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Building Skills Partnership News l etter, December 2011

Dear Luis, Building Skills Partnerships' successes over the past year in training some of hardest to serve low-wage, immigrant workers in California caught the attention of Microsoft's foundation, which decided to feature the BSP in a short film highlighting the unique partnership and its impact. Below is the link to the video:

Quick Links

A film by Micro-Documentaries in partnership w ith Microsoft

More About Us Our Partners

Regional Offices Los Angeles

As this year ends, we thank all of our partners who have helped make it possible to improve the quality of life for low-wage property service workers and their families by increasing their skills, access to education, and opportunities for career and community participation and advancement. We are thankful for the generous support from our funders, partners, volunteers and individual donors. The BSP would like to thank our partnering janitorial employers and client buildings for sharing an equal commitment to training workers. We hope you will join or continue to participate in our unique partnership in 2012 as we strive to meet the growing demand for educational opportunities for hard working immigrant families.

828 W. Wa s hi ngton Bl vd. Los Angel es , CA 90015 (213) 284-7744

Orange County

1200 North Ma i n St. Sui te 900 Sa nta Ana , CA 92701 (714) 245-9700 ext. 1102

San Francisco/East Bay 3411 Ea s t 12th St. Sui te. 200 Oa kl a nd, CA 94601 (510) 437-8116

Silicon Valley

1010 Ruff Dri ve Sa n Jos e, CA 95110 (408) 280-5329


Aida Cardenas, Executive Director Building Skills Partnership

Make a Donation Towards Scholarships The BSP is committed to supporting the children of low-wage property service workers in their pursuit of higher education. Since 2008, with the donations from individuals, employers, labor and SEIU-USWW, the BSP has provided over 35 scholarships to students. With the rising cost of education and diminishing public funding, these scholarships become even more critical. This year, our goal is to raise $20,000 to address the needs of our families' children who are increasingly finding themselves without a network of financial assistance. Through your generous support and commitment, the BSP is able to provide 100% of the proceeds towards scholarships to student seeking to reach their dreams of a higher education.

I encourage you to donate today and make education a reality tomorrow.

BSP Scholarship Recipient My name is Jose Arias and I am a student at the University of La Verne. My mother is a janitorial worker and works for UBM in the Tustin Centre in Santa Ana. Both my sister and I started college this year and it's difficult being a first generation college student. There are things that are not taught to you compared to students who have parents or relatives that have gone to college but being awarded this scholarship gives me hope. As a first generation college student it has been very difficult to find ways of paying for college. Due to the Jose Arias, economic crisis, student financial aid has been affected BSP Scholarship greatly. The Building Skills Partnership scholarship has Recipient helped me pay for my tuition and books needed this academic year. The Building Skills Partnership has given me hope and I feel it also provides hope for other students like me knowing that there is an organization like the Building Skills Partnership that help students with college expenses. I am eternally grateful to Building Skills Partnership because they have helped me take step closer to achieving my degree and making my parents proud. Thank you BSP for providing a solution to students like me who are aiming to continue to a higher education.

From Janitor to Instructor Martin Velazquez is a dedicated BSP volunteer instructor and teacher's aide who first became

involved with the BSP's programs by taking a Saturday computer class in 2010. There, he learned the skills he now uses in voluntarily teaching coworkers at the Oakland Coliseum and in maintaining employment outside of the janitorial industry. During his BSP computer class graduation, he was fortunate to win a refurbished computer in a raffle, which he now uses at home to communicate with his family in Mexico. He also used it to successfully look for and apply for additional work. He now uses it Martin Velazquez regularly to plan his lessons for teaching Spanish to young children in the Orinda Union School District. children. Martin was hired in March of 2011 to teach twice a week, and has now been transitioned into a more permanent position.

Orange County Computer Literacy The computer class has helped me very much especially in my personal life. It has opened new ways of communication for me such as social networking which I now use to communicate with my daughters in Mexico. This class has been a new and great opportunity. It has made my life so much easier. For example, I am Felipe Dominguez able to pay my bills online, and schedule appointments online. In the past these are all things O.C. Computer Class I could not do on my own. In my opinion, it is very important for the BSP and SEIU-USWW to offer these classes because they help us succeed. Other community classes are often offered at inconvenient times for people in our industry. The BSP offers flexible hours so classes are at our fingertips. I encourage everyone to take advantage of these classes so new opportunities are opened up for them as they have for me.

Retired ESL Teacher Gives Back Genie is a retired ESL instructor who serves as an English tutor. As part of its ESL classes at the Union Hall in San Jose, the BSP offers volunteer tutoring to interested students. These sessions occur twice a year, each lasting about four months, with the idea that students have the opportunity to practice English with a native speaker.

Yeni Lopez and Genie Bernardini

Genie Bernardinie was paired with Yeni Lopez, what its unique about their story is that they continued to tutor once the program at the union hall ended at Yeni's home. Yeni is an immigrant from El Salvador and has lived in the U.S. for the past 8 years with her husband and daughter Leslie. When asked what prompted her to continue tutoring Yeni outside of the tutoring class, Genie responds, "Oh, because I enjoy it! She is such a good student." During this time, Genie carefully observed Yeni's needs for English language skills. Further, Genie shadowed Yeni at her worksite at Google to further understand the kind of English interactions she needed for her job. From this, Genie created an individualized children's bedtime

story that Yeni could read to her daughter and would help develop Yeni's language skills. Now, when Leslie brings home books from her school library for her mom to read, Yeni reads them with joy. As a result of the Vocational ESL class at Google and the one-one tutoring, Yeni has been able to communicate outside the workplace. Yeni says, "it means a lot for me because I have been able to move ahead in my life". Yeni currently participates in the Vocational ESL class at Google and in individualized tutoring sessions with her new tutor, an employee from Google.

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BSP Newsletter December 2011  

BSP's Newsletter for December 2011

BSP Newsletter December 2011  

BSP's Newsletter for December 2011