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tv   Comunidad del Valle  NBC  May 24, 2015 3:30pm-4:01pm PDT

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damian trujillo: hello, welcome to "your comunidad." i'm damian trujillo and today some upcoming young latino leaders plus parents taking control of their children's education. this is "your comunidad del valle." [music] male announcer: nbc bay area presents, "comunidad del valle" with damian trujillo. damian: we begin today with our monthly visit from the office of the mexican consulate in san jose out of mexico of course. and with me is loren cruz, who's the press attaché for the consulado general de méxico in san jose. welcome back to the show. loren cruz: thank you very much, damian for this invitation. damian: so, we have--the theme today, in today's show is education of course. and you have a special program at the consulado that really intrigues me. and we all know about stem and getting young people involved in science, math, engineering, and what not.
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so, tell us about your initiative in getting the young people involved in stem. loren: yes, exactly. well, before telling you about stem for latina girls and our "counsel for a day" kind of initiative, it's very important for me to tell all of the community that the mexican consulate in san jose is very interested in education, and especially the education of our youth and also the kids. so recently, it has been working on two special programs to motivate our youth and to motivate children to continue their studies and you know, just to keep enrolled in their--at school, and also try to achieve their best possible grades. and you know, just to continue very motivated. so, one of these initiatives has been "stem for latina girls." it was actually launched at the pilot program last year. and this is an initiative under which a group of girls from primary school and who have actually an immigration or a
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migratory background can join this program just to get in touch with stem kind of subjects, science, technology, engineering, mathematics. we all hear a lot about it, but what do we do to motivate young girls to you know, to get in touch with these kind of subjects and to be able to become as scientific or engineer in the future? well, the mexican consulate has been working on this. and this year, we're very glad to announce that we're launching this as a permanent program for our community. and this is a special kind of program under which a group of girls just get to go, for example, to stanford to get special classes with engineers and scientists-- damian: wow! and these are elementary school students or what are we talking? loren: elementary, elementary schools-- damian: so, you want to start them early, make sure that they're on the path.
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loren: exactly, especially girls because we all hear about this gap that on stem subjects and we usually see men working in these kind of sectors. but, what about women? we need to start motivating a lot more girls to get in touch them, and get them to know these special programs, and that we also take them to the academy of sciences, for example. we take the to ebay to get to know other women who are already working in these fields and they're already very successful. so, we want them to be also mentors for the young children and for the young generations, especially for girls. damian: that sounds great. well, it's called "the stem for latina, young latinas" here at the consulado. you also have something very special. we do have video of that and that's "cónsul por un día." we've heard of "principal for the day." here's--i think this is last year's "cónsul por un día" and it's a chance for a child to be the cónsul general for one day. loren: that's a very interesting kind of experience you know, for any kid.
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and with this program, we try to motivate as well our kids to be able to get in touch--first of all, to get in touch with the consulate, but also to become an important member of their own community. we wanted to create leaders and also role models among children. so, every year, we are launching this special program and we select a kid from different schools. we actually launch this initiative in different schools. and we do some sort of a contest among kids. so, we ask them to write an essay and to present different interviews with our staff. and the ones who have like the better grades, the best grades, and also who have a leadership demonstrated kind of personality, well, they are selected to be part of this program. and this year, we selected a girl as well.
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her name is miriam yamilet. and she has been a wonderful "counsel for a day." she actually goes to visit the city hall and the council members as well. she gets to go to her consulate to issue passports and consulate ids as well and to give that attention to our community. and this is a very fun kind of activity for all of us because every department of the consulate is in charge of providing an experience for--i'm sorry, for the counsel, so, for the "counsel for a day." so, she's also visiting the police department. and so, we have a lot of fun with her. she comes also to the media to talk about her different activities, and just to tell the community what she's been doing. and to try to also choose to support other members of her own age. you know, to other kids, we want her to be a role model for other members-- damian: well, it's not just about matrículas and what not at the consulado, they're helping the kids as well. if you like more information on consulado general there's the web address.
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for more information, log on and find out what exciting things are happening or how they're helping our kids. thank you so much and we'll see you on the telemundo side. loren: thank you so much, damian. damian: and up next here on here on "comunidad del valle," what are you gonna do with your kids during the summer? the san jose library system has some ideas. stay with us.
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that--coming up, upcoming summer vacation? well, here to give us some ideas is elizabeth castaneda with the san jose public library system. you have some ideas, right? i mean, there's--are a lot of things for our students to do. elizabeth castaneda: we have over 100 events, we're--i know, we're gonna be offering across the city. we have 22 locations. all our events are free and open to the public. sometimes you have to register but regardless, during the june and july months is our summer reading challenge. we're inviting everybody to sign up and to explore new services that the library offers to attend one of the awesome events that we have going on. a lot of them are around the stem. so, they're very educational programs that kids have access to and they don't have to pay for anything, which is awesome.
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damian: and you have some beautiful new facilities. we have video of some of the newer libraries there. now, you'll probably get some students who'll say, "come on, it's my summer vacation. i don't wanna learn about stem. i don't wanna read." and you'll find a lot of your kids are excited to be in these programs. elizabeth: they're excited, they have access to a lot of technology and a lot of programs that are offered like children's discovery museum and other community supporters, and organizations that have you know, made time to really encourage kids, and get them learning, and also encourage reading. reading as a family is very important over the summer. so, we encourage everybody to read at least 20 minutes a day to help kind of prevent that summer learning loss. a lot of kids, they go to school and then when they--when the summer comes, they just kind of want to hang out, and play, and do their own thing, right? but when that happens, they pretty much lose 1 full month of--or they actually lose some of what they've learned during the summer. so, in order for them to continue, and stay active educationally, and reading and all of that, then we encourage
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them to sign up, and read 20 minutes a day, and they'll be more prepared when they go into school the next year. damian: of course with this past week, we had a lot of testing going around in all the schools across california. but you're right, once they hit those summer months, it's hard to keep them on track. and then tell us the consequences when you start the school year and you're maybe a month behind. i mean, that's not easy on the students, it's not easy on the teacher. elizabeth: it's not easy on anyone. so, that's why we encourage families to participate in the program together. we make it pretty easy for everybody. so, even like if your grandparents could participate. i think it's a family affair type of thing. so, set aside an hour, less than an hour, 20 minutes at least and do something productive and that would help kids kind of encourage like exploration and reading. so, visiting the library is one way to do it. you can go home and you know, you could also like all decide on a--like create your own little book clubs or that sort of thing. so, there's a lot of awesome ideas that we offer on families for the summer so they can go to their library and they can talk
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to a librarian, pick up our summer reading grids, and, or just visit our website to get some ideas on how to stay involved in our summer reading challenges there-- damian: and, you're in charge of marketing the san jose library system. and there was thought process a while back that the--i mean, once the internet kicked in and everybody was on smartphones and had tablets at home that it was gonna be the end of the library system. but you're finding out that that's not the case because libraries are still packed. elizabeth: yeah, libraries are very well used and i think the fact that we're also encouraging and introducing a lot of new programs that also gets people to come into the library. online resources are very awesome. people should definitely like learn more about them. and there's a lot of e-books and that sort of thing that--you know, a lot of benefits to the online resource stuff. but books, people love books. you know, you wanna hold a book. you wanna smell that new book and it's just encouraging. a lot of the times what we try to get people to do is during the summer, we don't wanna give people like you know, read this book and read that book. like, let the kid explore on their own.
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that motivates them and encourages to like pick up any book and want to read it 'cause that's something that they're interested in, right? so, that's one of the things that we want kids to do and families too, when they go visit the library to just let the kids do what they want and go and pick up a book that they're interested in. damian: now, i know that they're--i mean, during the a school year, y'all are busy 'cause all the students are trying to learn. but do you find that summer months are getting busy for you as well because of that gap that the potential for a gap that is there? the learning gap because our students are not in school? elizabeth: yeah, we do see a lot of people visiting the libraries over the summer like i said, because of the events that we have going on. and also, a lot of the books, kids like to read also, parents--there's a lot of supportive parents out-- you know, take their kids to the library, get them their library card. and if they can't make it during the you know, during work, we obviously we're open after hours too, so people can visit, you know, after dinner, take a walk to their closest library or take your--ride your bike. damian: well, it's the san jose public library system and they're gonna be open during the summer so make sure your students are well read and ready to hit
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the school year come the fall months. there's the web address for more information. any final thought before we let you go? elizabeth: no, just make sure to visit your public libraries over the summer and sign up for our summer reading challenge, thank you. damian: thank you, elizabeth. and up next here on "comunidad del valle," continuing this education trend, parents taking control of their children's education. stay with us.
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need, victor vazquez is with somos mayfair. we're also joined here on "comunidad del valle" by olivia ortiz, who's a parent there with somos mayfair. welcome to the show. victor vazquez and olivia ortiz: thank you. damian: now you're--actually, the state is letting parents take control of their children's education. tell us victor, what that means and how somos mayfair is participating in that. victor: well, what it means for us and our communities is that we have the ability to create more successful schools, and where like our communities can have access to the resources that they need, and our kids can find a way to really make a difference, and have a better future.
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damian: so, what's the difference do you think before we had the local control and now that we have it? victor: well, the difference is that we have more of a decision-making power and where the districts have to consult with the--with our parents, community members and see what resources are needed. and for us, it means that we really want to make sure that the schools have translation services, access to space, and a real decision-making power over what this law provides. and that's something that we really want to do to make sure our school are well off. damian: so olivia, what do you think this has done for you? what has it allowed you to do to better, to make sure that your child or children are being educated the way you feel they should be? olivia: well, giving my voice, you know, like-- damian: because a lot of times the principals are calling the shots and the teachers are calling the shots. and parents are kinda on the sidelines. and the parents are kinda teachers in a way too. but tell us about that control that you think that-- olivia: because--well, i mean, at the end, we're parents
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know what's better for our kids, you know? so, it given us the opportunity to let the district know what's the need of our schools, you know? and we need--and we all know that quality is the best important thing in schools. damian: what are some-- have you made some, any suggestions yet? or maybe you're group or a group of parents at your school? tell us about that. olivia: we have--we have working on translation and the space in our schools and also our boys. you know, that parents can have boys out there and be hurt, you know not just-- damian: well, talk about translation. i mean, your children attend the alum rock school, as do my kids. so, i know the demographics of the district. but, tell us about that and what maybe the translation-- what do you mean by translation? who is it that needs the translation services? olivia: parent, you know, like 89% of our district, you know, they're-- damian: so, it's not the students, it's the parents who need the translation?
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olivia: yes, basically yeah, because if you want parent engagement like there's parents that don't speak any english, right? so, we need that translation so they can get involved in schools. because that's the barrier, that they can't have parents in school because of the language barrier. they don't really-- they don't feel welcome because of the language barrier. if they--i mean, we know that by school's having their, speaking their own language, it makes it more comfortable going there and then-- damian: you have more parental involvement. how receptive have the schools been? because i know, you know, i mean, schools want to control, the district want to control, but how receptive have they been to having parents come in, and kind of engage them, and make some suggestions, victor? victor: well, i think our parents have been really involved, you know? and, we've been able to really look out for the best benefit of everybody from that standpoint. so, we really been focusing on working with our parents to make sure that we spread the education, to do something that all latino communities should be heavily involved with because it's one of the ways that we can take control back
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of what we feel is necessary for our kids. and you know, we want to take that passion that we have in our communities and make sure that we utilize it to make some real solutions and work along with the alum rock school district. and we're working really hard with them to make sure that translation, access to space, and a real decision-making process is available for all. damian: we're looking at video from somos mayfair. this is your agency. and you guys are grassroots. this is what you all do. you guys provide advocacy for and give a voice to those who may not have a voice. right, victor? victor: yeah, that's correct. that's what we do and you know, one of the ways that we do it is that we have parents, we do education out in the community, education out in different programs, and having our parents come to meetings and really sit down and think about what are the solutions that's gonna benefit everybody and how do we make sure that we are working with the district, alum rock school district, to make sure that these things are implemented so parents can have that voice and make those real decisions. damian: oh, i know, dr. bauer, the school superintendent is very receptive and accommodating, so i'm glad
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that that's been working out. do you find that that's been happening? that the school has been actually been welcoming the ideas of the parents and what not? olivia: well, we're working on it. you know, we're like trying to get the words out there. but yeah, it's going pretty well. so, hopefully-- damian: do you find it--do you think maybe some of the parents who were sitting at one point on the sidelines, just watching everything happen in front of them, picking up their kids from school, and taking them to school, that maybe now they're getting engaged, now they're getting a little more involved because of what you're able to do now? olivia: yes, we're seeing a lot of parents you know, getting involved because of what we need. actually, that school just had a--we need a liaison. she's been doing a lot of work at school, so it's been great. but we need more. we need way more than that. victor: and we see that change too because at the beginning of school year, we started with about $80,000 worth of investment in community liaisons that provides the translation and support for parents. we're up to $450,000 from the parent advocacy that they have
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done from the way that they engage in community forums, like cafecitos. so yes, we have seen parents that were sitting on the sideline that would want to volunteer, also get--taking a step further and diving into this process. damian: i mean, because we're all quick to criticize, "my children's school is not up to par and what not." well, this is a way for you to--okay, now the--you have the key now. now, it's in your hands. now, do something with it. and maybe--i'm glad that some of these parents are doing that. somos mayfair again, is spearheading this effort and providing this type of leadership in the east side of san jose. there is their web address for more information. thank you so much for your leadership in the community. olivia and victor: thank you. damian: all right, speaking of leadership, up next here on "comunidad del valle," the future leaders of this great state, stay with us.
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preparing the future leaders again of this fine state. with me on "comunidad del valle" are two students, doriann rebolledo and sergio macias.
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welcome to the show. doriann rebolledo and sergio macias: thank you. damian: well, tell us first of all about the latino college prep academy because it's not your typical high school. you don't have a football team and what not, but tell us what made you or your parents decide to take--we'll start with you--for you to attend there and maybe what difference it's made for you. doriann: i actually took the decision to take--to go this school. i felt like i needed something different. i'm very used to like, small communities and i liked it. and i just stayed. i feel like for once, you know, you have something to say, it matters, especially like when it comes to your own education. damian: it's pretty close-knit? lcpa? doriann: yeah, everybody knows everyone. it's very--we have very good relationships with our teachers and stuff. damian: how about you? what prompted that decision? sergio: i actually had no choice in the decision. damian: which usually happens to a lot of us. sergio: yeah, my mom made me go because my sister previously went there.
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and she loves it there. and at first, like a lot of students that go there, we didn't really want to be there. but then, we grew to love this school, you know? 'cause you know, it's so small, everybody is so involved. and you can clearly see that administration cares and the teachers care. damian: now--and what your doing there at latino college prep is pretty amazing, you and the administration there because--was it is that 90% of you all, the graduating class has been accepted to a 2, 4-year, or going to a 2 or 4-year? tell us about that. sergio: yeah. doriann: well, actually, he's a senior so he can tell you more about that. yeah. sergio: yeah, our class is--in lcpa history is the biggest class that's actually uc eligible, that we apply to ucs. and me personally, i'm going to uc santa cruz. some students are going to uc santa barbara or also they're going to, yeah, a lot of other colleges. [laughing] damian: i mean, what does that say for you, doriann? that the fact that this is the record. what does that say for you and your classmates and those beneath you, i guess?
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doriann: well, that we can always do better. i mean, if they broke the record once, we can break it again. damian: ándale. now, both of you are involved in the special class taught by eddie garcia and it's a leadership class. and it's a class that i think a lot of us wish we would have taken or had the opportunity when we were in high school. talk about the difference that it's made in what you've learned. doriann: well, i'm a very hardheaded person. so, walking in, you know, i've always thought, "i'm right" and that's it. and he's kind of taught you that, no, you know, you have to understand what's going to happen and how you have to get there. it was a struggle but i kind of understand what he tried to teach us now. damian: how about you, sergio? sergio: for me, you can clearly see that i have one button on. before i used to think that you had to put both of them on. but yeah, he taught me how to look professionally, how to talk professionally, and to network a lot, to network, network, network-- damian: and so, you mentioned the 90% or i think it's 95%, i'm not even sure. but, what's in store for you coming up in the future? sergio: for me, i'm hoping to major in political science, probably go to law school.
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hopefully, become a lawyer. maybe get involved into some politics. damian: very cool. do you find that maybe some students across town, doriann, say, "oh, you go to a latino college prep, eh, it's not a regular high school." doriann: yeah, they-- damian: do you fight that stigma? doriann: yeah, they have a hard time understanding that it's not a private school. like, we're not trying to be better than anyone. it's just we're taking a change to better our futures, be out of the whole public school statistic, and trying change, you know, being latino and getting that opportunity to succeed. damian: you mentioned a small school atmosphere. but what do you think it is about lcpa that it has this 90% percentile, 95% percentile? what is it that is making it successful? because a lot of these students are--come from immigrant families, are monolingual spanish speaking, or speak very little english. well now, what is it about that school that says, "don't use that as an excuse?" doriann: well, it's exactly that. it's not an excuse, you know? you have to better yourself and understand that education is the
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most important thing and they always remind us that no matter where we come from, no matter, you know, our backgrounds, we can always do better. and we better our futures by our education. that's the only way to succeed. damian: do you find that now you were kind of reluctant maybe other folks coming down the pike in your family, maybe cousins, are saying, "hey, maybe i want to try that out?" sergio: yeah, yeah. a bunch of my smaller cousins are looking up to me and seeing that i'm going to places, also my sister that graduated from there. they'll probably--their moms are probably gonna put them in lcpa. and hopefully they have the same results as i did, or even better. damian: well, it's the latino college prep academy. they have a--is it a charter eddie, what do they have out of the east side union high school district? do they work there? they're their own school but it's under the auspices i should say of the east side union high school district. there is the web address for more information. any final thoughts from either of you before we let you go? sergio: go to lcpa, it's amazing, and you'll meet doriann.
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i'm sadly going to leave but it's an amazing experience to go there. damian: all right, what can they expect next year, doriann? doriann: a better community. we keep growing every time. sergio: every year. damian: very good. all right, thank you all for coming and good luck. doriann: thank you for having us. damian: and now, here's what's happening in your comunidad on "que pasa." [music] [music]
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damian: and saludos for those celebrating a special day, felicidades. [music] damian: and here is our address for next week's saludos. you can follow me on twitter. my handle is @newsdamian. also, pick up a copy of "el observador" newspaper and support your bilingual weeklies all across the bay area. we thank you once again for sharing a part of your sunday with us on "comunidad del valle." we will not be with you next week on memorial day weekend. but, be sure to tune us in on the following week, buenas tardes. [music]
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