Tableau Magazine Mar-Apr 2021

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TABLEAU

M A RCH /A P R I L 2 0 21 I SSUE

FROM KITCHEN

TA B L E M A R K E T I N G

FRESH DESIGN FLORAL BEAUTY FOOD HALLS

THE GROWTH ISSUE:

NEW PERSPECTIVES, DOING GOOD + HOPE FOR THE FUTURE Photo by Joberto Lee


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L E TTER F ROM T HE EDI TOR I remember writhing in pain as a kid, grabbing my shins and scream-praying silently in my head for the growing pains to stop. No chewable St. Joseph’s aspirin would work for this agony and if there was some secret way to arrange your body to get relief, I never found it. What I have found over the years is that growth — whether it shows up in the form of growing pains, a divorce, a closed door, a quarantine — usually hurts. I don’t like that part. But I do love growth, an opportunity to evolve and be better. It’s one of life’s biggest challenges and, I believe, the place where we all have the tremendous honor to tap into what it means to truly be alive. Thanks to the talented team of journalists, photographers, graphic designers and editors that bring Tableau to life, this issue celebrates growth. In these beautiful and compelling pages, you’ll read about growth in its many forms, and in ways that we know will inspire you to grow. In this issue you’ll learn about the next generation of change-makers — some of the region’s most exceptional teens doing incredible things. You’ll hear from an innovative entrepreneur “growing” a new business during a pandemic, and a classically trained horticulturalist who teaches kids to garden. You’ll read about how to practice self-care, how to care for our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters, and to nurture our environment. And much, much more. Thank you for spreading the word about our new magazine, and for supporting the businesses, students, creatives and nonprofits in this issue. And, please let us know of the people, places and things you’d like to see in upcoming editions of Tableau — we’d love to hear from you! Wishing you growth,

Carrie Freitas carrie@kitchentablepr.com  @tableauofficial  @tableauoc

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[ CONTENTS ]

MAR/APR 2021

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06

T h e Te am

28

The Ins p i r e r s

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Take N o t e

36

Mom + Po p

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D o Go o d

39

To Or de r

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B y D e s ig n

48

Of Inte r e s t

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At Ho m e

52

Gi v e Ba ck

26

S e lf C ar e

Photos courtesy of Paragon Cafe, Brown Jordan, Birdie Bowl, and Able Coffee Roasters


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M E E T THE STAF F Miki Akil After working as a publicist in Hollywood, Miki found her calling in consumer/lifestyle PR. She is a Houston native (who you’ll always find watching the Astros or Texans) with a proven track record of developing powerful marketing communications campaigns. After moving to the West Coast more than 10 years ago, she now calls OC home and lives with her husband and two kitties, Gatsby and Fitzgerald. Carrie Freitas Carrie hails from a newspaper/journalism family on her mother’s side, and a marketing/ printing family on her father’s — which explains why she is both a published writer and founder of Kitchen Table Marketing. She lives in Newport Beach with her husband and is a proud mom of two, and stepmom of three. Carrie is passionate about giving back to her community and supporting LGBTQ+ rights. Jordan Kruk Jordan has had a love of writing from a young age, leading her to pursue a career in PR. She started off in B2B marketing in the commercial real estate industry before joining the Kitchen Table team where she quickly discovered her passion for the restaurant and nonprofit industries. Jordan is an OC native and currently resides in Huntington Beach with her boyfriend and their pug, Franklin.

Becca Stonebraker Becca’s background and education have revolved around how to tell a good story, something she leverages in the work she does for KTM’s clients. On a daily basis, she taps into her passions for food and philanthropy to serve a variety of businesses in the hospitality and nonprofit industries. Becca is a SoCal native who loves a good meal, the great outdoors, and traveling to new places.

Madelyn Sutherland Madi found her love for public relations and social media while studying Communications at California State University, Fullerton. After pursuing her degree, she worked for a digital marketing agency overseeing clients in the tech space before finding herself at the Kitchen Table. Born and raised in Orange County, Madi supports a range of locally (and a few national) based food, design, nonprofit and real estate clients for KTM.

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CON T RI BUTO RS

Kristen Cagatao Born and raised in SoCal, Kristen is responsible for the beautiful look of Tableau. In addition to being a talented, full-time graphic designer, she enjoys dancing with her Polynesian Group, Nonosina, and traveling. Sara Hall Sara has 14 years of experience at daily and weekly newspapers, including the Newport Beach Independent. Her work includes photography, writing, design and layout. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, traveling and spending time with her husband and pets. Joberto Lee With two engineering degrees, Joberto Lee — our cover photographer — is not the typical artist. The same analytical thinking and precision which allow him to excel as a controls engineer translate into his photography as unwavering adherence to the science of storytelling. While being raised by a prominent OC restaurateur led him to specialize in food photography, the breadth of his skillset positions him to execute any job like clockwork. Maisy Menzies Maisy Menzies was born and raised in Southern California and is a recent UC Berkeley film and media studies graduate. When she is not working as a writer, she is organizing non-profit art fundraisers, painting and learning to surf. Sarah Mosqueda Sarah Mosqueda has worked as a freelance journalist in OC and LA for a decade. Her work has appeared in Orange Coast Magazine, Coast Magazine, Hispanic Network Magazine and Bon Appetit Magazine. She is an avid podcast listener, amateur yogi and skilled bartender who enjoys trying new restaurants and cooking at home with her fiancé.

Kim Newett Kim Newett is a toy expert and writer whose greatest accomplishment has been raising two strong, brilliant daughters. She lives in Santa Ana with her husband and dog and is looking forward to when she can see old friends and resume her quest to find new offbeat venues for food and drinks. Robin H. Phillips A born and bred New Englander, Robin moved to Newport Beach this past July. She was previously the editor of Fairfield Magazine and also has worked for House & Garden, Bon Appétit, Condé Nast Traveler, and Better Homes and Gardens. When she isn’t writing or reading, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teenagers. Michelle Pulfrey For more than two decades, Michelle Pulfrey has shaped SoCal’s TV news landscape as a senior producer for Fox 11’s “Good Day L.A.” Always on the pulse of what’s new and noteworthy, Michelle also produced the station’s popular “Style File” segment and has written on fashion, beauty and lifestyle for Modern Luxury OC/Riviera. Now, this OC resident brings her talents to Tableau. Amy Senk Amy is a CDM resident and a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism. She has worked at the Kansas City Times, Kansas City Star, Contra Costa Times, Coast Kids and Coast Magazines, and is a regular contributor to StuNews Newport. A recent empty nester, she spends her free time with her husband and planning elaborate imaginary vacations.

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TA K E N OT E

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By Sarah Mosqueda

Coffee for a Cause Able Coffee Roasters was founded by Adeel Asif and Anthony Palmeri, who met working together in an autism classroom. The two worked daily with their students on vocational skills, but often found that despite the generosity of employers, the work sites weren’t equipped to help students reach their full potential. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for individuals with special needs is over 80%. Asif and Palmeri aimed to reduce that number by developing Able Coffee Roasters, a coffee-roasting company that employs individuals with autism and other disabilities. Their quality organic beans are imported directly from small farmers and roasted daily, creating paying jobs for the special needs community. Their Huntington Beach storefront is open for take-out and delivery and they’re closing the employment gap, one cup of coffee at a time. theableworkers.com

Photo credit courtesy of Able Coffee, The Find Consignment, and Angie Wisdom


Fab Furniture Finds The mantra at The Find Consignment is “Consign, Find, Repeat!” The Find has the highest quality and largest selection of consignment home furnishings around. They’re sustainable, local and believe in salvaging historical pieces and giving them new life in a new home. Their two Costa Mesa locations each have their own vibe, and they both receive new furniture and accessories daily. The best way to keep up with their daily drop is follow their instagram account, @TheFINDConsignments. You can always count on seeing one-of-kind treasures and hidden gems like Serena & Lily bamboo tables in a striking red ($350 each) or a mid-Century Holtorf Mobler Dry Bar ($2750) | thefindconsignments.com, (949) 650-3463

Tap into Wisdom “I’m lucky to have a last name that fits so well with my profession,” says life and business coach, Angie Wisdom. Based in Newport Beach, Wisdom offers oneon-one coaching services for clients who want to grow in leadership, business or personal development. Not only does Wisdom bring 25 years of experience in sales, marketing, business building and coaching to the table, he is also credentialed through the International Coaching Federation as a Professional Certified Coach and working towards her Master Certified Coach credential. “I focus on continued growth so I can bring that growth back to my clients,” she says. Wisdom also runs group coaching in a small-setting environment with only 10 people at a time. The program is set up for personal growth over a 12-week period and Wisdom says it’s a great way to learn from others and be surrounded by people going through the same process.“There is nothing more rewarding than watching someone unlock their authentic self and full potential.” You can schedule a free consultation call via Zoom or a phone call by visiting angiewisdom.com. Or sign up for her newsletter and get words of Wisdom sent right to your inbox. | angiewisdom.com, (949) 689-5163

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SOCO’s “Masters of Design” (M.O.D.) Series SOCO, Southern California’s destination for interior design inspiration, is introducing an all-new video series that will bring your design-inspired Instagram feeds and Pinterest boards to life: Welcome to Masters of Design. This bingeworthy series is guaranteed to inspire both seasoned designers and those who are new to the interior design world – giving you behind the scenes access to the world-famous showrooms at SOCO, private home tours and projects from OC’s top interior designers, and more. M.O.D. has the resources you need to revamp your space and get up to speed with the latest trends. Be among the first to watch new episodes and subscribe to the series online at www.socomastersofdesign.com.

Pelo Closet Peloton riders are the perfect hype team. So it’s no surprise that when Peloton rider Torrey Feffer had a great idea, it was a few fellow riders that cheered her on. After a ride one day, a group text of friends wanted to know where to buy the instructor’s leggings. “I sent them a link to a pair I had found, and they encouraged me to keep going,” says Feffer. She has since made it her mission to find the fashion inspired by your favorite Peloton instructors. What began as an Instagram account for a few friends has turned into a community for thousands of people who share Feffer’s love for fitness, fashion and connection. She finds actual looks and dupes for all budgets and bodies and posts them to her website and Instagram account, @pelotoncloset. She also provides helpful links, like Facebook Peloton Apparel Marketplace and other retailers where you can buy, sell, trade and search for sold out Peloton styles. If you are looking for a specific look, DM the instructor name, class and date and Feffer will help you track it down. If you want even more Peloton fashion, catch Feffer hosting weekly fashion segments on Peloton fan podcast, The Clip Out. pelotoncloset.com

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Photo credit courtesy of SOCO, Pelo Closet, Le Fleur IV, and Bomani


Floral Communication “We think any time is the best time to give or get flowers,” says Le Fleur IV florist, Natalie Le. Le Fleur IV is run by a family of four female florists and Le says they seen an uptick in floral needs during the pandemic, “More and more people have sent bouquets to communicate loving messages like ‘I miss you,’ ‘thinking of you,’ or even ‘just because’ arrangements,” she says. Le Fleur IV has been serving the Los Angeles and Orange County areas since 1990, with locations in Westminster, Corona Del Mar and a new location in Costa Mesa that opened in January. They’ve got custom bouquets and arrangements with both fresh and dried flower elements. Their signature collection includes The Rosé Bouquet — one dozen, two dozen or five dozen long- stemmed roses ($85, $125, $245) artfully displayed in a beautiful box. Other popular options include their Flower Bag ($50-$175), arranged in an adorable Le Fleur IV gift bag and Flower Boxes ($169-$390) that come arranged in elegant Le Fleur IV hat boxes. | lefleuriv.com, (949) 891-1334

A Cold Buzz Friends Sam Madani, Kai Drewry, and Amin Anjedani found themselves living the same fast-paced lives that many of us do. In order to find energy after a long work week, they’d enjoy alcohol with coffee or other caffeinated chasers like energy drinks. In a quest to find a drink better than high-calorie espresso martinis or shots chased with Red Bull, the trio created Bomani Cold Buzz. This alcohol-infused cold brew coffee contains 5.7% ABV and a half cup of coffee’s worth of caffeine. This ready-to-drink canned beverage is delicious right from the can, over ice, with cream and sugar, or as part of a cocktail, and is sure to become a staple for both brunches and pregames. BOMANI launched just two weeks before shelter-in-place orders, but that hasn’t stopped the buzz. You can find BOMANI at Whole Foods, Stater Bros. and Total Wine retailers in Orange County. And thanks to a partnership with the United States Bartenders’ Guild, 5.7% of BOMANI’s net proceeds go to the Bartender’s Emergency Assistance Program. | drinkbomani.com, (310) 584-7511.

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A-List Dog Destination DogDrop knows that dogs are people too. Which is why this female-founded start-up is so good at providing better dog care. With their first 1,675 sq ft. location now open in the LA Arts District, DogDrop is the first flexible, membership-based dog daycare to make pet ownership and traditional dog care more convenient and accessible. Monthly memberships allow dog parents to drop off and pick up as many times as they like throughout the day, with extended hours from 7am-10pm. “DogDrop is for the modern dog parent who has high expectations of quality care and whose lifestyle demands convenience,” said Shaina Denny, co-founder and CEO of DogDrop. The location is capped at 35 dogs with a dog-to-human ratio of 12:1. Dogs are required to meet safety requirements and go through a behavioral assessment, so you know your pup is safe. DogDrop eventually hopes to scale so that finding a DogDrop location is as easy as finding a WeWork. Besides daycare, they also offer a collection of dog products like poop bags ($18) and paw & bum wipes ($26) your dog will love. | dogdrop.co, (213) 314- 5499

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Photo credit courtesy of DogDrop, More Mother’s Thoughts for the Day, and The RealReal


Mom Knows Best Mothers always know the right thing to say, and now a new collection of beautiful and meaningful books and gift items from Crystal Cove Press helps you share that loving wisdom with others. Founder M.C. Sungaila is an OC native and accomplished lawyer who says her mom had a particular knack for finding the perfect words for any obstacle or occasion. Now, Sungaila has put her mother’s wise words and advice to paper, creating a keepsake two-volume book series. Mother’s Thoughts for the Day ($19.95) is a collection of sage advice from a mother to her daughter, compiled into a book that celebrates the mother-daughter relationship. The second book in the series, More Mother’s Thoughts for the Day, ($20) continues the journey of the mother-daughter relationship. In addition to these charming and colorful gift books, be you sure to shop her website for posters, mugs and tote bags decorated with other inspiring quotes. | mothersthoughtsfortheday.com

Fashion Gets Real If you love high-end fashion but hate the hefty price tags, The RealReal is the real deal — and has a new location at Lido Marina Village in Newport Beach. Think new with tags, or gently used designer clothing, shoes, and accessories for far less than their retail prices. Did some spring cleaning? They’ll take a look at your items during a consignment appointment. Expect to see items specially curated for the laidback luxe lifestyle of Newport with Gucci and Hermes items being added daily. | www.therealreal.com (949) 594-1990

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DO GO OD SoCal Cimate Change Maker Maker Nicole Capretz of Climate Action Campaign By Maisy Menzies than you can chew. By directing her energy to local solutions, and then finding ways to expand those focused, regional plans to apply to larger communities, Capretz has managed to make tangible change within San Diego, and encourage that same change across the state and country.

Living in Southern California, we’ve seen climate change in our own backyards. We know all too well the repercussions of the fires that set many SoCal communities ablaze over the past few years. Everyday climate change proves to be a local, national and global issue, and it’s terrifying to confront as an individual. That is why Nicole Capretz, founder and director of the San Diegobased non-profit organization Climate Action Campaign, says fighting this problem starts with a local perspective. “We believe that cities and local governments are the hubs of innovation, where you model best practices and you get to experiment and learn,” she said of how to manage such a global concern at a smaller scale. “And from there, you can scale and replicate it.” For Capretz, it’s all about not biting off more

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Photos courtesy of Nicole Capretz and Climate Action Campaign

San Diego’s plan for 100% renewable energy by 2035 is the perfect example of this. Back in 2015, this was a local measure in the San Diego Climate Action Plan that was largely powered by Climate Action Campaign. Capretz stated that, at the time, many believed this plan was too ambitious and would be too hard to implement. Now, the State of California and the Biden Administration have adopted this same plan as the model for climate change reductions. “We are based in San Diego... but we immediately started branching out,” said Capretz, who actively looks for ways to help other Southern California cities implement proven climate action plans. “We started working in 18 other cities surrounding San Diego, and from there we have expanded our efforts to include Orange County.” Orange County is home to some of the most atrisk cities for climate change, such as Santa Ana and Anaheim. As such, the county has presented Capretz with new issues requiring nuanced solutions. She and her team have started a new public power agency called Orange County Public Power Authority. And, while Irvine, Fullerton, Buena Park and Huntington Beach


have joined this initiative, there are still 30 cities in Orange County that have not joined the cause. This leaves what Capretz sees as room for opportunity and growth within the county. Climate Action Campaign also is sponsoring a state law that will require Orange County to create a regional climate authority. This will be an agency that will coordinate and collaborate on climate solutions and preparation for climate challenges, like heat waves, fires and sea level rise. “There is a lot of opportunity to grow and accelerate clean energy in Orange County.

Getting the elected officials, the decision makers and the community to have a plan in place is super important,” Capretz said of the OC-based initiatives. “In a lot of ways, Orange County is really behind other regions in planning for climate change and we want to help with that.” As Capretz emphasized in our interview, progress to address climate change isn’t just about introducing groundbreaking bills and laws to government entities in Southern California. A huge part of her job is getting these laws passed, and then making sure that government officials are held accountable for the promises they’ve

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made to the public. Capretz stated that pushing local governments to get out of their comfort zones by enacting transformative policies to remove carbon from our economy is critical, and it is what the science behind climate change says we have to do. With her 20 years of experience in non-profit work and government positions, Capretz has made a career of being able to encourage change in simultaneously realistic and idealistic ways. “I started my career working with different nonprofit organizations, building my skill set and learning how policy and politics work. Then I worked on the inside of San Diego City Hall for three different officials,” she said of her diverse experience. “I really did learn many different facets of the public policy business and after

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Photos courtesy of Nicole Capretz and Climate Action Campaign

20 years, I felt that I was ready to start my own organization.” Capretz has developed a keen sense of what works when trying to pass a bold law, what it takes to make sure laws are implemented, and how to get the public involved with these efforts. “We have to motivate local officials to be brave and bold and do the right thing, and we have to motivate the public to believe that big changes are possible… We have to have a public face that says this is possible and we have a road map and you can come with us,” she said. Capretz recognizes that politics can be a rough business. And with an issue that is as colossal as climate change, she understands that it can feel like one individual can’t make the change that is needed to fix the situation. To her, playing the


long game and working with your government is the solution, rather than getting disheartened when laws and action plans don’t pan out. In fact, Capretz stays away from recommending individual action to help climate change, because she believes that what each person can do is completely relative to their means — action that works for one person won’t always work for the next. So when it comes to public engagement with this issue, Capretz’s go-to advice is to spread the word and show city governments that climate change should be something they are working on, and that as a citizen, you are holding them responsible. “You can’t just tell somebody to get rooftop solar or buy an EV car because those things are expensive,” she said. “But if you can get active at the local level and hold your local elected officials accountable, you can have a huge impact. And that will have more long-term value than any individual action.” For the average Southern California family, Capretz offered some tips on how to get involved and make your government listen. According to her, if you are a local trying to get your government invested in the issue of climate change, being a squeaky wheel is key. Persistent calls and emails from the community will result in change.

against climate change is to use their voices. If you can’t install solar panels or buy an electric car or go vegan, that is okay. But the public can always be more vocal and that is the biggest motivator for cities to do more. “We are always trying to get more and more people to speak up and speak out, and that’s how we are going to change the world,” Capretz said. “You can see what your city is doing in terms of climate change. If you think they should be doing better, then activate.”

The idea of approaching one’s city officials and asking about their climate plans can seem daunting, especially when the average SoCal resident is not an expert on the issue. But from what Capretz has seen from her years in working in government, expressing even general interest in the government’s climate plan and asking even the simplest questions about local climate change initiatives is enough to force its hand. Ultimately, Carpetz believes the most powerful thing that SoCal residents can do in the fight

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BY DE SIG N

T H AT ON E T HI N G If you had to, would you be able to choose just one favorite item from your home décor? By Robin Phillips Often that extraordinary piece really does stand out amidst the objets d’art, furniture, and accessories that define your space. We put the task to several SOCO showrooms to choose that ONE THING from their collections – the most requested, most Insta-worthy, those must-have pieces. Here are seven to choose from… you may just need them all!

Farrow & Ball This dusty pink started out as a delicate wallpaper background which was often requested as a paint color. Pink Ground #202, with its large dose of yellow pigment, now creates the softest blush of color for a warm and soothing finish that doesn’t feel sugary. Rather than contrasting with a bright white, the experts at Farrow & Ball suggest pairing with the warmer shade “Great White” on woodwork for a softer contrast.

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Photo credit courtesy of Farrow & Ball, Bang & Olufsen, Design Within Reach, Ligne Roset, GATHER Home, Pirch, and H.D. Buttercup


Bang & Olufsen Origin acoustic landscape speakers are the perfect accessory for any outdoor gathering. Visually, they blend in perfectly with any outdoor landscape design. Audibly, they couldn’t stand out more. With their hidden inground subwoofer and satellite system, a powerful sound envelops the backyard. The BeoSound Balance comes in luxious finishes: Oak for Marble and Gold. It is the perfect design to complement any style of home, whether it be sleek and modern or boho chic. The speaker also has active room compensation to optimize the performance wherever it’s placed.

GATHER Home The Sutton Mirror, with its eye-catching wooden spheres, is whimsical and the perfect piece to add character to a bare wall or entry hall space.

Design Within Reach Hands down, one of the most requested DWR items is the timeless Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman. Ergonomically designed, the Eames Lounge and Ottoman began as a modern take on a traditional club chair but has evolved into an iconic piece that blends beautifully into almost any décor. The result, arguably the most recognizable furniture design of the 20th century, is a seat that you can sink into – one you may not want to rise from for a very long time.

Ligne Roset The Togo Sofa and chair are without a doubt the most in-demand items at Ligne Roset. Designer Michel Ducaroy’s Togo has been the ultimate in comfort and style for over forty years. The timeless collection features a design that molds & cradles the human body. Along with multiple density polyether foam construction and quilted covers, each piece is both visually attractive and physically inviting. There’s no better seat for an afternoon siesta or lazy Netflix marathon than the Togo Lounge.

Pirch Adding splashes of color to a room brings joy, however adding dramatic pastels in the form of an appliance creates a whole new Instagram-worthy atmosphere. The CornuFé Series of the iconic La Cornue stoves and ranges is designed for those who have high culinary standards, yet don’t need the size and customizations of the company’s popular Château Series. With a dazzling choice of twelve colorful finishes and three trims, this is a range that brings drama, beauty, and personality into the kitchen.

H.D. Buttercup Arch is a sturdy, geometric shelving unit created using a few simple shapes. The modular design by Fogia combines clean lines and bent wood for a striking aesthetic. It can be stacked with multiple shelves to create a functional and dramaticlooking bookshelf, or can be kept low as a console.

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BY DESI GN FRESH AIR, FRESH LOOK Is it time to upgrade your alfresco space? By Robin Phillips SOCO showrooms have you covered with this curated selection of new + notable furnishings and accessories that will make your outdoor living area more attractive and comfortable than ever.

Brown Jordan The H Collection is named for the first letter of the word “hoy” – which is “today” in Spanish. Designed by Toan Nguyen, it takes a classic mix of materials for a new spin by adding enticing curves and finishes – making it fresh yet comfortable. The use of three-inch diameter rope creates a sculptural effect against the collection’s streamlined aluminum frames. The hottest thing in fire tables, these are designed and built in-house to carry the Brown Jordan name. With simple lines and thoughtfully designed ceramic tops, the tables inspire communal gatherings yearround. Transitional lines create a livable design that is easily paired with any style of seating.

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Photo credit courtesy of Brown Jordan, HAY, Modani, GATHER Home, and Roche Bobois


HAY With its elegant geometric design, weatherproof powder-coated steel and welded steel construction, The Palisade Collection at HAY kicks your outdoor game up a few stylish notches.

Modani The Fidji Collection will transform your outdoor space into a backyard retreat. There’s an extended three-seater corner sofa that provides ample seating for entertaining. Synthetic teak paneling is elegant yet practical while a white matte aluminum frame provides the perfect backbone for comfortable seating. Plush cushions are wrapped in a highquality, water repellent, gray mesh exterior for easy lounging. A slatted coffee table and side table offer an attractive + convenient place for beverages and snacks.

GATHER Home Designer Alain Van Havre designed the gorgeous Bok Teak Outdoor Dining Table and Bok Teak Outdoor Dining Chairs with an airy shape. The rocksolid construction makes the collection timeless, featuring pieces you can enjoy for years to come. The chairs come in one size and the dining table comes in three sizes to fit almost any outdoor space: 79” x 35.5”, 98.5” x 39.5” and 118.5” x 43.5”

Roche Bobois For the first time, this Roche Bobois best-seller – the Mah Jong Collection – is available in an outdoor version. With endless modular combinations, it puts the “fun” in functional. A metal base with a random perforated pattern supports cushions in eye-catching colors. The Mah Jong Outdoor Collection also features trays on the sides and behind the seats for holding glasses, towels, or sunscreen.

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AT H OM E Cultivating Goodness - The Talent of Lucie Galvin By Robin H. Phillips If sunshine were a person, it would be Lucie Galvin. The longtime Corona Del Mar resident is an inspiring gardening teacher to all ages, a lover of all things blooming and growing, and a budding digital artist. If you have lived here awhile, you may have seen her in action teaching gardening workshops or perhaps even hired her. The pandemic has put a damper on in-person instruction, but ever resourceful, Galvin turned to social media and the internet to showcase what she does best. “It became handy to show clients my style of gardening and teaching through Instagram—so they’d know that I’m not about installing marble pillars and swimming pools—but about blackberries and ladybugs,” she says with a big smile. “I show people how to organically grow fruit, flowers, and veggies in their backyards—porch,

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Photos courtesy of Lucie Galvin


balcony, or schools—with an emphasis on health, imaginative play, and respect for wildlife.” Galvin comes equipped to every workshop with quality plants, seeds, tools, and a selection of children’s literature to lend some inspiration to her youngest students. Her @GardeningwithChildren Instagram reflects a seasonal rhythm for gardening that is designed to inspire parents and children throughout the year. To reach older students during the pandemic, Galvin volunteers with Nepris.com where classroom teachers connect virtually with industry professionals for lessons or in real-time. She also continues safely distanced, masked-up outdoor workshops with small groups to continue sharing her joy for gardening. Galvin grew up feeling that joy. “My dad gardened and let us choose plants for under our bedroom windows. I remember walking through Roger’s Gardens as a kid choosing pink Queen Elizabeth roses and purple and yellow-faced Johnny-JumpUps,” she explains. “My mom always read us great books and the ones with fairies, gardens, and hedgehogs took my imagination.” During summers, Galvin would spend time on her grandparents’ farm in Washington, “running through mint into the woods and eating raspberries off the cane.” It’s this passion that drives Galvin’s desire to teach and inspire students of all generations – but teaching children is

a particular passion of hers. “I love seeing kids spark up when they connect to plants, the beasts in their gardens, books, ideas, and more,” she says. Galvin also feels that it comes naturally to children—it just needs to be tapped into. “Every kid who grows up in Orange County is a naturalist by default—picking up shells on the beach and watching hummingbirds.” Galvin took a circuitous yet compelling route to arrive where she is now professionally. She studied art history at the University of Michigan, but gardening was always in her soul. “I fell for the patterns and symbolism of Islamic gardens like those at the Alhambra in Spain and the kitchen garden behind the Daggett Farmhouse in Greenfield Village,” she says. She received her teaching credentials at St. Mary’s College in the Bay Area and then taught second grade there. “There was a lot of rain, and sadly we were mostly indoors,” she explains. Along with her husband, the couple decided to make a move to the UK, and there she enrolled in The English Gardening School in London for Garden Design and then completed a horticultural apprenticeship for the National Trust for Scotland. “This was old-school, organic, practical gardening at Threave and Kellie Castle. I studied floristry and botanical illustration, too,” she says.

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not yet overwhelmed by classroom responsibilities, and help normalize gardening, bringing nature study into class plans,” she says. Her plan to help teachers – which can be tailored to any school, camp, or group from nursery age on up – is to give actual plants to grow, suggest books for a curriculum, discuss Apps, crafts to make, and offer herself as a resource.

Returning to the States with such expansive gardening experience under her belt, Galvin’s curriculum gelled. “Inspired by my own children’s experience, I designed seven Children’s Gardening Workshops to offer to families in schools and backyards. First, we assess your garden and then plan for fruit, flowers, vegetables, beneficial insects, crafts, cooking, writing to fairies, and more,” she explains. “Then we can continue in following the seasons; using the best quality plants, seeds, tools, materials, and books; helping nurture nature and yourselves over time.” Adding mystical elements comes naturally to Galvin, like connecting with fairies and making magical fairy gardens. “Kids get the biggest kick out of that, and it is just another way for them to strengthen their bonds with nature and the outdoors.” Gavin is passionate about teaching and a great resource for anyone who loves gardening. Whether you are an experienced gardener looking for new techniques, or a novice that needs to learn the basics, her workshops and individual sessions are bespoke to fit any need. Her 2021 goals include creating and leading toddler storytimes at the Sherman Library and Gardens. “I love sharing great books and connecting them to gardening, especially for the littlest people,” she explains. She’s also set her sights on college instructor credentialing programs where she would like to teach the teachers about gardening. “I’d love to do one class a year wherever I can,” says Galvin. “To get to the instructors while they’re enthusiastic and

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Photos courtesy of Lucie Galvin

With clearly more energy than most of us, Galvin, who you’ll remember drew botanicals, has picked up a new skill during the pandemic. On her iPad, she sketches digital portraits for friends and family. “I love color and line and have been missing people,” she says. “During the worst of it and all of us staying apart, I began drawing friends’ and family’s faces to text to them for birthdays, graduations, in memoriam, and it surprises them, feels thoughtful, and looks pretty good.” In typical Galvin fashion – she has a lofty goal, “I’d love to iPad sketch the faces of everybody in the world!” Check out @LucieGalvinArt and send photos/ commissions her way. The happy faces she captures with personalized colors—some with masks, some without—are a terrific snapshot of how we all need to feel seen and connected, one way or another.


Lucie’s Favorite Apps • The Lens in the Google App: for identifying plants, birds, etc. on walks. • Paprika 3 Recipe: Sharing one login with family members so all can access your online cookbook and maintain your grocery list on the go. • British Radios: BBC Radio 4’s Gardener’s Question Time live Fridays 7 AM PST and Radio Scotland’s weather reports. • Google Maps: Check the satellite view before walking in a new place to find huge trees and paths of interest. • Brushes by Envoza: Easy layered sketching anywhere (even in the dark)! • Wunderground, Tides, and AirVisual Apps • PopOut! The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Lucie’s Must-Have Gardening Tools • Haws 1 Pint Watering Can • Fiskars Take-Apart Shears - can use separated to slice weeds from between pavers. • Gardener’s Best Universal Grow Bags - easy to fill and store away in any spot. • Paper Green Waste Recycling Bags - like at Target. Huge paper bags for leaves, TJ’s cut flowers, lettuce ends, etc. • Nutscene’s Heritage Jute Twine Spools - perfect for small hands and colorful. • Moleskine Journals - to tape spent seed packets into and jot history of gardening done. • Swivel Straight Christmas Tree Stand - you’ll understand when you’ve tried it.

Lucie’s Favorite Children’s Gardening Books • Miss Jaster’s Garden, by N.M. Bodecker • Zeee, by Elizabeth Enright • Dear Fairies, by Sandy Nightingale • Whose Garden Is It? by Mary Ann Hoberman • Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney • Night Tree, by Eve Bunting or Red & Lulu, by Matt Tavares. • Mandy, by Julie (Andrews) Edwards (Illustrated by Newport native Johanna Westerman) • Mud Pies and Other Recipes, by Marjorie Winslow. For every grandparent to give visiting grandchild/ ren- and then set them loose on the patio.

Lucie’s Favorite Local Garden Days Out The Wedge, the boardwalk around Balboa Island, The Sherman Library and Gardens, Crystal Cove State Park, and the bluff-top walk of Heisler Park (Newport & Laguna Beaches, California) Descanso, The Arlington Gardens, The Old Mill, The South Pasadena Farmers’ Market, and The Huntington Gardens.

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S E LF CARE EVERYTHING BOTANICAL FOR SPRING! By Michelle Pulfrey

Laurel Skin Nourish your body from the outside in with the Laurel Skin California Body Oil. Created as a body serum and moisturizer, its packed with nutrients and antioxidants to promote radiant skin health. Almond, sunflower, avocado, and olive oils are farmed or pressed in California, while Orange Blossom and Rose Geranium, and hints of White Rose, and Cedarwood, make up the perfect blend to work double duty as a powerful circulatory lymph mover, helpful for overall puffiness. Plain and simple- this oil helps move waste away from living cells to make room for vital nourishment. | Laurelskin.com | 100ml $90, Roots: the Beauty Underground in Laguna Beach.

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Photo credit courtesy of Laurel Skin, Epicuren, Le Prunier, and Ojai Wild


Epicuren Freshen your face wash with the perfectly Ph balanced, gentle, soap-free Citrus Herbal cleanser from Epicuren. Lecithin provides hydration and soothing benefits, while the cucumber fruit extract works its magic with moisture binding, and anti-inflammatory elements for the skin as well as soothing, tightening, and healing properties with amino acids, and a high vitamin C count, perfect for combination skin types. 2oz, $26.50 | 8oz, $73.50 Spa Gregories 200 Newport Center Dr., Suite 100, Newport Beach spagregories.com or epicuren.com

Le Prunier If you’re a newcomer to face oils, the locally made Plum Beauty Oil by Le Prunier is a game changer. The brainchild of three sisters, and thirdgeneration California plum farmers who consulted with renowned labs to turn their harvest into a highpotency facial oil. Rich in Vitamins A & E, and layered with a blend of plum varietals providing antioxidants, and essential omega fatty acids, the oil calms skin inflammation and irritation and also offers a natural UV sunscreen booster. Bonus, the weightless and fast absorbing oil melts right into your skin, and the scent is delightful. If you suffer from product sensitivity, or acne this product is ideal. $134. | leprunier.com

Ojai Wild Spring welcoming scents from Ojai Wild are crafted with botanical ingredients found in their surroundings from the family farm and other ranches along the California coastline. Founder Janna Sheehan uses a mix of essential oils, some aged up to 35 years blended with the raw botanical extract making the colognes true scent sing when paired with your own Ph balance to create its absolute fragrance. Chamomile Flowers, 1oz $110. www.ojaiwild.com

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T H E I NSPI RERS T HE NE X T G E N E RAT I O N By Sara Hall

If the children are our future, then we’re in good hands. Covering the next few pages are just a few examples of why this is true. They are local teens who inspire, amaze, and excel in one way or another. The generation that’s coming of age right now includes students who are passionate about education, invested in their communities, and have overcome hardships and personal challenges. They want to help others, push harder for change and improvement, and then pass that on to those who come after. All six of the young adults featured are unique in their own way. As individuals, they impress. As a group – as a generation – they provide hope.

Ray Diaz, Leading the Way in Public Service grade at El Sol Science and Arts Academy. He was a bit shy until he spoke for the first time in front of a crowd at science camp. It sparked something in him. He wanted to do more, so a teacher encouraged him to run for sixth grade student representative. Diaz dove in and ran a passionate campaign. He made posters and pencils with his name on them. He advocated for healthier student lunches and a different menu. The day came and it was announced that he won. “That’s how it all started,” he said. He may not be old enough to vote, but Ray Diaz, 17, of Santa Ana, knows what it takes to hit the campaign trail and be a meaningful public servant. From sixth grade representative to working as an intern for a state assembly campaign while still in high school, Diaz has learned it through experience. “(It’s about the) human interaction and really being genuine,” said Diaz, now a senior at Samueli Academy and ASB president, during a recent phone interview. “(Discussing the) issues that you truly believe will improve the community.” Diaz’s political journey started when he was in sixth

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Photos courtesy of Ray Diaz

At meetings, he was outspoken about issues. He championed school activities, brought up ideas from his classmates, and he followed through on his campaign promise and implemented a variety of lunches. “More importantly, it was about being a voice for the student body,” Diaz said. “When I first started running it was to represent that little guy.” He continued running – and getting elected – every year for student government. Although his political experience has also gone off campus. For his junior year internship, a graduation requirement at Samueli Academy, Diaz looked into


Ray Diaz being sworn in as a Youth Commissioner in Santa Ana on Feb. 8. Ray Diaz holding his oath of office for his position with the Youth Commission.

opportunities in politics and community engagement. He researched candidates and found Sylvia Rubio running for State Assembly. With guidance from Samueli staff, he applied for a political campaign intern position. He learned about the district’s history and the campaign issues for his interview and they hired him on the spot. Between February and April 2020, he helped develop the overall strategy, analyzed data, and performed daily tasks, like door-to-door canvassing. He also tagged along with Rubio to see how she interacted with residents. “I learned how to run a campaign,” he said. “It was really good to be exposed to that. I gained a lot information.” The key is talking to people and prioritize issues. He also learned that a candidate needs to have a great understanding of who they represent and be rooted in that community. Diaz applied all of this when he worked on five local campaigns in Santa Ana later in 2020. He spent months canvassing, discussing the issues, helping with phone banks, and delivering yard signs and pamphlets.

On election day, three of the candidates won, including the first new mayor for Santa Ana in 26 years and the youngest elected City Council member. “I was really happy and proud of what we were able to accomplish,” Diaz said. “At the end, after all the hard work we put in… it’s a big accomplishment. To have just played a small role in that is something that is really rewarding.” Johnathan Ryan Hernandez later appointed Diaz to the Youth Commission in Santa Ana for ward 5. In a momentous occasion in what is sure to be a notable career, Diaz took the oath of office for the first time on Feb. 8. “Even though I’m 17, I know for a fact that it’s something I will take very seriously,” Diaz said. “I’m very excited about the position.” He’s excited about his own future as well. He plans on majoring in political science and one day coming back to Santa Ana to serve the city he loves so much. “Yes, I do have hopes of one day running in our community,” Diaz confirmed. “But the most important thing, before any of that, is making sure I am rooted in my neighborhood and in my community. The position is nice, but what I’m in it for is to be a part of something bigger.”

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Luke Gialanella, Young Educator Makes Politics, Government Fun Most kids have very little to no knowledge of how government works, and even less interest in politics. But it doesn’t have to be that way, according to Luke Gialanella, 15, of Marina del Rey. In 2017, he was upset that while he was interested in politics, none of his peers knew how government really works. So, he set out to teach more kids about the structure and process of the government, in an interesting and unbiased way. And GOVLEARN Education, Inc., was born. Gialanella, now a sophomore at Windward School in Los Angeles, has always been interested, at some level, in the government, history, and politics. In fourth grade history was his favorite subject.

The aim is to educate more young people about politics. “In a few years my age group is going to be a gigantic voting bloc,” Gialanella said. For many people, learning about politics is a chore, he said. “I don’t find it boring but other people do,” he joked. But if it’s made to be fun, with simulations and games, all coming from someone close to their age, kids are more likely to listen and absorb the information. They should be excited to learn, Gialanella added, learning can be both educational and enjoyable. “It’s necessary that people know how it works,” Gialanella said. This is a subject “you’ll use it every time you vote or every day when you pay taxes… It’s crucial that everyone knows about it.” Topics include general lessons on the senate or the house, to more specific lessons on American

“I really liked history… I was maybe obsessed with history,” he joked during a recent phone interview. “My family and I took a trip to DC and I was hooked.” He got “really, really into it,” he said, reading books and watching the news. Learning as much as he could about the history of the government, how it has evolved, and the impact it has on people. “Government… has the power to impact the people in huge ways,” Gialanella said. “And people have the power to select the government.” By seventh grade, a project idea began to form of how he could share his love for the topic.

third parties or perennial candidates. He’s currently working on a presentation about state governments. He’s gotten a lot of positive feedback, including an email from the parent of an 8-year-old who, after participating in a GOVLEARN class, wanted to watch the 2020 presidential election.

GOVLEARN started as a small YouTube channel. It evolved into a website and he started teaching classes, offering online curriculum, and creating slideshows. He reached out to schools, homeschooling groups, sought advice from experts, and the project grew from there.

“Kids are getting interested in politics… It’s warmed my heart,” Gialanella said. “That’s the whole point of what I’m doing.”

Now, GOVLEARN has reached about 500 kids from Pasadena to Philadelphia, Gialanella said. Earlier this year, it became an official 501(c)3 nonprofit.

“This is what I want to do,” he said. “I’m really excited about politics (and government) and I want other people to be interested in it too.”

It’s no surprise that Gialanella wants to pursue something in politics

For more information, visit govlearn.org.

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Photos courtesy of Luke Gialanella and Isabel Gomez


Isabel Gomez, Teen Inspires Young Girls With Science Isabel Gomez, 17, of Newport Coast, is determined to share her passion for science and sports. Gomez, an accomplished athlete and junior at Sage Hill School, cofounded Science Scoop, which aims to inspire young girls to pursue STEM careers. She started the program with longtime friend, Lexie Howell, 17, a junior at Corona del Mar High School.

animals stay warm with blubber (using a hands-on demonstration involving bags of Crisco). The duo has hosted between 15-20 workshops for local organizations, Boys & Girls Clubs, and the Girl Scouts. They will also present to groups of friends or informal groups. “We’re open to talking to anyone about science,” Gomez said. They’ve reached about 350 kids through their programs. The best reward, Gomez said, is when a young girl is inspired to pursue a STEM career after a Science Scoop workshop.

In seventh grade at Harbor Day School, they were surprised to find out about the lack of women in STEM-related careers. They realized they wanted to do something about it. Kids don’t see that many women in the laboratory, Gomez said in a recent phone interview, or in other STEM professions traditionally dominated by men. “We wanted to create something to promote the idea and normalize the idea of women entering STEM,” Gomez said.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “It’s awesome to get a letter from a girl who wants to be dermatologist after attending our program.”

From that, Science Scoop was born.

Although science isn’t her only love. She’s a sports fan and athlete.

“Kids don’t know what they are interested in until they are exposed to it,” she said. “Our whole point is to expose younger girls (to STEM careers) so they put themselves in the shoes of those (professions).” It’s the old adage: If you can dream it, you can be it. During a Science Scoop workshop, kids take a quiz to find out what area of science they might be interested in and then learn about the science through a fun, hands-on demonstration. The hope is to “get them really psyched about science,” Gomez said. The 12-question quiz to asks a mixture of fun, imaginative questions. The responder’s answer (from the four choices) provides insight into which of the five categories (that Science Scoop focuses on) they might enjoy: Animals, chemistry, medicine, nature, and technology. Presentation topics or demonstrations include extracting DNA from a strawberry, creating scrubs with essential oils, and explaining how arctic

When she was 11, Gomez won a contest to be a Sports Illustrated Kid Reporter. She interviewed some of the biggest names in sports at the time, including Kobe Bryant, Steph Curry, and Jamaal Charles. Her love of sports and journalism has endured. She’s played soccer, volleyball, lacrosse, and basketball, and is the Sports Editor for the student newspaper, The Bolt. Gomez also volunteers for ACEing Autism, a volunteerdriven, nonprofit organization that connects kids with autism to tennis and helps them grow, develop and benefit from social connections and fitness. As she inspires others to enter STEM-related professions, Gomez herself is “definitely leaning” toward a science related career, possibly in medicine. Already diving into the field, she’s twice participated in a research program at the UCI School of Medicine. For more information, visit sciencescoop.info.

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Ho Thuc Nguyen Le (Wen), A Full Circle Journey of Integration By moving from Vietnam to Georgia to California in less than four years, Ho Thuc Nguyen Le (Wen), 17, of Garden Grove, has had a crash course in integration and the challenges that come with it. Now she’s determined to help others who face similar issues.

people were already gathering. They ran to get in line. Her dad carried a backpack with the necessary paperwork, covering it so nothing would get wet.

As a freshman at Johnson High School in Gainesville, Ga., Le started a Welcoming Club. Now a senior at Bolsa Grande High School, Le plans on majoring in political science to eventually become an immigration lawyer.

Arriving in Gainesville was a culture shock. Her English was broken and she didn’t know the culture.

“I want to turn it around and help people who are struggling with the same challenges that I faced,” Le said during a recent phone interview. “I want to be there to help make everything easier in the process.”

The interview included questions about why they wanted to emigrate and any relatives they already had in the states. At the end of the process, they were approved. “There were mixed emotions,” she said, “Happiness, relief, (uncertainty).”

“First, for me, the biggest struggle was how do I fit in?” she said. “It was overwhelming.” Feeling alone and ostracized, she started the Welcoming Club to help immigrant students. She made posters, spoke to various classes, and wrote a broadcast announcement.

She still remembers the day they went to the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam.

At the club’s first meeting she prepared a slideshow for her fellow students, but, much to her disappointment, only one person attended.

It was pouring rain and they had to wake up at 6 a.m. The gate wasn’t open at the embassy yet and

“I was very upset and crying,” she said, it was a harsh blow to her self-esteem.

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Photos courtesy of Wen Le


So, she made a pros and cons list and realized the many positives. “I’m attracted to the beaches and the adventure,” Le said. “I wanted to… see the glitz and the glam of LA.” But after about six months at her new school, they went virtual due to COVID-19. It was difficult and lonely. A teacher suggested Girls Inc. of Orange County, a nonprofit that aims to inspire girls to be strong, smart, and bold. Persevering, she found the Knight Connection Club, which focuses on campus positivity. She joined and created a sub-group specifically about integration.

“Girls Inc. happened to me in my weakest time during the pandemic,” Le said.

Through the club, she met other students who had a hard time fitting in or struggled to make friends. They shared stories and listened to each other. They bonded. “Everyone has a story. Everyone wants to be heard,” Le said. Le invited the single student who attended the Welcoming Club meeting to join them. “She told me that she felt like someone really cared for her. When she was in the club, she felt more like herself,” Le said. “The Welcoming Club didn’t turn out how I wished it would have, but at least it had an impact on that one person.” In 2019, her family moved to Southern California. She was excited and angry. Things had just started getting better, she was making friends and starting to settle in to her new life. “I thought it would keep getting better as I gradually put myself out there,” she said.

Although she was hesitant about participating in the College Bound: Grad Lab, over the course of the program she appreciated the encouragement, kindness, and support she received. Le is now ready to soar at college. She wants to meet new people and have new experiences. As she embarks on her journey to become an immigration lawyer, she remembers that rainy day in Vietnam. “I remember so vividly everything happening that day and the people and reading the oath,” she said, and pursuing this career path, it “comes around full circle.”

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Hannah Lieberman Student Club Focuses on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion makes me genuinely angry, but I think about the little bit that I can do,” and focus on that, she explained. “Out of the few hundred students that the club can reach, if just one gets something out of it, it’s worth it,” Lieberman said.

For one local teen, there has been a silver lining of the COVID-19 stay-at-home order.

Since the club has been virtual this year, they have only met online. The group is still small, with less than a dozen students. They don’t have a specific mission yet, Lieberman said, but the idea behind the club is to “educate ourselves and then bring that education out to our community.” In the post-COVID future, they plan to attend pride events and host open discussions.

Since quarantine started in early 2020, Hannah Lieberman, 16, of Newport Beach, got interested in politics, started learning more about social justice issues, and followed body positivity activists online.

In addition to the club, Lieberman is learning two languages, plays various sports and instruments, and has also volunteered for a number of organizations and community service groups over the years.

Through social media, the Waldorf School of Orange County sophomore said she became part of a bigger community. She listened to people from different backgrounds, races, and gender expressions. Her eyes opened to the experiences of others.

She also built a library in the high school on campus, with help from English teacher Beka Castro (also the club’s staff sponsor). They bought books and placed bookshelves along a wall in a classroom. The Library in Linden (named after the classroom, which is named after a tree) already has more than 1,000 books. They range from cookbooks to Shakespeare to classic novels to modern stories.

She realized that although she feels comfortable, accepted, and loved in her own community, not everyone would. “There is so much more that we could be doing,” she said. As a community, “(we) can be open to change, (but) somebody has to step up and propose change in order for it to happen.” Last fall, she founded a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Club on her campus. Lieberman believes understanding and acceptance can be achieved through exposure. “We need to be flooded with so many types of voices and points of view… so we become used to knowing and accepting that people are different and still seeing the humanity in them,” Lieberman said. While representation is an issue on a larger scale, Lieberman said she can affect change in her own community at Waldorf. “If you boil it down, it’s a problem of humanity and it

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Photos courtesy of Hannah Lieberman and Natalie Salvatierra

Anything is reading, Lieberman said, paraphrasing her teacher, “don’t stigmatize reading comic books over Socrates. Both are literature.” As for her own future, Lieberman said she definitely wants to keep doing something in the realm of public service. Although she’s not sure how exactly. “I’m just not comfortable with doing something that is not in service for others,” she said. “I want to do something that directly helps other people.” Follow the club on Instagram at @wsocdeiclub


Natalie Salvatierra Sending Sunshine, One Letter at a Time expanded that to people around the world.” Now, not quite a year later, Salvatierra has received more than 5,000 letters from nearly 50 countries. She has about 100 volunteers that help transcribe letters that are submitted online, which are then sent in batches of about 10 to each facility. She sends approximately 100 letters total per week. The response from the facilities has been overwhelmingly positive, she said. Some patients hang them in their rooms or create a “wall of sunshine” where all the letters are posted. “They can see the letters and be reminded that someone is thinking of them,” Salvatierra said. Receiving a letter from a stranger, possibly from a different country, can also bring people comfort. The art of letter writing is not lost on Natalie Salvatierra, 16, of Orange County. The Foothill High School junior recognizes the power of the written word and how letters of encouragement can help those struggling with mental health conditions. So she founded Solely Sunshine to help with exactly that. She started Solely Sunshine last year, after learning that stress exacerbates the symptoms of OCD and other mental health conditions, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, people are experiencing worsening symptoms. She also knew other people might be struggling with loneliness or anxiety. “I wanted to spread sunshine and encouragement to people,” Salvatierra said during a recent phone interview. Receiving a letter and seeing the person’s handwriting is really special and meaningful, Salvatierra said. “It feels really nice that somebody thought of you,” she said, and it’s also a “feel good” activity for the writer. “Knowing the words that you are writing will help someone else… it makes you feel good.” She started the project by asking her friends on her personal Instagram to write letters that she could mail to mental health facilities. “I got a really great response,” she said. “So, I

“That factor makes you feel like the world isn’t so big, even if you feel isolated there are people that are there for you, people that you don’t even know,” Salvatierra said. “You definitely feel a connection.” The majority of the patients in the facilities she sends the letters to are teens, she said, but she’ll gladly send to any facility. Community service and helping others is something Salvatierra grew up doing. Whether it was donating cell phones to soldiers or organizing a religious tolerance event, caring about others has been a priority for her. Salvatierra also published a book, “Do Not Worry, Little Donkey,” about a young donkey who experiences anxieties, like being scared of the dark or storms. “I definitely think that just by being kind, even if you don’t know someone, can make them feel happy and content,” she said. For her career, she hopes to make people smile through a different method: Food. Salvatierra wants to become a food scientist, a flavorist, creating different food flavors for snacks and beverages. And community service will always be a part of her life. “I always continue to help people,” she said. “I like to make people happy and food makes people smile.” For more information, visit solelysunshine.com.

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M OM + POP ACT? AP? SAT? By Kim Newett

The New ABCs of College Admissions A private college counselor once told me about the call he received from an anxious parent asking how to get her child into Princeton. As the conversation progressed, it was revealed that the child was yet to be born, and was due to arrive approximately three months after the phone call took place. I have no idea if that child ended up in their Ivy League school of choice, but the moral of the story illustrates how early families start planning for their children’s college careers. The traditional high school to-do list for the college application process — pre-pandemic — had items spread across a student’s four-year high school tenure, with a focus on a rigorous course selection, extracurriculars, and college research during the first three of those years, culminating with the final college list and applications senior year. So, how does COVID-19 change the college applications landscape? It’s a question that many students, parents and even college counselors and admissions officers have been grappling with over the past year. Essentially, everyone wants to know how does a year of attending high school from behind a computer screen change the college application process for these kids? We sought out an expert — Frank Smith, Director of College Counseling at Sage Hill School in Newport Beach — to get the answers. Read on for his insights and an informative update on the current college admissions landscape. Frank Smith, Director of College Counseling at Sage Hill School

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Photo credit courtesy of Rick Davitt


More “Reach” Applications Colleges met the challenge of current high school seniors applying during the pandemic by recognizing that the ability to take standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT over the past year was unequally available to students based on geography and socioeconomic circumstances. Therefore, they did not require test scores for this year’s round of applications. The result? Sage Hill School’s Smith shared with us that college applications were up 30% for the high school class of 2021. It seems that, without regard to an average test score range for any particular school, more kids felt empowered to “go for it,” with their grades and resumes speaking to their preparedness. While the final lists of committed college freshmen for the 21-22 year are not yet available, the expectation is that this class will be the most diverse yet. A COVID silver lining, so to speak!

The New Campus “Tour” Experience We are currently approaching spring break, the time that many families of high school students make trips scheduled around a variety of campus visits. These trips often help current juniors fine-tune their college lists. What should juniors do this year when travel is not available and/or campus visits are restricted? Smith advises students to take advantage of the programs colleges are offering online in efforts to give kids a real taste for what it is like to be a student at their school. They are offering virtual tours, online admission sessions and faculty Q & As. It is actually possible to examine many more schools with these

tools than if a student had to be on a campus to attend an information session. Additionally, many high schools like Sage Hill School track which colleges their graduates attend, and are able to pair high school students who are interested in certain colleges with alumni who attend those schools. “This is a fantastic resource for students who want honest insights to campus flavors and cultures,” says Smith.

The Common App and Essays Once juniors finalize their lists with college counselors and parents, they will be planning for applications. Smith shared with us that this year’s Common Application and many others included a section for students to address their COVID-19 circumstances. It is likely that applications for future classes also will include this section. It is here that students will want to talk about their access to school and activities, as well as detail any adversity they and their families have faced during the pandemic. Smith recommends that applicants save the essay portion of their applications for stories that give the readers real insight to who they are and who they are working to become. It is also worth noting that some colleges have announced that they will not be requiring test scores for next year’s round of applications. Students can check Fairtest.org to track which schools will be using a test optional approach.

Advice for Sophomores and Juniors Sophomores and juniors usually take these years to take rigorous classes, working hard to maintain competitive GPAs. They also traditionally demonstrate participation, skill, recognition and leadership in activities outside the classroom. We asked Smith what happens to these kids who have had their activities changed or cancelled, and their classes switched to an online format. His answer was surprisingly encouraging. He first noted that kids in general, and high school kids specifically, have an innate ability to pivot. Their tech savviness has readied them for this point in not only online classes, but also inn researching. With many students having more time available to them than in previous years, they are able to delve into their areas of interest and really explore topics at a deeper level. Normally,

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this is a time when many students form bonds with a few of their teachers who eventually become their advocates to colleges in the form of teacher recommendations. That can and is still happening with online school. Smith recommends that students foster those student-teacher relationships by illustrating their interest in subjects by diving deep into them outside of class and bringing insights into class discussions. Colleges love intellectual curiosity. Reaching out to teachers via email to continue these conversations is a great way to build that rapport.

Extracurricular Opportunities As far as extracurricular activities go, there are those that are happening and those that are not. Colleges are aware that access to sports and other traditional high school activities is varied depending on the student’s location and school. According to Sage Hill’s Smith, college admissions officials are not expecting applications to show the same lists of activities as in previous years. They will be looking for quality over quantity and to discern which students took advantage of the opportunities that they did have and those students who created opportunities where they might not have existed. Many clubs are still active with online meetings. Lots of

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charities have created ways for students to continue to participate, even if it is not in person. There are other options that have opened up due to more available time. Students can take additional classes online at their local community or four-year college. Mr. Smith notes, “It is less about what you haven’t been able to do and more about what you have accomplished with the resources available to you.”

Junior High School Students In regard to younger students who may have not built the academic foundation they would have if they were attending in person classes during the 8th and 9th grades, Smith believes high schools will rise to the challenge of creating programs that address classwide as well as individual deficits. As he does every year, Sage Hill School’s Smith tells his students to take a calming breath — in fact, many of them — during the multi-year college preparation and applications journey. Even though the past year has been very different than any year before, it is impacting everyone. Colleges are taking this all into account. While the college applications process can be nerve-wracking in the best of times, rest assured that accommodations are being made for students at every point on the path during this unprecedented time.


TO ORD ER Food Halls of Fame Don’t miss these award-winning dining destinations in OC and Long Beach By Sarah Mosqueda Behold, the food hall concept. A concentration of eateries, usually anchored by a bar or coffee shop, all in one hip place. But don’t mistake these marketplaces for old-fashioned food courts. Southern California food halls feature high-quality eats in a casual setting that favors the artisan bread maker or independent brewer and aims to create community. There are always new friends to meet and new flavors to discover. Choose your own culinary adventure at The Hangar at Long Beach Exchange in Long Beach, at the OC Mix at SOCO in Costa Mesa, and at one of three SteelCraft locations in Bellflower, Garden Grove and Long Beach.

Photo credit courtesy of Jay Bird’s Nashville Hot Chicken

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T H E HA N GAR AT LONG B EACH EXCHA NG E The Hangar at the Long Beach Exchange is a 17,000-square-foot structure reminiscent of an aviation hangar. The site is an homage to the Boeing days when military and commercial aircraft were constructed on the site. Now it’s home to 13 small, artisanal food vendors and a hub for the local community and beyond. The Hangar is one of three distinct and complementary zones that make up Long Beach Exchange (LBX), which is a popular lifestyle destination for dining, shopping and fitness in East Long Beach.

Morning Nights Vegan dim sum is probably a phrase you never thought you’d hear. But thanks to Stephen Le, owner of The Kroft, you’ll find vegan versions of Chinese dim sum staples like xiao long bao and siu mai at Morning Nights. Created to contrast the comfort food of The Kroft, Morning Nights’ vegan menu is a welcomed reprise. Besides dim sum, you’ll also find Chinese American classics with a plant-based twist, like battered honey walnut shrimp, dan dan noodles and vegetable fried rice, along with a selection of craft beer and sake. | morningnights.com/order

Blue Bowl Blue Bowl is an acai bowl concept that indulges your desire to be “extra.” Bowl prices are fixed, so you can choose your size and get anything you want, without paying any additional fee for toppings. Start with a base of acai, pitaya or chia pudding, then add granola, fruit, nut butter, seeds, and honey until your heart’s content. You’ll also find hand-crafted cold brew and seasonal kombucha. | mybluebowl.com

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Photo credit courtesy of Morning Nights, Blue Bowl, The Kroft, and Jay Bird’s Nashville Hot Chicken


The Kroft The Kroft is famous for the Canadian comfort food, poutine, traditionally a dish of crispy french fries, savory gravy and cheese curds. But in owner Stephen Le’s hands, poutine turns into a vehicle for international flavors like Chicken Tikka Masala poutine with chicken, jalapeno masala gravy, crema and cilantro, or Chicken Katsu Curry poutine with panko crusted chicken, golden curry, cheese curds, pickled radish, green onions, and togarashi. The Kroft has reimagined other comfort foods like the Porchetta sandwich, which gets an upgrade with the addition of cracklings and salsa verde or mac and cheese with chili, bacon and gruyère/cheddar cheese sauce. They’ve also taken the time to hand-selected draught beers to match. | thekroft.com

Jay Bird’s Nashville Hot Chicken The hot chicken trend has delivered Nashville’s heat to SoCal and Jay Bird’s is one restaurant that is really spicing things up. With five levels of heat that range from Plain Jay (no heat) to Extra Hot (think ghost peppers) to Fire (Carolina reaper territory), you’ll definitely find something to get your temperature rising. Jay’s uses natural, hormone-free chicken for their sandwiches, tenders and chicken & waffles and offers home-made sides and sauces like smoked tomato ketchup and loaded potato salad. jaybirdschicken.com

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O C MIX AT S OCO SOCO and The OC Mix is home to some of the best culinary offerings available in Orange County. The 300,000 square feet of retail, dining and design space in Costa Mesa includes more than 15 restaurant concepts and specialty food and drink retailers and even a weekly farmers market. Whether you’re hoping to enjoy a delicious dinner, or find the ingredients to create your own, you’ll find it here.

Sunright Tea Studio If you want a regular, run-of-the-mill boba tea then you go to a tea shop. If you want a one-of-a-kind beverage experience, then you go to a tea studio. Sunright Tea Studio offers delicious drinks with high-quality ingredients sourced from Californian and Asian purveyors. Their unique menu includes toppings like Oreos, pudding and cheese foam. Just remember to shake your drink 17 times before enjoying. This method ensures the perfect blending of flavors and textures. | snrtea.com

Rich Elixirs Fermentation is having a moment and we are here for it. Rich Elixirs founders, Jesse and Brooke Rich, are here for it, too. This husband-and-wife duo transformed their passion for kombucha into a full-fledged business. Jesse handles the brewing while Brooke develops seasonal flavors for their rotating menu, like blackberry lavender and cranapple cinnamon. Besides kombucha, Rich Elixirs also serves bone broth and brews ginger beer in flavors like guava dragonfruit and mango lime. richelixirs.com

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Photo credit courtesy of Sunright Tea Studio, Rich Elixirs, Birdie Bowl and Juicery, The Cheese Shop, and Portola Coffee Lab


Birdie Bowl and Juicery Birdie Bowl and Juicery serves acai and pitaya bowls, cold pressed juices, smoothies, oatmeal and more. A majority of the shop’s menu items are vegan and gluten-free and its ingredients are fresh and sourced locally. Give your brunch routine a healthy make-over with a Blueberry Almond Date Shake or Sunshine Acai bowl. birdieacai.com

The Cheese Shop The Cheese Shop is staffed by a team of expert cheesemongers and husband-and-wife duo, Naveed and Nushin Anwar. They keep the shop fully stocked with domestic and imported artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, fruits, chocolates, plus rustic cheese boards and accessories. The Cheese Shop also serves breakfast and lunch, offering an assortment of sandwiches, salads, and in-house charcuterie boards to go. Take your next socially distanced cocktail hour or outdoor picnic to the next level with a board of perfect pairings from The Cheese Shop. cheeseshopoc.com

Portola Coffee Lab Portola Coffee’s flagship location at the center of the OC Mix is credited with launching Orange County’s coffee renaissance. Owners Jeff and Christa Duggan are dedicated to delivering the perfect cup of coffee and have traveled internationally to build relationships with coffee farmers. They found the best beans available and committed themselves to the appropriate roasting and brewing methods for each that makes a difference you can taste in every cup. | portolacoffee.com

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Shuck Oyster Bar You’ll be hard pressed to find oysters fresher than the half shells at Shuck Oyster Bar. Oyster are delivered daily from over 60 farms, none more than one day out of the water. Their impressive beer and wine list is equally impressive. If you’re looking for more substantial fare, they offer a menu of seafood classics like clam chowder, crab Louis salad, seared ahi tuna and fish and chips. | shuckoysterbar.com

Paragon Cafe During Shuck Oyster Bar’s off hours, you can find Chef Dean here cracking eggs instead of oysters. The Paragon Cafe pop-up brunch experience includes dishes like chicken and waffles, avocado toast and chilaquiles. Chef Dean utilizes seasonal ingredients from local farmers markets to make everything on its menu in-house. Try pairing your breakfast with a Boozy Coffee of Paragon Blend, Irish cream, chocolate bitters, mint whipped cream, and shaved chocolate. | paragoncafeoc.com

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Photo credit courtesy of Shuck Oyster Bar, Paragon Cafe, Taco Maria, and We Olive & Wine Bar


Taco Maria From humble food truck beginnings to prestigious Michelin star recognition in 2019, Taco Maria has truly changed the way Southern California eats Mexican cuisine. Since the restaurant shifted to take-out only during the pandemic, Chef Carlos Salgado has graced the menu with specials that may not have made their way to their usual tasting menu format. Dishes like beet and blood orange tarragon sorbet or Valentina buttermilk hot wings are limited time offerings you have to savor while you can. And, don’t forget to stock your pantry with jars of their salsas negras and caesar dressing from their “Taco Maria at Home” menu. | tacomaria.com

We Olive & Wine Bar We Olive is known for their specialty olive oils, wines, and balsamic vinegars, with EVOOs certified extra virgin by the California Olive Oil Council. They have recently expanded and added a new 200 sq. ft. retail space where you can purchase your favorite olive oils, balsamic vinegars, 38+ varieties of domestic and international wines, and more – while shopping the finest olive wood products, delicious jams, bruschetta, crackers and more. | weolive.com

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ST EELCR A F T The SteelCraft concept is one of true placemaking. This outdoor urban eatery is made up of repur-posed shipping containers, a nod to Long Beach’s busy port. The addition of an agricultural-inspired open-air roof structure and a commitment to community makes SteelCraft a truly unique, communal dining space. Each of their three locations in Bellflower, Garden Grove and Long Beach offers a variety of kitchens, craft beer, coffee, ice cream and more.

Dark Horse Coffee Roasters Dark Horse Coffee Roasters takes coffee seriously, but not too seriously. The vibe is fun and ap-proachable at their SteelCraft Garden Grove location, where the mantra is “relax, it’s just coffee.” You’ll find drip coffee and cold brew on nitro, plus some non-coffee options like kombucha on tap and matcha lattes. Besides cafe drinks, they’ve got donuts, whole beans and cold brew cans. Try their signature espresso drink, “The Champ,” an undisputedly delicious honey and cinnamon latte. | darkhorsecoffeeroasters.com

Softie Haus If you need a reason to visit Long Beach Creamery’s Softie Haus, we have just two words for you: Dole Whip. Softie Haus offers a version of the classic Disney treat along with other soft-serve ice cream made with real California milk. Located at SteelCraft’s Bellflower location, unique Long Beach Creamery ice cream flavors, like Midnight Oolong, are deconstructed into soft serve sun-daes with every jam, cookie and flavoring made in shop. You’ll find four soft-serve flavors and two twists on tap daily, (including Pineapple Dole Whip) that can be customized with house made toppings and sauces longbeachcreamery.com

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Photo credit courtesy of Taco Maria, We Olive & Wine Bar, Dark Horse Coffee Roasters, Hangry Belly, Softie Haus, and DeSano Pizza


Hangry Belly Thanks to Chef Kat Vacharabul, you can always find something to fill your belly at Hangry Belly. Specializing in gourmet burgers and loaded fries, Hangry Belly opened at SteelCraft’s Long Beach location amid the pandemic and they’ve been serving burgers and “pig me ups” since. Chef Kat’s signature We Be Jammin’ Burger is a sweet and savory symphony made with a 1/3-lb. beef patty, Swiss cheese, prosciutto, arugula, and tomato on a potato bun with house-made onion jam and garlic aioli. | hangrybelly.com

DeSano Pizza There is pizza, and then there is authentic Neapolitan pizza. DeSano Pizza identifies as the latter, with wood-burning ovens and master pizza makers following the guidelines of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. They’re preserving the centuriesold craft of Neapolitan pizza making by flying in ingredients from Napoli and Campania to their location at SteelCraft Long Beach. Their Margherita DOP is made with real San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and basil and, like every pie on their menu, spends just 90 seconds in their woodburning pizza ovens. This ensures a perfectly charred crust without compromising the fresh toppings. Don’t forget to try their other tra-ditional Italian dishes like meatballs, calzones and homemade cannolis. desanopizza.com

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OF I NTEREST PA N D E M I C P IVOT P ROVIDES AN O P P O RT U N I T Y TO CARE AND S ERVE A conversation with Vince Tien, Co-Founder + CEO, 360 Clinic By Amy Senk When Vince Tien thinks back to his childhood, several memories collide.

Seeing the 405 for the first time after flying into LAX,” he recalls. “Telling my dad, ‘The freeway here is so big and massive compared to Vietnam.’”

His voice trails off as he begins to list other memories in the years after his family immigrated when he was five. “Going to temple,” he says. “Treating elders with respect. My mom always asked me to volunteer and to spread goodness and help people.” Vince Tien, Co-Founder + CEO, 360 Clinic

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Photos courtesy of Vince Tien and 360 Clinic


Growing up in Fountain Valley in a devout Buddhist family directly influenced Tien’s personal and professional life, where he always looks at his community and asks, “How can I help and make things better?” In 2007, Tien and his family, primarily lead by brothers Gary and Larry Nguyen, created a home health care business, 24/7 Care At Home, after seeing aging members of the local Asian Pacific Islander community who struggled, along with their families, with the American health care system. They made sure to include the motto, “Life is Better at Home.” “Back home in our country, we don’t have this kind of system,” he says. “We removed barriers. Our attitude is, ‘We take care of it.’” Tien, now 31 and living in Huntington Beach, began hiring staff members who were multilingual, who could explain Medicare and insurance benefits and options to families. They worked with the children of seniors – the first five years included a lot of outreach – to explain that their loved ones didn’t need to go to a facility, that they could stay at home. But they could also have skilled assistance, professional care that didn’t overburden other family members. The business succeeded and grew, including hospice and end-of-life care, chronic care, palliative care and more.

Then came 2020, and by March, COVID-19. Clients were afraid to let nurses into their homes, even if they wore personal protective equipment. Tien turned 24/7 Care at Home’s operations over to a brother and sister-in-law and changed his focus entirely to the pandemic. And once again, to how he could help. Tien and his brother, Gary, worked with Dr. Linh Nguyen of Arizona, who was already doing COVID-19 testing. By May, they’d found a church in Garden Grove and set up a drive-through testing site, one of the first in Orange County, and tested 300 people the first day. In record-setting time – two months -- a new business was launched, with an entirely new platform and business model. As the pandemic surged, 360 Clinic continued to grow, fast. Tien submitted a proposal to the Orange County Health Care Agency on July 1, and it was accepted a few days later. On July 15, their Anaheim Convention Center testing super site had opened and by the end of August, their second testing super site opened at the Orange County Fairgrounds. The company’s website has a ticker that shows how many tests have been performed – nearly 350,000 – and how many positive results – approximately

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47,000. In addition to the testing super sites, 360 Clinic also opened 14 walk-up kiosk testing sites throughout the county, and Tien made sure to include sites in traditionally underserved areas. They also offer a concierge medical van service to bring COVID testing directly to businesses or your doorstep.

is providing much-needed training and internship hours to the schools’ nursing students, who found it challenging to complete hands-on training during the pandemic. These partnerships are training the next generation of nurses for Orange County, which has struggled with a nursing shortage in recent years.

The process is simple: Register online; arrive at a testing site and follow directions, which takes 30 minutes or less; learn results in 24 to 48 hours; and have a telemedicine consultation to cover any concerns.

Tien says he would love to add vaccine distribution, but for now, he’s focused on continuing with efficient and accurate testing and enhancing and growing a telehealth program. The telehealth follow-up that the 360 Clinic currently offers has been key, he says, in setting his company apart from so many others, and to helping those who are struggling with the virus. In the future, he says, there could be drive-through primary care physician appointments or appointments that take advantage of FaceTime and Zoom options that have become so familiar over the past year.

The 360 Clinic team also has created hundreds of new jobs in Orange County and currently has a link to employment opportunities on the company’s internet homepage. And through partnerships with Concordia University and Golden West College, 360 Clinic

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Photos courtesy of 360 Clinic


“We can remove the barriers of traditional doctors’ offices,” he says. Tien, whose nonprofit work includes the Dalai Lama Museum & Library, projects such as Namgyal Monastery Orange County and Dalai Lama TV, says he often thinks about the legacy he will leave his infant son, Leon. That includes working to collaborate on plans to make sure future generations can quickly rally to have testing and vaccines ready for wide distribution when another pandemic arrives. “It could happen again, and we want to leave them a playbook, a document with best policies so we can learn from each other,” he says. “Everyone wants to do something to help us get out of it. And there’s so much negativity. So many mental issues. We want to focus on the positive. We want to inspire the next generation.”

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G IVE BACK

Peg Corley, Executive Director, LGBTQ Center of Orange County

T H E LGBTQ C EN T E R O R AN G E C O UNT Y C E L EBRATES 50 Y E AR S O F S E RVICE By Carrie Freitas As the LGBTQ Center of Orange County website’s introductory video states (and I paraphrase here), Orange County is a beautiful place with arguably perfect weather — but the climate here is not perfect for everyone. It certainly isn’t always a welcoming social, economic or political environment for those who are marginalized. And that’s a big reason that the LGBTQ Center Orange County exists, to improve the quality of life for the members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in Orange County, and often beyond. Headquartered in Santa Ana, the LGBTQ Center Orange County is one of the oldest gay and lesbian centers in the United States and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. First established as a volunteer organization and helpline in 1971, the Center was incorporated in 1975 as a non-profit. Today, this community-based organization brings all members and allies of the LGBTQ community of OC together in a network of support and unity, and provides an impressive slate of services to more than 14,000 individuals annually across a broad spectrum of culture, ethnicity, age, and economic backgrounds. In addition to providing life-affirming programs, the Center also undertakes advocacy efforts focused on speaking out against hate and discrimination.

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Photos courtesy of LGBTQ Center of Orange County


I recently sat down (virtually) with the LGBTQ Center of Orange County’s Executive Director, Peg Corley, to learn more about the current landscape for members of the LGBTQ community in OC and ways that we all can support the Center’s important work. Below is an excerpt of our conversation. Carrie Freitas: The LGBTQ Center of Orange County offers what is, to me, a mind-boggling array of services for the LGBTQ community in OC. While I realize the breadth of programming is important to address the varying needs of the people you serve, would you say that there is an area of focus for the Center in recent years? Peg Corley: Over the past 5-10 years, the impact of intersectionality has been a growing focus within the LGBTQ community worldwide, nationally and for the Center, specifically. Here in Orange County, we see many members of the LGBTQ community who are twice and thrice marginalized. In addition to identifying as LGBTQ, they also may be marginalized due to race, immigration status and income. These people need our services now, more than ever. CF: What is an example of how the Center is tackling the issue of intersectionality? PC: Right now, we’re on the front lines helping transgender immigrants who are seeking asylum in our country. Not many LGBTQ centers in the U.S. have the network and experience that we do in this area. We are partnering with the Public Law Center and other community organization to assist trans immigrants in ICE detention centers to secure legal representation, mental health care, transportation, and the jobs they need to be granted release and to build a life here. Last year, the Center was instrumental in helping 19 people to gain release.

District Attorneys across the county on the topic of hate crimes. We are advocating for the protection of our LGBTQ population by seeking assurance that hate crimes against our community members will be tried and punishable by the strictest standards available by law. CF: Mental health is, thankfully, seems to be becoming less stigmatized in our culture as a whole — or maybe that is wishful thinking on my part. What is the Center doing on the mental health front for OC’s LGBTQ community? PC: We still have a ways to go to reduce the stigma around seeking out mental health services across the board, and this includes within the LGBTQ community. The Center offers mental health care and counseling seven days a week in three languages and on a sliding scale so that no one is ever turned away. Right now, due to the pandemic, our individual, couples and group therapy sessions are being held virtually and are, of course, LGBTQ affirming. CF: I know that mental health issues, and particularly suicidal thoughts or actions, can be a major issue for our LGBTQ youth. How does the LGBTQ Center of OC address this population? PC: The Center is heavily invested in services and programs to support LGBTQ youth. We have robust school programs that have our staff visiting middle

CF: I know that transgender people of color in the U.S. and elsewhere are at disproportionately high risk for violent attacks. How does the LGBTQ Center of Orange County work to protect these and other members of the LBGTQ community? PC: As a nonprofit, we are prohibited from active lobbying activities, but what we can do, and what we are doing to address this issue, is meeting with

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and high schools throughout Orange County to provide education to students and staff, as well as to support the schools’ Gay-Straight Alliances and Gender-Sexuality Alliances. In addition, our Center’s youth program hosts conferences, including the upcoming virtual “Youth Convening” three-day conference coming up May 15, 22 and 29, 2021. This conference typically draws more than 600 youth attendees and this year’s event will place a major focus on mental health.

at these facilities within Orange County to build inclusivity and understanding and to create safe spaces for LGBTQ seniors.

CF: We’ve talked about the youth population, what issues are currently facing seniors in our LGBTQ community?

PC: A couple of rules of thumb apply here. The first is, ask. It’s appropriate and welcomed for you to ask someone which pronouns they prefer. And, it’s okay to ask them again should you forget. The second rule is that it’s okay to get it wrong the first few times. The important thing is that you show respect and consideration in honoring someone’s identity.

PC: Many people don’t realize that when an LGBTQ senior moves into an assisted living facility, they often have to go back into the closet. They fear not being safe or accepted at the facility, unsure of the potential reactions from other residents or staff. Teams from the Center are working with staff

Photos courtesy of LGBTQ Center of Orange County

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CF: This is not the most natural of segues, but I’d love to get your insights on pronouns. I find that a lot of people are confused by the use of pronouns, especially when it comes to the LGBTQ community and even more so when we’re talking about someone who identifies as nonbinary. Are there any tips or rules you can share?


Ways you can help: Join the Tableau team in supporting the LGBTQ Center of Orange County and its important work in our community in the following ways:

DONATE Please consider donating to support the critical services and programs of the LGBTQ Center of Orange County. Visit LGBTQCenterOC.org for more information.

VOLUNTEER With only 20 staff, the Center runs lean and can use volunteers. In-person volunteering will resume when it’s safe to do so. In the meantime, you can contact the Center at (714) 953-LGBT (5428) or info@lgbtqcenteroc.org to see how you can help with their virtual events and advocacy.

VIRTUAL GALA Plan to “attend” the LGBTQ Center of OC’s virtual gala, the Indigo Ball, set for May 1. Visit the Center’s website for details.

EVERYONE • Normalize asking people for their preferred pronouns and volunteering wyours, as well. One idea — be like the Tableau team and include your preferred pronouns in your email e-signature block. • Educate yourself on LGBTQ issues globally and within your community; talk to your friends and family about what you learn. • Do your part to stop discrimination in its tracks, speak up if you hear or see members of our LGBTQ community being mistreated or disrespected.

PARENTS

• Remember that we’re all much more alike than we are different.

• Make your home a place of inclusion and diversity, celebrate differences. • Select library books to read with your child that feature diversity in families and family structures. • Bring representation of other cultures and races into your home, including cultural celebrations. • Expose your children to a wide variety of people throughout their lives, starting early on. • Push your child’s school to provide inclusive curriculum.

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L AST LOO K

‘The Beauty of Chaos’ 10”X10” Digital photo art with photo editing and layering by Luke Gialanella 2020 Note: With a $120 dollar donation to www.govlearn.org, you will receive a one-of-a-kind signed and numbered copy of this print.