling them a loser or fat?” she asked, “It needs to stop.”
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