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Just Communities Receives $5,000 from Southern California Edison For Scholarships

Just Communities Receives $5,000 from Southern California Edison

For Scholarships

Cecilia Tavera, left, and Patricia Bartoli-Wible, second from left, of Southern California Edison present a $5,000 check to Elizabeth Weinstein and Jarrod Schwartz of Just Communities. Santa Barbara High School senior Ivette Gil, back left, and junior Olivia Ranson are participants in Just Communities and the Community Leadership Institute. (Just Communities photo)

By Kelly Kapaun for Just Communities | Published on 12.19.2012 1:20 p.m.

Southern California Edison has presented a $5,000 donation to the Santa Barbara-based nonprofit Just Communities for its Adopt-a-School program for Community Leadership Institute scholarships.

CLI is a unique summer program for Central Coast high school youths that aims to build leadership skills and social awareness. At CLI, students from diverse backgrounds explore their multifaceted identities, learn how to recognize and counter bias, and gain advocacy skills and tools to bring back to their schools and communities.

Southern California Edison donated $5,000 to support general scholarships for any Santa Barbara-area students wishing to attend the program but needing financial assistance.

“Southern California Edison’s gift is an investment in our community’s young people and, through them, in our collective future,” Just Communities Executive Director Jarrod Schwartz. “We hope this gift represents the start of a long relationship between them and Just Communities/CLI.”

Just Communities is a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit organization that works to bring together diverse groups of people to build leadership and develop joint solutions for our communities’ challenges. For more information, click here or call 805.966.2063.

— Kelly Kapaun is a publicist representing Just Communities.

THRIVE Westside Pays the Way for Students to Attend Leadership Institute

Just Communities Executive Director Jarrod Schwartz presents THRIVE Santa Barbara County Executive Director Anita Ferguson with a plaque for the scholarships that sent San Marcos High School students, from left, Benjamin Magdaleno, Samantha Hurd, Joanna Alvarez and Joshua Beasley to the CommUnity Leadership Institute camp this summer. (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk photo)

http://www.noozhawk.com/article/091712_community_leadership_institute_central_coast/

THRIVE Westside Pays the Way for Students to Attend Leadership Institute

Just Communities, which organizes the summer camp, honors San Marcos High School and THRIVE Westside with plaques

By Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @magnoli | Published on 09.17.2012 6:27 p.m.

Local high school students attended the CommUnity Leadership Institute this summer on scholarships from THRIVE Westside, a partnership applauded Monday by Just Communities.

Schools from all over Santa Barbara and Ventura counties participate in the Central Coast CommUnity Leadership Institute each summer, which is put on by Just Communities as a social leadership camp for young people.

Eight students from San Marcos andSanta Barbara high schools attended the camp and have been working on action plans in groups. Just Communities honored San Marcos High School and THRIVE Westside with plaques on Monday.

For their project, San Marcos juniors Joanna Alvarez, Joshua Beasley and Samantha Hurd are trying to raise funds for SAT and ACT test prep materials for low-income students and families, an effort they said has been supported by Principal Ed Behrens and staff members.

“They want to be allies to us so we can achieve the goals that we have,” Alvarez said.

She added that the eight-day camp was a liberating experience.

Hurd had heard how good the camp was and said she was worried she wouldn’t be able to go.

“I knew it was something I really wanted to do — the scholarship was really great,” Hurd said.

There are other groups with similar goals, and the students want to collaborate with past CLI students and other high schools to get fundraising off the ground.

Other students worked with the nonprofit organization PALABRA on a project examining racial profiling and harassment issues, according to Just Communities Executive Director Jarrod Schwartz.

San Marcos students Elias Estrada, Jesse de Jesus, Jesus Molina and Benjamin Magdaleno and Santa Barbara High School student Lauren Carlos also attended CLI this summer.

THRIVE Westside provides resources for families in Santa Barbara and coordinates with schools in the area, including Harding University Partnership School,McKinley Elementary SchoolLa Cumbre Junior High School and San Marcos High School.

— Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at[email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk,@NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Community Leadership Institute Receives Sponsorship

Community Leadership Institute Receives Sponsorship

THRIVE Westside has pledged to sponsor 6 local San Marcos High School students in order for them to attend Just Communities’ Community Leadership Institute (CLI) program.


THRIVE Westside is a partnership between Harding University Partnership School, McKinley Elementary School, La Cumbre Junior High and San Marcos High School which ensures a coordinated effort of resources for children and families living in Santa Barbara’s Westside neighborhood,

The Community Leadership Institute (CLI) is an 8-day residential summer program that trains youth from the Central Coast to be leaders in issues of diversity and justice within their schools and communities. The camp takes place in Ojai during the month of August. Students are selected based on their leadership skills and/or potential and receive 48 hours of community service credit.CLI increases students’ ability to stand up to social pressures and to become positive role models with an appreciation for diversity and justice.

THRIVE Westside is continuously working to ensure that local residents are provided with the resources necessary to succeed, which is part of the reason they have committed to sponsor this team of hardworking students to attend the CLI camp.

“THRIVE Westside is dedicated to supporting the academic and leadership growth of students at San Marcos High,” says Patricia Madrigal, Ph.D., Director of THRIVE Westside. “We are delighted that our local students will benefit greatly from participation at CLI.”

Just Communities is still looking for the ideal business/corporate or individual sponsors in Santa Barbara County to provide scholarships for students from Santa Barbara County High Schools – La Cuesta High School, Dos Pueblos High School, and Santa Barbara High School.

A $5,000 sponsorship will cover 50% of the scholarship money for students at each individual High School. Local foundations have committed to covering the other half of the cost. Just Communities has engaged a professional public relations firm to ensure your financial support receives the attention it deserves. Sponsors will receive the following recognition: official press release creation and distribution throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties; media interview opportunities; online recognition on Just Communities website, and associated social media; photo/media opportunity with representatives from your organization and scholarship recipients; official plaques for your office as well as school administrative building; personal letters from the students who received scholarships.

Contact Just Communities at (805) 966-2063 to become a sponsor or for further information on CLI or other programs offered by Just Communities.

About THRIVE Westside

THRIVE Westside is a partnership between Harding University Partnership School, McKinley Elementary School, La Cumbre Junior High and San Marcos High School to ensure a coordinated effort of resources for children and families living in Santa Barbara’s Westside neighborhood. The goal of the project is to ensure that all children are healthy and safe, prepared for kindergarten through high school graduation, and on to college and career. THRIVEWestside is supported by an education initiative sponsored byTHRIVE Santa Barbara County.

About Just Communities

Just Communities is a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit organization that works to bring together diverse groups of people to build leadership and develop joint solutions our communities’ challenges. Just Communities’ programs help build trust across historic divides, foster relationships between diverse community members, and leverage the trust and relationships towards joint action to produce positive social change.

Read it here: http://www.independent.com/news/2012/sep/02/community-leadership-institute-receives-sponsorshi/

Just Communities Fosters Social Justice Advocacy In Central Coast Youth

Just Communities Fosters Social Justice Advocacy In Central Coast Youth

Community Leadership Institute trains high school students to be leaders in issues of diversity and justice in schools, communities

From left, Juan Daniel Muñoz, Hailey Goodner, Allan Arena Rodriguez and Just Communities staff member Daniel Elenes practice leadership skills at the Community Leadership Institute at Ojai Valley School. The group was role playing a scenario in which they witnessed inappropriate behavior at school and was practicing different techniques for appropriately intervening in the situation. (Just Communities Central Coast photo)

From left, Juan Daniel Muñoz, Hailey Goodner, Allan Arena Rodriguez and Just Communities staff member Daniel Elenes practice leadership skills at the Community Leadership Institute at Ojai Valley School. The group was role playing a scenario in which they witnessed inappropriate behavior at school and was practicing different techniques for appropriately intervening in the situation. (Just Communities Central Coast photo)

By Amanda Garcia, Noozhawk Intern | @NoozhawkNews | Published on 08.10.2012 5:43 p.m.

Family, friends, educators and community members gathered at Ojai Valley Schoolon Friday afternoon to hear how the next generation of Central Coast student activists and volunteers plans to increase social justice and advocacy within their local schools and communities.

Each summer, Santa Barbara and Ventura county high school students who display leadership skills or potential are selected to participate in the Community Leadership Institute. The eight-day residential program was created by the nonprofit Just Communities Central Coast to train local youth to become leaders in issues of diversity and justice, while granting them 48 hours of community service.

“It’s a chance for high school youth to explore and discuss issues of social justice, ranging from issues involving race, gender and sexual orientation, to social and economic class,” explained Alan Goff, a Just Communities program manager. “We teach them how to be positive change agents within their communities.”

After completing seven days of the program, student participants present pre-action plans and proposed projects to their group members as well as to other members of their community. The intent is to demonstrate their skills and capabilities as newly created social justice leaders interacting with their local communities as student leaders and role models.

“They have developed the social awareness and vocabulary necessary for generating a discussion about issues of justice on a global scale, as well as within their local communities,” Goff added.

Jarrod Schwartz, executive director of Just Communities, also described how students who have completed the CLI program have created similar student programs and organizations involving social justice and providing their peers with an alternative to gang life.

“We are really helping to make communities and schools the best places possible for students and educators,” said Schwartz. “We provide a variety of trainings that are helping communities and neighborhoods become more equitable and inclusive for all members.”

Jorge Flores, a current youth leader volunteer for the CLI program and past participant, said his personal learning experience with Just Communities helped him develop the skills necessary for becoming a better change agent. Within his alma mater, San Marcos High School, Flores helped create a Peace SPEAK week focused on peace education and awareness for oppressed communities, as well as frequent workshops and training aimed at increasing understanding and advocacy in schools.

“It helped me become a better public speaker and really opened my eyes to a lot of different issues I’ve become passionate about,” Flores said. “The social justice issue aspect really stuck with me.”

Established in 2001 as the National Conference for Community and Justice for California’s Central Coast, Just Communities became its own community-based organization and founding member of the National Federation for Just Communities in 2007 under the direction of Schwartz.

According to Schwartz, Just Communities hosts many workshops for local school districts, teachers and parents aimed at addressing academic achievement gaps between students of color and Caucasian students, as well as developing strategies for all students to achieve at the highest possible levels.

“We also have a Safe Schools program, which helps create safer learning environments for students who come from, or identify with, historically oppressed communities,” added Schwartz. “And Just Communities just completed a series of trainings with the Santa Barbara Police Department aimed at creating better police relations with gay and transgender communities in the local area.”

From youth activism and community fundraising efforts, to scholarship programs and student organizations, Just Communities, along with the CLI program, have helped foster a new wave of social justice leadership and volunteerism among high school students.

Click here for more information on Just Communities Central Coast. Connect withJust Communities on Facebook.

— Noozhawk intern Amanda Garcia can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk@NoozhawkNews and@NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook..

Read it here: http://www.noozhawk.com/article/081012_just_communities_social_justice_advocacy/