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PROJECT DIRECTORS' MESSAGE By Karla Fernandez & Frances Zamilpa

Is it March already? It is time for Winter edition of our newsletter. This quarter has been full of rewarding experiences, both for us as CVP mentors and for our students in Porterville and Madera. In line with our mission statement, this quarter our students focused on giving back to their communities and developed a community service project which targeted the homeless population of both communities. In the past, CVP students have planned empowering service projects, which include hosting a workshop led by United Farm Workers to talk about farm workers' rights, and Green Initiatives that have impacted the image of Central Valley communities. With every project that has been carried out, we see a change in our students. We can see their will to help and give back, we perceive the critical thinking and flow of ideas as they decide which project will positively impact their community the most, we marvel at the sight of our students coming together and creating a project they can be proud of and reflect on.

As mentors, we are rewarded with the experience to guide our students and see them become more confident in their abilities. We believe in the power of our students to become leaders in their communities and believe that by allowing them a space where they get to decide on every aspect of their event, we create a sense of empowerment in them that will follow them throughout their college education and beyond. As we prepare to embark on our last quarter, we want to thank and recognize school officials at Granite Hills High School and Madera South High School, as well as UC Davis students for supporting us and helping us provide services for our students. This last quarter will be one full of events, sites, and new experiences in higher education settings for our students, and we hope to count with the help of our community partners to help us achieve our goals for the year. We will continue working as a collective to ensure that our students finish off their academic year feeling empowered and motivated to continue making a difference.

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2015-2016 CVP STAFF

Karla Fernandez | Porterville Project Director

Frances Zamilpa | Madera Project Director

Diana Garcia | Administrative Coordinator

Aman Sarai | Porterville Site Coordinator

Angeles Almaraz | Madera Site Coordinator

Angelica Gomez | Finance Coordinator

Deisy Ramos | Porterville UCLA Community

Aya Yoshioka | Madera UCLA Community

Mayra Puente | Central Valley Community




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WINTER 2016 RETREAT On February 20, 2016, CVP staff members and mentors engaged in team-building activities and leadership development workshops led by staff members. The purpose of this day-long retreat was to strengthen team relationships and expose interested mentors to the different staff positions and the responsibilities associated with them.

I had the chance to lead a reflective activity along with Frances. The goal of our activity was to reflect on staff members’ work ethic and highlight certain aspects in which we can improve for our last quarter of the year. We paired up staff members who don’t usually get to work closely together due to their positions, and we had one go through a small obstacle course blindfolded, while their partner gave them directions to get to the other side. I think it was a good way for CVP staff to reflect on the fact that we can utilize each other for resources and support each other in carrying out our duties for the project. - Karla

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WINTER 2016 RETREAT My presentation was entitled

“From the CV to the UC: Examining

the Educational Opportunities of Central Valley High School Students.” Essentially, I presented on the range of opportunities available to students from our two sites, Porterville and Madera. I believe the most significant aspect of my presentation was the Privilege Walk Activity I led for my peers. Through this personal activity, we were able to examine our own privileges as UCLA students from the Central Valley and see how we can use them to better serve our students who are predominately first-generation and low-income. - Mayra

My workshop was essentially focused on letting mentors know what I do as a site coordinator. Many of my duties are obvious, such as making the site agendas and contacting students the week of site, however, some of my duties are not as straightforward and this presentation gave mentors some insight on those duties. I also focused on providing information of how site agendas are created and how they meet CVP’s objectives. This workshop was successful because it provided mentors with a deeper understanding of why we do certain workshops and activities with students at our sites. It also gave our mentors an opportunity to work together and create their own agendas that we plan on using at our next site. - Aman

At the retreat, I presented on financial aid, which was particularly aimed in demonstrating how to organize a financial aid presentation for our service recipients. The presentation incorporated information regarding deadlines and relevant information that is not always easy to access. I hope that my peers enjoyed my presentation and were able to learn something new. - Angelica


“Roots to Results: The History of the

Central Valley Project,” mentors and staff learned of the "rooting" issues that led founders to create the project and what results have "sprouted" since. The presentation created a dialogue between staff and mentors on what ways the project has changed and what type of improvements we can learn from our history. - Diana

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WINTER 2016 RETREAT I went to retreat because I find it important and essential for staff to meet and have time to discuss and continue to plan for the upcoming CVP events. Being able to spend a weekend together inspires us to remember our driving force, both personally and for the future of the project. For me, the retreat did just that. It reminded me that our efforts to organize events and sites are for the educational and personal advancement of our students and communities in the Central Valley. It is their future success that keeps us all working together as an amazing project. - Angeles

I attended the retreat hoping to get a better understanding of what being a site coordinator is all about. When I heard about the retreat, I thought it was going to be just very informative, but I’m glad it was also very fun and engaging. I feel like I was able to connect with staff members on a more personal level. With only one hour for our weekly meetings, we don’t really get to interact with one another on a personal level, which is why I think I really enjoyed the

“Embarrassing Story” activity. - Maria Torres | CVP Mentor

I attended retreat because I wanted to be more involved in the creative and logistical process behind CVP. Retreat itself was very informative and engaging. Even though I was only present for half of retreat, I appreciated how structured and well-planned the agenda seemed. I particularly enjoyed Diana's "Roots to Results" workshop. I learned new facts about CVP and was reminded why I continue to be actively involved in the project. - Milton Ramirez | CVP Mentor

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The community service event that took place on March 5th focused on helping the homeless community in Porterville by providing them with bagged kits. The kits included water, fruit, and miscellaneous hygiene products, which the students thought would be beneficial for the homeless community to have access to. All donations were from students, teachers, and other community members. Although there were many issues brought to light, the students narrowed down their community service ideas to assisting the homeless, spending time with the elderly, and beautifying Porterville by picking up trash and planting plants. CVP mentors then decided which project out of the three would be the most feasible in the short time that the students had to plan the event. CVP mentors decided that the Homeless Help Project would be the most viable time-wise and would have the most impact on the community and on our students. Students were divided into three distinct committees, location, advertising, and donations, based on their preference and CVP mentors were assigned to each committee. CVP mentors checked in with students periodically to make sure their respective committees were finishing all their necessary tasks in time.

Students managed to distribute over 45 pre-made kits to the homeless around the community. The students put in a great deal of effort into planning this event and it was amazing to see how humbled they were by this experience. The community members that we helped were very thankful and acknowledged that the students’ efforts were making a difference. Along with distributing the kits, CVP mentors led a privilege walk activity and discussions on homelessness that gave students more insight on the topic. Many students commented that although they did not know much about the circumstances that lead to homelessness before the event, they had a clearer idea of root causes of homelessness after our reflections. Students also mentioned that any negative feelings they had for the homeless population changed after the brief interactions with the homeless and the discussions lead by the mentors. I am extremely proud of all of the students for working together to host this event. If more time was available, we could have gotten more donations and reached more people. However, due to time constraints and the fact that this was the first time many of the students had planned something like this, the event was successful and it allowed our students to help their community.

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PORTERVILLE SITE'S PLANNING PROCESS Our first site concerning the community service project included activities that focused on the importance of teamwork, leadership, and a community walk that highlighted different assets of the Porterville community. The students were divided up into groups and asked to critically think about what East and West Porterville offers children, families, and community members. This process, known as asset mapping, allowed the students to compare East and West Porterville by first focusing on all the positive attributes and then shifting focus to the disparities of each side of town. - Aman

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PORTERVILLE SITE'S COMMUNITY SERVICE EVENT Advertisement seemed like the most creative out of the three committees and I thought I would be a good asset when it came to supervising and facilitating the students’ creativity and communication skills. Being from Porterville, I see myself as a

I like getting the word out to people. Since I’m

responsible citizen. As a responsible

very shy, I thought it

citizen, I see it as my duty to do what

would be a good idea. I

I can to help the community.

felt like advertisement

Therefore, participating in this service

was for me.

learning project was a passion I

- Daniel Orozco | CVP

utilized to do what I could to help the


community. - Christina Flores | CVP Mentor

As part of her role in the location I have always enjoyed contributing to any improvements in any community and giving back to where I grew up is very important to me. - Diana Moron Guzman | CVP Mentor

committee, Rachel believed that she would have to find the location and she did by contacting her cousin who granted the permission to host the event at his shop. The shop was close to the transit center, which has a large homeless population. If she had the opportunity to be part of a location committee again, she definitely would. - Rachel Villareal | CVP Student

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Ana chose to join the donations

community service event

committee because she wanted

because I felt like it was a

to use her networking skills. She

good way to give back to my

received the first aid kits that

community. I wanted to make

were donated because of her

a difference for those who are

connections with the Porterville

in need such as the homeless

Academy of health Sciences.

people. Also, I wanted to

Also, she thought she was good

mentor students and help

at making people come together

experience helping others in

and help donate for the event’s

their community.


- Maria Torres | CVP Mentor

- Ana Perez | CVP Student

Jacque chose the donations committee because she wanted to help others by providing supplies such as the

There were flyers almost

toothbrushes she received

everywhere. I posted around

from her dentist Dr. Richey.

the school. I asked the teacher

She thought it was fun to meet

if I could talk to the students

new people and everyone took

after class and it went pretty

part in donating different


things. Also, everyone had

- Griselda Huerta | CVP

great teamwork.


- Jacqueline Prado | CVP Student

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This year, the students at Madera South coordinated “A Day of Kindness” with the homeless community. The purpose of their event was to have the voices of the homeless community heard. Through interviews, the students had the opportunity to get a glimpse of their lives’ and the most urgent needs that the community faces. The students will be presenting a video to city council, advocating for more community resources for the homeless, including the interviews and perspectives of the community. The idea of this event emerged as the students discussed the resources and furthermore, the lack of resources in their community. Homelessness was a recurring topic brought up by various students. Initially, the students wanted to create a few different locations, in which they would provide hygienic necessities, clothes, blankets, and food for the homeless. Unfortunately, due to lack of resources, donations, and time, the students adjusted their community service event to a more feasible event. They found it important that the city was aware of the homeless’ needs and heard the requests coming directly from the community. Therefore, the students continued forward with interviews and provided lunch for the homeless that resided in Courthouse Park.

In planning for the event, the students focused on having a schedule for the day and assigning interviews to specific volunteers. Advertising the event and making sure that the food donations were ready was another important contributor to the success of the event. The students were assigned to committees of 8-10 students and worked together to make sure all tasks were completed. As site coordinator, I am very proud of my students and the work they put in for this event. Being the first community service event that they had ever fully coordinated, it was all fairly new and many times unclear as to what steps to take next. Nevertheless, the students gave it their all and did a great service to the community. I believe that we could improve in time management, student responsiveness, and committee organization, which would further allow the planning of the event to flow better and improve the communication amongst all the students and mentors. Regardless, for their first community service event, the impact it had on the students and community was remarkable. They were able to walk in a different pair of shoes that day, which gave them a perspective on their own privilege and conversely, the unseen struggles of other community members.

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During the asset mapping, the students noticed that poverty and homelessness appeared more consistently in one part of Madera and decided that this was their opportunity to give a helping hand. - Angeles

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MADERA SITE'S COMMUNITY SERVICE EVENT I think it’s important for our students to work with the homeless population in their communities because of the humbling experience that can be found in helping those less privileged. I’m sure that there’s something to be gained by all of us when we work with the homeless populations of our hometowns because it educates us on what little things we tend not to appreciate, like food or shelter. When I was younger, part of my community service work consisted of making sandwiches for the homeless population in my hometown of Fresno, CA. This gave me the experience of seeing the daily struggle of what it’s like to be homeless and gave me a better understanding of my own privilege compared to that of others. - Adam Landeros | CVP Mentor

Jayla chose the advertisement committee because she felt that she was good with publicity and would be instrumental in getting the word out about the event. She believes it was easy to work with her peers and their event had a good turnout as a result of the effort from the advertisement comittee.

As someone who had made a flyer before, Edgar knew it was significant to incorporate a title that grabbed the reader's attention as well as basic information such as the date and location of the event. He enjoyed working with others in the advertisement committee. - Edgar Garcia | CVP Student

- Jayla Cuevas | CVP Student

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MADERA SITE'S COMMUNITY SERVICE EVENT A success was that I actually I think [the event] was a good

got to get out of my comfort

experience since it was my

zone and get out and meet

first community service. It

people and come up with

turned out good... Not

ideas... It was an opportunity

everyone has a home. Some

for us to give back to the

people are just there without a

community and also a way for

family. They need support.

us to see what is going on

- Kassandra Navarro | CVP Student

around us. - Maria Perez | CVP Student

I think the significance of the homeless event was to show that there are many disadvantaged people in our communities. We hear about many disadvantaged groups in the Central Valley, but homeless people are not always part of the highlighted groups. I think it is important that everyone in our communities receive the help they need instead of being ignored. I feel it is important for students to do this type of work so that they can see what their community is going through. Hopefully it will inspire them to take the initiative to help and be the change in their underrepresented communities. - Leticia Martinez | CVP Mentor

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PORTERVILLE SITE'S UC DAVIS FIELDTRIP CVP takes active students to visit different colleges to expose them to educational opportunities outside of the Central Valley. On March 5, 2016, CVP took a bus full of 21 students, 3 parents, and a Granite Hills High School counselor to UC Davis. The trip was filled with a tour by UC Davis students, activities for students and parents to bond over aspirations of higher education, and workshops for students and parents. Students and parents from the Madera site visited UC Davis on November 21, 2015.

Prior to the fieldtrip, CVP mentors designed brown paper bags with inspiring quotations and illustrations. These bags were filled with continental breakfast for the attendees. In addition to the distribution of breakfast, the morning consisted of quick introductions by all students and parents. Students and parents were also asked to share one goal they had for the fieldtrip.

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Once CVP arrived at UC Davis, the Administrative Coordinator, Diana, led an ice breaker to set the energetic tone for the rest of the day.

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CVP is given a tour by Melissa Zamora, a UC Davis representative from the student organization MEChA. Students and parents explore the different departments of the university and ask questions about campus life.

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The workshop I gave students and parents was entitled From the CV to the UC: Examining The Educational Opportunities of Central Valley High School Students. I presented The Unequal Opportunity Race video, which depicts the disadvantages People of Color face as they attempt to improve their lives. I also talked about the U.S. Educational Pipeline and how, statistically, Students of Color attain low levels of education. My aim was for students and parents to understand that despite the disadvantages associated with our race, social class, gender, and geographic location, we are still able to excel academically. Their involvement in CVP and their UC Davis attendance demonstrates their initiative to take command of their futures. Our students are very motivated and our parents are extremely supportive of their aspirations.  ­ Mayra | CVP Staff Member

Four representatives from student orgganization Hermanos Macehual provided students with a workshop entitled Mastering Time: The Key to a Successful Student. They provided students with a brief introduction to the UC Davis campus and the resources available to students. The main focus of the workshop was time management. Hermanos Machehual discussed various practices to help students manage their time more efficiently.

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PORTERVILLE SITE'S UC DAVIS FIELDTRIP While students received the time management workshop by Hermanos Macehual, the three mothers who attended the UC Davis trip received their own workshop led by Melissa Zamora, student representative from MEChA. The workshop was entitled Debunking College Myths and topics such as financial aid, adjusting to college life, and supporting students were covered. Parents were free to ask any burning questions in order to alleviate the insecurities they may have about the college experience.

I liked the workshop a lot. We were able to ask questions and it gave us an idea of how the experiences of our children will be and how we can help them. - Mother of Griselda Huerta

Students and parents were reunited to listen to the experiences of several UC Davis students. The student panel discussed a broad range of topics such as dorm life, financial aid, and their own personal transition into college life. Students and parents were encouraged to ask the panelists personal questions regarding their majors and experiences about leaving home.

What I enjoyed most about the trip was the student panel. They helped with college life and the classes needed. I feel that I am better equipped to go to college. - Alejandra Lopez | CVP Student

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CVP recognizes the vital role that parents hold in their children’s education. We are also cognizant that many of our students' parents are low-income, immigrant farm workers. These factors prevent parents from being able to assist and support their children with schoolwork and/or college readiness. While many of the parents could not attend the trip because of work obligations, CVP thanks the three mothers that were present and enthusiastic about our workshops and activities. We hope that your questions were answered and that you enjoyed your day with your child. Thank you for your support.

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PORTERVILLE SITE'S UC DAVIS FIELDTRIP Special thanks to the UC Davis students who provided workshops to our students and parents! From left to right in the top picture: Adrian Rangel, Angel Espanta Pacheco, David Mena, Melissa Zamora, David Soltero, Alejandro Hernandez, and Monica Torres.

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ANNUAL SHADOW DAY While this concludes our Winter quarter, CVP has great plans for the upcoming Spring quarter such as Shadow Day. Shadow Day is an event where we bring our Central Valley students to UCLA and give them the opportunity to experience

“a day in the life of a UCLA student.” This is a two day event, taking place this year on May 13th and

May 14th. Friday is spent on the UCLA campus and in Westwood. In the morning, students are matched with current UCLA students based on interests and CVP students

“shadow” the UCLA volunteers by going to class with them and

accompanying them in their routine activities. In the afternoon and evening, students get a chance to explore the campus, attend workshops from various campus organizations and interest groups, and see student performances in the evening. The students spend the night in the dorms with UCLA students. On Saturday, we take students out to the city and spend the day in Los Angeles before returning home.

Though Shadow Day is still weeks away, we have already started a lot of the planning for this event. Starting week one of Spring Quarter, we will create committees among mentors. Each committee will be responsible for specific aspects of the event, including transportation, food, Saturday activities, workshops, and hosts/shadowing. A large component that we also focus on is co-programming with other organizations on campus and reaching out to the UCLA community. We will be promoting our event and advertising to recruit volunteers as soon as Spring quarter starts. This is very important to us as we can’t do everything ourselves, and we want our students to connect with all kinds of students at UCLA, not just those in CVP. - Deisy & Aya

I am very excited for Shadow Day this year. This is such a

Shadow Day should be a lot of fun this year! Aya and I, as UCLA

unique opportunity, and I hope that our students have a good

Community Coordinators, are working very hard to make our 4th

experience and have fun. I personally wish I had an

annual Shadow Day the best one yet by making it more

opportunity like this when I was in high school; all of the

interactive and fitted to our students. This is the first year that

college visits I had were just a campus tour and a short Q&A.

there are two of us in our position, Aya focusing on our Madera

There usually isn’t time for one on one interaction or time to delve into a preview of

“the real college experience.” I think

site and me on our Porterville site. This will help us tailor everything towards all our students. I am very excited to plan the

the added personal and social aspects that we incorporate

event for the students since it is a great opportunity for them to

make this event memorable for students. We’ve had positive

come to a campus and start to actually picture themselves in one

feedback from students from previous years, so I hope to

and see how it is like to be a real college student. I was once a

make this Shadow Day 2016 the best one yet. This is also the

Central Valley high student myself and I know I would have

first year that we have two UCLA Community Coordinators,

loved this opportunity. Planning our Shadow Day event ties in

so I’m very excited to see what we can accomplish. My main

perfectly to our job as UCLA Community Coordinators, since our

focus this year is to really take into consideration the interests

CVP members get to bond over the planning process and we get

of the students and make sure there is something for

to promote our project among the UCLA community as we look

everyone, and that all of their questions get answered.

for volunteers and co-programing opportunities.

- Aya

- Deisy

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END OF THE YEAR BANQUET In addition to Shadow Day, CVP's End of the Year Banquet occurs during Spring quarter. This year, we will have two separate banquets near the end of May, one for Porterville and one for Madera. These banquets bring together our students, parents, community leaders, and CVP mentors in order to showcase the work and improvement of our students throughout the year. We also present our CVP scholarship that goes towards a student who has been actively involved in our project, intends to pursue higher education, and demonstrates financial need.

I am very excited to plan this year's End of the Year Banquet as the Central Valley Community Coordinator. Although in past years we have had only one banquet to allow for interaction among students from the two different sites, the sites for this year are too far apart to plan for one banquet in one location. I will thus be planning for two separate banquets, yet the agenda will be the same for our communities of Porterville and Madera. As someone who has been in the project for approximately two and a half years, I have witnessed the immense growth of our students throughout the academic year. I am pleased to plan an event where I can commend our students for their diligence and grant one fortunate student a scholarship to continue his or her pursuit of higher education. It is a celebratory event filled with delicious food, memories, and awards. - Mayra

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CONTACT US! Students, parents, and community partners should know that our assistance is not limited to our biweekly site visitations. Please feel free to contact us through any method with any question. Thank you and see you soon!

Site Locations: Email:

Madera South High School Library


- 10:00AM-2:00PM


- 705 W. Pecan Ave.


- Madera, CA 93637


Granite Hills High School Library


- 10:00AM-2:00PM


- 1701 E. Putnam Ave.


- Porterville, CA 93257

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Profile for Central Valley Project

CVP Winter 2016 Newsletter  

This quarter, our project focused on the service learning component of our mission statement. CVP believes it is crucial to enhance the live...

CVP Winter 2016 Newsletter  

This quarter, our project focused on the service learning component of our mission statement. CVP believes it is crucial to enhance the live...