flintridge center news
Flintridge Center COVID-19 Information
While Flintridge Center's physical office is closed to walk-ins for the time being, all programs continue to provide support to community members.
Workforce Development Services: The Apprenticeship Preparation Program has resumed, following health and safety guidelines. For information on the next cohort (beginning 1/18/2021), contact Andy Alvarez or J.D. Williams.
Here is our Re-Opening Protocols, Guidelines and Checklist.
October 6th, 2020: Celebrating the First APP Graduation Amidst COVID-19
Just three weeks ago, we celebrated the first seven graduates from the hybridized model of the Apprenticeship Preparation Program.
In June, as the pandemic continued and individuals needed opportunities more urgently than ever before, Flintridge Center staff resumed a hybridized model of the program with adjustments to preserve the health of participants and staff. At that time, Flintridge Center's APP was one of the only operating programs offering a Building Trades approved curriculum in Los Angeles County. For participants, this presented an unprecedented opportunity to enter in-demand careers, as union hiring has continued amidst the crisis. Show More...
Graduate and Pasadena resident Reginald Beasley was working at the Rose Bowl until he was laid off due to the pandemic. "Since I've been in class, I've learned a lot. It's given me a positive mind frame, and not wanting to go back to doing things I was doing that weren't good. The best thing about it is learning how I can better myself." After graduating the program, Reginald plans on joining the laborers union.
Huge congrats to all of the graduates, as completing the APP curriculum while taking COVID-19 precaution is no small feat. Finally, our deepest thanks to our volunteers and partners who make this program possible!
Read the entire article in Pasadena NOW here!
October 6th, 2020: SOAR-ing Into the School Year
Building off of the success of Youth of Promise's virtual summer program, we're excited to begin YOP SOAR! Show More...
SOAR provides space for YOP's 30 middle school youth to "Socialize with my peers, Observe and learn about my community, Acknowledge my role in the world, and Reflect on ways I can make a difference."
Activities in the SOAR program include some favorites from the summer, including virtual cooking classes, YOP Fit, A Window Between Worlds trauma-informed art therapy sessions, and community speakers. All youth were provided with SOAR kits, which include everything they'll need to participate in all of the activities. YOP continues to find innovative ways to engage with youth and families, ensuring all youth feel supported and connected.
October 6th, 2020: Community Outreach Continues Amidst COVID-19
Flintridge Center's Outreach Specialist Chris modified a food truck to follow COVID-19 guidelines and he continues to share food and resources with the Pasadena community.
August 20th, 2020: Summer Was a Success for Our Youth
Youth of Promise's six-week virtual summer program has come to an end! This summer, the program focused on self-care themes, leadership development, and connecting through fun and stress relieving activities.
Highlights included: Cooking Class with incredible volunteers; Summer Speaker Series; Slime making (a huge favorite); Art projects & theater exercises; Book Club (the group read "The Hate U Give"); YOP Fit, a twice-weekly virtual fitness class.
After "the best summer program ever" (as one participant shared), we're looking forward to more fun in the fall, supporting students through the virtual school year.
August 20th, 2020: Thank You for Your Support in the LA2050 Grants Challenge
We are so excited to share that because of your votes, Flintridge Center was awarded a $10,000 grant thorough the LA2050 Grants Challenge to support the Apprenticeship Preparation Program. Watch APP instructor Andy talk about the APP during the LA2050 Ideas Showcase here.
Congratulations to our fellow 'Create' category finalists: Grid110, Las Fotos Project, Lost Angels Children's Project, and LA Sanitation and Environment!
Thank you to everyone who voted and shared!
August 20th, 2020: Hybridized APP is Going Strong
The Apprenticeship Preparation Program's Class 36 is currently entering its eighth week out of ten!
In addition to in-person instruction, the class has participated in employment development, math tutoring, life skills, and virtual union site visits to get eyes on the construction.
The class also continues to enjoy outdoor physical fitness hikes with the group.
The cohort is set to graduate from the program on September 10th.
July 13th, 2020: Vote for Flintridge: Creating a Better LA!
We're so excited to be one of 25 incredible organizations selected as a finalist in the CREATE category of the LA2050 Grants Challenge!
We're in the running to receive up to $100,000 to make LA the best place to create through our Apprenticeship Preparation Program, and we need your help!
Read all about our proposal to create pathways to careers for formerly incarcerated Angelenos. From now until the end of the week, you can VOTE for our proposal online and encourage your family and friends to do so as well! It's easy and takes less than 2 minutes.
July 13th, 2020: Virtual Summer Success with Youth of Promise
Youth of Promise's middle school students have stayed busy this summer through Summer Success. Youth hear from guest speakers, work on projects, and participate in community building, virtual field trips, and YOP Fit (a virtual workout class). Each week of Summer Success is guided by a theme. So far, the youth have covered self-care, academics, and using their voices.
While we miss being together in person, we're really excited to see what the rest of the summer has in store!
July 13th, 2020: Meet Class 36
The Apprenticeship Preparation Program looks different for Class 36. While the core program components are the same for this class, Flintridge Center has taken extensive health and safety steps amidst COVID-19. An exciting new addition to the course (pictured above) is Thursday hikes. The cohort just started their third week of the program.
July 13th, 2020: YOP's Drive Through Graduation
In early June, Youth of Promise held a drive through graduation for the eight graduating seniors in the program! We celebrated graduates from Pasadena High School, Marshall and Muir. Congrats to the graduates! We're so excited to see where you all go next.
May 2nd, 2020: APP's Class 35 Graduates Virtually
We were set to celebrate the graduation of Class 35 of the Apprenticeship Preparation Program in early April. While they graduated early due to the social distancing response to COVID-19, the cohort accomplished a lot during their six weeks in class and officially graduated from the APP.
While we unfortunately were not able to do the hands-on portion, the knowledge of how to survive out there in the trades...the students got it. – APP Instructor Andy Alvarez.
Please join us in (virtually) celebrating their graduation by watching the video!
May 2nd, 2020: Youth of Promise COVID-19 Response Fund
Thank you for getting our campaign off to a great start! We launched the Youth of Promise COVID-19 Response Fund last week to meet the needs of youth and families in our community who are disproportionately feeling the impacts of this crisis.
Today, we're more than half way to our goal–and we've already started providing support directly to our families. Hear from the Youth of Promise team on the power of your partnership in this critical moment.
March 25th, 2020: Staying Connected: March Updates
While Flintridge has paused in-person program activities in response to COVID-19, we continue to find ways to connect with our community members. Youth of Promise case management and systems navigation support continues, and video calls with middle school and high school students have begun. Case management and job placement activities continue for APP Class 35 and other community members receiving services. We remain committed to finding unique ways to support the community as the current health situation develops.
March 25th, 2020: Co-Executive Director Daniel Torres is #HeretoLead
Daniel Torres, Co-Executive Director, was featured in the Here to Lead campaign, an initiative sharing stories of leaders throughout California. The campaign highlights boys and men of color who are pushing for powerful solutions to the challenges our communities face.
In his story, Daniel shares his journey of breaking cycles of poverty and violence first for himself and his family, and now in his work with Flintridge Center's youth and adults. "When you change the life of one person, you change the life of their families and the communities we all live in," Daniel shared. "This is what we work to do every day at Flintridge."
March 25th, 2020: Flintridge Center's Team Retreat
The Flintridge Center team started the month off with a two-day staff retreat. We headed to Monrovia Canyon Park to reflect and discuss shared goals for organizational culture.
Staff learned more about the Flintridge history from team members that have been with the organization from the beginning, and ended the day creating vision boards for the coming year. Excitingly, a bear decided to join us for the afternoon!
February 20th, 2020: Introducing Class 35
Between learning the Multi-Craft Core Curriculum, employment development, math practice and more, the APP class is keeping busy. So far, the class has completed their OSHA-10 Certification, CPR/First Aid Certification, and a tour of the IBEW.
Almost three weeks in to the class, here's what a few of the students have to say about the APP so far:
Robert B.: "I've enjoyed everything – learning about the history of unions, brushing up on my math skills. I find 2nd Call classes really helpful in learning how to communicate better. I'm looking forward to completing this class, applying to Local 11 and becoming an inside wireman."
Shonn: "I like 2nd Call a lot. Everyone has each other's backs and is so supportive no matter what's going on or where they come from." 2nd Call provides weekly trauma-informed life skills classes to the class. Show More...
Ellison: "My favorite part has been just learning what I can expect out in the field, learning all that I can about safety and the union I want to get into. I've really enjoyed building a relationship with a lot of the people in the class. We came in here and now we're like family. Week 1 everyone was quiet, but now in week 3 it's like another family. That helps me."
Daniel: "My highlight so far is the job opportunities, going to sites and meeting people. Over the next 8 weeks, I'm looking forward to seeing even more opportunities. I had connections in the construction field before I went to jail. This program is helping rebuild those connections."
February 20th, 2020: Youth of Promise Enters 2020
Youth of Promise (YOP) started off the new year by celebrating National Mentoring Month in January. Mentors and mentees from across Pasadena got together to celebrate the impact of mentoring on youth, adults, and the entire community.
Students continue to attend twice-weekly tutoring sessions with volunteer tutors at Flintridge and Aspires West. This February, YOP students volunteered with Food Forward (a youth favorite!), collecting extra produce at farmers markers to donate to local food recovery organizations. In addition to these ongoing activities, it's time for another season of Girls on the Run, an empowerment program for girls in 6th-8th grade. Show More...
YOP is also excited to provide monthly Family Cafes with partner Prototypes. Family Cafes engage parents and caregivers in discussion about youth and their development. We're looking forward to continuing this strong start throughout the year!
February 20th, 2020: Introducing Karina!
Karina is a Youth of Promise (YOP) case manager. She was born and raised in East Los Angeles. She graduated from California State University, Los Angeles with a bachelor's degree in social work last year. She is a first generation college graduate.
Last year, Karina interned with Flintridge's YOP program. Working at Flintridge Center allows Karina to advocate and care for the youth in the program, hoping to make them feel supported and resilient.
February 20th, 2020: Flintridge attends Just Mercy Screening & Discussion
Seven Youth of Promise spent part of their President's Day watching the film Just Mercy and engaging in discussions about the film. Just Mercy tells the stories of injustice and mass incarceration. Youth heard from Gary Tyler, a former inmate at Angola Prison who shared his story of protection, survival, and release. Flintridge Center Co-Executive Director Daniel Torres spoke on the panel about about how themes in the film are relevant to Flintridge's work.
Our gratitude to Lake Avenue Church for this important opportunity.
November 1st, 2019: Fall 2019 APP Graduation
On Wednesday, 17 individuals graduated from the Apprenticeship Preparation Program. Seven are set on becoming union carpenters. Three will become union electricians. Two want to join the sheet metal workers union and two want to be union painters. One is a future elevator constructors union member and another will become a union iron worker.
Flintridge was packed on Wednesday night as we celebrated the accomplishments of the Fall 2019 APP graduates. District 5 Councilmember Victor Gordo delivered the keynote address, speaking about the importance of perseverance. We honored long time OSHA-10 instructor and Local 105 member Will Scott, who has gone above & beyond to assist APP graduates seeking to enter the trades.
The son of 2015 APP graduate & GRIP Local 80 member Genghis was part of the graduating class. Genghis spoke about how the APP changed his life, and how happy he was to see his son getting the same opportunity. Ron Miller, Executive Secretary of the LA/OC Building & Construction Trades Council, closed with remarks about the current boom in opportunities to earn an honest living through union work.
Our deepest thanks to all of our partners who make this program possible, and congrats to all of the graduates and your families. We can't wait to see what's next!
November 1st, 2019: Happy Halloween from Youth of Promise
After the success of the youth-led Back to School BBQ, four of our Youth of Promise students were eager to plan a community Halloween party. In addition to being a fun event, youth introduced this event as a drug-free community space. Over 80 community members came out to paint pumpkins, eat tacos and fresh cotton candy, and compete in the costume contest.
It was a truly fun community event with a little Halloween spookiness thrown in. Special thanks to our partners at Harvest Village, Young & Healthy, the Pasadena Public Health Department, and Day One... and Happy Halloween!
November 1st, 2019: Welcome to Our Newest Reintegration Case Manager, Wade
Wade joins the Flintridge team after working extensively in the substance use treatment field. He is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor II (CADC-II), and an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ICADC). He has previously worked at the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of the East San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys, El Dorado Community Service Centers, and American Health Services. He has extensive experience working with substance abuse, incarceration, trauma, co-occurring disorders, and homelessness. As a reintegration case manager, Wade works to support and advocate for community members, helping identify needs and resources for services and creating care plans for employment and treatment as needed.
October 10th, 2019: Inside the Apprenticeship Preparation Program
With less than a month of the program to go, APP students have been spending four days a week preparing for careers in union construction. So far, the class has completed OSHA-10 and received their CPR/first aid certifications. They've toured the Sheet Metal Workers Union and the Carpenters Union, and last week they visited a PCL Construction project site at CSU Dominguez Hills. In the classroom, students are working through the Multi-Craft Core Curriculum and participating in employment development. The class has a weekly life skills session with 2nd Call and goes to CATZ Gym twice a week for physical fitness. Raynard, a student in the class, says that "math is the most fun day. It gets everybody engaged because we're all working on math skills. We get to work together and help each other."
October 10th, 2019: Youth of Promise is Ready to Rise!
As the school year gets into full swing, our Youth of Promise program is back to regularly scheduled programming! This includes weekly tutoring at Flintridge and partner Aspires West, monthly community service events, fun events and more.
This year, Flintridge is one of 20 youth-serving organizations in L.A. County participating in the Ready to Rise initiative. Ready to Rise is a public-private partnership between L.A. County Probation, Liberty Hill Foundation and California Community Foundation with the goal of expanding resources and opportunities for programs that keep youth out of the criminal justice system. Show More...
"Our youth need support and encouragement to fulfill their potential. We know that the solutions to support youth who have experienced trauma and other challenging circumstances have always been grown and nurtured in communities." — Liberty Hill President & CEO Shane Murphy Goldsmith
We're so excited to be part of this initiative alongside community-based organizations throughout Los Angeles while continuing our work to expand opportunity for youth in Pasadena.
October 10th, 2019: Introducing Tyrone Thompson
Tyrone joins Flintridge as the Case Manager for the Youth Diversion & Development program. Tyrone is a California native and the first in his family to graduate college. Tyrone started his journey at Chico State and graduated from Cal State San Bernardino with a degree in social work. Tyrone has more than 11 years of experience in the nonprofit sector working with diverse individuals and community-based organizations.
He spent several years as a supervisor with New Alternative Inc., a Lead Counselor with Wayfinder Family Services, and a Case Manager with Devereux. Tyrone feels honored working at Flintridge because it allows him to build bridges for our youth to have endless possibilities. Tyrone says that the most rewarding experience in life is being able to empower, encourage and uplift our youth.
August 27th, 2019: Summer Was a Success!
Pasadena youth spent the summer with Youth of Promise's Summer Success Program. Highlights of the program included Show More...
* Art projects with partner Prototypes using A Window Between Worlds curriculum
* One-on-one reading practice with volunteers and Youth Ambassadors
* Weekly capoeira classes with the Rogue Artists Ensemble
* Project-based learning activities (highlights included gardening, an iron chef competition, and a graffiti project)
* Friday field trips, which included a hike to the Hollywood sign, a day at the beach, and Six Flags!
We were so happy to have support from City of Pasadena Youth Ambassadors, who ensured that all youth were engaged in programming and that everything was running smoothly. While we're sad to see the fun come to an end, the youth are ready to head back to school after an enriching summer!
August 27th, 2019: Introducing Adam Mortera
Adam joins Flintridge as a Reintegration Case Manager after a career in the reentry field. Previously, he worked at the Anti-Recidivism Coalition where he served as a case manager/facilitator for rehabilitative programs in CDCR institutions, and advocated for criminal justice reform. He served as a mentor to formerly incarcerated men, women, and youth aging out of the foster system. He has also coordinated community outreach in Imperial Courts Projects in Watts. In his free time, Adam enjoys physical fitness and the outdoors. He is looking forward to working with the Pasadena/Altadena community. Welcome, Adam!
August 27th, 2019: HireLAX ARP Reaches 100 Graduates Placed
Flintridge is a proud partner on the HireLAX Apprenticeship Readiness Program, which just celebrated its first 100 job placements! "Thanks to HireLAX, 100 local workers have earned jobs where they have a direct role in building the future of Los Angeles," said Justin Erbacci, Chief Operating Officer of Los Angeles World Airports. "HireLAX is a model workforce development program that lifts up local, often hard-to-employ workers and provides a path to a lifelong career."
August 27th, 2019: Looking Forward to Fall: A New APP Cohort Begins
Thirty interested individuals showed up at Flintridge Center bright and early last Monday morning for Apprenticeship Preparation Program orientation. After introductions to Flintridge staff and the program, Ben Garcia from the Los Angeles/Orange County Building Trades spoke about the vast amount of opportunities available in union construction and the expectations for an apprentice. Catharine Rajan, who is coordinating local hiring for the 10 West Walnut project in Pasadena, spoke about the impact that well-paying construction positions can have on families.
The cohort, which starts this week, will be facilitated by Andy Alvarez and J.D. Williams, who both went through the program and worked in the union before returning to Flintridge on staff.
July 9th, 2019: Board Appoints Co-Executive Directors Daniel Torres & Josh McCurry
In May, Flintridge Center's founder and President Jaylene Moseley passed away. As the organization moves forward following this tragic loss, Flintridge Center's Board of Directors appointed Daniel Torres and Josh McCurry to the roles of Co-Executive Directors.
"Co-Executive Directors is a new leadership model for the Center, but if any two individuals can make it work to enhance the Center's commitment to continue the work Jaylene began, Daniel and Josh are the ones who can do it," said Board Chair Dr. James Kossler. Show More...
Daniel, Co-Executive Director of Programs, is himself a graduate of Flintridge Center's Apprenticeship Preparation Program who worked as a marble finisher for Local 4 before joining Flintridge in 2014. Since then, Daniel has served the organization in nearly every capacity imaginable, from community outreach and curriculum instruction to forging organizational partnerships and advocacy. With this unique perspective, Daniel works tirelessly to provide opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals locally and as a respected leader throughout the state.
Josh, Co-Executive Director of Administration, was born and raised in Pasadena, where he graduated from Polytechnic School before attending Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. After working in youth development in Texas and Hawaii, Josh returned to his home community of Pasadena, joining the Flintridge team in 2016. As the organization's Research & Development Specialist, Josh has played a critical role in resource development and organizational planning. His thoughtful approach to the mission and vision of the organization are evident throughout his work.
Throughout their time at Flintridge, both Daniel and Josh have proven their talent as leaders in the organization. Kossler added, "The Board felt especially fortunate to have two talented and dedicated individuals who had already been groomed by Jaylene herself for leadership positions in the organization." As Flintridge celebrates the appointment of Daniel and Josh, we send our gratitude to our community of partners and friends for their support.
July 9th, 2019: Celebrating the 33rd Class of APP Graduates
On June 26, we celebrated 16 graduates from the Apprenticeship Preparation Program. After opening remarks from APP instructor Andy Alvarez, 2017 APP graduate and current union carpenter Andres Bonilla shared advice from his experience with the class.
The Program honored Jaylene Moseley, Flintridge Center's Founder. The recognition, accepted by Jaylene's husband and Flintridge board member Alex Moseley, reads "Over the past 12 years, 700+ Graduates of the Apprenticeship Preparation Program have learned how a career in the union construction trades can provide a pathway out of poverty." Show More...
Keynote speaker Darryl Qualls, retired Deputy Chief of Police, shared inspiring stories of his motivation to do his work and spoke to the class about opportunities in the future. Anne-Marie Otey, Communications & Editorial Director for the Los Angeles/Orange County Building & Construction Trades Council also spoke about the importance of union work on local construction sites, including those in Pasadena.
July 9th, 2019: Summer Success Stays Busy
Youth of Promise's Summer Success program is well underway! Every week, the youth learn capoeira, a Brazilian martial art, and work on art projects led by A Window Between Worlds. They have also been planting flowers around Flintridge, and last week, participated in an Iron Chef competition and worked on graffiti art projects.
Afternoons at Summer Success are spent reading and doing other relaxing activities. On Fridays, Summer Success goes out and about. So far, they've enjoyed a trip to the bowling alley, a hike to the Hollywood sign, and a Ventura Beach day. It's safe to say that it's going to be a memorable summer, with more fun on the way!
May 14th, 2019: Running Into May
From a shopping spree with Aaron Donald of the LA Rams to completing a 5K, our Girls on the Run team has been busy!
Flintridge Center's Girls on the Run got to celebrate National Runners' Month with LA Rams star Aaron Donald! The team spent the afternoon at Dick's Sporting Goods, shopping for running shoes and then taking them on a test run. Watch the video here! Show More...
This was perfect preparation for the Girls on the Run 5K the following weekend. All year long, the team of ten 8th graders trained for this race while learning about healthy communication, emotional development, and self-respect. After the race, the team celebrated their accomplishment with an end of the season party. See you next year!
May 14th, 2019: APP on the Job
Frank Rodriguez graduated from the APP in 2017, and is currently a third year apprentice in the Plumbers Union. Two weeks into the spring 2019 APP cohort, Frank spoke to the class about his experience since graduating from the APP. During that visit, he met Christian, a student in the cohort, who mentioned his interest in becoming a plumber.
"Being an APP graduate myself, I knew what to expect... His work ability is go, go, go and he doesn't say no — just like he learned in the class," Frank says. Show More...
A few months later, at Christian's APP graduation, he told Frank that he had a date for his Plumbers Union entrance test. Frank replied, "As soon as you take the test, call me." Frank sponsored Christian into the Plumbers Union, and now Christian is working as Frank's apprentice.
April 17th, 2019: Meet the Newest APP Graduates!
The end of March marked the end of the Spring Apprenticeship Preparation Program cohort, but more importantly, the beginning of 12 careers in union construction. Show More...
For the first time, graduation took place at the beautiful Robinson Park Recreation Center — there was plenty of room to celebrate! City of Pasadena Vice Mayor John J. Kennedy delivered the keynote address, and 2017 APP graduate & current union plumber Frank spoke about the opportunities provided by union careers. We honored Ted Bruins and Bill Fairbanks, dedicated volunteers who go above & beyond to ensure academic success for APP participants, and heard reflections from graduates about their time in the program and their goals going forward.
In the weeks since graduation, two APP graduates are now union members with several union apprenticeships in progress. Congrats to all of the graduates... we can't wait to see what's next!
April 17th, 2019: LA County Board of Supervisors Recognition
"Flintridge Center walks alongside those in our community who have experienced cycles of poverty, violence, and incarceration — and helps them change their lives for the better." - 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger
Flintridge was honored to be recognized by the Board of Supervisors for its impact throughout LA County. We were especially humbled to accept this recognition alongside our partners, the Pasadena Police Department.
Daniel Torres, our Reintegration Specialist, spoke powerfully to the Board about the importance of supporting reintegration efforts throughout the County, and Chief John Perez brought home the importance of collaboration.
April 17th, 2019: High Turnout for HireLAX
Over 100 interested community members came to HireLAX orientation at Los Angeles Southwest College bright and early on a Saturday morning.
Over the next 8 weeks, students will learn the Multi-Craft Core Curriculum, get OSHA-10 & first-aid certified, complete hands-on projects and participate in employment development. Upon graduation, participants will be fully equipped to begin union apprenticeships on LAX projects!
April 17th, 2019: YOP Springs Into Action
From making art at the Armory in Pasadena to a day spent fishing in Long Beach, our Youth of Promise stayed busy over spring break. Inspired by their trip to D.C., four students spent time planning a project that aims to address harmful norms in their community while developing their leadership skills.
Other highlights include a beach cleanup with the organization Heal the Bay, two trips to the Clippers Mentorship Assist Zone (one of which focused on female empowerment), and a discussion of the documentary Period. End of Sentence.
February 26th, 2019: Youth Can Create Change!
Four Youth of Promise participants, Ashanti, Rayana, Carlos, and Gabriel, stepped up to the challenge when asked if they'd commit to participating in this year's Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) Youth Leadership Initiative Program in National Harbor, Maryland.
CADCA represents individuals who are working to make their communities safe, healthy and drug-free. One of their signature programs is all about training youth leaders to be effective agents of change. While there, the youth learned how they can be part of an effort to create change.
The trip gave Carlos and Gabriel their first experience ever on a plane. And it gave all four young people their first opportunity ever to speak directly with a politician and articulate the needs they see in their own community. Show More...
Here they are with Congresswoman Judy Chu and Flintridge staff Janet Ramirez, J.D. Williams, Lisa Wilson, and Deon Shorter in Congresswoman Chu's office in Washington.
The experience of talking face-to-face with a Member of Congress was empowering for these students. Being able to talk with Congresswoman Chu made the whole idea of working to create change come alive.
Plus, they learned that anyone can write a letter to a Congressperson. That was a surprising bit of knowledge. Wow!
The topics they chose to present during their meeting with Congresswoman Chu reflected their experiences at home. Ashanti spoke about her frustration that she can't even visit a local market with her little nephew, who's just a toddler, because there are always people hanging around outside the market using drugs. Rayana talked about how alcohol abuse affects her family. Carlos talked about community violence and how badly he wants to make his community safe. Gabriel shared his experience seeing the impact of substance abuse on his family. All four were confident in their presentations and passionate about their own stories.
They were also able to see some of the sights in DC. Here they are at the Lincoln Memorial!
The experience of representing not only Flintridge Center, but also the City of Pasadena and the State of California at CADCA gave Ashanti, Rayana, Carlos, and Gabriel a wider view of their own ability to create the positive changes they want to see. And that's what this is all about.
November 10th, 2018: Meet the Next Generation of Union Apprentices
A new cohort of motivated and dedicated individuals are ready to take on union careers.
On October 24th, 15 future union members graduated from our Apprenticeship Preparation Program, a career readiness program that prepares formerly incarcerated community members for union construction careers. Over the three-month course, the graduates learned everything they need to know to be successful in unions — from physical fitness, to basic math, to a history of the trades. They also participated in intensive life skills sessions with our partner 2nd Call that addressed emotional issues and the root causes of trauma. Show More...
At the graduation ceremony, keynote speaker Councilmember Tyron Hampton shared a personal story on the impact incarceration had on his family member, and encouraged graduates to stay motivated and connected to Flintridge Center.
Student speakers Kyung Lee and Heriberto Sabia shared how being in the APP class impacted them. Kyung said, "Once the class started, inspiration opened up within me. A future that I had not had before." Kyung's mother came all the way from Korea for the ceremony, and got to celebrate his birthday with him.
We also heard from APP alum and union electrician Dilon Cortez, who told current graduates, "Flintridge Center staff will go to the ends of the earth for you. But the one person who has to put in the most work is yourself."
Special honors went to our partner, the Foothill Workforce Development Board, who provides referrals and significant funding for trainees to our program.
We can't wait to see where our graduates go from here. Check out this video to hear more about their experiences.
November 10th, 2018: Thank You, Volunteers!
Volunteers make our work possible in every area. Last month we hosted a special evening to recognize these amazingly generous people, and give volunteers from different programs a chance to meet each other. Show More...
Volunteers do so much for Flintridge Center. In our Youth of Promise program, volunteers serve as long-term mentors our youth and provide in-depth academic support after school. Volunteers also lead fun activities, like computer programming classes and yoga. Volunteer attorneys help the formerly incarcerated adults we serve reduce and expunge offenses on their records during monthly Record Change Clinics, and help our Apprenticeship Preparation Program students get up to speed on basic math concepts and financial literacy. Volunteers provide advocacy and support for our justice-impacted constituents as well, connecting them to resources and helping them navigate the reintegration process. We also have volunteers helping to make our whole organization run, on our accounting and administration teams.
We truly could not have the impact we have without volunteers and we cannot thank them enough!
September 30th, 2018: Wine, Cheese, and Smiles
Our 2nd Annual Food, Wine, and Flintridge Center Fundraiser on September 13th was a great success! It was so empowering to see people come together in support of adults and youth who have been impacted by incarceration and community violence. The funds raised that night will allow us to strengthen our programs that assist our community's most vulnerable members in getting back on their feet and plugged into their communities. Show More...
Everyone had a fun time tasting all of the wines, mingling, and meeting some of our program participants, volunteers, and Flintridge team members. Team member Daniel Torres shared his personal story of growing up in Pasadena and his journey from incarceration, to program participant, to union construction worker, to Flintridge team member. Our President Jaylene spoke on the remarkable changes that Flintridge Center's programs and services have allowed in peoples' lives.
August 18th, 2018: Donor Spotlight: Alan and Sheila Lamson
Our impact is only possible because of people like Alan & Sheila Lamson. Read on to hear from Alan on why his family supports Flintridge Center. Show More...
"Education is especially important to us. I spent 36 years teaching English at Pasadena Community College and Sheila has taught elementary school. We were initially attracted to the Flintridge Center by its Apprenticeship Preparation Program for formerly incarcerated individuals, that helps participants get jobs in the construction industry. However, we have also recently contributed to the SKILLZ Summer Program, which provides help for teens at risk of dropping out of school. And we have previously contributed to the Youth of Promise program which also helps students make healthier lifestyle choices. All of the Center's programs are worthwhile and and support the goal of using education to enhance the lives of those most in need of a helping hand. Finally, I have been most impressed by Flintridge Center President Jaylene Moseley's work ethic and her deep belief that all lives are valuable, and that everyone should have a chance to lead a healthy, productive life."
August 18th, 2018: Youth of Promise Goes Back to School
There were plenty of smiles, full bellies, and new friends at our annual Youth of Promise Back to School BBQ last week. With YOP Program Assistant J.D. on the grill cooking up links and patties, we had plenty of food to go around. It was exciting for youth who had not seen each other all summer to come with their families and catch up, while parents got to do the same. Show More...
During dinner, long-time YOP staff members Janet and Lisa introduced the newest addition to the team, Deon Shorter. Deon will be working as the newest case manager for YOP, and everyone is excited to have him on the team. Deon was raised in Pasadena and graduated from John Muir High School. He previously worked as a team leader for The City Teen Center in Salinas, Kansas where he mentored male high school students to promote healthy life skills. We also introduced our new YOP interns Karina and Sylvia, who will be a great help in the upcoming school year.
This year YOP is expected to have more youth than ever, and we are already revving up for the new field trips, programs, tutoring, and mentor-matching to come. As always, we are looking forward to another semester where we can support our youth and make sure they all receive the attention and individualized care that will enable them to succeed in school and beyond.
July 23rd, 2018: Celebrating SKILLZ Students
SKILLZ Summer School ended last week, and we could not be more proud of how far our students have come over the summer. The last day was heartwarming and celebratory, as life skills facilitators, tutors, teachers, and students shared words of gratitude and encouragement. Day One Executive Director Christy Zamani told students, "We're all here because we love you, and because we care." Adiline, one of our math tutors, told the youth, "I've learned something new from each one of you."
Students had their own words of appreciation to share as well. One student said to Day One facilitators — "You've been really nice to us. We really appreciate what you do for us." Another said of math tutor Lucas — "He was there to guide me through my mistakes, and he just made this experience a lot better." One student shared, "In school, my teachers didn't care if I failed. I've never had anyone care about me like they do here at SKILLZ." Show More...
Because our community came together to invest in our youth, we were able to surprise every student with a brand-new backpack full of school supplies. Special shoutout to PCL Construction and Alan & Sheila Lamson for providing major match donations that put us over our goal.
SKILLZ is such a special place because of all the incredibly caring people involved. Day One, Lake Avenue STARS, College Access Plan, PUSD, and Flintridge Center all come together to give students the best experience possible.
This year, in addition to rock star life skills facilitators and teachers, we were able to welcome 10 peer math tutors — thanks to Americorps VISTA and the City of Pasadena Youth Ambassador Program. Lola Osborne, the dedicated and innovative Deputy Director of Human Services and Recreation for the City of Pasadena, developed the Youth Ambassador Program in 2001 to provide work experience for teens. By participating at community events, the program has provided dozens of Ambassadors with meaningful work experience. This summer, five Ambassadors and five VISTAs served as math tutors and role models for 100 students in SKILLZ Summer School.
Thank you to our Ambassadors — Mia Benn, Jamila Cummings, Adilene De La Torre, Hilda Flores, Jackeline Nava, and KC Young. And thank you to our VISTAs — Haileigh Adams, Nawid Ahrary, Tavis Larsen, Hayley Washington, and Lucas Wilson.
July 7th, 2018: Flintridge Center Named 41st Assembly District Nonprofit of the Year
Last month, our incredible partner Assemblymember Chris Holden named us the Nonprofit of the Year for the 41st Assembly District. Flintridge team members Chris Finney and Jeffrey Bellissimo joined Assemblymember Holden in Sacramento to accept the honor.
"It is my pleasure to recognize the Flintridge Center as the 41st Assembly District's 'Nonprofit of the Year,'" said Assemblymember Holden. "Working with a network of service providers and public agencies to change lives, Flintridge Center's successful reintegration services should be modeled throughout the state...According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, nearly two-thirds of all state prisoners re-offend. Flintridge Center's reintegration services provide a pathway to employment and a new life — proving that the cycle is not inevitable. Flintridge Center's services help foster their vision of a healthy, safe community where families thrive, youth reach their full potential, and equality and opportunity are accessible to all. Their continued support to individuals of high-risk, high-need circumstances helps transform the lives of those in the community." Show More...
Assemblymember Holden has long been an advocate for us and our community members. He has supported us in receiving funding, spoken at our events, and included us in important community conversations. Last year, he selected our President Jaylene Moseley as the 41st Assembly District Woman of the Year. Most importantly, Chris has initiated legislation that creates greater opportunity for people impacted by incarceration and community violence, such as opening employment opportunities with Assembly Bill 1008.
July 7th, 2018: Summer School is in Session
It's been a busy and fun-filled summer for us and our partners at SKILLZ Summer School. Over 100 young people at risk of dropping school have committed their summers to strengthening life skills and math skills, so they can go into the school year with confidence. It's hard to believe, but there's only one week left of the program. Over the past month, students have tackled important topics like conflict resolution, self-care, and health relationships, during life skills sessions with our partners Day One and Lake Avenue Community Foundation. They've planned for their futures with help from College Access Plan, and tackled everything from decimals to geometry with local Pasadena teachers. By the time this week is over, they'll be ready for anything the school year can throw at them. Show More...
In case you haven't heard yet, we're doing one more thing to prepare our kids — we're giving every SKILLZ student a backpack filled with school supplies. We're over half way to 100 backpacks, but we need your help to get all the way there. Donate now to help us finish SKILLZ strong.
June 6th, 2018: Onward and Upward
The Spring 2018 cohort of our Apprenticeship Preparation Program graduated last week, and we are so excited to watch their careers blossom. The ceremony was full of hope and pride for the students, who overcame immense barriers related to incarceration and poverty. Instructor Daniel Torres told the crowd, "Formerly incarcerated people, we don't want a handout. We just want an opportunity to prove ourselves." Show More...
We heard from past APP graduate Frank Rodriguez, who is now a member of the Plumbers Union. He told current graduates, "I was blocked by my background and my addiction. I put up all these barriers. So I came to Flintridge and stuck it out, and it wasn't the easiest, but it paid off." Current graduate Jermil Lewis spoke optimistically about how his new career will change his life, brighten his family's future, and benefit his community.
Special honors this semester went to CATZ Pasadena trainers, who prepared our APP students for the physical challenges of union construction work. Ron Miller from the LA/Orange Counties Building Trades Council delivered the keynote speech for the evening, encouraging graduates to find strength in their unions. The Building Trades Council is an amazing partner, providing us with a comprehensive curriculum that prepares our graduates to be excellent apprentices, and connecting them with union opportunities.
Check out this video to hear more from our graduates!
June 6th, 2018: Even more graduations!
Three of our Youth of Promise — Mary, Eli, and Brianna — graduated high school. Despite her family struggling with poverty for most of her life, Mary graduated high school with a 3.8 GPA while working part time. Next year she'll be attending UC Merced.
Eli, a dedicated Youth of Promise participant since middle school, enjoyed playing football for Pasadena High School and is looking forward to attending Pasadena City College. We were so proud to congratulate Brianna on earning her diploma from Rose City High School. If you've been on our list for a while, you may remember Brianna's story. In 9th grade, she almost dropped out of school, but thanks to her dedication to her future and advocacy from Youth of Promise program staff, she got the help she needed to finish strong. Show More...
Brianna says her younger siblings are her biggest motivation to do well in school. "I want to show them they can look up to me," she explains. Brianna also says the biggest lesson she's learned is to "never give up, and ask for help when you need it."
Meanwhile, Carlos and Ruben promoted to high school. Stay tuned to hear more about their successes and all our other Youth of Promise!
May 26th, 2018: Golf Tournament 2018: A Success!
On Friday, May 11, we hosted our first-ever Golf Tournament Fundraiser. It was an incredibly fun and impactful day at the beautiful Chevy Chase Country Club, with over 50 golfers and spectators turning out to support our reintegration and youth development programs. Most of us weren't too great at the golf part, but we're all very good at having a good time for a good cause. Incredible corporate sponsors powering the tournament included Hahn & Hahn LLP, Hathaway Dinwiddie, GL Kaplan Construction, IBEW Local #11, McMorgan & Company, PCL Construction Services, Parsons Corp, the Pasadena Police Athletic Association, and Seymour/Daniels Inc.
All told, we made countless new friends, and about $5,000 to continue to break the cycle of poverty and violence in our community. Thank you to all who made it possible!
May 26th, 2018: Girls on the Run Crossing the Finish Line
Girls on the Run has come to an end! Our Flintridge Team of middle school girls had a great time going to the Girls on the Run 5k event. Some walked, some ran, but all crossed the finish line and received their medals! We had some parents come to support their daughters, and all of our girls had pink capes they decorated themselves. Soccer-playing sisters Metzly and Xitlaly showed off their athletic skills by keeping a good running pace the whole way. Others took their time and walked such as our Flintridge staff member, Janet. Our team had a lot of fun during the 5k, and most importantly our participants were able to open up during the weeks of training, discussions, and activities that they had with the guidance of our amazing volunteer coaches. We hope to participate in Girls on the Run again this upcoming autumn, and are always working towards giving our youth self-confidence and inner strength.
April 21st, 2018: Happy National Volunteer Month!
April is the month of showers, flowers, and recognizing amazing volunteers that make our work possible — it's National Volunteer Month!
The Youth of Promise program is powered by volunteers. Volunteer mentors commit a full year to youth mentees, acting as positive role models and guiding youth through life's challenges. Meanwhile, volunteer tutors help Youth of Promise with their homework twice a week, ensuring all our youth stay on track in school and get the individualized support they need. One of our amazing tutors, Ranjani, goes above and beyond to uplift the young people we serve — even taking two of our youth on a tour of her college, Cal Tech, last year. Show More...
We just welcomed a new volunteer tutor, Bill Fairbanks, who will help our Apprenticeship Preparation Program participants strengthen their construction math skills — like fractions and algebra. Having strong math skills is essential to succeeding in union apprenticeships.
We are extremely grateful for our volunteers' continued commitment and patience.
April 21st, 2018: What are the pre-apprentices up to?
Check out our latest video to see what's new with our current Apprenticeship Preparation Program, a union construction career preparation program for formerly incarcerated community members. So far, the participants have built a playground, worked on their life skills, and gotten OSHA-10, First Aid, and CPR certified. Sebastian told us, "my shyness has gone away being in this program," and Luis shared, "There's a lot of us in the class that came from the same background...and here we are trying to progress forward." Watch the video to hear more from the students!
March 31st, 2018: APP Graduates See Success
The most recent graduates of our Apprenticeship Preparation Program have already accomplished a lot since graduation last month. Jeremy, who served as student speaker at graduation, is now a member of the Laborer's Union, Local 300, and is working full time for GMZ Engineering. While in our program, Jeremy overcame immense obstacles to earn his driver's license and get a car. He's also working toward his GED.
Meanwhile, Andres wasted no time after graduating and landed multiple job offers thanks to his persistence. He's now a member of the Carpenter's Union, Local 409, and working full time. Show More...
Finally, Alondra is well on her way to becoming a union electrician, passing the IBEW test and interview with flying colors. We could not be more proud of these graduates and the dozens of others that have strengthened their career paths and themselves through our Apprenticeship Preparation Program. Stay tuned for more updates from our graduates!
March 31st, 2018: Sharing Knowledge With the Community
When proposition 47 released low-level offenders from prisons, the savings in incarceration costs were passed along to agencies like ours, in order to successfully reintegrate formerly incarcerated individuals into the community. We're using our Prop 47 grant for a lot of exciting new services, such one-on-one mental health counseling and substance use support groups. We're also using the grant to provide innovative training opportunities to local providers that will expand the reach of our services. Right now, our partner K-Rahn Vallatine of Live Above The Hype is leading a 10-week workshop that will produce facilitators trained in his life skills curriculum for justice-involved youth. Meanwhile, our partner Skipp Townsend of 2nd Call is training local community members to conduct outreach to formerly incarcerated and gang-impacted young adults. These trainings will ultimately widen our impact to more community members that need our services. Stay tuned for more updates on how our reintegration services evolve!
March 10th, 2018: Robots Take Over!
Thanks to incredible volunteer Ron, we now offer a computer programming class for our Youth of Promise students, where they are learning the basics of coding. They have even had the opportunity learn how to make an actual robot functional and responsive. Brothers Omar and Ruben are two of the youth who have taken advantage of this opportunity. The course is a fun introduction to career possibilities in the computer science world. Just one way we're expanding youths' horizons!
March 10th, 2018: Lace Up Your Running Shoes!
Our Youth of Promise girls, plus girls from the community, have begun training for the Hearts and Soles/Girls on the Run Program! There are 12 amazing girls signed up to be a part of this great program that inspires girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates physical education. After the 12-week program, these girls will complete a 5k! Even though day one started off with rain, our girls were able to train indoors with the help of our amazing volunteer assistant coaches.
March 10th, 2018: Speaking Out on Criminal Justice
Last week Daniel Torres, Flintridge Center Reintegration Specialist, spoke at a public panel discussion in Monrovia about criminal justice reforms Prop 47, Prop 57, and Assembly Bill 109 — hosted by our fantastic partner, Assemblymember Chris Holden. Daniel spoke beautifully about his experience going through the reintegration process and what these reforms meant to him. The reforms have been essential to our work in recent years, and big steps forward in the fight to end mass incarceration. For example, Proposition 47 reduced several nonviolent felonies to misdemeanors, and allowed for many incarcerated people to be released early. The savings created from reduced incarceration costs were then passed on to California cities and community-based organizations like ours, allowing us to expand our mental health and substance abuse service. Prop 47 also allows us to host our monthly Record Change Clinics to help community members reduce and expunge offenses that can be barriers to employment. Show More...
We were grateful to have our voice heard on these issues through Daniel's powerful words, and look forward to continuing to advocate for smart justice reforms.
February 24th, 2018: Building Up Community
Last week we celebrated the end of the Winter 2017-2018 Apprenticeship Preparation Program semester, and the beginning of our graduates' union construction careers. Between our 16 promising graduates, keynote speaker Dominick Correy of Senator Portantino's Office, and special honoree Priscilla Chavez of PCL Construction, it was a star-studded event. Show More...
We heard from APP alum Francisco Desiongco, who shared how he became a journeyman carpenter. Dominick Correy inspired graduates with his journey from incarceration to working in government, reminding them — "Don't let a felony stop you." Priscilla from PCL received special recognition for creating pathways to union employment for our graduates. PCL is a special company because, in Priscilla's words, "We don't just build in the community, we build up the community." Priscilla had words of inspiration too — "What a great day to not be visiting someone in prison or mourning someone who's passed away," she reminded us, "but to be celebrating a beautiful moment."
Many of our graduates are already seeing success. Jeremy, who spoke about his experience overcoming addiction at the graduation ceremony, landed interviews with the LA Community College District and LAX. Alondra got the highest score on the IBEW Local 11 entry test we've ever seen, and is well on her way to becoming a union electrician. Nayeli and Angel are both working full time as union carpenters. We are so proud of all our graduates' accomplishments, and we can't wait to see where they go from here.
February 3rd, 2018: Youth Make Moves
We're so proud of our Youth of Promise! High school senior Mary was accepted to San Francisco State University — the first of what we are sure will be many college acceptances for Mary. Other youth are well on their way to accomplishments like this — 9th graders Kamari and Omar improved their academics, with Kamari moving three of his classes up a full letter grade and Omar earning his first 100% score on a math test. Meanwhile, 7th grader Jenni earned an award for showing the biggest academic improvement in her class. Show More...
At the end of last month, we celebrated National Mentoring Month with mentors, mentees, and staff from the Pasadena Mentoring Partners at our annual breakfast. PMP is a city-wide collaborative coordinated by Flintridge Center, that promotes mentoring throughout Pasadena and shares best practices for mentoring programs. The breakfast was a joyous occasion for everyone who attended. At the end of this month, five of our middle school girls will start training with Girls on the Run, a super fun and transformative program that helps girls improve physical fitness and build essential life skills.
February 3rd, 2018: Supporter Spotlight: Edson Morgan
"Am I in the right place?" This is the question Edson Morgan asked himself on the day he enrolled in Flintridge Center's Apprenticeship Preparation Program. Over the following 12 weeks Edson would come to the definitive conclusion, "Yes! You are in the right place." Hear him talk about his journey from hopelessness to union electrician to Flintridge donor.
January 20th, 2018: Youth of Promise Take On the New Year
Our Youth of Promise are ready and refreshed for a new year. After celebrating with their families, mentors, and program staff at the annual holiday celebration, students got ready to take on a new school semester. Thanks to Neighbors Empowering Youth, many of our youth got free Dell laptops, breaking down a major barrier between students and completing homework. With the help of amazing volunteer tutors, the new semester is off to a great start.
It's also a good month because January is National Mentoring Month! Did you know that at-risk youth who have a mentor are 55% more likely to go to college? We're grateful to all our volunteer mentors you stick up for our youth no matter what.
January 20th, 2018: Looking Into the Future
The winter semester of the Apprenticeship Preparation Program is about half over. So far, students have completed their OSHA 10 certification and CPR training so they can practice safety in the workplace. They were also able to receive sturdy work shoes so they can hit the ground running! Just last week, the class visited the Carpenter's Union and got an inside look at what it takes to enter the trade. Matt gave us great advice when he told us to "find something you love to do then make a career from it." These eye-opening field trips help participants see their goals as reality.
The students have also been working on themselves during life skills sessions, discussing topics such as forgiveness and self-esteem. Our on-site social worker has provided additional counseling for those who need it. We can't wait to see what these students accomplish after graduation!
December 9th, 2017: Youth of Promise Stand Out
Our Youth of Promise have been working incredibly hard this semester to get their grades up and achieve their goals. Their achievements are made possible by incredible tutors who come to us through Pasadena City College, Pasadena Unified School District, and around the community. Youth who really gave it their all and had perfect attendance at tutoring got to attend a special bowling field trip at AMF Bowling in Altadena. A heated but friendly competition was enjoyed by all. We're looking forward to a number of exciting opportunities coming up for the youth and families we serve. This month, youth will volunteer with local projects including Food Forward and Foothill Unity Center, and attend the Live on Green Family Festival here in Pasadena. Youth, mentors, volunteer, and families will all come together for our annual holiday celebration — a fun-filled evening of crafts, good food, and games.
December 9th, 2017: Flintridge Center Gets the Star Treatment
Thanks to the Pasadena Community Foundation and Alibaba Pictures, Flintridge Center had the opportunity to be the subject of a beautifully made short film. Over the summer, the Flintridge team supported student director Jiayuan Liu and her crew in developing the story and completing the film. The film was entered in the Big Heart, Small Film competition and screened for some particularly esteemed judges, including Steven Spielberg! The incredible production won first place in the competition, and we could not be more proud to be involved in such a powerful story.
December 9th, 2017: Students Learn About Construction and Themselves
The fall 2017 semester of our Apprenticeship Preparation Program has been in progress for the past month. Many of the new students have been adding their personal experiences to group discussions as well as learning hard job skills through classes. The APP is a personal and career development program that connects formerly incarcerated adults to opportunities in union construction trades. As program instructor Jeff Bellissimo put it to the class, "We want to give you a leg up and give you the skills that will make you stand out." Show More...
So far through Life Skills sessions, facilitated by our amazing partner 2nd Call, students have been able to open up about low self-esteem, dysfunctional family dynamics, and experiences had while growing up. These discussions help our community members to learn more about themselves, thus allowing them to represent themselves better in job interviews, and work through personal issues they may have. Mock interviews have helped them learn how to be direct, confident, and calm during job interviews. They've also been going through thorough OSHA training, covering topics from recognizing unsafe work sites, to the importance of being aware of potentially dangerous chemicals. The math section of the curriculum has led to a refreshing course on how to add whole fractions and use them effectively in construction work. This Tuesday, APP students will be taking a trip to the Electrical Training Institute where they will be able to tour a real union training site.
We're so excited to see this cohort succeed. As instructor and APP graduate Daniel Torres told the class on the first day, "It's not us that creates success, it's everyone that goes through the program." Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and keep an eye on your inbox for more updates about the fall 2017 APP class.
November 4th, 2017: Flintridge Earns Career Placement Award
Last month, Flintridge was honored to receive an Outstanding Achievement Award from the South Bay Workforce Investment Board (SBWIB) in recognition of achieving outstanding job placement performance. Flintridge partners with the SBWIB to provide job training and placements through our Apprenticeship Preparation Program (APP). At the SBWIB's 22nd Annual Awards Ceremony, Flintridge was recognized for placing 83% of APP participants in union construction careers.
The event was hosted by Jan Vogel, Chief Executed Officer of the SBWIB, and highlighted by keynote speaker Kevin Demoff. Mr. Demoff is the Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President of Football Operation for the Los Angeles Rams. He spoke about the organization's commitment to community engagement and revitalization through construction of the team's new stadium and sports and entertainment district in Inglewood. Flintridge is excited to be a part of Los Angeles' construction and community development initiatives.
November 4th, 2017: Expanding Our Impact
For the last 8 weeks, our Apprenticeship Preparation Program team has lent case management and soft skills support to the brand new Apprenticeship Readiness Program at Southwest College, led by Los Angeles World Airports, Parsons Corporation, Los Angeles Trade and Technical College, America's Job Centers, and the LA/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council. Show More...
As students worked their way through the pre-apprenticeship curriculum and learned construction skills, they met one-on-one with our team members to work on breaking down barriers to employment and self-sufficiency. On Friday, 25 dedicated and motivated individuals graduated from the program. Several of them have already been sponsored into unions. We look forward to sticking with these graduates as they work toward bright futures in union construction trades. We are also grateful for the opportunity to deepen our collaboration with the incredible partners involved in this project, and provide opportunities for people throughout Los Angeles to achieve their full potential and provide for their families.
October 21st, 2017: Presenting the Summer 2017 APP Graduates
This week we welcomed another cohort of motivated, resilient, optimistic individuals into the world of work. Every Apprenticeship Preparation Program graduation is such a joyful occasion, and each graduating class brings their own unique energy to our Center. It has been a great honor and pleasure to journey with these students over the past 12 weeks, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with them as they pursue careers in union construction trades. Show More...
We were honored to welcome City of Pasadena Councilmember Victor Gordo as our keynote speaker. Councilmember Gordo congratulated the class and told them, "By joining a union, you'll have the opportunity to build America, your skill set, your confidence, and your family's future. What do we call that? We call that the American Dream."
Spring 2017 graduate Bryan Barajas also stopped by to give his own words of encouragement to the class. Bryan just got hired as a union carpenter by Build LACCD; you can hear his story in the video below. Build LACCD not only gave Bryan a chance, they've given dozens of our graduates over the years a shot at a lasting union career. That's why we named them this semester's special honoree. We are so grateful for their ongoing partnership.
Finally, student speaker Norma Jimenez addressed her classmates and guests. Norma told the crowd that after hitting dead end after dead end searching for a job with a criminal record, she now has hope for a better future and plans to pursue a career with the Painter's Union.
October 21st, 2017: October is Awesome for the Youth of Promise
Our Youth of Promise are busy as ever with the school year in full swing, but they still find time to roll up their sleeves and give back. In the past month, youth have volunteered on a number of local projects that have contributed to the health of the Pasadena community. Early in October, YOP joined Food Forward to collect nearly 600 pounds of fresh produce to donate to the homeless via Friends In Deed. Last week, the youth pitched in at the Altadena Library's Halloween Costume Swap event, organizing costumes and helping with event flow.
We had a super fun time taking the youth to a Clippers game and the Getty Museum. And in case you missed it in Pasadena Now, we participated in a special screening of "They Call Us Monsters," followed by a discussion on youth gang violence. The excitement doesn't stop for our Youth of Promise all year round! Stay tuned for more updates. And be sure to check out our Facebook and Twitter pages to learn more about what they're up to.
September 9th, 2017: Apprenticeship Preparation Program Gets in Shape
It's hard to believe that the summer semester of our Apprenticeship Preparation Program is already half over. In less than two months, the future apprentices have already accomplished so much. They've readied themselves to be excellent candidates for apprenticeships by building their resume-writing and interview skills, as well as building their physical stamina during workouts at CATZ Pasadena. Each student got brand new work boots custom fitted by Red Wing Shoes, and a hard hat, safety vest, and goggles so they can do hands-on training. The Carpenters Union and the Painters Union welcomed students to their training centers, and gave the class an inside look into what it takes to be an apprentice in those trades. Show More...
The APP is about a lot more than getting a job in construction. In addition to learning about the industry, students have learned about themselves through life skills workshops with our amazing partner 2nd Call, andtheater exercises that help individuals process trauma. We add activities like these to the program because we understand that creating opportunities for formerly incarcerated and gang-impacted community members requires caring for the whole person.
September 9th, 2017: Strengthened Reintegration Support Comes to Pasadena
We are incredibly excited to announce the expanded and improved Reintegration Network, a collaborative effort between the Pasadena Police Department, the Pasadena Public Health Department, Flintridge Center, and nine other incredible community organizations. Funded by the savings created by Proposition 47 — which reduced the incarcerated population — this effort will increase and improve Pasadena's services for community members returning from incarceration. Show More...
Here at Flintridge, we'll be joined by new team members from the Public Health Department, who will offer mental health and substance abuse treatment right here at our Center. We'll offer deepened employment development and case management services, while utilizing a strengthened and aligned network of community organizations — 2nd Call, Amer-I-Can, ACTS Thrift Store, LA Incubator Consortium, Lake Avenue Church, Union Station, Pasadena Federal Credit Union, and Live Above The Hype. Using deep and meaningful collaboration, these partners will work with Flintridge to offer life skills, housing assistance, clothing, legal help, and financial literacy classes, in addition to mental health and substance abuse treatment.
We cannot wait to bring this improved support system to the formerly incarcerated community here in Pasadena. It's all part of our focus on providing the most relentless support possible for community members in need.
August 12th, 2017: Youth of Promise Go Back to School
We celebrated the start of the school year with our annual Youth of Promise Back to School BBQ. It was a fun-filled evening thanks to all our youth, mentors, and families who turned out to end the summer with a bang.
K-Rahn Valentine from Live Above The Hype gave families a taste of what the youth have experienced in his life skills workshops. "Goal setting is life or death," he said. He explained that having solid goals can mean the difference between making positive and productive choices and going down the path of drugs, gangs, and violence. Then, youth and families wrote down and shared their goals for themselves. We love to see our YOP community come together to lift each other up. Show More...
We also honored our summer intern Malik at the BBQ. Malik has been instrumental to the Youth of Promise program this summer, forming strong relationships with all our youth, encouraging them to be their best selves, and going above and beyond to support them. Malik told YOP parents, "I've learned a lot from your kids this summer," and told YOP kids, "You've encouraged and inspired me." He encouraged the youth to stay motivated through the school year and through life — "If you want something, you have to make sure you make the right decisions. Stay focused and know the end of the road is going to be good."
Thanks to our incredible community of donors, youth will be going back to school in style with brand new backpacks filled with school supplies. Our youths' first day of school in Pasadena Unified School District is on Monday. Check out our Facebook page to keep up with their successes this school year.
August 12th, 2017: Future Apprentices Arrive at Flintridge
A new semester of our Apprenticeship Preparation Program is well underway. It's always exciting to welcome a new cohort of motivated and dedicated people to our home here at Flintridge Center. The Summer 2017 class has already dug deep into the Multi-Craft Core Curriculum, a special union-developed course that gives our students a leg up when they apply for union apprenticeships. They've learned about union dynamics, gotten an overview of the diverse range of construction trades, practiced construction math skills, and practiced pitching themselves to employers. Show More...
They've also started our partner 2nd Call's life skills workshops, covering key issues that can impact our community members' ability to maintain careers — like anger management, communication skills, and processing traumatic experiences. This past week, the class also began the newest component of the APP — construction oriented physical fitness classes with community partner CATZ. Students will be participating in a 10-week training program designed to prepare them for the physical rigors of the construction trades.
Stay tuned for updates on our future apprentices' progress!
July 17th, 2017: Friends of Flintridge
Want to take your commitment to the community to the next level? Join our new monthly giving program, Friends of Flintridge! You'll become part of a special group of deeply dedicated individuals. As a Friend of Flintridge, you'll enjoy an easy and automatic donation process, one convenient annual statement for your taxes, the satisfaction of lending sustaining support to marginalized community members, and recognition on our website and at events. You'll also receive this awesome Flintridge Center pin to wear with pride.
Not convinced yet? Watch this video to find out why founding member Mary Wilson thinks becoming a Friend of Flintridge is "a valuable investment."
June 24th, 2017: Snapshot of SKILLZ Summer School
The summer is going by way too fast if you ask us. SKILLZ Summer School is already nearly over, and the youths have come such a long way in such a short time.
SKILLZ is a special summer experience for youth facing obstacles to academic success. Monday through Thursday, students arrive at Lake Avenue Church bright and early for life skills with our partners Day One and Lake Avenue Community Foundation. Awesome instructors work with youth in large and small groups to address life's most important issues. They discuss safe sex, anger management, communication, dating violence, self-esteem, goal setting, and a whole lot more. Show More...
What our life skills partners do for the youth is really the foundation of SKILLZ. Many of these students have had extremely difficult experiences that prevent them from focusing on schoolwork during the academic year, and are at risk of falling through the cracks of the school system. By giving each youth the nurturing support they need and addressing the real challenges going on in their lives, the life skills sessions the stage for youth to achieve their full potential.
After lunch, youth work with teachers and tutors from Pasadena Unified School District to strengthen the math skills they need to succeed in the school year. Teachers use their own unique, interactive math curriculum and are able to give extra attention to each student, ensuring that no one gets left behind. Tutors from College Access Plan help youth accomplish their goals and head toward college.
We're looking forward to celebrating the youths at the final celebration in two weeks. Be sure to stay tuned for updates on the students' successes!
June 24th, 2017: Use our space!
Does your organization, business, or club need a place to meet? As part of our mission to be a hub for impactful work in our community of Northwest Pasadena and West Altadena, we're proud to offer discounted meeting space to local nonprofit organizations, and affordable rates for local businesses. We just implemented a new online system to make it super easy to reserve a room for your meeting or event. Visit our website to learn more about how to reserve space at Flintridge Center.
June 10th, 2017: It Put Value Back in My Name
Last week, 22 students graduated from our Apprenticeship Preparation Program. The ceremony was a celebration of hard work, transformation, and achievement. It was a joy to welcome family members, friends, Flintridge supporters, city officials, and union representatives to share in the graduates' achievements. California Assemblymember Chris Holden, a community leader and long-time partner, delivered a keynote speech in which he told graduates, "Don't stop investing in yourself. When you invest in yourself, you invest in your future." Taking this message to heart, four students have already become union members! Show More...
Reflecting on the journey, student speaker Travis Ake spoke to the audience: "I was at a crossroads. The program presented an opportunity I couldn't really grasp at the beginning." Travis said the program taught him to swing a hammer and be on time, but more importantly "it put value back in my name." He concluded by addressing his fellow graduates, "there are all different walks of life sitting around this room but we have one thing in common: we're striving to do something better."
Student Eric Aranda told the audience how the program gave him "a better hope for my future." He recognized Flintridge President Jaylene Moseley for putting her faith in him: "It really touched my heart and gave me faith in myself." To inspire and motivate the current class, 2015 APP graduate Manuel Desales shared his journey from repeat offender to union carpenter, and motivated students to stay focused on their goals. Manuel also shared his story with us in a special interview — scroll down to see it!
Jaylene, Assemblymember Holden, and Ron Miller from the LA/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades presented graduates with certificates that will demonstrate their readiness to begin a union career. We are so proud of all the graduates and their commitment to the program and themselves.
June 10th, 2017: Reopening Doors of Opportunity
"I was in and out of trouble," says Manuel, "I had work. But it was just work. It wasn't a career." Manuel graduated from the Apprenticeship Preparation Program in 2015, and last week he came back to Flintridge as a guest speaker at this semester's APP Graduation. Not only did he share his story with the audience, but he watched his son-in-law Jose graduate, just a few months after referring him to the program. For the past two years, Manuel has been working as a member of the Carpenter's Union Local 1506.
Hear his story in this video. Show More...
Like Manuel, many formerly incarcerated individuals have doors of opportunity shut in their faces as they work to successfully reintegrate into their communities. Flintridge strives to reopen these doors, and in doing so uplift individuals, families, and the community.
May 20th, 2017: 150 Backpacks
Thanks to an incredible community of donors, we exceeded our Back to (Summer) School Backpacks fundraising campaign goal two weeks before the deadline. We deeply appreciate your support. All 150 youth we serve will receive a backpack filled with school supplies, which will give them a platform for academic success.
If you're worried you missed your chance to donate — there's still time! Every extra dollar we raise will go toward enriching opportunities for our youth — field trips to college campuses, museums, and community services. You can hear about some of them in this video.
May 20th, 2017: Pretty Good for an Old Man
Dave, affectionately known around Flintridge as Cowboy, is a graduate of our Apprenticeship Preparation Program and a member of the Local 409 Carpenter's Union. At 51 years old, and with eight prison terms, Dave has very little work experience. He says, "The biggest problem of mine was just getting out of prison and not having a game plan... wanting to make money but not knowing how to make money the right way... always falling back to criminal activity." Since joining the pre-apprenticeship program last fall, Dave says "it's been just one blessing after the other." He recently stopped by the office to show off a big paycheck. He told us, "That's pretty good for an old man with no work experience and a bunch of felonies." Hear Dave tell his story in this new video.
May 8th, 2017: Youth Finish the School Year Strong
As summer draws near, our youth are giving us a lot to be excited about.
Students are working hard with tutors from Pasadena City College and Aspires West to finish the school year strong and keep their grades up. Many of our youth had particularly successful academic years. Alfred, who has been in YOP for two years, raised his GPA by a full point this semester. Carlos Cuevas, Jennifer Bustos, and Ruben Bustos all recently received student of the month awards thanks to their dedication. Show More...
Darren Meyers and Luis Nava are graduating high school this month. Luis will attend PCC, and Darren will attend Dixie State University, where he'll be continuing his passion for football as a collegiate athlete. DraTierra Manning, Omar Bustos, and Skylar Harvey are all graduating middle school and will start high school in the fall.
Everyone's keeping busy this summer with all sorts of activities. Jennifer Bustos will be attending the YWCA Girls Empowerment Camp, along with fellow YOP mentee Miracle Green. Eli Underwood and Mary Valbaneda will be working this summer, while Skyler Harvey, Kai Jolley, and Jala Sutherland will attend summer camp.
We're looking forward to an end of the school year celebration, more college tours, summer tutoring, and a hike through Eaton Canyon. Stay tuned for more updates from our youth as the school year comes to an end!
May 8th, 2017: From Destruction to Construction
This semester our Apprenticeship Preparation Program renewed its partnership with San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity. Each week, students get an opportunity to develop hands-on skills at an active construction site. The class has participated in everything from framing to installing insulation. These visits give students a chance to practice using hard skills while getting an insight into the strength, attitude, and teamwork required to excel on a job site. The diversity of tasks also allows individuals to begin focusing on which trade they want to pursue.
We are grateful to San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity for hosting our students and appreciate the opportunity to be involved in community development. As a past APP student said, "I spent so much of my life being destructive, it's important to me to be able to construct something."
May 8th, 2017: Back to (Summer) School Backpacks
Every year, Flintridge Center welcomes 150 youth in need of academic, social, and emotional support to our youth programs. Many of these youth are at risk of dropping out of school, have incarcerated parents, or are at risk of becoming involved in the juvenile justice system. You can help these youth thrive by helping us buy them backpacks and school supplies that they could not otherwise afford. Thanks to some amazing people, we've already raised enough to buy over 125 backpacks. Help us get to 150 by June 1.
The SKILLZ Summer School program, offered in partnership with Day One, Lake Avenue Community Foundation, College Access Plan, and Pasadena Unified School District, creates a nurturing space to help youth strengthen the skills they need to start the school year strong. The Youth of Promise program provides year-round youth development support to youth in the most high risk circumstances. We know that when we invest in and care for these youth, there's no limit to what they can achieve.
April 3rd, 2017: Thank you, Lions Club!
The Apprenticeship Preparation Program team was thrilled to accept a generous grant of $6,833 from the Pasadena Host Lions Club. The donation will cover safety vests, safety glasses, hard hats, and work boots for program participants. Every APP participant needs these essential items to take part in hands-on projects, attend field trips to union training sites, and start their union careers after graduation. The Lions Club's donation is already being put to good use. Last week, the Red Wing Boot Truck stopped by Flintridge to get every participant a perfectly fitted pair of work boots. Then, the APP cohort paid a visit to the Sheet Metal Workers Union. Soon they'll start working on hands-on projects with Habitat for Humanity. Show More...
We are grateful to the Lions Club for their generosity and commitment to improving the Pasadena community. Providing tools and equipment will help the people we serve overcome a major financial barrier to union employment.
April 3rd, 2017: Youth Give Back
Our Youth of Promise are hard at work improving the Pasadena community! The youth hand-made catnip toys for cats and bandanas for dogs, and brought them to the Pasadena Humane Society on Saturday.
We include community service experience in the Youth of Promise program to help youth foster a deeper relationship with their community. Service projects are an opportunity to give back, get involved, and stay connected. For high schoolers, service hours also fulfill graduation requirements. In the past, youth have volunteered at Door of Hope and participated in the MLK Day of Service.
March 18th, 2017: Jaylene Moseley named 41st Assembly District Woman of the Year
California State Assemblymember Chris Holden recognized Flintridge President Jaylene Moseley's incredible impact on the Pasadena and Altadena communities by naming her the 41st Assembly District Woman of the Year. Assemblymember Holden said, "Jaylene Moseley has been a force of impact for Northwest Pasadena and West Altadena for more than 30 years through her leadership of the Flintridge Center. Jaylene is a friend, a leader and an inspiration to all. She is a woman who exemplifies a life of purpose, fulfillment and joy."
Jaylene traveled to the state capitol to accept the award, where she had the opportunity to amplify Flintridge Center's intervention and prevention work.
March 4th, 2017: ArtCenter Returns to Flintridge
Our Youth of Promise program started a new semester of arts education workshops with student leaders from ArtCenter College of Design. Last year 12 middle and high school youth created 2D designs for transportation vehicles. This year they are upping the ante. Over the next 10 weeks youth will design and construct unique 3D models, building on the skills they learned last year. Not only do these workshops provide creative outlets for artistic development, they incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) skills that support academic achievement.
We are so grateful to have student leaders from the ArtCenter invested in our Youth of Promise. Their workshops are a vital component of the YOP program and help us unlock the potential of each youth.
March 4th, 2017: APP Grad Louis Breaks the Cycle
Two weeks ago, Louis Ortiz told fellow Apprenticeship Preparation Program graduates, "I was told that I would never be anything. That I would amount to nothing." Today, he is a member of the Local 409 Carpenter's Union.
Louis spent 27 of his 57 years in federal prison. He said, "Even when I wasn't in the pen I was still incarcerated and imprisoned in my mind; my soul was held captive by my belief system, and my behavior was very destructive. I was a very destructive individual in my community." The last time he got out, Louis said he didn't know what to do, but he knew he needed make a change. Last November, Louis enrolled in the Apprenticeship Preparation Program "and the rest," he says, "is history."
Louis begins work with PCL Construction at the new L.A. soccer stadium this Monday!
February 18th, 2017: Congrats, Grads!
On February 9th, 23 formerly incarcerated and gang-impacted community members graduated from our Apprenticeship Preparation Program. The graduation ceremony was a truly inspiring event that brought out over 100 family members, friends, Flintridge supporters, city officials, and union representatives to celebrate the class's accomplishments. Pasadena City Councilmember John Kennedy, whose partnership was essential to completing the Little Free Library Project, was our keynote speaker. He encouraged graduates to "be early, be prepared, work hard, and never give up." We then gave special recognition to the Pasadena Police Department for their ongoing commitment to reintegrating formerly incarcerated individuals back into the community. Show More...
We also heard from APP alumnus Steve Guardian, who is working full time as a Landscapers & Irrigation Union apprentice, and current graduates Louis Ortiz and Mike Brown. Louis said the APP raised his confidence and showed him another way of life is possible. He told the crowd, "People looked at me and said 'He's going back to the penitentiary for sure,' and I proved them right every time. But this time I proved them wrong." He said he's excited to move forward — "This is the beginning of the second part of the journey," Louis said, "I will continue to move forward." Mike, who has already been hired as a union carpenter on the new LA football stadium project, said Flintridge has been a "second family," and starting his career is "more than just a dream come true, it's life coming true."
Flintridge President Jaylene Moseley, Councilmember Kennedy, and Chris Hannan of the LA/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council presented graduates with certificates that will give them a leg up when they apply for union jobs. We are so proud of how far these 23 men and women have come over the last 3 months and can't wait to see where they all go from here.
February 4th, 2017: Ready for Graduation
On February 9th, 23 formerly incarcerated and gang-impacted community members will graduate from Flintridge Center's Apprenticeship Preparation Program. It is always a joy for us to recognize the hard work students, instructors, and community partners invest in every semester of the program. In light of the increase in community violence in Pasadena and Altadena in recent months, we're especially looking forward to celebrating the commitment this class has made to improving themselves and their communities. Show More...
The graduating class has accomplished a lot. Five students have already landed interviews for major union construction projects, and four have been accepted into unions and will start work shortly after graduation. The whole class has been OSHA safety certified, gotten first aid and CPR certifications, completed the union-approved pre-apprenticeship curriculum, visited five union training sites, built their resumes, done dozens of mock interviews, and completed an intensive life skills course led by 2nd Call. They worked in teams to construct five Little Free Libraries, which will be installed in Northwest Pasadena neighborhoods and provide free books to community members.
Two days after the site visit, several APP students went to the Local 78 office to submit paperwork and take an aptitude test, taking the first step toward becoming an apprentice in the union. We are infinitely proud of these students' commitment to their future careers and look forward to cheering them on through the union application process.
We could not be more excited for the graduation ceremony. Speakers at the event will include Pasadena City Councilmember John Kennedy, past graduates, current students, and officials from our union construction trade partners.
February 4th, 2017: Celebrating Pasadena Mentoring
We closed out National Mentoring Month with a bang last weekend with the 6th annual Pasadena Mentoring Partners Breakfast, held at First Church of the Nazarene. More than 100 mentors and their mentees and family members enjoyed a delicious breakfast and inspiring guest speakers, including National Mentor of the Year Dr. Edgar Villamarin and K-Rahn Vallatine. Several of the Youth of Promise mentors from the Pasadena Fire Department were in attendance, including Chief Washington and Battalion Chief A.C. Brown. Two of our Youth of Promise mentees, Carlos and Elijah, helped out with MC duties, and one of our mentors, Sabrina, won a new car seat in a raffle. Show More...
Pasadena Mentoring Partners is a collaboration of mentoring-focused organizations that has been convened by Flintridge Center since 2008. Providing leadership, resources, training and opportunities for networking, Pasadena Mentoring Partners collectively provide mentors to more than 300 students in the Pasadena Unified School District. We believe that working collaboratively with everyone in our community who cares for youth is the best way to bring support to young people who need it.
January 23rd, 2017: New Careers Move Forward
Last week Flintridge Center's Apprenticeship Preparation Program (APP) visited the Local 78 Plumbers and Pipefitters union training site. Each construction trade is different, from the application process to the tools used and the technical skills required to be successful. Many of this semester's students are interested in the plumbing trade because it encompasses a variety of crafts including welding, pipefitting, and diagramming. Show More...
The site visit provided class members with the opportunity to further explore their interest in the trade and gain insight into what qualities make a successful worker. "Have a good attitude and be teachable," they were told, "that's the most important thing."
Two days after the site visit, several APP students went to the Local 78 office to submit paperwork and take an aptitude test, taking the first step toward becoming an apprentice in the union. We are infinitely proud of these students' commitment to their future careers and look forward to cheering them on through the union application process.
January 23rd, 2017: Youth Get to Work (And Play!)
Our Youth of Promise (YOP) program participated in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service last weekend. This was an opportunity for students to give back to their community and reflect on what it means to serve. Youth helped clean up Pasadena High School's campus and helped create small gardens on the property. Community service is an integral part of the YOP program, and it also allows high school students to complete service hours necessary for graduation.
The YOP Program has also been participating in National Mentoring Month festivities, and celebrated with an outing to the Los Angeles Clippers game last Monday night. YOP has been lucky to be involved in the Clippers' Mentorship Assist Zone program, which gives youth the opportunity to learn leadership skills from players. We're looking forward to joining the Mentorship Assist Zone again this year, and are grateful for the Clippers' commitment to mentorship.
January 9th, 2017: Put New Year's Cleaning Toward A Good Cause
Decluttering your home for the New Year? Getting rid of some holiday gifts that didn't bring you joy? Instead of throwing away your old stuff, use it to help Flintridge Center meet community members' needs.
Flintridge is now a partner of ACTS Thrift Store, meaning every time you donate items to ACTS in Flintridge Center's name, someone we serve gets a voucher for the store. Community members use these vouchers for clothing for job interviews, appliances and furniture for their home, or anything else ACTS sells that they may not otherwise be able to afford. Show More...
We're so grateful for what ACTS is doing for us and many other Pasadena nonprofits. With their help, we'll be better able to create opportunities and bridge the gap between community members and meaningful transformation.
Help people get back on their feet by donating to ACTS now! You can drop off items at the store or schedule a pickup for larger items. Make sure you specify that you want your donation to support Flintridge Center.
January 9th, 2017: Flintridge Gets the Star Treatment
We had the pleasure of participating in Pasadena Media's Free PSA Day, where Pasadena nonprofits are invited to Pasadena Media's studios to film a free professional video about their causes! We had so much fun feeling like TV stars for a day, and we love the video they made for us. Check out the finished product!
December 12th, 2016: Youth Get in the Holiday Spirit
Over fifty mentees, mentors, parents, siblings, and community volunteers came together for the annual Youth of Promise holiday celebration on Thursday, December 1. After a holiday feast, youth made snowmen socks, seasonal ornaments, and reindeer hot chocolate mix. Parents of youth participated in a Parent Cafe discussion on managing holiday stress, hosted by program partner Be Strong Families. At the end of the evening, youth had the opportunity to present their crafts as gifts to their families, and we raffled off prizes for everyone in attendance. Show More...
Every youth in the YOP program also received a $25 gift card, thanks to a grant from the Yes, Virginia Fund, a fund of the Pasadena Community Foundation. The Yes, Virginia Fund was established in 1994 by generous Pasadena residents to help children at the holidays.
The Youth of Promise Program stimulates educational and emotional growth for underserved students through academic tutoring, individual mentoring, and life skills development. The holiday party provided our mentees the opportunity to come together for a fun-filled evening with family and friends, realize artistic potential through craft-making, and reflect on the practice of giving.
December 12th, 2016: Apprenticeship Preparation Program Gets a Leg Up
Participants in our Apprenticeship Preparation Program just completed certification week! They received training in CPR and First Aid and participated in a ten-hour Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) course. These certifications ensure that our pre-apprentices are knowledgeable about workplace safety and equipped with the skills to address potential health hazards. Importantly, being CPR, First Aid, and OSHA certified will give them a major advantage when they apply for union construction jobs. Show More...
The class also took a visit to the Southwest Carpenter's Training Fund in Whittier, CA. Students got an insider's perspective on how to start and maintain a successful career in the Carpenters' Union and learned about the benefits of working in a union. A facility tour provided the class intimate access to the training floor, construction lot, and production equipment. Through the visit, students got a glimpse into post-program possibilities and examined if carpentry aligned with their career goals.
December 12th, 2016: Little Free Libraries Take Shape
Using hands-on skills developed over the past month of training, the Apprenticeship Preparation Program began construction on several Little Free Libraries to be set up around the Northwest Pasadena Community. Program participants worked in small teams to create a blue print and begin the construction process. The Little Free Libraries venture is an ongoing project supported by Pasadena Councilmember John Kennedy and the Pasadena Public Library. The project not only provides a practical application of lessons learned in the APP class, but also gives program participants the opportunity to make a positive impact on their community. Keep your eye on our newsletter as the Little Free Libraries near completion!
November 28th, 2016: Youth Come Together for Friendsgiving
Our Youth of Promise had a great time at our first annual "Friendsgiving" celebration at Bolsa Chica State Beach last week. We took 21 youth mentees to the beach on Monday for a fun day filled with great food, a bonfire, beach volleyball and football. It was a great opportunity for our youth to bond with each other and engage in positive, fun activities during their Thanksgiving break.
November 28th, 2016: Bringing Community Literacy to Northwest Pasadena
As part of their hands-on construction training, our Apprenticeship Preparation Program participants will be building Little Free Libraries to install in community locations around Northwest Pasadena. This is an opportunity for our participants to not only get construction experience, but also make a positive impact on their community by making literacy accessible to more community members.
On Tuesday, November 15, we kicked off the project with an exciting event attended by some inspirational community leaders. Councilmember John Kennedy, Chief Phillip L. Sanchez and Lieutenant Jason Clawson of the Pasadena Police Department, Deputy Director Timothy McDonald of the Pasadena Public Library, and Rogelio Ramirez of Rojo Green Inc. were among those who spoke at the event to celebrate the project. Check out this article about the event from Pasadena Now. Show More...
Councilmember Kennedy and representatives from the Pasadena Police Department threw their whole-hearted support behind the project and encouraged APP participants to stay focused on their goals. Councilmember Kennedy told participants, "Things are going to get better," and "Every one of you can make it." Lieutenant Clawson emphasized, "We're here because we've invested in you. You're here because you're invested in your future."
November 14th, 2016: Mentee Leads Mustangs to Victory
Youth of Promise mentee and John Muir High School Mustangs quarterback Darren Meyers led the Mustangs to victory over the Pasadena High School Bulldogs in the highly-anticipated 70th annual Turkey Tussle game last week. Head over to Pasadena Now to see a recap of the game and a great interview with Darren.
Darren, now a senior in high school, has been active in Youth of Promise since 7th grade, starting off as part of a mentoring group with Pasadena fire fighters. Darren's mentor Eric Woodard has seen him through some tough times over the last three years, including losing his mom to cancer last year. Despite facing some major obstacles, Darren has made big strides. Because of his academic and athletic talents, he's been offered a full scholarship at Dixie State University in Utah, where he's looking forward to studying marine biology. It's truly incredible to see Darren and all of our Youth of Promise achieve their dreams.
November 14th, 2016: New Students Arrive and Thrive
We're one week into the new semester of our Apprenticeship Preparation Program and we are already so impressed and inspired by the cohort of students ready to change their lives.
So far, students have learned about the union apprenticeship process in different construction trades, studied some basic construction math, practiced pitching themselves to employers, and had their first life skills session with our partner 2nd Call. Show More...
We're proud of our students' dedication to improving themselves and pursuing lasting careers, and can't wait to see what they can achieve. They've all faced major challenges, including poverty, housing issues, gang violence, and years in prison and jail. Coming up, students will be building Little Free Libraries to install around Pasadena, visiting union construction sites, and practicing their interviewing skills.
October 31st, 2016: Designers of the Future
We're teaming up with ArtCenter College of Design to bring big things to our Youth of Promise program! Over 10 weeks, ArtCenter students will lead a team of 12 middle and high schoolers to design their own transportation devices. We're only a couple weeks in, and our youth are already inspired and dreaming up some incredible planes, trains, and automobiles. Show More...
The youth kicked things off with ArtCenter's annual Car Classic event, where they picked out cars that will inspire their own models, saw the computers where ArtCenter students design world-class cars, and even got to look inside an upcoming Lexus model and talk to a Lexus designer! So far in the classroom part of the program, held weekly at Flintridge Center, the ArtCenter student leaders showed the youth some cool projects they've worked on at ArtCenter, and demonstrated the basics of sketching out a design. Coming up, youth will be learning more about car and transportation design from the students, building their own models, and taking more fun field trips to places like the Peterson Museum.
We're so grateful to have an amazing group of ArtCenter students guiding our Youth of Promise to bring their dreams to life, and we can't wait to see what our youth can create!
October 17th, 2016: Congratulations Graduates!
The Apprenticeship Preparation Program Summer 2016 class graduated last week, and graduates are off to start their careers!
The graduation ceremony celebrated the resilience and determination all the graduates demonstrated over the last 10 weeks. Program instructor Daniel Torres hosted the evening and encouraged the class to keep growing and to reach out for support, telling them, "We never close the door on anyone." Keynote speaker Chris Reynauld, a 2014 APP graduate, spoke about his path to become an IBEW apprentice. Student speaker Steve Guardian reflected on his experience this semester, telling the audience, "Now my whole mindset is union. Getting jobs in unions will change our lives." Show More...
We also honored our partner 2nd Call, which provides essential life skills sessions, helping students work through emotional issues and develop effective communication strategies. Finally, Ron Miller of the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, along with our own President Jaylene Moseley, presented certificates to the graduates, marking the end of their journey in the APP class and the start of their journey toward union careers.
We are immensely proud of all our graduates. Despite facing major barriers related to poverty, incarceration, and violence, students committed themselves to learning new skills and becoming better people.
Watch our video on YouTube to hear from graduates and see some highlights from the semester.
October 17th, 2016: Tools for Career Success
To start careers in union construction trades, students and graduates need hard hats, goggles, safety vests, boots, tool kits, union dues, and more – all of which really add up for someone trying to get back on their feet.
Help us provide these Tools for Career Success by donating to our fundraiser. Your donation will go directly to helping formerly incarcerated and gang-impacted community members transform their lives.
October 17th, 2016: Flintridge In The News
Check out this article in Pasadena Now about our Tools For Career Success fundraiser! Thank you to Pasadena Now for spreading the word about issues facing our most disadvantaged community members. We are so grateful for all the support we have from our local Pasadena and Altadena communities.
We hope the article inspires you to donate and spread the word about our Tools For Career Success fundraiser!
September 19th, 2016: We're Making Real Change
The Real Change Movement, coordinated by Flintridge, is in the news! The movement raised a total of $8,000 during 2014-2015 - $4,000 from donation meters and $4,000 from United Way. This funding directly helped to house 20 homeless community members. Read the full story from Pasadena Now.
The Real Change Movement collects donations for organizations working on homeless solutions through bright orange meters placed around the community. The meters raise awareness about homeless issues, as well as give people the opportunity to donate their spare change confidently to organizations that directly house community members experiencing homelessness.
September 19th, 2016: Flintridge Is On The Move!
Thanks to a grant from thefrom the unrestricted funds of the Pasadena Community Foundation, made possible by generous donors since 1953, we now have a brand new 15-passenger van to help our community members get around. We're using the van to bring our Youth of Promise to programs at Flintridge and on fun outings; as well as to take our Apprenticeship Preparation Program students on field trips to union training sites and hands-on projects. We are so grateful to the Pasadena Community Foundation for getting us mobile!
August 27th, 2016: Pasadena Mentor Nominated For National Award
A mentor from one of our Pasadena Mentoring Partners is nominated for a national mentoring award! If you're reading this before August 30th, you can still vote for Edgar to win! Edgar has guided and supported his mentee Ulises for 11 years through Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters in Pasadena. We're so excited that a mentoring match from our community is getting national recognition.
August 27th, 2016: Apprenticeship Preparation Program Students Thrive
The summer semester of the Apprenticeship Preparation Program isn't even half over and our students have already accomplished so much. Students now have their OSHA safety certification, which will give them a leg up when they apply to unions. They've been getting hands-on training on real construction projects, where they've learned how to use buzz saws, scissor lifts, and other construction tools. We also visited the Sheet Metal Union and Carpenters Union, where students got an inside look at what it takes to be an apprentice in those trades. Perhaps most importantly, the class has been working through issues of anger management, communication, and trauma in our weekly life skills sessions facilitated by 2nd Call. All of these will be key experiences for students to have under their tool belts as they move forward in their careers. We can't wait to see what the second half of the semester brings!
August 27th, 2016: Councilmember Kennedy Visits
We were honored to have John Kennedy, Pasadena Councilmember from District 3, visit Flintridge Center and hang out with our Apprenticeship Preparation Program class. Councilmember Kennedy truly understands the need for our programs in the Pasadena community, and we're grateful to call him an advocate for Flintridge. Show More...
We couldn't do the work we do without the support of the Pasadena City Council. In 2010, the City Council named Flintridge Center Pasadena's Institutional Home for Violence Prevention/Intervention and Positive Youth Development. In this role, we convene and communicate with organizations in our local community who are invested in breaking the cycle of community violence, in order to identify gaps in services and provide the highest level of support to all community members.
August 8th, 2016: Youth of Promise Go Back To School
It's that time of year again! We celebrated the start of the school year with our annual Youth of Promise Back-To-School BBQ. We played bingo, raffled off prizes, and chowed down on burgers and hot dogs. Also, two of our high school youth presented motivational posters they made at a recent goal-setting workshop. At the end of the night, everyone got backpacks and school supplies donated by amazing supporters. It's awesome seeing mentors, kids, and families come together for a night of fun before school stress sets in. Show More...
The Youth of Promise program supports young people in our community that are at risk of becoming involved in gangs or incarcerated. Community volunteers mentor youth, acting as positive role models and guiding them through life challenges. This year, we're also providing academic support, trips to college campuses and museums, life skills, career planning, and more positive opportunities.
August 8th, 2016: New Students Arrive
This week we welcomed nearly 30 new students to our Apprenticeship Preparation Program, a 10-week training course that helps formerly incarcerated and gang-involved community members obtain lasting union careers in the construction trades. So far, the class has learned about the importance and purpose of unions, got a lesson in marketing themselves to employers, and had their first life skills session with our partner 2nd Call. Show More...
"This is a program of empowerment," program instructor Jeffrey Bellissimo told the class. "That means we put you in a position to get a career." We're already so impressed with students' open-mindedness, motivation to learn new things, and optimism for what's to come in the future. We could not be more excited to be part of their journey toward careers and transformation. Check out our Facebook and Twitter pages for more updates from the class!
August 8th, 2016: Thank You, Joanne!
It's a bittersweet week here at Flintridge, because we just said goodbye to our amazing Americorps VISTA volunteer, Joanne. In one year, she helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, put together the math curriculum for our summer school program, wrote dozens of newsletters, and took all the gorgeous photos you've seen on our website and social media. Next, she's off to medical school at Western University. We are so grateful for everything she's done for us, and wish her the very best!
July 18th, 2016: Ready for School!
It seems like it was just yesterday that we welcomed over 50 young people to the Lake Avenue Church campus for SKILLZ Summer School. After 5 weeks of life skills with Day One, math skills and games with Flintridge and PUSD teachers, and college planning with College Access Plan, it was bittersweet to say goodbye. The youth finished strong, practicing what they learned a fun way with a math relay race and dodgeball game. Show More...
Thanks to all the amazing people that donated to our Back to (Summer) School Backpacks campaign, every student got a backpack filled with school supplies so they'll be ready to start the school year in style. It's because of supporters like you that we can reach all the community members that we do. Learn more about how you can help Flintridge by volunteering or making a gift. Even the smallest contribution is an essential investment in the community.
July 18th, 2016: New Semester Starting Soon
We are tremendously proud of our Apprenticeship Preparation Program graduates' incredible successes, and we're so excited that another semester is right around the corner, starting on August 1st. In 12 weeks students will learn everything they need to know to enter a career in the union construction trades. They'll practice blueprint reading, sharpen their construction math knowledge, get hands-on experience, and most importantly develop the life skills and confidence they need to succeed. Show More...
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates on how all our Apprenticeship Preparation Program students and graduates are doing. You can learn more about the APP on our website or by contacting Daniel Torres.
June 27th, 2016: Gaining SKILLZ This Summer
It's summer time, which means that SKILLZ Summer School is in session! SKILLZ provides a safe, nurturing alternative for youth during the summer, with the goal of reducing dropout rates and increasing graduation rates. SKILLZ began 7 years ago as a collaboration between Flintridge Center, Day One, Lake Avenue Church and Community Foundation, and Pasadena Unified School District.
Hosted on the Lake Avenue Church campus, SKILLZ will be in session for 5 weeks. Students begin their day in life skills workshops coordinated by Day One. They learn about relevant topics and skills, such as goal setting, dating violence, nutrition, rights and responsibilities in encounters with law enforcement, and conflict resolution. In the afternoon, students get an engaging, interactive review and preview of math topics they'll need for the fall. Show More...
SKILLZ provides an environment of support, understanding, and high expectations. We want our to students to start the school year with the academic skills, emotional strength, and resources they need to succeed.
June 27th, 2016: Youth of Promise Win Big
One of the best parts of being a Youth of Promise is getting together for fun field trips and parties. Last weekend, we took over 20 youth to Dave and Busters for a fun-filled day of games and great food. We were joined by friends from Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters and Lake Avenue Community Foundation — agencies in the Pasadena Mentoring Partners network coordinated by Flintridge. Our youth got to play unlimited video games, watch a soccer match, and chow down on pigs in a blanket and fries. Show More...
Outings like this one are a blast for everyone, but they're also essential to supporting our kids. Our Youth of Promise are just that — filled with promise — but they deal with difficult life circumstances that threaten their ability to reach their full potential. They're deeply impacted by community violence, gang activity, and poverty in Northwest Pasadena and Altadena. We believe that it is extremely important to create a community where they feel safe, supported, loved, and encouraged to thrive. That's what the Youth of Promise program is all about.
May 31st, 2016: APP Graduates Get To Work
The Apprenticeship Preparation Program works, and so do our graduates! It's only been a few weeks since the Spring 2016 class graduated, and already 5 graduates have been accepted to unions and/or are working on construction projects. We caught up with Mack Lewis and James Griffin, who got accepted to the Cement Masons Union Local 600 just a few days after graduation and started working a project down the street from Flintridge last week. Show More...
Both Mack and James were struggling to find direction and hope when they enrolled in the APP. Now, just three months later, they're both thriving. And it's not just the construction skills they learned in the program that's made them so successful — it's also the deep life skills and self-esteem they developed during the 12-week course. James told us he feels the program changed him "from the inside out" and his experience has been "breathtaking." Mack said, "If it wasn't for this program, I probably wouldn't be a free man. I probably would have went down the wrong road."
We could not be more proud of Mack, James, and all of our Apprenticeship Preparation Program graduates. We'll welcome a new cohort of participants in July — stay tuned for more updates!
May 31st, 2016: Success Even Before Graduation
From day one of class, participants in the Apprenticeship Preparation Program are taught, "It's all about how you present yourself." To make a positive impression on employers and unions, participants are advised to show up early, do their research, and be prepared to introduce themselves. Show More...
Lacy Zaycher and Andrew Bacon took this advice. They showed up prepared to present themselves and asked insightful questions at job fairs and union site visits. It's no surprise that both Lacy and Andrew landed union construction careers before graduating from the Apprenticeship Preparation Program! Lacy is now working for ISEC as a member of Carpenter's Local Union 409, while Andrew is working for Morrow-Meadows as a member of IBEW Local 11.
We look forward to seeing what else is in store for Lacy and Andrew, along with all of our other motivated graduates!
May 16th, 2016: Congrats, APP Grads!
On Friday, May 6, Flintridge proudly presented the Graduates of the 24th Session of the Apprenticeship Preparation Program. Supportive and proud family members, funders, APP alumni, program partners, and community partners joined our celebration to help congratulate the APP graduates for their accomplishments, dedication, and hard work over the past 12 weeks. Show More...
Graduates successfully completed all 12 weeks (240 hours) of the program, which is no small feat! Graduates learned the basics of construction (from math to blue printing), participated in hands-on training, gained applicable life skills, educated themselves in the process of obtaining and retaining employment, and much more. Graduating means these community members now have the knowledge and certification to enter union apprenticeships.
Although they are finished with the program, graduates know that this is not the end. As 2nd Call's Skipp Townsend states, "It's about the journey, not the destination." Graduates will continue to apply themselves, reach for their goals and become self-sufficient members of the community.
To learn more about or support the APP, please contact Daniel Torres.
May 16th, 2016: Girls' Day Out
The girls in our Youth of Promise Mentoring Program got a special treat on Saturday, April 30. A jam-packed day of fun was planned for our mentees by our CSUN MSW intern Arielle Ventimiglia.
The girls began the day with a yoga class taught by Diana Diaz, founder of Youth Yoga, a nonprofit with the goal of giving youth the opportunity to learn how to connect with themselves. Following yoga class, the girls enjoyed a movie and lunch together. To conclude the day of fun, volunteer Marinela gave each girl a manicure. Show More...
The girls who attended Girls' Day were engaged and really enjoyed the activities. The event allowed them to open up, discuss the importance of self-love and learn how to cope with negative internal and external criticism. Having events like Girls' Day is important to all mentees. It allows our youth the opportunity to interact with each another and feel connected to the program.
To support YOP, please visit https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/flintridgecenter. For more information about YOP, please contact Lisa Wilson.
May 2nd, 2016: Honoring Those Who Make a Difference
At April's PACT Resource Fair, we honored and thanked Superior Court Judge Terry Smerling and Deputy Probation Officer Melissa Carr for providing second chances to struggling community members. As a result of their dedication and belief in the potential of each individual, many community members have transformed their lives. Show More...
Judge Smerling has been working in the Pasadena community for many years and has deferred incarceration for countless community members, sending them instead to the treatment they need to become drug-free and self-sufficient. Deputy Probation Officer Melissa Carr works alongside Judge Smerling, guiding and monitoring community members on probation to ensure that they do not relapse and recidivate. Together, they have changed the lives of many individuals, including Flintridge's APP staff members Jeffrey Bellissimo and Daniel Torres.
Flintridge's APP Program Specialist Jeffrey Bellissimo recalls that, "Judge Smerling saved my life" to which Judge Smerling replied, "I didn't save your life. You saved yourself, Jeffrey. I only provided you the opportunity to do so." We thank Officer Carr and Judge Smerling for their impactful work and helping to transform the lives of Pasadena community members!
May 2nd, 2016: You Can Help Youth Succeed
Summer is right around the corner! At Flintridge, summer means SKILLZ. The SKILLZ Summer School program is a nurturing and supportive space for youth to improve their academics and life skills. SKILLZ students come from families affected by poverty and impacted by community violence. Many of them have experienced trauma. These are the youth we fear losing to gangs and the prison system. Show More...
We want to provide SKILLZ students with a backpacks full of school supplies — helping each start the school year strong. Thanks to wonderful individuals and the Tournament of Roses Foundation, we've already raised over $3,700 to do just that. We also received a donation of brand-new backpacks from Elite Educational Institute in Arcadia. With such incredible community support behind us, we're over three-quarters of the way to our $5,000 fundraising goal. Another $1,300 will ensure that every child in the SKILLZ program gets a backpack filled with everything needed for the school year.
Even the smallest donation will help a youth in need. You can donate online or by mail. You can also drop off backpacks and school supplies at our Northwest Pasadena location or have them picked up from your home or office. Contact Emma for more information.
The SKILLZ Summer School is a collaborative effort by Flintridge Center, College Access Plan, Day One, Lake Avenue Community Foundation and Church, PUSD, the City of Pasadena's Human Relations and Recreation Department, and many other nonprofit organizations.
April 18th, 2016: Change Records, Change Lives
We believe in fresh starts. We believe that with opportunity — instead of judgment and labels — transformation is possible and even likely. So, Flintridge is teaming up with volunteer attorneys from the Los Angeles Incubator Consortium to provide Record Change Clinics. These clinics will help community members with records reduce some offenses and expunge others. As records clear, so do barriers to housing, employment and full community reintegration. Show More...
We held our first Record Change Clinic last week. Three attorneys from the Consortium volunteered their time and gave an overview of opportunities provided by Prop 47. Then, community members completed a form and got their fingerprints taken so that they may receive their rap sheets. Thanks to AB109 funding from the PPD, these Live Scans were provided at no cost to community members. At next month's clinic, ten Consortium attorneys will help up to 30 community members identify offenses on their rap sheets that can be reduced or expunged, and they will walk them through the process.
Our clinics are designed to take advantage of Prop 47, which provides the opportunity to reduce qualifying felonies to misdemeanors and to expunge misdemeanors. This is a big deal for community members with criminal records, because having a felony can be a major barrier to getting a life back on track. At Flintridge, we're doing our part to help as many people as possible get access to opportunities that will change their lives for better.
For more information about our reintegration work, please contact Chris Finney.
April 18th, 2016: Prop 39 2.0 Funding Received!
We have some exciting news to share! The California Workforce Development Board has selected Flintridge Center as one of 7 organizations in the State to receive Prop 39 funding. Flintridge will receive $304,000!
This funding is for our Apprenticeship Preparation Program (APP) and will allow us to embed green skill elements throughout the curriculum. And, the funding will cover 70% of the program budget over the next 18 months — leaving only 30% to raise from other sources. Show More...
We are grateful for this wonderful support and will be reporting to all of you as we develop the green elements of our program.
Our thanks to each of you who volunteer or donate to provide fresh starts and opportunities for community members to transform their lives!
April 4th, 2016: New Funding = Greater Services
Pasadena's Vision 20/20 Coalition, coordinated by Flintridge Center, is part of a big effort in California to change the way we look at criminal justice, incarceration, and reentry. This month, the Pasadena City Council accepted the Pasadena Police Department's recommendation to provide $170,000 in AB 109 funding to Flintridge. The goal of this funding is to assist previously incarcerated community members make the changes they want for their lives and rejoin our community. Our assistance includes job development, case management and life skills services. Show More...
Most excitingly, we've brought Chris Finney, Reintegration Specialist, back on the team. Chris is deeply connected with the Pasadena/Altadena community and is an extremely skilled case manager. Chris meets one-on-one with individuals who need reintegration support, identifying their needs and working with them to create plans to achieve their goals. The community members we serve face a wide range of barriers, from getting a driver's license and paying child support to securing housing and employment, but they can rely on Chris and our team to help them overcome any obstacle.
We will use AB 109 funding to double the number of community members served this year — from 300 to 600. We will provide case management for 100, make referrals and follow up with 500, assist 100 with job development, and provide life skills sessions for 160.
We're so grateful to have Chris back with us and to be able to provide more support to our community, thanks to the Pasadena Police Department. We will report back to you regularly. For more information about our reintegration work and other programs, visit our website.
April 4th, 2016: Learning the Language of Construction
Last week, our Apprenticeship Preparation Program (APP) class began the blueprinting section of the course. Blueprinting is one of many sections essential in preparing our program participants to become union apprentices. Having apprentices know how to read and draw basic blueprints is vital for any construction project. Show More...
Participants spend a good portion — 20 hours — of their 240-hour course mastering the basics of blueprinting. Students cover the symbols used to draw a blueprint and learn how each trade's set of plans contributes to the master blueprint. After learning how to read blueprints, students form teams and are challenged to draw a plan of Flintridge Center's office building.
"Blueprinting is exciting, especially when we were outside doing measurements," Mack Lewis, one of our current APP participants, states. "I don't know a whole lot about blueprinting yet, but I learned a lot about myself — how I resolve conflicts and how to work with different people."
March 14th, 2016: Flintridge Hits a Home Run
Daniel Torres, Flintridge Center's Outreach Case Manager for the Apprenticeship Preparation Program (APP), knocked it out of the park at the Social Innovation Fast Pitch event last Tuesday evening. At the end of the night, he walked away with a $20,000 check made out to Flintridge. Show More...
The Social Innovation Fast Pitch program, coordinated by Social Venture Partners, trains 20 nonprofit leaders every year to craft a short, impactful pitch to convince donors that their organization's work is worth an investment. Of those 20, 10 are selected to present their pitch in the final event to expert judges and a massive audience for a chance to win major prizes.
Our own Daniel Torres was selected as a finalist. Over 650 people gathered at the Skirball Cultural Center to hear the 10 finalists pitch to the judges. All of the finalists represented great organizations doing impactful work for their communities, and all of the pitches were incredibly moving and passionate.
Daniel told his incredible story about being desperate after incarceration, finding hope and support through Flintridge Center's APP, and becoming a leader to others at Flintridge. He asked the audience to support Flintridge's work to uplift the formerly incarcerated community members who need it most, with the impressive final statement, "We are so much more than what's on our background checks."
Daniel's story moved both the crowd and the judges, and Flintridge was awarded the $10,000 audience vote award and the $10,000 judge's award for the overall best pitch. We're so grateful to Social Venture Partners for including us in this inspiring event.
March 14th, 2016: Meet Our Grads: Angela Fuller
After her release from incarceration, Angela Fuller wanted to occupy her time so that she didn't fall back to her former lifestyle. Angela came across the Apprenticeship Preparation Program and decided to give it a try. She liked the sense of community, diversity of her class, the knowledgeable instructors, and especially the support and motivation Flintridge provided to help her accomplish her goal of graduating. She says APP was well-suited for her because construction gave her "the opportunity to be creative on a larger scale." Show More...
After graduating in 2014, Angela was accepted into Local 1247 and found a solid paying job, and says she has found new avenues in life because of the APP. "I now have the competent skills to not only survive, but thrive," Angela states. We are extremely proud of Angela and all of her accomplishments!
March 2nd, 2016: Flintridge Goes to Fast Pitch
Daniel Torres, Flintridge Center's Outreach Case Manager, has been selected as a finalist in Social Venture Partners' Fast Pitch competition! Fast Pitch is a prestigious program that trains nonprofit leaders to tell their organization's story of social impact. Daniel finished in the top half of competitors and gets to go to the final competition at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles on March 8th, where he and nine other finalists will get a chance to win grant money and other prizes. Daniel has been working tirelessly to prepare a presentation that will convince a large audience of potential donors that our Apprenticeship Preparation Program is exceptional and worthy of their support. The APP provides career opportunities for previously incarcerated community members. Each year, over 75 young men and women transform their lives and enter careers with unions in the construction trades. All of us here at Flintridge are so proud of Daniel's great work and grateful for this wonderful opportunity created by Social Venture Partners!
February 29th, 2016: Making a Greater ImPACT
The February PACT Fair had an impressive turnout of over 40 participants seeking services! The PACT Fair is held on the third Thursday of every month at Flintridge Center. Our goal is to connect previously incarcerated community members with service providers to make their reintegration an easier process. The PACT Resource Fair was initiated by the Pasadena Police Department, with coordination by Flintridge Center and participation from the Pasadena Altadena Reintegration Council. The Council is a multisector coalition of organizations and agencies working together to reduce recidivism and ensure the well-being of our entire community by meeting the needs of formerly incarcerated individuals returning to our community. Show More...
20-25 community members generally attend the monthly resource fair. The Council is now aiming to broaden the impact of the fair by bringing twice the number of community members together each month. Flintridge Center's case manager follows up with all community members after each fair to ensure that they are receiving the continuing support they need to overcome obstacles and become self-sufficient, productive members of our community.
If you would like to support or receive more information about the PACT Fair and the Reintegration Council, please contact Chris.
February 29th, 2016: Our Youth Need Your Help!
Help get our youth ready for success! We need donations of backpacks, notebooks, paper and writing utensils, and other school supplies for the youth we serve in our SKILLZ summer school and Youth of Promise mentoring programs. 130 young people need school supplies, especially backpacks, paper, pens, and pencils that their families cannot afford. Please consider donating to help our community's youth achieve their full potential! Show More...
The SKILLZ Summer School program is a collaborative effort coordinated by Flintridge Center with College Access Plan, Day One, Lake Avenue Church, Lake Avenue Community Foundation and Pasadena Unified School District. We support youth at risk of dropping out of school with life skills workshops and academic tutoring over the summer. In an environment of love and understanding, we encourage students to focus on academic success and develop healthy habits.
The Youth of Promise mentoring program gives middle school youth in need of guidance a caring adult mentor to support them through tough times and guide them toward high school graduation. We also work with the families of our youth and provide opportunities for engagement.
When we invest and believe in our youth, it's amazing what they can achieve. Please help us meet our goal of collecting all the backpacks, paper, pens, notebooks and pencils we need for the 130 children that need them. You can drop off donations during the business day at Flintridge Center — 236 West Mountain St., Suite 106 — or contact Emma. to have your donation picked up.
February 22nd, 2016: Good Things Come In Threes
Three Apprenticeship Preparation Program graduates from the Fall 2015 session have been accepted into Union Local 1247 — Resilient Floor and Decorative Covering! Erika, Christopher and Richard accepted paying jobs and all started working last week. Erika is working at a carpeting company, Christopher is working on a flooring project at USC, and Richard is doing construction at a middle school. Show More...
We focus on finding union positions for our APP graduates, because those positions offer the best wages and benefits and set our grads up for success in lasting careers. Our 12-week program covers blueprinting, math skills, workplace communication, life skills, and everything else participants need to be ready to be accepted to a union. Job Specialist Peter Matich makes sure everyone in the class has a great resume, knows how to have a successful interview, and understands what unions and contractors are looking for in new apprentices.
The new semester of the APP starts this week! For more information about the APP, contact Daniel.
February 22nd, 2016: Striking Start
Mentees joined by their family members had fun bowling together last Thursday at Montrose Bowl. This was the first event of the year for Youth of Promise. It was a great turnout with nearly 40 participants. There was friendly competition between the mentees and their family members, all while enjoying the retro vibe, music and food of the bowling alley. Show More...
Each mentor and mentee spends at least 5 hours together every month. In addition, YOP seeks to encourage all of our mentors, mentees and their families to have some fun together. Flintridge hosts several events throughout the year to engage families and YOP matches. We know that family involvement helps strengthen and support matches.
If you're interested in becoming a mentor or have any questions about YOP, contact Lisa.
February 1st, 2016: Now Is The Time To Be A Mentor
Did you know that January was National Mentoring Month? All month long we celebrated our Youth of Promise mentors and mentees — our mentees got to hang out with the Clippers as part of the Mentor Assist Zone program, we connected with our mentoring partner programs at the Pasadena Mentoring Partners breakfast, and new mentor-mentee matches were born. This month, we're looking forward to a family bowling night, more fun events with the Clippers, and a special mentee workshop.
Our Youth of Promise mentoring program matches Washington Middle School youth that need guidance with caring, supportive adult mentors. Mentoring helps young people improve their performance in school and strengthen their emotional well-being.
We have great mentors from many parts of the Pasadena community, but we always need more. There are a lot of young people in our community that are in need of support, and you can be the one to help them. Show More...
To find out more about how you can become a mentor and change a child's life for the better, contact Lisa.
January 18th, 2016: New Year, New Opportunities
Flintridge kicked off the New Year with an orientation for the next session of the Apprenticeship Preparation Program (APP). Over 30 hopeful future apprentices were in attendance. Daniel Torres, APP Outreach Case Manager, started the orientation by telling his personal story of how the program guided him from "absolutely hopeless" to earning a living that could support his family. Peter Matich, Job Specialist, and Jeffrey Bellisimo, Program Specialist, assured participants that the APP can put a better life in reach. "This is life and death for a lot of people," said Jeffrey, "and we know that." Show More...
The APP has guided hundreds of formerly incarcerated and gang-affiliated community members to union construction careers over the last 8 years. The program is offered at the Flintridge Center and is facilitated by Flintridge staff. The program includes a life skills course that supports participants' emotional needs. In the next session, we're introducing a mentoring support group that will allow current participants to discuss their experiences with past graduates during and after the course.
By providing sustainable and rewarding alternatives to crime and violence for community members returning from incarceration or gang life, the APP improves and enriches lives and keeps communities healthy and safe. We are thrilled to meet a new group of participants who are ready to transform their lives.
The new session begins next month. Contact Daniel for more information.
January 18th, 2016: Meet Our Grads: Genghis Hernandez
The most recent session of the Apprenticeship Preparation Program is already seeing success! Graduate Genghis Hernandez has been accepted into the carpenters union, Local 409, and just landed a job with GMZ Engineering. The APP helped Genghis build his motivation and confidence to pursue a lasting career. "The first week opened my eyes," he recalls. Throughout the course, he enjoyed building on his interest in math, learning about the importance of unions, and developing the life skills necessary to be a great team player. His dedication to the course earned him the opportunity to speak at the APP graduation ceremony, where he thanked his family and said he was excited to make them proud. "I feel grateful," Genghis says. "I have the skills and confidence to go on to the next step, and the drive to work for something better. It starts with me and it ends with me." Show More...
January 4th, 2016: Holiday PACT Fair
To get into the holiday spirit, Flintridge Center and our partners mixed things up for our December Pasadena/Altadena Community Team Resource Fair. Flintridge Center coordinated and hosted the special holiday event held on December 17th. We had a packed house with over 70 participants and providers joining the festivities! Show More...
In addition to the monthly resources and services provided to help formerly incarcerated individuals access resources they need during their reintegration, we had a filling holiday meal, a Christmas tree raffle and a toy giveaway at this resource fair! The reintegration process can be tough so the resource fair was created to connect these community members to reliable resources and services. With the holidays around the corner, we also wanted community members to have the chance to celebrate the holidays with their families at our special PACT Fair.
Thank you to all our partners, volunteers and supporters for making this Holiday Fair amazing! For more information about the next PACT fair on January 21st, contact Daniel Torres.
January 4th, 2016: YOP Holiday Party
Our YOP mentees, mentors, staff and their families kicked off the start of winter break with a joyful Holiday Party. The annual YOP Holiday Party provided the opportunity for all program participants to come together, reflect on the past year and enjoy one another's company over a delicious meal and gift exchange. Show More...
We had a packed agenda for a full house of over 60 attendees! Mentors, mentees and their families enjoyed a delicious meal together and had fun creating some festive holiday crafts. The Fire Chief gave a great touching speech before mentees, mentors, and family members were presented gift cards thanks to the generous donation made by The Yes, Virginia Fund.
We hope everyone had a great time and thank our supporters and volunteers for making this a cheerful holiday get together for all. For more information about YOP, contact Lisa Wilson.
December 14th, 2015: Our Mentees Are Ballin
Ten Youth of Promise mentees have been chosen to be a part of the Clipper's Mentor Assist Zone, a program that helps community-based mentorship programs and gives hope to kids that come from difficult backgrounds. Being a part of the Zone allows our mentees to rub elbows with the Clippers through exciting activities. The youth were invited to attend the Clippers game against the Detroit Pistons with mentees from other Pasadena Mentoring Partner agencies such as Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters and Lake Avenue Community Foundation. Show More...
Our mentees also visited the Clippers' training facility, where they got a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to be a professional athlete and attended a roundtable discussion with former and current players. The youth were asked about their future goals and discussed with the players what it means to be a leader.
Every mentee also received a journal to reflect on their thoughts as they go through the program, which consists of two more roundtables focused on leadership and goal setting, a pregame clinic, cultural events, and other special activities.
Thank you, Clippers!
December 14th, 2015: The YOP White House Representative
Former Youth of Promise mentee Dalon Poole, accompanied by Armory Center for the Arts Executive Director Scott Ward, recently traveled to the White House to accept the prestigious National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama. The honor, given annualy to only 12 programs from all over the country, recognizes the impact of the Armory's Art High program, which provides free after-school art classes to Pasadena youth that may not have access to arts education otherwise. Show More...
Dalon was one of the first Youth of Promise mentees when he was a 6th grader at Washington Middle School. He was placed in a mentoring group with the Pasadena Fire Department and later with the La Pintoresca Teen Center, where he discovered the Armory and his love for the arts. The relationships he formed through mentoring motivated Dalon to do better in school and pursue his passions. Now, Dalon is a professional photographer for the Armory and helps other students who want to become artists follow their dreams.
Keep up the awesome work, Dalon!
November 30th, 2015: APP Graduation
The Fall APP class graduated last week, and we couldn't be more proud! There was standing room only in the Flintridge Retreat Center for an evening of celebration and recognition. Edson Morgan, a 2014 APP graduate who is now an electrical apprentice, spoke about life after APP, congratulated the current class on their dedication, and encouraged them to stay focused on their dreams. Then, current graduate Genghis Hernandez spoke about how APP has changed his life and his goals for the future. There wasn't a dry eye in the house as Genghis looked to his family and said how excited he was to make them proud. Show More...
Ron Miller, Executive Secretary of the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, awarded MC3 certificates to each graduate. At the end of the ceremony, Daniel reminded the class that just because they've finished the program doesn't mean that they can't come to Flintridge for help. "Flintridge never closes the door," he said.
The next APP session starts in January. To learn more, visit our website or contact Daniel.
November 30th, 2015: Thank you, Mary!
Last week at the APP graduation ceremony, we honored Mary Wilson, retired president of the Pasadena Federal Credit Union, for her tireless work with our APP classes over the years. Each session, Mary helps our APP participants develop financial literacy skills. Through hands-on activities and discussions, each participant learns how to create a budget, build credit, and avoid unnecessary fees. "Worrying about money makes you stressed," says Mary, which is why she does everything she can to help our participants get the skills they need to solve their money problems. Show More...
At Flintridge, we know that a successful reintegration process relies on much more than just getting a job. The financial strategies that Mary helps our participants develop are essential to sustaining oneself in the long term.
Our programs would not be possible without the support of community partners like Mary and the Pasadena Federal Credit Union. Mary's generous help has been key to participants' reintegration processes.
November 16th, 2015: An Electrifying Experience
There's no better way to make a career feel realistic than to see what it's like for yourself. That's why participants in our Apprenticeship Preparation Program go on five field trips to real union training sites.
One of these field trips took the class to the site where IBEW Local 11 electrical apprentices get the knowledge they need to start their construction careers. Vice President Jane Templin gave our participants a tour and advice on how to succeed as an apprentice. Apprenticeships are competitive, but Jane's tips gave the class a leg up. She walked us through the entire process, providing sample test questions and demonstrating good interview skills. Jane has been partnering with Flintridge for over 7 years, and says that APP participants come in prepared for apprenticeships and are more likely to succeed. Jane also says she loves working with Flintridge because "the work is from the heart," just like her work with the union.
The class also met with APP graduate Edson Morgan, who is now over a year into his electrical apprenticeship with IBEW. He told current participants to stay motivated and trust that they're on the right path. The field trip turned out to be an informative and memorable experience!
November 16th, 2015: A Second Chance At Loving Life
The Apprenticeship Preparation Program readies community members for much more than just finding a job. In addition to classroom instruction in the construction trades and hands-on experience with tools, participants engage in a weekly life skills session facilitated by Skipp Townsend and Shanae Polk from 2nd Call. These sessions cover topics such as the origin of self-esteem, how family dynamics can impact your life, and how to react to challenges without making bad decisions. Skipp makes a special effort to give every person in the room a voice, starting each session with participants talking about how they're feeling, and making time for everyone to discuss struggles they've faced in their lives. Show More...
The life skills course helps APP participants develop emotional strength, compassion for others, and confidence in themselves — these make all the difference in a successful reintegration back into the community.
November 2nd, 2015: Fire Fightin' Mentors
The firefighters of the Pasadena Fire Department are no strangers to our Youth of Promise Mentoring program. They have been involved with YOP for years, mentoring groups of Washington Middle School students. Group mentoring allowed youth to visit the station biweekly to engage with the firefighters. However, our firefighting volunteers felt the need for a deeper connection to have a larger impact on the lives of these youth. Show More...
In response to the input from our awesome volunteers, YOP is proud to announce successful one-on-one mentorships, matching committed firefighters to mentees of their own. Our firefighters are undertaking an important role by dedicating time to mentoring youth living in high-need, high-risk circumstances for a minimum of a year. Throughout the year, mentors meet with their mentees for at least 5 hours each month.
It's no small feat to be a mentor! Flintridge greatly appreciates the commitment and work these mentors do for our youth and entire community. Thank you for your service!
November 2nd, 2015: New Mentor Pair
Meet Dane and Gabriel — one of our brand new Youth of Promise mentoring pairs! Gabriel is a 13-year-old Washington Middle School student who loves boxing and soccer and really wants to go to college. Dane is a fire fighter who grew up in Pasadena and went to the same school as Gabriel. As a father of three young children, Dane feels that he has a lot to offer. He says that when he was growing up, many people looked out for him and gave him opportunities to succeed. He wants to pass on that support and guidance to a young person that needs it. Dane and Gabriel have a lot in common and are excited to spend more time together!
The Youth of Promise mentoring program finds caring mentors in our community to support young people in need. To learn more about YOP, contact Lisa Wilson.
October 11th, 2015: A Bootiful Gesture
In our last newsletter, we asked our community members for help by donating gently used work boots to participants in our Apprenticeship Preparation Program. Lo and behold, the Lions Club of Pasadena swiftly came to our rescue! Their generous donation allowed us to purchase sturdy work boots for our 30 participants to wear during union site visits and Habitat for Humanity volunteer projects.
Serious workers need serious boots! APP participants can't go on site visits or volunteer projects without them. Thanks to the Lions, all of our program participants can now get the first-hand experience they need to start their careers!
We couldn't be happier that our need for boots was met so quickly by the Lions Club! We are so grateful to have the support of such an important community organization.
October 11th, 2015: A Success!
"I make great money today despite my criminal record and scattered work history."
When Steven Jernagin left prison, he had no way to find a job, and his situation put a strain on his relationship with his family. In the face of post-release obstacles, it was difficult to find the drive to turn his life around, but Steven's three young children motivated him to find a better life path.
Our Apprenticeship Preparation Program helped Steven see his life in a new way by giving him an opportunity that he couldn't find anywhere else. He graduated from our program a year ago and has since undergone a complete transformation. Steven was accepted into a union as an apprentice, continues to earn excellent wages, and does work he is proud of. He has also strengthened his relationships with his children. Show More...
"I try to imagine what my life would be like post release if I had not taken advantage of the program, and I haven't had one comforting thought," Steven says. Despite facing many hurdles, he is "still working, still positive, grateful, happy and driven."
September 21st, 2015: PACT Fair
The monthly Pasadena/Altadena Community Team resource fair was last Thursday, and we had a tremendous turnout with over 40 participants! Flintridge Center coordinates the fair, held every third Thursday. The PACT fair was created to help formerly incarcerated individuals and their families access resources they need during their transition back into our community. A variety of local service providers are introduced to community members, addressing topics such as housing, employment opportunities, substance abuse, and health screening. Show More...
The intention of the PACT fair is to make reintegration easier for our previously incarcerated community members using a compassionate and dignified approach. The transition back into communities can be difficult, leaving many individuals lost in the process. Flintridge and its partners aim to alleviate the challenges faced by these community members, helping them leave the cycle of violence, repeating offenses, and poverty.
For more information about the next PACT fair on October 15th, >contact Daniel Torres.
September 21st, 2015: Work Boots Needed
Help our Apprenticeship Preparation Program participants get the first-hand construction experience they need by donating gently used work boots!
The APP prepares formerly incarcerated and gang-involved community members to enter union construction careers through a classroom course, case management services, five union training site visits, and 40 hours of hands-on volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. Due to safety regulations, participants are required to wear boots when they visit construction sites and volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. Show More...
The site visits and hands-on training give students exposure to the various trades, and make developing a career in construction feel attainable. Working with Habitat for Humanity also provides students with the satisfaction of giving back to their communities, while also gaining experience on a real construction project.
All 30 participants need sturdy work boots. If you have a pair or would like to make a monetary donation to help someone start a career:
Boot drop-off: 236 W. Mountain St., Suite 106, Pasadena, CA
Donations by credit card: through NetworkForGood
September 14th, 2015: New Intern
Flintridge Center is excited to welcome Arielle Ventimiglia, our new intern for the 2015-2016 school year! Arielle was born and raised by a single mother in Los Angeles and earned a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. She is currently in her first year of study, pursuing a Master's in Social Work at Cal State Northridge. As an intern, Arielle will be supporting Youth of Promise mentoring matches by interacting with students, ensuring that they are meeting regularly with their mentors and receiving the supplemental services they need to succeed in school. Furthermore, she will be assisting Flintridge staff by supporting data collection and evaluation, program planning, and research for the YOP program.
Through this internship, Arielle hopes to gain a strong bond with our youth and enhance her knowledge of human development and research by working with the students of the YOP program. She is most excited about making a difference within the community by sharing her knowledge. In addition to her studies and internship, Arielle works to obtain housing for community members at the L.A. County Department of Mental Health and volunteers as a listener on a helpline for callers who need advice for life challenges. During her free time, Arielle likes to have fun by hiking, taking road trips, helping others, and meeting new people. We're thrilled to have her as a member of the team!
August 31st, 2015: Prop 47 Clinics
Flintridge Center is collaborating with dozens of community partners to offer Proposition 47 Clinics. These clinics will assist community members with the process and documentation to reduce qualifying felonies to misdemeanors and expunge misdemeanors. This assistance removes barriers to housing and employment, reduces recidivism and promotes neighborhood health and safety. Our thanks to Sandra Goodman of Neighborhood Legal Services of LA County and Xiomara Corpeno of Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of LA for providing the trainings that make this effort possible. Show More...
Clinics: contact Jaylene
Proposition 47: www.safeandjust.org
August 31st, 2015: APP Partnership
Flintridge Center in Pasadena and the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council AFL-CIO are preparing community members for careers in the construction trades. Flintridge Center offers the Apprenticeship Preparation Program (APP) three times each year at its headquarters at 236 West Mountain Street. The APP consists of 240 hours over 12 weeks and provides a 110-hour classroom component based on the Building Trade Council's Multi-Craft Core Curriculum (MC3), which introduces participants to all of the construction trades. The program also includes life skills, career planning, hands-on training, one-on-one coaching and job development assistance. Providing opportunities to previously incarcerated community members results in transformed lives and a stronger, safer community.