Vision Spring 2016

Page 1


Celebrating Success

The Carbajals Found strength as a result of unexpected challenge



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On average, Hispanic women are likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than non-Hispanics.

Only 3 in 10 Hispanic women say they have been informed they are at higher risk.

Join us for the American Heart Association’s

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VISIÓN | contents



Celebrating Success M









contents DEPARTMENTS Welcome...........................................9 Updates .........................................10 From the Publishers.........................11 Family Matters.................................20 Education........................................28 Legal Insights..................................34 Health..............................................36 People and Events...........................42 Meet Our Writers.............................46

FEATURE STORY The transformative power of hope and of love:


Myla’s Story.....................................12 Photo by Chris Sarabia




contents | VISIÓN

TRANSITION Reaching for the Stars.....................18 ART Sabor & Saul...................................24 FATHER’S DAY A Father's Love...............................30 OVERCOMING OBSTACLES Proud Graduate despite the hurdles..........................38 COMMUNITY Annual Sikh American Awareness Event.............................40



38 Photo by Arturo Vera


Photo by Gustavo Perez










visión staff PUBLISHERS

Fred Bigler and Christine S. Schweininger

DESIGN & LAYOUT Delvisa DiDomenico

HEALTH & WELLNESS Joseph Hernandez, Ph.D.

LEGAL INSIGHTS Janell Freeman Somera

EDUCATION Eddie Garcia

SKIN CARE Kimberley Cockerham MD

PHOTOGRAPHERS Genevieve Baltierra-Einwalter Dave Barrios Miguel Buenrostro Jennifer Hidalgo Jose Posadas Tim Tafolla

SALES Sally Serrano

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Xavier Huerta Matthew Harrington Rodney Cordova Venus Esparza-Zavala David Fauria Arlene Galindo Esmeralda Gomez-Cruz Jennifer Ramirez Rangel Vanessa Parra Jose Posadas Rochelle Marapao


DESIGNER Virgil Madrid

DISTRIBUTION Dieter Schweininger Linda Sandoval Sally Serrano

To advertise in Visión Magazine, call 209.402.1365 Visión Magazine is published four times a year.

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Visión Magazine assumes no responsibility and makes no recommendation for claims made by advertisers and shall not be liable for any damages incurred. © Copyright 2012-2015. Visión Magazine All rights reserved. Cover and content may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the Publisher.

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Welcome the San Joaquin Valley chapter of the UC Berkeley Chicano Latino Alumni Association BY ESPERANZA VIELMA

More Latinos from the San Joaquin Valley will be going to UC Berkeley. That is the goal of the new San Joaquin Valley chapter of the UC Berkeley Chicano Latino Alumni Association. With roughly 38 percent of the state of California population being Chicano Latino but only 11 percent of the UC Berkeley student population being Chicano/Latino, clearly UC Berkeley lacks the diversity of the population of the state overall. The Chicano Latino alumni Association will create the opportunity of attainment for our San Joaquin Valley youth Photo by Cim Medriano

at one of the world’s top public universities. We at the Cal Chicano Latino Alumni Association (CLAA) will increase

As a result of the active participation of the Chicano Latino

recruitment, enrollment and scholarship money for local

Legacy event, two primary objectives were proposed. One

students to access the University of California Berkeley.

was to create a state, national and international unified UC

In addition, our association is committed to maintaining

Berkeley Chicano Latino Alumni Association. The second

Berkeley’s tradition of academic excellence through the

was to create a scholarship endowment to continue the

diversity. The CLAA strives to create an expanding force of

legacy of Chicano Latino students and alumni.

alumni throughout the state committed to maintaining ties with the larger community on Berkeley’s campus, providing

The current five CLAA chapters met in a retreat in early

valuable support to recruit and graduate Latino students

January at the UCB Center for Latino Policy Research

and increasing Latino representation among the ranks of

to solidify mission and goals for new state, national

Berkeley’s staff and faculty.

and international chapters. Most importantly, we will all work together to raise the awareness of accessibility

Access and affordability for underrepresented low income

and attainment by providing the necessary scholarship

California residents may have excluded many of our San

endowment for diverse low income students to succeed at

Joaquin Valley youth from attending the University of

the University of California Berkeley.

California Berkeley. California has reduced funding to its public universities while raising tuition that has limited slots

Our association’s executive director Lupe Gallegos-Diaz

for California residents.

has worked relentlessly to ensure the legacy of all our future Os@s from the San Joaquin Valley and across the country.

The UC Berkeley Chicano Latino alumni association

We have many exciting educational, social and networking

celebrated its 40-year legacy event September 2015 in three-

events coming soon to the valley.

days of activities and recognitions - educational summit, alumni panels with students, a gala dinner and a scholarship

If you would like any further information for the Northern and

brunch. Our San Joaquin county chapter was a principal

Southern San Joaquin Valley chapters of the UC Berkeley

sponsor for the Legacy celebration with the assistance of

Chicano Latino Alumni please feel free to contact: Esperanza

Restore the Delta, Café Coop and iHub of San Joaquin.

Vielma at: or 323-695-9507 



VISIÓN | updates

Updates Brenna ButlerGarcia

{Featured in our Fall 2013 issue)

(Featured in our Spring 2015 issue)

We would like to

We’re so proud

congratulate Jacob

of Brenna for

ide db

“CREED” which was months ago. This film is about Apollo Creed’s

ro v

released a couple of to Ph o


Young Professional Leadership Award. Brenna who was


y Stit

Rocky spin off of

receiving the Athena

Ul me

Duran on the new

the CEO for the San Joaquin Hispanic



c h D u ra n

Jacob “Stitch” Duran

to Pho

T by

son. Rocky doesn’t know that he is training him, and

Chamber of Commerce, is passionate about supporting

then he finds out! We are so excited and looking forward

women in business, especially in a male-dominated

to hearing some great reviews! As you recall in our Fall

industry. Since day one Brenna has always wanted

issue, Jacob was raised from humble beginnings in

to inspire women to pursue their dreams! The annual

Central California and is the Brother of Ben Duran. He

ATHENA awards honors individuals who strive toward

was such a delight to interview. We also loved seeing

the highest levels of accomplishment, excel in their

him in the movie “Here Comes the Boom” with Kevin

chosen business or profession and have devoted time

James. As you recall he stated “Take advantage of every

and energy to their community. Keep up the great work

opportunity, where there is a window of opportunity you

Brenna we wish you well!

should go through it.” .................................................................................................

Amelia Ceja


(Featured in our Spring 2014 issue)

We would like to congratulate Amelia Moran Ceja, the CEO of Ceja Vineyards in Napa. She received the Dolores Huerta 2016 Farmworker Justice Award honoring her contributions to the farmworker movement. As you recall in her article Amelia arrived in the United States as a child immigrant who was a farmworker. Amelia remembers quite well the hard work that comes with being a farmworker. “Without farmworkers there would not be a wine industry nor food on our table and farmworkers must be protected and treated with dignity and respect.” Congratulations Amelia keep up the great work! Amelia photo



from the publishers | VISIÓN

Overcome adversity, achieve success The beautiful almond blossoms have arrived. After the rainy months of winter Spring is welcome. Fortunately, we have been blessed with rain this year and we hope to get more. Visión magazine has been promoting “Celebrating Success”; no doubt everyone loves success. However, adversity is an ever present reality that must be overcome before we achieve the success we all desire. This spring issue of Visión magazine will examine how we grow through adversity and how we achieve success through difficult times and situations. Our main cover story features the family of Molly and Frank Carbajal and how they have maintained a successful lifestyle in spite of unexpected adversity of caring for a special needs child. The Carbajal have found that their strength is a result of overcoming this unexpected challenge. As Catholics they have been blessed with the prayers, the hope and love of others as they journey through life in the care of their daughter, Mylas. For Molly and Frank, it has meant a new life as mentors to other families who also have special needs children. "I want other families to know it's not the end of the world, there are support groups and resources for them, for families like ours.” Adversity is common to mankind. How we deal with it is a measure of our strength of character and an indicator of our eventual success. My favorite encouragement regarding overcoming adversity is that of the Serenity Prayer. “God, give me grace to accept the things I cannot change Courage to change the things I can and the Wisdom to know the difference.” Look for our transition story which is about Evelyn Rojas, a young girl dedicated to our community and her education despite a difficult beginning. She has received several awards this year, and the community is behind this young lady's determination to succeed. In January, Visión magazine was a media partner for the Latino Journal, which was held in Sacramento. The purpose of this event was to recognize Latino business leaders, legislators and appointees. Also, we look forward to being a media partner for this year’s "Go Red Event" being held on May 6, which recognizes the health risks that

our mothers, daughters, sisters and friends are facing. Many are not aware that 1 in 3 deaths among women each year is caused by heart disease and stroke – this is more than all cancers combined. Many of you are wondering how you can become a greater part of Visión magazine. We recommend you send in your feedback and take out a magazine subscription. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps to lets us know how much you truly value Visión magazine. As always we appreciate our advertisers who make this magazine possible. Please let them know that you saw their advertisement in Visión magazine and that you are supporting them. We hope you find this issue of Visión magazine meaningful and that, true to our theme, you are overcoming adversity and celebrating your success in life. Sincerely,




Publication Director/CEO



VISIÓN | feature

The transformative power of hope and love:





appeared a couple unknown to Molly, (the first of what

faith that God will not put more on you than you can bear,

would be many miraculous acts of kindness) and offered to

and that suffering produces endurance, and that endurance

drive her and Myla to a nearby pediatric hospital. Without

produces character and character produces hope. It is the

hesitation Molly agreed. The staff at the hospital were

belief that life is not about being delivered from adversity

successful in resuscitating Myla but the permanent damage

but rather that life is about being delivered in adversity. That

to her brain was already done. Molly contacted Frank

our lives are made stronger through hardship, it is what

who had just left El Salvador the day before to return to

gives us strength by bringing out what is already inherently

California only to immediately rush back to join her and their

in all of us, like metal that has been tested by fire it is the

other older daughter Alia who had been staying with Molly’s

testing of our faith that brings to life the truly transformative

Salvadorian family.

power of hope and of love. A parent’s greatest fear is that some awful tragedy should beset their child. Such was the case for Molly and Frank Carbajal on December 14, 2005, while vacationing in Molly’s mother’s home country, El Salvador, their then 6-month daughter Myla suffered a rare form of asphyxia that left her without oxygen to her brain for nearly 40 minutes. Myla had been breast feeding at the time when, unbeknownst to Molly, she began to aspirate milk into her lungs- in other words her mother’s milk was going down the wrong tube. Sensing something wrong in her infant Molly’s background as a former emergency medical technician kicked in and she began CPR. Out of nowhere

Having a sister like Myla is like having an angel in our home. She crossed over to the other side when her heart stopped for 45 minutes and was touched by God.” – Alia, age 13 - Myla’s older sister

Life for the Carbajal family, who would later welcome a third daughter, Bria, into the fold, is that of a family that has experienced great hardship but also great love and support from their community as they deal with caring for Myla. In 2005 Myla was diagnosed with a severe case of cerebral palsy that has relegated her to a life in a wheelchair. “There are no guarantees in life,” Molly offers, “it is a difficult life but we’ve gotten used to it,” she added. In addition to meeting the daily medical needs of their daughter what Molly and Frank would like for Myla is a normal life like any 10-year-old girl. Though Myla in her wheelchair is different she is on the All photos provided by the Carbajal family



VISIÓN | feature inside like any other girl but all too often she is the subject of shocked onlookers. Molly’s advice to strangers and the public in general is for people to just take a minute to smile, say hi and not just stare. Once their youngest daughter Bria asked, “Why are people always staring so much?” “Because Myla is so beautiful,” Molly answered. Through their experience with Myla, Molly and Frank have learned that life is precious and should not be taken for granted. In trying to make life as normal as possible for their three girls, they spend their weekends taking advantage of all that Northern California has to offer. To prepare for their outings, Molly will research accessible paths and tours so that Myla can participate without any issues. In December, they took a road trip from Santa Clara to Las Vegas and the entire family, including Myla’s grandmother Estela, enjoyed the sights including, the Hoover Dam, High Roller Observation Wheel, magic shows and holiday lights.

Although Myla cannot talk, she has a deep connection with me and communicates with that amazing smile and contagious laughter. Without Myla, I wouldn’t have finished my book; she gave me the strength to get it done.”

When they returned from Vegas, they quickly prepared for a weekend trip to North Lake Tahoe to have fun in the snow.



– Frank

People often ask Molly how she finds the energy to

The Carbajals have also been fortunate to participate in

work full-time and do so much with her children while

a family camp offered by the Blind Babies Foundation,

managing to keep a smile on her face. Molly usually

a Program of the Junior Blind. This wonderful camp is a

answers with, “You have to enjoy life as much as you can

collaboration between the Lighthouse of the Blind in San

while you still have the chance!” Molly enjoys sharing her

Francisco and Blind Babies Foundation to provide camp

experiences online through social media to keep in touch

experience at the Enchanted Hills Camp, located in the

with family and friends far and near, including the Rochac-

beautiful hills of Napa Valley. At this camp, it is completely

Aguirre family who came to her aid in El Salvador. But

normal for children to be tube-fed (Myla has a feeding tube

she also shares to inspire others to get out and explore

since she cannot eat by mouth), or suctioned (sometimes

museums, art festivals, etc. “We are so blessed to live in

kids like Myla get more congested than others), and no

a beautiful area with so much to offer, that we can’t wait

one will give it a second thought. For Myla’s sisters this

to see what other adventures are around the corner for

environment is like a second home where they can be

us to experience,” added Molly. Whether it’s Mendocino,

comfortable and have fun with other siblings of special

Yosemite, Napa, Lake Tahoe, Carmel, or Southern

needs kids. The camp offers paddle boats (a family

California, the Carbajal Family is ready to experience

favorite), swimming, horseback riding, and activities such

the joys of traveling with their children. Since it is difficult

as making cupcakes, fresh lemonade and ice cream.

for Myla to travel by air, Molly is hoping that in the near

Mealtime is a chance to sit together in the dining hall to

future, the airlines will allow for wheelchair travel. This will

break bread and provides an opportunity for the families

open the doors to much more traveling experience for the

to get to know each other better. The Carbajals have

family to enjoy.

met others who had children without disabilities but who



VISIÓN | feature have suffered an anoxic event (medical issue where there was a lack of oxygen) and now have children like Myla. “Unfortunately, we are not alone, but we are strong as a group of families that have faced hardship and we offer support for one another,” Molly commented.

There really are places in the heart you don’t even know exist until you love a child.” - Anne Lamott

Daily life can be very challenging for families of special needs children. For Frank, an author and founder of the annual Silicon Valley Latino Leadership Summit, and Molly, a Public Health Emergency Management Specialist and media person, their schedules, understandably so, revolve around serving the needs of their daughter and all the challenges that come with it- the hospitalizations, the daycare needs, the transportation issues plus the care of their other two daughters. It can all take a toll on this young family and separation or divorce is sometimes common for marriages dealing with a special needs child because of the added stress. Love for each other and the show of support from their community has renewed their faith. Parents from St. Clare’s Elementary school brought homecooked meals during Myla’s hospitalization and students, nuns, colleagues, family and friends on social media from all over the world prayed for Myla during her recent surgery to implant steel rods to straighten and support her spine while at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. The Carbajals are grateful to everyone for their prayers, especially their friend and grandmother of a child with cerebral palsy, Julie Matsushima, who lit candles for Myla at the Vatican and other churches while vacationing in Italy. Myla also continues to receive after-school care through Scribbles and Giggles Pediatric Day Health Center where she has been going 16


since the age of one and a half. At Scribbles and Giggles, the Carbajals are also part of a community of families with special needs children. Scribbles is a place unlike any other where children with special needs are treated just like children without disabilities and are recognized for their abilities instead of their disabilities. The children have circle time, sing songs, do arts and crafts and play in an accessible playground that has wheelchair swings as well as other adapted play structures. The center also provides overnight respite so that families can have a little break from care-giving. Molly recommends that if anyone is interested in helping a friend in need, they should not only ask how they can help, they should act on it also. When Molly’s friend Evie Cruz Cesena, learned of Myla’s spinal surgery, she didn’t ask what she could to do help, instead she rearranged her schedule and drove two hours from Merced to be there on the day of surgery because she knew that Molly and Frank could use the support. Another act of kindness came when Myla had been discharged from the hospital just three days and Michele Tatos, Molly’s college friend and bridal maid of honor visited Molly to provide a break that allowed her to participate in a school event at St. Clare. Myla had an incision on her back about 19” long and Molly was sure that Michele was a little nervous about taking care of Myla, but she did it anyway. Even the smallest gesture, like picking up a movie and a snack or a bag of groceries can be huge for someone who is dealing with a hard time, added Molly. Their latest challenge is to find a way (and the funds) to equip their two-story home with a wheelchair lift so that they can more readily transport Myla to her upstairs bedroom instead of carrying her up a flight of stairs. The Carbajals have found their strength not in spite of but rather as a result of this unexpected challenge. As Catholics they have been blessed with the prayers, the hope and love of others as they journey through life in the care of their daughter. For Molly and Frank, it has meant a new life as mentors to other families who also have special needs children. “I want other families to know it’s not the end of the world, that there are support groups and resources for them, for families like ours, and our children are our teachers in life and will open a whole new world we never knew existed.” Molly concluded. 

Demographics & Statistics on Special Needs Children: POPULATION SIZE Developmental disabilities occur among all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Recent estimates in the United States show that about one in six, or about 15%, of children aged 3 through 17 years have a one or more developmental disabilities. According to a 2005 U.S. Census study, 54.4 million Americans, or about one in five U.S. residents, have a disability. This demographic is equal to the population of Florida and California combined. HEALTH CARE NEEDS By definition, children with special health care needs require more health care services than other children, and they account for more than 40% of all health care costs among children nationwide despite making up only 16% of the U.S. child population. More than four in five children with special health care needs do not receive one or more basic aspects of quality health care, in California and nationally. CAREGIVING Children with physical disabilities are at greater risk for maltreatment than other children. The demands they place on any caregiver are exceptional; when combined with financial, marital, or other stresses, some families find them unbearable. AUTISM Between 1997 and 2008, the prevalence of autism diagnoses increased 289.5 percent. And by 2013, 1 in 50 children was identified with an autism spectrum disorder. The incidence rate among boys is actually as high as 1 in 31 (3.23%). CEREBRAL PALSY Cerebral Palsy (CP) is the most common motor disability in childhood affecting1 in 323 children. Medical costs for children with cerebral palsy alone were 10 times higher than for children without cerebral palsy or intellectual disability ($16,721 vs. $1,674 in 2005 dollars). The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has estimated that the lifetime cost to care for an individual with CP is nearly $1 million (2003 dollars). EDUCATIONAL NEEDS Federal law defines students with special needs as those who, because of a disability, require special education and related services to achieve their fullest potential. Federal law mandates that all children with disabilities are to be provided with special education services. Students who qualify for special education services are entitled to a specially designed individual educational program at no cost to the parent. This program must meet the unique needs of the child, including any needed modifications to the place of instruction—be it the classroom, a physical education setting, the child’s home, a hospital, or another institution. In addition, special education certifications entitle students to receive all related services (such as occupational therapy and physical therapy) required to meet the individual learning needs of the youngster. 17

VISIÓN | transition

Photo by Chris Sarabia


Meet 25-year-old Evelyn Rojas, who with the help of a

as we didn’t get hurt or cause harm to others,” she says. “I

caring community, overcame obstacles that changed her life

had the best childhood a girl could ask for.”

forever. Now, she’s ready to inspire others to do the same. Her grandparents also instilled the importance of faith and Humble Beginnings

spirituality at home. Every night, the family prayed together.

Evelyn Rojas was born in Quezaltepeque, El Salvador. Her

“My Grandma made hot chocolate and gathered all four

mother was unable to take of her and gave her up to her great

kids in the living room. Each of us read a scripture and took

grandmother to raise. At age 2, Evelyn’s grandparents, brought

turns to say the ending prayer. God was an important factor

her to the U.S. where they settled in Los Banos, California.

in our lives and still is.”

“My grandparents were my parents,” she says. “They’re my everything, never letting me down even at my loneliness times.”

Evelyn also loved school. Her passion to learn was reflective of her grandparents’ encouragement and the good grades

Evelyn has five sisters and three brothers, but was raised

that she earned. She realized that getting an education

by her grandparents along with her older sister, Jackie,

could take her life in directions that she’d only dreamed

and two cousins, Glenda and Michael. “Our grandparents

about. She wanted to become a nurse, but as she got

always gave us the freedom to do what we wanted as long

closer to turning 18, that dream seemed impossible.



“No one knew…”

Opportunity Knocks

When Evelyn was brought to the U.S. by her grandparents

Evelyn’s interest in nursing changed when she discovered that

at the age of 2, she was an undocumented immigrant.

she had a passion for tackling local issues and becoming part

Unfortunately, public perception of illegal aliens can be

of the solution. She switched her major to Sociology and in

negative and this kept Evelyn from telling anyone. Besides

Political Science class, had an instructor who inspired her.

family and close friends, no one knew. “Even though I was

“Mrs. Kinney changed my life. I wasn’t interested in politics,

raised in this country, spoke English, and consider myself

but her class opened my eyes in ways that I could get

an American, I wasn’t legal,” she explains.

involved in my community,” she says. Little did Evelyn know that her teacher would guide her down a new career path.

Being undocumented, going to college was out of the question when she realized that she couldn’t attend school

Mrs. Kinney also worked for Congressman Jeff Denham

or earn a degree without being a legal resident. But she

whose office was offering an internship to a college student.

was determined to go to college and worked under-the-

Evelyn was selected for the position and she learned how

table jobs to save money. Evelyn saved enough to enroll in

powerful a politician’s voice can be in facilitating change.

two classes at Modesto Junior College and attended until

Best of all, Evelyn’s internship with Congressman Denham

she couldn’t afford it. Overwhelmed with hardship, Evelyn

led to a full-time job working for State Assembly Member,

went to the Salvadorian Consulate in San Francisco to get

Kristin Olsen.

permission to return “home” to El Salvador, a country she hadn’t lived in since the age of two.

Originally hired as an assistant to Olsen, Evelyn’s impressive performance led to a promotion doing casework for the constituents in the community and outside of California.

Leap of Faith At the consulate office, as Evelyn explained her situation, a lady standing nearby overheard her. “This lady waited for me to finish so she could hand me information for a lawyer who helped her and her family,” she says. “I was hesitant, but I took a leap of faith, contacted the attorney

She takes on cases of students applying to the Board of Registered Nurses who want to become RNs. “I know how important this dream is to them because I once wanted to become a nurse. They depend on me to be their voice and I take that seriously,” she says.

and my entire life changed.” Evelyn’s only regret is not

Looking Ahead to the Future

being able to remember the name of the lady who, “heard

Evelyn takes nothing for granted. She’s a student at

my story and helped.”

Brandman University working towards her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology in hopes of becoming a school

The contact information was for San Francisco Immigration

counselor. She’s active in the local community and aspires

Attorney, Karen Taylor. Taylor worked diligently to get Evelyn

to be a voice for Latinos. Evelyn was recently recognized

legalized in the U.S. and walked her through each step

by the Central Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce with

of the process without leaving her side. “Ms. Taylor was

the Ambassador of the Year Award, an accolade that she

an angel sent to me,” Evelyn says. “I’ll never forget how

describes as “incredibly humbling”. She’s also involved with

caring she was. I trusted her knowing that she would follow through. It made me realize how much I wanted help others in the same way.“

two local organizations, the Women’s Education Leadership League (W.E.L.L.) and the Modesto Veteran Center. Just as she grew up wanting to help others, Evelyn wants

As soon as she gained legal status, Evelyn’s life

to empower young people to take a stand for positive

changed. “Things fell into place quickly. I got a real

change. “I’ve been lucky to have had so many people who

job and paid my way through school,” she says.

cared, supported and mentored me,” she says. “I owe it to

Determined to finish what she started, Evelyn earned

them to inspire young people to reach for their stars. If I can

her AA degree in Behavioral Science.

do it, anyone can.”  VISIÓN | SPRING 2016


VISIÓN | family matters

family matters Q

By Joseph L. Hernandez, Ph.D. Dear Dr. Joe, My husband and I are heart-broken. I just

Although I do not pretend to know what you are going

gave birth to our first child. Our baby was

through, it will be important to make the best you can

diagnosed as having a terminal disease

from this incredibly difficult situation. Take good care of

and is not expected to live very long. I don’t know if I can

yourself so that you and your husband can work together

survive the heartbreak. Also, I don’t know if our marriage

as a couple and as a family. As a couple, you may require

will make it. — Broken Heart

additional help for your marriage, which can be found


through support groups or through psychotherapy.

Dear Broken Heart, I’m very sad to hear about your child’s condition and about your deep emotional pain. Your job now is to learn everything

you can about your baby’s medical needs so that you can effectively lobby on your infant’s behalf with medical staff and with other care providers. Much useful information is available from a variety of sources. Be discerning: meaning, don’t believe everything you read, yet read everything you can. Seek out whatever support that you can get for yourself. This is a time to rely on your faith, your husband, your family, your friends, your professional contacts, etc.

There are times when we face unbearable existential issues: life, death, purpose, meaning, and significance. Although this lonely journey is an individual process, there are others who can help us. It is easy to lose hope when faced with untenable circumstances. Life can seem so unfair!

Remind yourselves that you have been found worthy to care for this newborn child. Embrace the job. Identify any positive aspects that you see in the miracle of every moment of your child’s life. The gift of this life that has been entrusted to you is to be treasured and appreciated. Remember to care for yourselves so that you can have more resources to care for your baby. Do not let despair find root. Instead, seek out and embrace hope.


Dear Dr. Joe, I understand that you were raised with a mentally disabled sister. What was that experience like? – Curious

Dear Curious, You are correct. My older sister was called “mentally retarded” when I was a young boy. More recently, her condition



has been labeled a “developmental disability.” An even

They had noticed some bruises on her body and decided

newer term is “intellectual disability.” This disability is

that they could care for Chacha better than the facility

characterized by significant limitations in both intellectual

staff. For the rest of their lives, our father and mother

functioning and decrements in adaptive functioning

dedicated themselves to meeting Chacha’s needs. My

(e.g., language, interpersonal skills, personal care, etc.).

siblings and I were raised in a loving, and sometimes

I understand that in French, the term used to describe

difficult, home environment where caring for Chacha was

people like my sister translates to “The forever children.”

the priority. When Chacha was an adolescent and a young

I called her “Chacha,” which is short for “muchacha,”

woman, she would sometimes go into rages, scratching

which means girl (in Spanish).

and bruising our mother. As she got older, those rages (thankfully) diminished.

When my sister, Chacha, was of elementary schoolage, our parents placed her at Porterville State Hospital

Chacha changed my life. I remember walking with her

because they were not sure they could handle her. I

down the aisle at church (when I was a young adolescent)

remember visiting Chacha and enjoying a picnic on the

and seeing people turn their heads to look at her (perhaps

hospital grounds. After less than three months, our parents

with pity, fear, or some other unknown thought or emotion).

removed her from that placement and took her home.

As they turned to gawk at her, I held onto her arm more



tightly. Although she was older than me, Chacha was

but I wonder if these boys need to have a male role model.

much shorter and needed help with ambulation. I became

It sounds silly, but should I look for a boyfriend so that they

her protector. It is not a surprise that, as an adult, I

can learn about how to be a man? – Silly

became a Clinical Psychologist employed at the Stockton

After our father died in 1993, my older brother and younger


sister focused on supporting our mother, who continued

and father. Children are very resilient and can grow up

to provide personal care for Chacha. After our mother died

emotionally and socially healthy if they get the essential

(eight years later), my siblings and I committed to making

ingredients of love, support, and encouragement.

sure Chacha was safe, healthy, and happy. We obtained

It sounds as if you have provided a great foundation for

peer support for her via her participation at the Hope Senior

your boys. You care for your children and are, apparently,

Activity Center, who have a fabulous and caring staff. My

doing a great job. The answer to your question is simple:

two siblings and I were Chacha’s legal co-conservators.

Never get into a relationship simply because you want a

We were fortunate to retain the family house, which allowed

role model for your children. You are the primary role model.

our sister to live in that house (with help from a wonderful

You and your children can find male role models in a variety

caretaker family, In-Home Supportive Services, and the San

of places: extended family, school, sports, church/faith

Andreas Regional Center) until she died in 2014.

organizations, and community. While males in those places

Developmental Center, working with people who also had problems with the activities of daily living and who had a similar intellectual capacity as my sister.

Dear Silly, These days, being a single parent is not as unusual as it used to be. It is hard to be a parent: even harder to be a single parent.

Sometimes, it seems as if we have to be both mother

may be helpful, you are the primary person from whom Some families are destroyed and blown apart with the birth

your children will learn. How you handle life circumstances,

of a disabled child. In the case of our family, our sister’s

your perspective on work, your faith, your commitment to

disability drew us together and forged a bond among

relationships, and your values, all will impact your children

our entire family that remains to this day. We developed

far more than any other relationship.

patterns of behavior among ourselves that provided for mutual support. I believe that a loving, supportive

If you feel a strong need for your boys to have male role

environment was modeled for us by our parents, has

models, take the lead with men you know and trust. As

been purposefully continued by my siblings, and has

your children grow, their world naturally, and appropriately,

been passed on to our adult children. The birth of Chacha

expands. They will meet teachers, coaches, youth ministers,

into our family was a gift: not because she was easy, but

and community leaders, who may exert increasing influence

because she was valuable!

in their lives. Stay connected with anyone who influences


your children as long as you can. Eventually, you may feel

Dear Dr. Joe,

displaced. Remember, most boys who grow up to be men

I am a single mom whose is raising two

usually don’t say, “Hey Dad: we’re #1!” They say, “Hey

young boys alone. Their father is not in the

Mom: we’re #1!” Trust that the hard work you are doing now

picture at all. I’m doing a pretty good job,

on their behalf will pay off over time. 

.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Joseph L. Hernandez, Ph.D., a Licensed Clinical Psychologist (# PSY 12643) and Marriage & Family Therapist (# MFC 27236), earned a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University, and a B.A. in Pastoral Training and Theology. He maintains a private practice in Salida, California. His connection with Family Wellness Associates provides the forum to teach nationally and internationally. Dr. Hernandez is the author of a book on family dynamics published by W.W. Norton & Company (New York), “Family Wellness Skills: Quick Assessment and Practical Interventions for the Mental Health Professional.” My answers do not necessarily represent the views of this magazine. They are meant to be taken as opinion and not as psychotherapy. Some issues may require the services of a mental health professional.



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VISIÓN | arts

Photo provided by Arturo Vera





taught artist’s experiences has been a result of a raw appreciation and personal study of a select few and well


known artists.

Rotarian and leader of his community. I had heard of his leadership and philanthropy of Sabor De Valle for

A professional, Serna, by trade, is a Technical Support

several years from friends and colleagues in Northern

Engineer for Red Hat Inc., an open source tech

California. I had been invited to attend his events in

company. He makes that all too familiar commute to the

the past however my schedule would never permit my attendance. Not this year! This is the year to attend and Sabor de Valle has even more to offer with two events planned in the San Joaquin and Silicon Valleys this year. Ray’s passion and enthusiasm about Sabor De Valle and all things cultural are exhilarating. Talking with Ray, I was fascinated to hear he commissioned a local San Joaquin Valley artist with roots in the Silicon Valley to produce an

tech industry mecca recognized globally as the Silicon Valley. Despite a demanding career in the tech industry, he has been creating art for many years. Serna says that he had never taken himself seriously as an artist and as a result of this suppression the majority of his first works only made it onto sketchbooks and napkins. It was on an inspiring trip to Mexico City in 2006, that changed his voidance forever.

exclusive poster and wine label specifically for Sabor De Valle’s 2016 event season.


SAUL SERNA, THE ARTIST commissioned by Castaneda for the event of the year, makes his home in Stockton, California and is extremely proud of his San Jose, California roots. Serna is an accomplished acrylic and mixed media artist that does not have any formal training or education in art. The majority of this selfRay Castaneda, Rosalie Ledesma and Ash Kalra at last years Sabor del Valle event in San Jose



It was among the influential artists of Mexico who’s work

which was his first experience working in wine label art.

he has always admired that he found his inspiration.

It was through the wine label development process

Saul’s biggest influences and personal favorite artists

and working with Bodega del Sur that Serna was

are Mexican muralists, David Alfaro Siqueros, Jorge

introduced to Castaneda at a Sabor de Valle event

Gonzalez Camarena, and José Clemente Orozco. After

in 2015. Castaneda, fascinated by Serna’s work

visiting their murals at Castillo De Chapultepec and

commissioned him for this year’s poster and wine label.

Bellas Artes, he was immediately inspired and motivated

On the commission, Castaneda says, “ We have had a

to delve back into his work. His first painting when he

lot of artist’s in the past, but I love Serna’s work. There is

returned from Mexico City was a 4ft by 4ft reproduction

something about his work. I like the detail and the colors

of Siqueros’s La Revolucion.

that he uses and Saul’s work stands out. We are very excited about him creating this painting. “Having been

Serna has exhibited in the Bay Area and Central Valley

specifically commissioned by Castaneda for this year’s

and has won artist recognition among his colleagues.

event Saul Serna is on the road to making a name for

He has established himself in the valley gaining notoriety

himself in the local wine label artistic market. Serna says

while working with collectives and exhibiting his work

“As an Artist, being commissioned by a organizations

in valley venues such as airports, wineries, government

like Sabor Del Valle is a big deal. Its the type of project

offices, galleries, media corporations and on products

every artist dreams of, not only for the scale of exposure

associated with wineries. Saul currently works with Latino

but most importantly that this is an organization that is

owned winery, Bodega Del Sur located in the foothills of

giving back to the community. I was born and raised in

California’s Mother Lode where the tasting room theme is Dia De Los Muertos. Several of Serna’s limited edition pieces are on display in the tasting room along with his Dama De Rojo label work on the 2012 CARIGNAN bottles


THAT IS GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY.” - SAUL SERNA Sabor del Valle raises funds for local nonprofits and changes the lives of the overlooked and underrepresented in the Bay Area by working in collaboration with local vintners and restaurateurs to showcase their work. It is a multicultural event that encompasses all cultures and flavors and Castaneda says his crowd is very diverse and he wanted to see a different kind of art this year that incorporated the passion and romance of what diversity embraces. “I WANT A PAINTING THAT WHEN PEOPLE

SEE IT, THEY SEE THEMSELVES EMBRACING.” - RAY CASTANEDA Serna is currently working on the wine label for Sabor Photo provided by Arturo Vera


de Valle in tandem with Ramon Rios Winery in Tracy


California which will double as this year’s limited edition posters for the event. Castaneda is currently planning an event in Tracy with the folks from Ramon Rios Winery to take place Saturday May 21st. Castaneda has been asked for years to bring his signature event to the valley and it looks like Sabor De Valle and Ramon Rios Winery will make it happen. Sabor de Valle’s 7th annual event fundraiser, Sabor del Valle will take place on Friday, July 22, 2016 at the beautiful grounds of the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose California where the Bay Area’s prominent and upcoming philanthropists will be pouring freely the beautiful bottles that Serna has created for this year’s event of the year.  Links:

Photos provided by Arturo Vera



VISIÓN | education

Charter Schools


Out of the Box Solutions I was in the office at Luis Valdez Leadership Academy

charter schools and their impact on Latino students and

(LVLA) waiting to meet Founding Director Jeff Camarillo. As

neighborhoods. Charters are publicly-funded schools that

I sat down, a student walked out of Mr. Camarillo’s office

operate without being handcuffed by the constraints of

and his assistant poked her head into the door carrying

traditional public school rules. This offers advantages to be sure.

several messages for him. Before she walked out of his office, he was on the phone taking a call.

Then there are the cookie-cutter charter schools, derisively called “McCharters” by opponents. Supporters and

I could hear Mr. Camarillo energetically brainstorming

administrators have been criticized for questionable

solutions with a colleague. He hung up, and before I could

recruiting and retention tactics. Their source of financial

even see him, I heard him enthusiastically welcome me to

support also raises eyebrows. High-tech contributors stand

the academy. Walking out of his office he greeted me with

to profit from chain charter reliance on computer-based

a big smile and hug, Latino style. It was about 2:30 in the

“blended learning,” essentially counting on students to be

afternoon, right around the time that most people start

consumers of their products.

feeling the after-lunch blahs. Not Mr. Camarillo, he was a bundle of energy.

THFE charter system is different. It’s an innovative concept that doesn’t manage chain charter schools. Institutions like

LVLA is a charter school located in east San Jose. It’s

THFE are seeking out-of-the-box solutions at their schools

one of three high schools operated by The Foundation for

– Latino College Preparatory Academy (LCPA), LVLA,

Hispanic Education (TFHE). As the education community

and Roberto Cruz Academy (RCLA). This kind of thinking

grapples with the Latino academic achievement gap and

benefits underserved Latino students.

debates over the most effective way to close it, education leaders in California who are serious about closing the Latino academic achievement and college attainment gaps should pay attention to the formula developed at THFE.

Let’s start with leadership. Edward Alvarez is the foundation’s board chairman. He’s a distinguished retired attorney who grew up in east San Jose. Alvarez understands where his students come from and he

Charter schools are proliferating in Latino communities

assembled a team of talented leaders to meet student

throughout California. For the past three years, I’ve studied

needs. In addition to Camarillo, the leadership team



includes executive director Bettina Lopez, and LCPA and

culture isn’t just a feel-good tactic, it represents the core of

RCLA directors Raul Lomeli and Jesus Rios.

daily academics.

In his insightful book, Courageous Conversations About

Rather than focusing on computer-based learning,

Race, Dr. Glenn E. Singleton uses meticulous research

TFHE schools implement the tried and true strategy

to demonstrate that society, school systems, education

of individualized teaching and guidance. Teachers are

leaders, and classroom teachers more times than not

committed to getting to know each student and students

prejudge students based on race, cultural background,

will have an advisor that follows them through the four

and socio-economic status. This results in practices that

years they prepare for college.

marginalize students of color and sets them on a course that discourages a future college education.

Each school has its own personality that develops a well-rounded student. LCPA has a visual performing arts

Based on Dr. Singelton’s research, former California State

component (students can be seen on campus collaborating

Superintendent of Schools Jack O’Connell recognized this

through music and art). LVLA provides a theater arts

problem and recommended culturally relevant professional

program designed by the famed El Teatro Campesino and

development as a solution. Unfortunately, few school

RCLA focuses on developing future teachers. All three

districts have attempted to develop a comprehensive and

schools include an innovative leadership program.

systematic approach to implement this recommendation. THFE schools have built-in culturally relevant professionals.

Perhaps the most unique feature of this charter school system is the absolute absence of pre-judgment about

THFE leaders value the importance of identifying with

students’ backgrounds. The teachers treat each student as

their students and the socio-economic challenges they

an individual with dignity and understanding. One student

bring to school. Executive Director Lopez is a veteran east

told me that it feels good to know that the adults don’t

side administrator who provides steady leadership for the

automatically think that Latino kids can’t do well in school.

organization. She has vast experience managing state-of-

“They believe in us,” she said.

the-art student equity curriculums and culturally relevant professional development programs.

During my 20-minute interview with Director Camarillo, I could hear the passion in his voice and see the

Lomeli and Rios have the same background as 90% of

determination in his eyes as he described his vision for the

their students. Both men are children of hard-working

future. As we were talking, from the corner of his eye he

immigrant parents who found academic success. They

caught a mom and her son looking for the campus office.

now fulfill their passion for educating kids like themselves.

He jumped out of his chair, opened the window, and guided

Like Camarillo, Lomeli and Rios have an unlimited reservoir

them to the office in Spanish. The mom smiled warmly

of energy that creates a “can do” attitude with teachers

knowing that her son was in the right place.

and students.

The vision, staff commitment, academic rigor, cultural

These school leaders recruit and retain a team of teachers

acceptance, and extracurricular enrichment are all in place

with similar backgrounds. Many are the first in their families

to make LCPA, LVLA, and RCLA great schools. Now Ms.

to go to college, so they have an intimate and culturally

Lopez and her team of talented directors have to execute.

conscious understanding of their students’ experiences.

After spending time with the students in leadership classes

The savvy staff has created an environment of a college-

and watching the people who are charged with leading the

going culture that relates to the students and their families.

effort, there is no doubt in my mind that they’ll succeed. Each

The curriculum is the “A-G Checklist” that’s required to

day I walk onto one of the campuses, I grow more confident

gain acceptance into the University of California and

that something special is happening for Latino students.

California State University system. So the college-going

State education leaders should take notice. 



VISIÓN | father’s day






so he could have a good job. Gilbert Sr. made sure that

life changes forever. From that day forward, they will forever

he passed on that lesson to his own kids. Gilbert Sr.

hold that title; and the enormous responsibility that goes

remembers his dad always being there for him when he

with it. It’s now their job to mold and gently guide this new

needed him. One summer they both worked together as

being into the world, and show them how to navigate the

tractor drivers. Gilbert Sr.’s father worked the tractor from

waters of life.

6am to 6pm then Gilbert Sr. would take over the same tractor and work from 6pm to 6am. Although Gilbert Sr.

Gilbert Somera Sr. attributes his parenting skills to HIS

was exhausted at the end of his shift, his father never

father, Primitivo Somera. A father who he described as

showed his exhaustion. Gilbert Sr. remembers his father

firm, gentle, hard working and strong in faith. Gilbert Sr.’s

always reminding him to never give up, to keep going

relationship with his father started early on. Although his

and always finish the task at hand, lessons he would later

father worked long hours as a farm laborer Gilbert Sr.

deliver to his own son.

would never have known if his father was tired or stressed. His father provided for his family without complaint. He

Growing up in a large family has its shares of ups and

remembers his father always telling him to get his education

downs; knowing how to get along with one another is

“I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well.” – Alexander the Great



crucial in a large household. Contrasting personalities, characteristics and overall mannerisms are dynamics you have to “roll with” and as the third oldest in a family of ten, Gilbert Sr. did not have it easy. He fondly remembers his father teaching him to share with his brothers and sisters

“The older I get, the smarter my father seems to get.” - Tim Russert

and to always be of help to them, no matter what their differences were. Clearly this kind of bond between father and son does not happen over night. Gilbert Sr.’s learnings from his father stayed with him and helped to shape the individual he became. He then pulled from the lessons his father taught him as he became a father himself. The most important lessons that stayed close to his heart were to “never let your children be idle, they must work for rewards but still love them unconditionally.” Gilbert Sr.’s son, Gil, remembers his father was always involved in his sporting event – going to his football and baseball games and cheering him on. His father ALWAYS made sure he set aside time for them to be together. To this day, that is still the case. Gil recalls

many trips with his father throughout Mexico, the east coast, Florida, Cosa Rica, Columbia, the Caribbean Islands and Panama to name a few. Most recently, they enjoyed a wonderful day together playing golf in Mayakoba, Mexico. Although traveling is an enjoyable activity for both of them, it’s the special connection between father and son that really cement the experience for both of them. Mainly though, it was the simple dinners and going to church together that they both hold dear to their hearts. The presence of each other in their lives, whether it be watching a game on T.V, traveling the world, or just talking about life is something that they will cherish forever.



else will fall into place. When asked what advise he would

“The quality of a father can be seen in the goals, dreams and aspirations he sets not only for himself,

give to other fathers trying to balance work and family, Gil said “The best advice I can give to other fathers is to give your children genuine love. Your children will remember the way you made them feel. Give your children the gift of quality time,” That is a true indication of the kind of presence his own father has had in his life.

but for his family.”

As mentioned before, being a father is no easy task. It’s

- Reed Markham, American Educator

“perks” and benefits. Both Gilbert Sr. and Gil have learned

a 24 hour job! ( can’t call in sick either!) But it has many from each other and continue to grow their relationship.

Both Gilbert Sr., and Gil believe that their own fathers have shaped and directed the way they parent their own children. Both believe in loving their children unconditionally and being firm. Both men feel that their fathers imbedded in them to go to church, and to be thoughtful when giving advice. Gil says his dad always wanted him to think about

Gil’s advise to his own younger self is to appreciate the blessings you have along your journey. Be patient and trust your inner spirit” as a father himself to two sons, he has many lessons to pull from, and a wise advisor to go to. One of the blessings that is evident in both of them is that they both know to put God at the center of their lives.

how his actions would affect others. After all, this would

The best way to describe the exceptional relationship shared

build his character. In retrospect, Gil has learned so much

by this father and son pair is with this quote: “I believe that

from his father and believes his father’s firm and gentle

what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at

guidance has shaped the kind of father and husband he

odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are

has become. He knows that by putting god first, everything

formed by little scraps of wisdom.” – Unberto Eco 


For more information on locations please email us at 32




VISIÓN | legal insight

Teach Kindness prevent bullying, and protect our youth BY JANELL FREEMAN SOMERA

Youth today are no

from one person to thousands overnight. It is imperative

strangers to the

that we understand the seriousness of bullying so we

term “bullying.” In

can better protect our youth.

fact, one out of every four students

The terms “bully” and “bullying” are often overused.

reports being bullied

Although being unkind should never be ignored, the

during the school

line between plain mean behavior and bullying is often

year. Astonishing

blurred, so it is important to differentiate between

statistics show that

the two. While excluding or not liking someone

approximately 282,000

can be upsetting, these acts alone usually do not

students are physically

constitute actions that would be regarded as bullying.

attacked in schools

Furthermore, physical abuse, humiliation, slanderous

each month, 1/3 of students have heard another

comments, and destructive rumors are examples

student threaten to kill someone, 43% of students

of bullying. According to California Education Code

fear harassment in the bathroom at school and admit

§48900, bullying in California is defined as “any physical

to having been bullied online. A school’s ability to

or verbal conduct, including written communications,

properly educate students is largely dependent on the

that may cause fear, mental distress, or interference

school providing a safe environment. It is impossible

with the victim’s studies.”


for students to reach their full potential if they fear for their safety.

“Seth’s Law” is a new law designed to protect all California public school students from bullying. Seth’s

Some people believe that bullying is a natural part of

Law is named after a 13-year-old California student who

growing up, but the long-term effects of bullying and

committed suicide after enduring years of bullying that

hate-motivated behavior can have a terrible impact on

his school failed to address. Seth’s law requires schools

a student. With social media on the rise, an issue that

to implement a specific process for managing bullying.

once would have involved only one bully can go viral.

This law requires California schools to publicize their

In light of this, the number of bullies can grow instantly

anti-bullying procedure and complaint process, and

1. Stomp Out Bullying Organization


post their policies on bullying in all schools and offices.


California schools must also post materials to support

Instead, document detailed information about what

victims of bullying on their district website. Seth’s Law

the bully is doing. Research the school’s anti-bullying

specifically contains the requirement that “If school

policy and analyze the facts to determine whether

personnel witness an act of discrimination, harassment,

the bully has violated the school’s policy. Make an

intimidation, or bullying, he or she shall take immediate

appointment with the principal and summarize the

steps to intervene when safe to do so.” (Education

details of the bullying in a calm, non-emotional manner.

Code Section 234.1(b)(1)).

Write down everything the principal agrees to do so he or she can be held accountable. If you have taken

California Education Codes §§ 234, 234.1, 234.2, 234.3,

these steps and the bullying continues, you may need

234.5, 32261, 32265, 32270, 32282, 32283, 48900,

to contact the superintendent of schools, board of

and California’s “Safe Place to Learn Act”, as well as

education, or an attorney.

other statutes establish several rights for students, including the “inalienable right to attend classes on

Families have different legal remedies when dealing

school campuses that are safe, secure, and peaceful.”

with bullying. Often times, the threat of legal action is the quickest way to stop the bullying from occurring.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human

It is absolutely appropriate to hire an attorney to help

Services, signs a child is being bullied include; a sudden

discourage and punish the bully for their wrongful

decrease in school attendance or skipping certain

conduct. Out-of-pocket fees are not always required

classes, a decline in quality of academic performance,

to protect your legal rights. In some instances, a

difficulty concentrating in class and being easily

civil lawyer will handle a case on a contingency fee

distracted, wanting to take a different route or mode

basis, meaning the attorney will receive payment for

of transportation to school, a sudden lack of interest

their services out of a settlement or verdict. In other

in school-sponsored activities, suddenly prefers the

situations, an attorney might agree to get involved and

company of adults, and showing cautious, clingy,

help the victim based upon an hourly fee agreement.

nervous, anxious, worried, fearful, and insecure behavior.

Every case is different; thus, it is best to discuss any viable options with your attorney to determine what

Due to the widespread amount of bullying it is vitally

works best for you.

important for parents and teachers to check in with children about bullying. It is equally important that

The best way to stop bullying from getting worse is to

parents check their children’s phones. Parents must

prevent the bully from targeting more victims. We must

teach their children empathy, kindness, and respect and

aggressively work together to teach kindness, prevent

schools must do the same.

bullying, and protect our youth. 

If you believe your child is being bullied, determine whether your child has been threatened and, if so,


contact law enforcement immediately. Never approach

Janell Freeman Somera practices Immigration and Business law with the Somera Law Group in Stockton, California. Janell is a member of the State Bar of California and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She is fluent in Spanish and has traveled extensively throughout Mexico, India, Europe, and the Middle East. Janell sits on several boards, volunteers with multiple organizations, and is very active in her community.

the bully’s parents directly. Parents often get offended when they hear negative information about their children. Moreover, going to someone’s home could be considered trespassing and you could be arrested.



VISIÓN | health

Greater Options for Facial Rejuvenation and Giving Back BY KIMBERLY COCKERHAM, MD, FACS Photo by Briggs Photography

In the pursuit of looking as good as you feel at any age, the field of cosmetic treatment options has widened. The array of rejuvenation services today include a number of new and effective options for those who are looking to enhance their looks and reduce the signs of aging without the expense and downtime of surgery.

eyes, cheeks, nose and chin. The most popular fillers are hyaluronic acid gel that comes in different-sized molecules. You will immediately see the difference with dermal fillers. This procedure is associated with some discomfort (especially lip injections), therefore numbing cream and/or ice should be applied beforehand.

Muscle Relaxants and Fillers for Facial Enhancement Botox® is the most popular cosmetic procedure performed in the world. Millions of women and men have benefited from injections. Now two competing products work in an identical way with equivalent outcomes: Xeomin® and Dysport.®

Both Botox and filler injections should be performed by a trained medical doctor in a medical setting. You can expect to spend $250–500 depending on the extent of your wrinkles that need relaxing or up to $600–$2,000 depending on the depth of your facial lines.

Botulinum A, a purified protein that causes temporary relaxation of muscles, was first used for strokes that caused double vision and facial spasms. It is now also FDA approved to eliminate migraines, help with vocal cord and bladder dysfunction and for treatment of some types of scars.

BEWARE! There are people claiming to be healthcare professionals who are acting illegally with the lure of deep discounts for these injections. If the price sounds too good to be true—especially if the “office” is a hotel room—steer clear. You could be permanently injured by the product or injection technique. Blindness, facial deformity and nerve injury have been reported.

The injection is less painful than the flu shot and usually results in a small pinprick without bruising. It’s best to avoid aspirin, Alleve® and other pain medications (other than Tylenol®) for two weeks prior to injection to minimize bruising. Other supplements like fish oil, flaxseeds, Vitamin C and Vitamin E should also be stopped for two weeks to optimize your postprocedure appearance. Topical and/or oral Arnica can be taken a couple days beforehand if you are prone to bruising. Botox and the other botulinum A products take at least 72 hours to visibly relax your muscles, with full effect noticeable in 7–14 days. The goal is to soften lines of expression formed by muscle involvement. For example, when you make a mad face the vertical lines between your eyebrows will be softened and when you have a neutral expression they will be eliminated. In contrast to muscle relaxants, dermal fillers are used to fill facial lines and to enhance the appearance of your 36

PRP A new advanced procedure called PRP (platelet-rich plasma) uses your own blood-derived growth factors to enhance your facial appearance by improving tone and texture with new collagen formation. This procedure is often used to complement the classic use of Botox®, fillers, lasers and/or surgery for a rejuvenated look. After drawing your blood, a centrifuge isolates your platelets to derive PRP. The activated platelets are then injected into your face to release growth factors that enhance collagen formation, tone and texture. Your activated growth factors can be applied topically if laser and/or Collagen Induction has been performed. The downtime is usually minimal with minor swelling and bruising.


Collagen Induction Pen Collagen induction, or micro-needling, is one of the most effective ways to treat fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin texture, acne scars, and enhance the overall appearance of the skin. The Collagen Induction Pen is a state-of-theart precision tool designed to stimulate your skin’s natural ability to produce new collagen. After applying a topical numbing cream, the Collagen Induction Pen is slowly rolled over the skin, penetrating the areas where scars, wrinkles and elasticity problems exist. The micro penetrations cause the skin to naturally recover and rejuvenate by triggering collagen production. The skin’s inflammatory reaction with micro-needling fades significantly within hours from redness to a pinkish hue that may last for 12 to 24 hours on average. Monthly treatments are recommended for full benefit for about six months. Consult a Doctor with Rejuvenation Choices With the array of rejuvenation treatments available today, it is important to consult with a trusted, experienced doctor to discuss which options are best to reach your goals. Looking Good and Giving Back When considering facial rejuvenation treatment options,

one choice is to actually do good while looking good. Dr. Kimberly Cockerham, a highly experienced and recognized medical professional with refined aesthetic finesse, donates proceeds from every cosmetic procedure she performs to a non-profit organization she founded that directly benefits our community. The Let’s Face it Together foundation helps treat the scarred faces of those who are under-insured with surgical procedures and some of the muscle relaxants, dermal fillers and collagen enhancers discussed here. Burns, motor-vehicle accidents, cancer and even auto-immune diseases can result in facial dysfunction and deformity that can make maintaining employment impossible. Let’s Face it Together raises money to provide medicines, medical injectables, surgical supplies and prosthetics to help our neighbors in need. All medical professionals donate their time and expertise, and portions of all of Dr. Kimberly Cockerham’s cosmetic procedures help fund this important life-changing cause. Please consider donating your money, time, and/or attending their upcoming fundraiser, Casino Live! at Brookside Country Club, where you’ll enjoy wine and spirits, gaming and a delicious meal—letting the good times roll while contributing to a fantastic cause. Learn more at 

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VISIĂ“N | overcoming obstacles

Proud Graduate despite the hurdles


the homicide capital of the United States. I was often awakened by cars doing donuts on our corner, or police


sirens, or the unmistakable sound of gunfire at night.

University. As a matter of fact, it is one of my greatest

Sometimes, when this happened I would stare at two bullet

achievements in life, but not because of the brand or

holes in my room that my father had patched up and worry

reputation, but rather because I managed to do so despite

if the next time one might hit my little brother or me. Other

tremendous challenges that repeatedly pushed me to

nights, I would sit in the corner of my room and peek out

the brink of dropping out and living in a constant state of

the blinds at the drug deals taking place less than twenty

self-doubt. For a very long time I bought into the notion

feet from where I was and wonder if that would be my

that I was exceptionally lucky to have been admitted

future. Ironically, this small city was located less than five

to Stanford and carried with me a sense of guilt that weighed me down and almost drowned me.

miles from Stanford University and my experience growing up here helped shape me in profound ways that opened my eyes to a stark reality - one that contrasted dramatically with my experience

You see, I was not your typical

at Stanford.

Stanford student. I did not grow up going to the best schools

At the time that I applied to this institution

or receiving constant academic

my father was a janitor and my mother

support. I did not live in a suburban

was a housekeeper. Neither of them spoke

neighborhood with enrichment

fluent English or had higher than a

opportunities on every corner.

middle school education, yet they

I did not have parents

consistently pushed me to excel

that attended college.

at school. Not because they

Actually, I grew up in a

wanted me to go off

world that was almost

and have some

the complete opposite


of this.

version of the college

I was raised in

experience but

East Palo Alto

rather to avoid

at a time when

having to make

it was dubbed

the same sacrifices



Photo by Gustavo Perez

that they had to on our behalf. I remember them often

my parents and learned that two cars full of masked

telling me that they literally cleaned shit so that I would

gunmen had arrived at our home and called out one of

never have to.

my younger siblings. My father was at work when this happened and my mother could not stop my sibling from

As a Stanford student I struggled to find a sense of

going outside. Thankfully, despite a vicious beating the

belonging. I felt isolated and still somehow hesitated to

guns were not used. As the eldest in my family, I felt that

reach out to anyone for help when I needed it. I didn’t

it was my obligation to protect my younger siblings and

think that anyone could relate to my struggles and part of

when I heard\ this news I was consumed with rage and

me didn’t want anyone to know what I was going through

bent on revenge. Fortunately, I couldn’t afford to change

even at my darkest points. When you grow up in my kind

my flight so I had no choice but to wait six more weeks to

of neighborhood you learn that it is a sign of weakness to

fly home. That time allowed me to calm down and think

admit that you need help or to talk about feelings.

about next steps which were to graduate and help get my family out of our neighborhood.

Freshman year, I struggled with all of my courses but especially Economics. The weeks went by and I could feel

For a very long time I hesitated to talk about the

my grasp on the content rapidly slipping from my hands

struggles that I faced in school for a variety of reasons.

yet I felt like if I attended office hours I would somehow risk

However, I now realize that my perception of my story,

my professor discovering that I was not smart enough. I

and willingness to open up about it, were wrong. I have

continued through the motions but had very much checked

come to realize that I want to share my story because I

out half-way into the quarter. When I finally sat for the final,

am certain that it is a very common one. My story can

I realized twenty minutes in to it that I was going to fail and

help other students from similar backgrounds realize that

walked out without getting past page one. After seeing that

they are not alone and more importantly that they can

“F” on my transcript I spent the entire break trying to decide

do something about their situation. Don’t ever think

whether to enroll in Spring classes which I thankfully did.

that you are alone in your struggles. The person sitting right next to you might be facing a similar struggle and be

Sophomore year, my father lost his second job and I knew

trying to hide it as well.

that my parents were struggling financially. I worked 40 hours a week on campus and ran my own landscaping

Don’t be afraid to admit that you need help and to actively

company on the weekend, but still relied on help from

seek it. Most importantly, do not give up on yourself - you

my parents to help pay for school expenses such as

and those supporting you have worked too hard to give

supplies. As the new quarter rolled around I could not

up on your education. Believe me; nothing in this entire

afford my textbooks and was resorting to borrowing them

world will give you more power over your future than an

from classmates to make copies. My father saw what I

education so fight for it with all of your courage because

was doing and pawned his tools, the very tools he used

the reward will be worth your struggle. This century will

every day for his job, in order to pay for my textbooks. He

be shaped by Latina/os in profound ways and I have

reiterated how important it was for me to focus on school

dedicated myself to being part of this change through

but it still killed me to see him having to borrow things like

my work. As a Senior Education Research Leader at

a power-drill to do his job. I would sit in class and listen

BrightBytes, it is my job to help educational leaders make

to my peers discuss things like Spring Break plans and

better decisions and to improve the way their students

wonder if they could even fathom a reality where they were

learn. I am passionate about our mission of improving

their parents had to decide between the rent or groceries.

the educational system to better serve all students and I know that my work is making a difference. It is my most

Senior year, I spent a quarter in Chile as a requirement

sincere wish that our paths will cross someday as you

of my International Relations major. One Sunday, I called

find your passion and until then — Adelante! 



VISIÓN | community

Annual Sikh American Awareness Event BY VIRGINIA MADUENO

Unfortunately it is not a rare occurrence to find news

the teachings of Guru Nanak and his successors. The Sikh

coverage which often highlight the unimaginable and

philosophy focuses on the equality of all people and is said

unthinkable acts of hate crime that happen locally, regionally,

to be summed up by Guru Nanak as “Realization of Truth is

nationally and internationally. These hate crimes are often

higher than all else. Higher still is truthful living.”

associated with ignorance, fear of the unknown, lack of cultural understanding and sometimes just plain bigotry.

According to the Foundation, the Sikh American Awareness Event is important to spread knowledge about the Sikh

The Western Singh Foundation organized the 4th

history, culture, and values of the community so that

Annual Sikh American Awareness Event at the Ceres

Americans can make better judgments when making

Community Center on February

decisions, which can affect the

8 with support from the Indian

Sikh community.

community throughout the

“These kinds of interactions have

San Joaquin Valley. This event

become important in a political

helped to inform and educate the

environment of hate after the

attendees of which included local

Paris and San Bernadino terrorist

elected officials, law enforcement

attacks. It’s unfortunate to see

and many community leaders

that Sikh community has to face

about the Sikh community, its

hate crimes and discrimination

origins and its’ people. Sikhism

behavior after every terrorist

is a religion founded in India’s

attack. It is also disappointing to

Punjab region and is based on Photo by Harpreet Singh


Photo by Jennifer Hidalgo

know that the majority of the American community still are

guideline for everyone entering the temple is that everyone

not aware of Sikh community as per recently reported by

must cover their head before entering the gurdwara,

National Sikh Campaign,� stated Harpreet Singh, organizer

which is the place of worship inside the temple. Sikh men

for the event.

customarily wear turbans and Sikh women typically wear head scarves as part of their traditional dress. The Sikh’s

The 4th Annual Sikh American Awareness event featured a

are a very peaceful and united community and share

20 minute educational video along with several speakers to

characteristics similar to the Latino community, both are

highlight more about the Sikh community.

united by their faith, family, friends and their traditional food.

Recently I was invited to address the Sikh Community at

The most important lesson to be conveyed is that we

the Turlock Temple. The Sikhs are extremely gracious in

are all uniquely different and we should all work together to

welcoming visitors and helping them to understand the

better understand ourselves, celebrate our diversity

Sikh religion and customs and they welcome everyone

and stand united against racism, bigotry and intolerance

regardless of their belief or background. One very important

in our society. ď Ž Photo by Harpreet Singh


VISIĂ“N | people and events

JANUARY 8, 2016

The Central Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce held their Installation and Awards Dinner at Famiglias Bistro in Modesto

Photos by Tim Maya Photo Studio

See more photos from this and other events on our fan page at 42


JANUARY 20, 2016

The Latino Journal held their 17th Annual Latino Leaders Reception in Sacramento Recognizing Latino Business Leaders, and appointees.

Photos by Tia Gemmell



VISIÓN | people and events

MARCH 3, 2016

Roosevelt’s Fashion Design Program held an opening reception at Fresno City Hall for the Roosevella Art Exhibition. The reception consisted of a fashion show that showcased student designs and live music by the Roosevelt School of the Arts Orchestra. The Fresno Arts Council selected the program to exhibit work in different art mediums and student portraits as part of Youth Art Month.

Photos by Anthony Bernard



MARCH 16, 2016

The San Joaquin Hispanic Chamber held their 15th Annual Latina Business Conference, keynote speaker Margarita Thompson at the Hilton Stockton

Photos by Monica Andeola



VISIÓN | meet our writers

Arlene Galindo, mother of three, is an arts and cultural advocate from the San Joaquin Valley. A former Smithsonian Latino Center fellow and Museum Studies graduate from JFK University, Arlene’s interests lie in developing Latino audiences and inclusion for San Joaquin Valley Arts & Cultural institutions. She is the founder of Amigos for the Artes- Stockton Symphony, the third oldest symphony in California and is a founding Board member of the San Joaquin International Film Festival. In addition to her extensive community work she is also a published poet and excellent cook. David Fauria was raised in Oakdale, California and attended Oakdale High. David attended the University of San Francisco, majoring in history. After receiving his teaching credential, David returned to Oakdale where he served as a classroom teacher, coach and adviser to the Hispanic Youth Leadership Club. Over the last several years he has served on the Board of the American GI Forum using his position to advocate for greater access to education and various other Latino issues. David is currently attending Lewis and Clark College of Law in Portland, Oregon, pursuing a Juris Doctor. Matthew Harrington grew up in Modesto, California and has lived here his whole life. Matthew graduated from CSU Sacramento, with a degree in liberal studies and a concentration in social science. After graduating, he entered and successfully finished the teacher preparation program at CSU Sacramento. Matthew has an extensive background in multi-media, having five and a half years as a college radio DJ at KSSU1580/KSSU. com and one and a half as a staff writer for the Sacramento State Hornet newspaper, writing over 150 articles, including videos and 46

podcasts. Matthew is an avid sports fan, enjoys most styles of music and enjoys spending time with his family. He is proud of his mixed heritage being Mexican-American, with Dutch, Austrian and Canadian ancestry. Rodney Cordova is a native of the Bay Area but has lived in the Central Valley for the last 20 years. He is an entrepreneur on sabbatical and is known as the first Hispanic CEO in High Tech. He is known for his roots not only in the Apple world but also as a public speaker, Motivational Speaker and Life Coach. He is a graduate of Bethany University and is a member of Who’s Who among American High Schools, Colleges and Universities. Vanessa Parra is originally from Visalia, California. This charming, out-going young lady works out of her home office in Monterey, California. But is often at the main King City facility and travels often to the Central Valley to meet with Clients. She comes to the team armed with a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Communications, with a concentration in Print Management, from prestigious Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She has much experience in management and marketing, having previously worked for two other firms in that capacity. She is fluent in English and Spanish and is in the process of pursuing her MBA. Rochelle Marapao Kuikahi has made a career out of building tech startup companies in the Silicon Valley from the ground up and is currently an Engineering Program Manager for a technology company in Santa Clara. Born and mostly raised in California, her father was a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy which afforded her family the opportunity to travel and see the world. Rochelle is active in the community and involved with


the Modesto Gospel Mission and holds positions on the boards of: Fitness Without Borders, the Mata’irea Polynesian Culture Preservation, and the Hilton Santa Clara. She enjoys writing and is a freelance writer for a number of mainstream health, fitness, and lifestyle magazines. Rochelle is a graduate of San Francisco State University and Stanford University and enjoys travel, music, wine, community events, and meeting new people. She resides in Modesto with her husband Myles and daughter Selena. Esmeralda Gomez-Cruz was born and raised in Lodi, California. After high school, she moved on to San Joaquin Delta College. Then she applied to University of the Pacific and to her surprise she was awarded a full paid scholarship where she earned a B.A. Degree in sociology and a minor in Spanish. Esmeralda returned back to school. This time, married, working full time and as a new mommy to a beautiful baby girl. With the support of her husband and family she graduated from the University of LaVern with a M.S. degree in counseling education. Jose Posadas was raised in the Santa Clara Valley but was born in Mexico City. He is a graduate of San Jose State University with a background in public policy, journalism and marketing. He has co-founded two publications, Silicon Valley Latino and Downtown Magazine. A creative person at heart he enjoys the outdoors and travels annually to his home in Mexico to write and explore. In San Jose he is the president of two nonprofit organizations, a community activist and has worked in local politics and nonprofits. He believes that service to others, lifting the dreams of a people and fighting a just cause are the hallmark of a life well lived.

Xavier Huerta graduated with a degree in English from CSU Stanislaus and is currently an elementary school teacher. A lover of arts and literature, Xavier is an avid reader, writer and dancer. Xavier dances Salsa on a weekly basis and is an occasional performer at dance showcases in the Valley and in the Bay Area. In his spare time, Xavier likes to film and edit video for various projects including: book trailers, music videos and church outreach programs. Xavier is proud of his Puerto Rican/Mexican heritage and encourages everyone to embrace the culture that is uniquely their own. Venus Esparza-Zavala Is a graduate of San Jose State University and holds an MSW and an MA in Mexican American studies. She has two sons and lives in Stockton. Her passions include reading, writing, salsa dancing, travel, good conversation and wine! Venus also serves on Visión Magazine Advisory Board. Jennifer Rangel was born and raised in San Pablo, CA. She graduated with a BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley in 2001. She moved to the Central Valley in 2004 and graduated with a MA in Criminal Justice from Stanislaus State in 2006. She currently is a Program Coordinator for Center for Humans Services. She manages the Family Resource Center, Ceres Partnership for Healthy Children, in Ceres, California. Since graduating from Berkeley her focus has been on working with families and or individuals strengths and helping them discover how they can be a positive impact. She has always tried to lead by example. She came from a single parent household and grew up in a poor area but her Father’s strong work ethic and her grandmother’s determination lead her to the path of education and social services.



Arlene Galindo

Integrated Marketing Solutions Consultant Office: 209.475.5148 Cell: 209.451.6353

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