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Celebrating Success

Politics & Religion A Lost Conversation




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VISIÓN | contents 


Celebrating Success 12 contents M








DEPARTMENTS From the Publishers...........................9 Graduates.......................................10 Medical............................................24 Legal Insights..................................34 Education........................................36 Family Matters.................................38 People and Events...........................42 Meet Our Writers.............................46

FEATURE STORY Character, Communication and Respect: Words to live by in a society that argues about Religion and Politics.........................12 CULTURAL Cambodian Buddhist Society: A community re-imagining preservation and cultural strength....18

18 Photo by Miguel Buenrostro



contents | VISIÓN

SORROW Death: Are we really prepared?...................22 WELCOME Meet LCR's New President..............26 ARTS A Gift from the Heart: Richard Soto & the Chicano Research Center..............................28 PHILANTHROPY Focus on diversity and inclusion...................................32

28 Photo by Miguel Buenrostro


26 Photo by Miguel Buenrostro


Photo by Miguel Buenrostro










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from the publishers | VISIÓN

Respect, democracy and maturity As we move into the summer of 2016 we are grateful to learn that Visión magazine is gaining in readership and respect. Our goal has always been to inspire and inform of the greater possibility of a life of meaning and respect. Informing others of the lives of those who are making significant contributions to society and overcoming obstacles has been the center piece of our publication. Visión magazine is proud of our growing media partnership with important community events. On May 6th, we were a media partner for the Go Red event in Modesto, and on May 9th we were privileged to be a media partner for the Valley Business Forum, whose theme was “Our World is Changing.” On May 13th we partnered with the San Joaquin Delta College for their “A Story of Fashion” event, and on May 14th, we were a media partner of the Silicon Valley Latino Leadership Summit at Standford University. Our goal is to continue to make Visión magazine meaningful in the eyes of the community. As we look into the summer of 2016, we can feel the summer weather heating up and also the political climate looking to the November election. The deep political divides of the November election are forcing us to look at the culture that we Americans are responsible for. Multiculturalism has been the “in” word to describe a positive about our American way. The “talking heads” of the media have emphasized that our diversity and the political ideals we hold are the hallmark of our social maturity. In the past we have not allowed our differences to get in the way of our strengths, but have forged a unified wholeness. I fear that if we loose this important quality we are in danger of bringing about the demise of our way of life. I believe it is time to embrace the “Respect Pledge: I pledge to respect myself, to respect others, and to respect authority.” Respect does not mean that we agree, but it does mean that we act in an agreeable manner and grant to others the same right of individual thinking that we want to reserve for ourselves.

Sometimes in the heat of important moments of political debate we can forget our American way, our constitution, our respect of human dignity, and this to our own demise. We must be strong and resist any personal or political forces that seek to divide us; “Out of many one” is truer and more needed today than ever before. As we move closer to this year’s political election, it is more important than ever to make a commitment to the respect pledge. If we can keep our cool, we can make the coming election an example of true democracy and maturity, instead of a potentially ugly political event. As always we wish to express appreciation for all the hard work our writers and the gracious support of our advertisers. Their efforts and support make Visión magazine worthy of the community acclaim that we enjoy. Sincerely,




Publication Director/CEO



VISIÓN | graduates

congratulations graduates RICARDO CORTEZ


Masters degree in Digital

University of Southern

Art Media. Ricardo, Since

California – USC Price

the day you were born, you

School of Public Policy

have given us much joy

Master of Publication

and excitement, and we are

Administration (MPA)

pleased that you have grown

degree. Within weeks

into a nice, well educated,

of graduating with his

young Latino man. Your creativity and artistic talents

Master’s degree, he moved to San Francisco to

astound us. We have coached and taught you, invested

manage a summer–long leadership program for high

time in you, and we hope you have what you need to

school students. He will be securing internships for the

go out into this world to make your own future, and now

students, while also facilitating lesson in community

follow your own dreams. You will always have our love and

advocacy, adaptive leadership, and consensus-building.

support. Congratulations on your graduation and a bright

He’s also in the process of pursuing possible fellowships

future as you pursue your career. Love you to the moon and

in Washington, DC at the end of the summer.

back, Mom and Dad and your siblings. It is a very proud

Mario said, “I would love to thank my amazing mother,

day in the Cortez Household, "Si Se Puede.” “Education is

Socorro, for her unconditional love and support. Thanks

the most powerful weapon which you can use to change

to her many sacrifices, I was given the opportunity to

the world.” - Nelson Mandela

obtain a Master’s degree and pursue a career in public service. This degree belongs to her more than it does me and I couldn’t be more thankful and honored to be your son. Thank you, Ma! Adelante!”

GUSTAVO HERNANDEZ Gustavo has been a great role model and good motivated to be a life-long


learner, but has taken a deep

Enochs High School Class

interest in the sciences. He

of 2016! Congratulations to

attended St. Mary’s High

our beautiful, sweet and kind

School in Stockton and will be graduating this year with

daughter! We are so proud

a 4.3 GPA. He has excelled in the sciences and has

of all you have accomplished

received honors in calculus, biology, Chemistry and

during your high school

physics. He will be attending Creighton University this

years. God bless you and

coming fall where he plans to major in physics. He then

may He lead you through your future. San Diego State

aspires to continue his education towards a combined

has no idea how lucky they will be when you make your

MD-PhD program and to become a neurosurgeon.

presence in the fall!! We love you so much!

student. He has always been



congratulations graduates DAVID A. FAURIA


Lewis & Clark Law School,

We are so proud of

Juris Doctor Degree

Alex Gonzalez age 18

Congratulations on your

is a lifelong resident of

outstanding achievement!

Stockton. He graduated

We are so proud of

from Weston Ranch High

you and it’s been a joy

School in Stockton CA.

watching you grow into

Alex will be graduating at

the young man you have become. There’s no limit to

the top of his class this week after having completed

what you can do if you keep believing in yourself. God

four years of High School including multiple years of

bless and best wishes always, with all our Love!

advanced placement and College Prep classes. Alex plans to attend and play soccer for San Francisco State University. He recently signed on to play for their Men’s Soccer Team while he pursues his studies in Physiology with hopes to move on to Medical School after four years. He is one of the most decorated athletes in his High school’s history.

LESLIE WYATT The Leslie Wyatt launching was a success! BFA from SJSU. Leslie has


become a metropolitan

Congratulations Max Vargas, he has persevered through

artist, living, working and

4 years of law school all while continuing to be a very

going to school in San

active member of the community. While enrolled in the

Jose the last 6 years.

evening law program Max continued working full time,

She has learned a lot in

first as Deputy District Director for Senator Cathleen

this multi faceted cultural

Galgiani and later as the Public Affairs Manager at San

environment, including an appreciation for Korean

Joaquin Regional Transit District. Max graduated from

barbecue. SJSU has a renown animation program.

the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in

Leslie plans to continue her career in the area of art

Sacramento with his Juris Doctorate degree. There, he

management. I’m especially proud of her work ethic

was a member of the Latino Law Student. Lo hermoso

and her ability to express herself, and kind heart. The

nos cuesta la vida. ~ Silvio Rodriguez

best is yet to come!



VISIÓN | feature

Character, Communication and Respect Words to live by in a society that argues about Religion and Politics BY VANESSA PARRA



THE UNITED STATES IS ENVIED BY OTHER countries for many reasons, one of which is the privilege of living in a liberal society. Expressing our individuality and having the ability to speak our minds in any platform without being reprimanded is a luxury not shared by other countries. Yet, with so much freedom there still exists topics that we are unable to communicate about in a civilized manner – Religion and Politics. When it comes to religion and politics it appears that there is no respect for differences of opinions or for the freedom of expression that we are so well known for. We are in constant fear to speak our minds in order to avoid feeling harassed or endangered. How do you have a conversation about religion and politics without being offensive? Furthermore, how do you handle

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

someone who is offensive to you? The sensitivity of the topics of religion and politics is thrust into the spotlight once again with the upcoming presidential election. As I browsed through my social media accounts, mainly Facebook, I took notice of the fighting and name calling among Presidential hopefuls regarding this matter. It was heartbreaking to see so much anger. I thought to myself, “Why can’t religion and politics be discussed (among anyone) without fighting and name calling?” According to the article, “Can Opposite Politics kill a romance” in Today Health Magazine “Politics can highlight fundamental differences or similarities in values and character and how these issues are handled can either make or break a relationship. So, when is the right time to introduce them into your relationship without destroying it? With political stakes and emotions running so high, many couples would rather drop the iron curtain than engage in a potentially nuclear conversation. According to a recent poll conducted by VitalSmarts and the New York Times best-selling authors of Crucial Conversations, “77 percent of people avoid discussing politics, and one in ten say they stay away from political banter at all costs. Nearly half of respondents have had bad experiences when sharing their political views — and rather than risk a verbal battle, they hunker down and shut up.” When individuals come across someone with contrary belief systems, they may feel challenged or even offended. Once offended, they may feel defensive and fighting or name calling ensues due to their values being questioned. 13

VISIÓN | feature Personal opinions on politics and religion are developed

to the article Forbidden Topics at the dinner table on www.

at a young age. However, this may change depending on “The notion that it is impolite to discuss sex,

how open-minded, an individual is. Politics and religion

religion, or politics at a dinner party is generally considered

shape and form the way a person views the world. A

old-fashioned these days. In fact, it’s my observation that

person’s experiences can lead them to conclusions

people talk about nothing else! Sometimes it all depends

setting them on either side of a discussion. Whether those

on what we’re in the mood for. A lively and controversial

experiences are false or true, a paradigm is constructed in

discussion can be a lot of fun and leave everyone energized

our brain which inevitably propels us to personal beliefs.

and with food for thought. And at other times, a quiet,

When it comes to politics and religion, the majority of the

more mellow evening is more appropriate.” No matter

time with a loved one has a strong influence in shaping

how comfortable you may feel in an environment watch

the way you think. This may come in the form of your

your words; there is no need for vulgar language. Instead

mom influencing

ask insightful questions

you to believe in a

to better understand

certain religion, or

opposite views. One

perhaps your father complaining about a presidential party. Others believe the dinner table is the perfect platform to talk about these touchy

I refuse to allow any man-made differences to separate me from any other human beings.” – Maya Angelou

subjects. According


might find common ground to help get your own point across. Pride is known as one of the seven deadly sins. It is deeply planted within the human heart and from it develops a sense of


being “right” no matter

essentials liberty, but in

what the complexity

all things love.”

of the circumstances

All of us desire peace

may be. I believe it is

and security. We

this condition - that of

want to live our lives,

needing to be “right” -

enjoy our families

which prevents us

and hopefully make

from being gracious

a contribution to

and respectful towards

our communities.

others. Our own pride

These desires can

can be the cause

be considered our

of terrible family

“essentials,” especially

arguments, especially between those we claim to love the most. Consequently, many choose not to say anything that might be controversial, remaining quiet and fearful of a family or social blow-up.

in our diverse society. Beyond that, we must grant to others the “liberty” of differing from us in their unique view of life and thought. We must grant others the freedom to be different, to think

In the multi-cultural complexities of our democratic society,

different, and express their own views. Unfortunately, many

which values individuality, we often find ourselves living

of us hold on tightly to our own sense of the pride of always

among people of different religions, different political

being right, that we believe we must control others and

persuasions, and unique family traditions which are different

expect others to agree with our evaluation of all things.

from our own. Often these differences pose concern

Learning to let go and let others have their say is truly the

between us and produce a sense of fear that inhibits free

mark of maturity. But it will require growth in our own sense

communication. All of us want to be accepted and because

of personal security. It seems that our sense of insecurity

we deeply believe in our own sense of “rightness” we want

contributes to our fear of losing control resulting in failing

others to agree with us. Many people become offended and

to let others have their fair hearing. Learning to respect

angry when their sense of rightness is rejected. Once, while

others and their opinions is the beginning of our ability to

waiting in line at a church potluck, I overheard a conversation

successfully relate to others.

between two acquaintances, “I never talk about the divisive issues of religion or politics,” the other person replied in a joking manner, “Those are the only two things worth talking about.” How true, but dangerous was the reply.

Going back to the name calling on Facebook – is Facebook the correct platform to give your opinion on these matters? Maybe. Maybe not. However, one needs to do it in the correct matter according to the article Stop getting in

Nevertheless, successful people have learned how to

mean political fights on Facebook on relevantmagazine.

navigate the complexities of our multicultural society.

com. “Discuss with the intent to understand. Although the

Making the decision to respect others is foundational to

impulse in a political discussion is to correct someone,

living harmoniously in a culture of diversity. Pledging to

you’re unlikely to do so effectively if you can’t see where

“respect ourselves, respect others and respect authority,”

he or she is coming from. Before even attempting to

can set us on to a greater understanding of the value of

offer an opinion or counter-argument, try understanding

our personal differences and help us successfully relate to

their position and why they hold it. You may find some

others. Taking pause to stand apart from our own pride and

common ground, providing a starting point for your

self-centeredness, that of thinking we are always right, can

conversation.” Read more at http://www.relevantmagazine.

help us learn and grow in maturity and successfully relate to


others. Another helpful motto is: “In essentials unity, in non-

facebook#clHB01je2gEwHDwt.99. Don’t argue with



VISIÓN | feature the intent to win. Some of the most influential leaders are

president will affect your current economy (Logos) these facts

the ones who kept standing by what they believe in without

present a sense of logic. The strongest influence comes from

introducing violence. People are watching and can be

a loved one. Therefore, when demonstrating certain beliefs

influenced more with an act of kindness and persistence over

in religion and politics, an individual will likely derive their own

foul language and hateful attitudes.

beliefs from a loved one’s opinions.

I am reminded of a great Greek philosopher, Aristotle, who

Again, how do you have a conversation about religion and

once stated in order to persuade someone three elements

politics without being offensive? How do you handle someone

must be presented, Pathos, Ethos and Logos. Pathos is an

who is offensive to you? Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

appeal to emotion, and is a way of convincing an audience

However, because everyone’s truth is somewhat formed by

of an argument by creating an emotional response. Ethos is

their own experiences the best way to hold your ground and

an appeal to ethics, and it is a means of convincing someone

gain more respect for your own beliefs is by respecting and

of the character or credibility of the persuader Logos is an

acknowledging other’s opinions. You do not have to agree

appeal to logic, and is a way of persuading an audience by

and unfortunately you will come across very rude people that

reason. When your dad speaks about how he will be affected

will try to break you. But this is your opportunity to show your

by a certain presidential candidate if voted into office, you can

true character, communicate efficiently and convince others

not only see his passion but you can also see the emotion

to respect you even if they don’t agree with you. Speaking up

conveyed (Pathos).When your mom teaches you about

for what we believe and sharing your opinion can be helpful

religion you believe her because of her credibility (Ethos).

and beneficial-when it’s appropriate, kind, constructive and

Furthermore, when mom or dad discuss how a certain religion

consistent. Be real: tell the truth using kind and heartfelt

belief helps them see the world or how as a tax payer the next

words. Respect will follow. 

We will not agree on every issue. But let us respect those differences and respect one another. Let us recognize that we do not serve an ideology or a political party; we serve the people.” – John Lynch



10 Ways You Can Be A Well Respected Person Be good at what you do

Conduct yourself professionally

In every field of work, the most highly regarded people are those who are the best at what they do. Everyone loves competent people, especially those who present their best work all the time. If you're just starting out in your profession, that doesn't mean you're not deserving of respect. It's about starting small and building from there. It's through gaining experience and improving that you establish yourself as the best and earn the respect from others. It's not an overnight process, but the respect people have of you after that will be steadfast.

Respect others Respect is two-way. If you want others to respect you, you've to respect others first. If you've ever come across someone who isn't being respectful to you, I invite you to think of just one person you're not being respectful to in your life now. Chances you'll find at least someone. Rather than harp on how people are not respectful to you, work on being respectful to those people you're treating shabbily. It'll help you reach new heights in your relationship with others. Whenever someone is rude to me, I think of how I might be rude to someone else and mend that relationship. It's creates a positive shift in my relationships.

Honor what you say No one likes a dishonest or unreliable person. A well respected individual is one who is honest in his/her communications and can be trusted to do what he/she promised. I believe integrity is the first step to being our highest self. I always ensure I live up to my commitments and deliver beyond what I promise. If due to some reason you can't honor your commitments, make sure you address them accordingly to the other party and make up for it.

Be open to criticisms Contrary to popular belief, being respected doesn't mean you won't receive criticism. In fact, it's quite the opposite. The more known you are in your work, the more criticisms you'll receive. My blog readership has grown over 4 times in the last 6 months. Just as I've received a lot more positive feedback than before on my posts, I'm also receiving more criticisms. It's not about rejecting criticisms but about being able to handle criticisms gracefully. People respect someone who is able to handle negative feedback and turn it into something positive. If you need pointers, here are 8 Ways To Deal With Critical People.

Treat yourself with respect It's funny that many of us seek respect from others, yet we don't even respect ourselves. Have you ever beaten yourself up before? Do you love yourself wholly and unconditionally? Do you treat yourself poorly by not getting enough sleep, proper diet or exercise? If you don't respect yourself, you can't hope to get respect from others. Start off by loving yourself. The love from others will come subsequently.

This includes dressing well, being well-mannered, using appropriate language and having social etiquette. If you haven't attended a social etiquette class before, it'll be useful to do so. Even if you intuitively know what they teach in the class, it's great as reinforcement. I attended a few etiquette classes when I was a student, including wine appreciation, dining etiquette, how to conduct yourself in a 1st meeting, etc. I personally found it helpful. The things taught inside are not rocket science by any means, but it helps to practice them in an actual setting and know what are the do's and do-not's.

Don't bad mouth others Whether it's in a professional or social setting, it's not appropriate to bad mouth people. You certainly don't earn respect this way. If you're unhappy with a certain individual and what he/she is doing, talk to him/her and work things out. Don't talk behind his/her back. This is the kind of behavior that attracts gossip and negativity. Not only does it reflect badly on you as a person, it also hurts the other party, whether you realize it or not. Be honest and transparent in your communications.

Stand up for what you believe in Have you ever come across people who simply agree with whatever others say without much thought? I have, and it gets meaningless after a while as they just say yes to everything. Personally, I have more respect for someone who disagrees (civilly) and stands up for himself/herself than someone who parrots others. Likewise, it is by having your own opinion and a mind of your own that you get respect from others. Don't be afraid to stand up for what you believe in. At the same time, make sure you do it in a respectful manner to others.

Be yourself Along the same lines as #8, be yourself. It's better to be an original version of yourself than an exact duplicate of someone else. People respect individuals who are original. Too many people try too hard to be someone else they are not and in the end they don't have a sense of identity. Discover who you are and what you stand for. What the world needs are more people who are true to themselves, not clones of each other.

Be a role model to others Actions speak louder than words. Are you a role model to others by way of your behavior? Do you uphold yourself to the highest code of conduct? You gain respect by walking the talk. The most respected person is the one who inspires others to achieve their best and enables them to unlock their highest potential. ....................................................................................................... *10 Ways To Earn the Respect of Others



VISIĂ“N | cultural

Cambodian Buddhist Society A community re-imagining preservation and cultural strength BY LENG POWER

Cambodian Buddhist Society

A Small Piece of Home

Nestled between the two country roads of Paradise and

The Cambodian Buddhist Society serves as a home

Grimes in West Modesto lies 10 acres of land which the

away from a homeland for a majority of the congregation

Modesto Cambodian Buddhist Society has called home

members who are either refugees themselves or have

since 2008. The group outgrew their previous Temple

parents who came to the United States as refugees as a

also on Paradise Road but within the city sphere. The

result of the Genocidal Reign of Pol Pot and the Khmer

congregation is made up of approximately 300 families

Rouge from 1975-1979. Arriving in a strange place with

spanning throughout Stanislaus County. The relocation

unfamiliar food, language, customs and even weather,

was almost a decade ago but building of the Sala Chan

most Cambodians relied on the small communities they

has been slow with a projected date of completion in

forged within their own networks in order to traverse

2017. Though the cost of the project priced at $500,000

and acclimate into their new lives. Temples served a

seems insurmountable for such a small community, the

very important role for this reason. They not only provide

Cambodian Congregation has rallied to raise small amounts

spiritual nourishment but became a place where people

to fund incremental building efforts.

can feel whole and reconnect with parts of themselves



that can only surface safely in the company and comfort of familiar faces and sounds.

Larger Vision The Sala Chann is designed to be multipurpose for use as a worship hall as well as a cultural center. Dr. Van Prom who is the President of the Temple board, explains that the larger vision of the organization is to offer a place where people can come to not only reconnect with cultural identity but also strengthen a sense of who they are and where they come from. “We are hoping to offer classes in Cambodian cooking, Khmer literacy and language, traditional and classical dance as well as health education.” Dr. Prom stresses the urgency of providing these activities “Our elders aren’t going to be with us for too much longer.” There is a purposeful intention of providing a safe place for the elders of the community to gather, participate in social and recreational activities which will enhance their overall well-being. The contrast in cultural practices of the United States have resulted in generational disconnect and isolation among the elders. Creating an environment of communal harmony will aid in promoting connectivity and work to restore a sense of place within the community. On the other end of the spectrum, the Sala Chann hopes to offer appealing programs for Cambodian Youth to become more active in their community. The Cambodian Buddhist Society currently offers a program for youth who are interested in learning traditional classical forms of dance. Kids of all ages have participated in lessons that have been enriching in both acquiring the dance forms and learning the historical context. Khmer Youth of Modesto (KYOM) is another youth focused group operating in association with the Cambodian Buddhist Society. Their goal is to promote leadership, educational opportunity, and cultural preservation efforts among Khmer youth. The group also has a dance troupe which performs in various venues and festivals in the Central Valley. It is an art form that is both ancient and very much relevant to the mission of the group. During the Khmer Rouge genocidal reign, artistic expression of any kind was forbidden. Teachers, practitioners and students were punished and sometimes executed. As a result, there are very few survivors who have the skill sets to pass this tradition on to future Photos by Miguel Buenrostro





generations so it is of special significance that this art form

this to be a place where everyone will feel welcomed and

is exposed to many diverse audiences as testament to the

receive spiritual renewal.”

resiliency of the Cambodian community.

Going Forward

Convening of Community Hoping to be a beacon of tranquility and serenity, the first feature to be installed on the 10 acre plot of land was the statue garden. In the middle of the garden is a Bodhi tree which holds sacred meaning in the Buddhist faith as it is believed enlightenment was achieved under the Bodhi Tree. This is a story all newcomers to the site may hear as a way to establish narrative to the various features and structures on the developing landscape. Dr. Prom identifies

The Cambodian community in all pockets of the country share the same roots of tragedy and triumph in varying degrees. It is the fibers of optimism and love that ties the community to their roots here as well as to the memories they carry with them of a place they used to call home. It is with fortitude and will that as survivors of humanities darkness they can fully embrace the light for future generations to thrive.  ...........................................................................................

community members to participate in future sessions

The Cambodian Buddhist Society enthusiastically invite community members, friends, neighbors to come visit them at 1528 Grimes Ave, Modesto, CA 95358. Follow our construction development and other exciting news at http://www.

hosted by the Cambodian Buddhist Society. “We want

the increasing mainstream popularity of developing mindfulness and meditation practices and hopes to invite



VISIÓN | sorrow


Are we really prepared? BY VANESSA REINA


We started talking about family drama and how strange

child hood friends. Our gatherings are nothing short of a

family members become at weddings, birthdays and

party when we are together. We talked and reminisced

funerals. Although we laughed at the silliness of the

about our childhood, our adolescence and our current

behaviors, it reminded me all too well of the drama that

situations. I must say this woman who I have known for

occurred when my father died. I was married, had two

35 plus years is one of the most intelligent, creative, and

children, and had recently moved 90 miles away from

giving women I know. (I don’t hold back on bragging

my parent’s city. My son was in the first grade, and my

about smart beautiful people.) She has done very well for

youngest was almost two. My husband and I commuted

herself and is very knowledge about being insured and

to San Jose every day. My husband and I alternated days

why it’s important.

to drop off my eldest son at 7:30 at school. Meanwhile



my youngest was already on route to San Jose with the

My siblings and my mom wanted the burial a certain way,

parent who left at 5 a.m. Whoever left at 5 a.m. would

they wanted this person to be present and the other person

leave San Jose at 3:30 p.m. in order to pick up my eldest

to be omitted. This person could sit with us, this person

at 5:30. It was a difficult time, but worse than all of this was

had to wait outside, blah, blah, blah. Complete and total

the news that my father was gravely ill and would be having

chaos! Enough! I had had it! Has this happened to you? Or

open heart surgery. We would not have Thanksgiving

do you know someone who has gone through this ordeal?

together, we would not have Christmas together, and New

Have you asked why?

Years would bring a cloudy and painful year. Why do we put ourselves and loves ones through this Due to my demanding work and hectic transportation

difficult process on top of an already sad and difficult

schedule, I had a very limited time with my father while

time? Is it that our gente love the drama, or do we take

he was alive and in the hospital. Sadly my father died. He

this fatalistic approach in not planning because if we do

never awoke from the open heart surgery. I was in shock,

plan, then it’s almost as if we are inviting death into our

I had little time to grieve during this time as I had to keep

lives? Let’s face it, we all will die, maybe not today, but

my children’s schedule and assist my mom in planning my

someday it will surely happen, for it is part of life. If we truly

father’s funeral. My mom was a hot mess! I had to be strong

love our loved ones, we have to change the fabric of our

for her, my kids, my siblings, and there was little time for me!

thoughts. We have to be prepared! I could go on and on, but I thought that this would just get us thinking of where

I called my mom and asked her if she had the information

we are at in our own lives. Are we prepared and if not why?

for their life insurance policy. She said “What? Your father

Preparation is important! 

and I don’t have a life insurance policy.” I asked then what about savings? She said I only have enough for the mortgage and other bills that are coming in for the next few months. She said, “I don’t know what to do. I guess I’ll start asking for donations so we can bury your dad.” These words killed me! My father was not and is not a charity case! Tears were streaming down my cheek as I whimpered “We can’t leave his body in the morgue!” I have three other siblings and as the eldest I was expected to take charge. In normal circumstances I would have conjured up the funds and called it a day. When my father unexpectedly died, this was not the case. I was literally 90 miles away in a newly purchased home, with two kids under six, and no immediate family within the vicinity to help me with taking care of the them. My family was in mourning and I didn’t want my kids to remember the incidents surrounding my father’s death. To make a long story short, my youngest sister and I gave my mother the money to bury my father. When my sister and I thought we would finally have a chance to take a step back to reflect our father, the second act (drama) began. VISIÓN | SUMMER 2016


VISIÓN | medical

Drooping Eyelids, Eye Bags, Bulging eyes Normal Aging or something more? BY KIMBERLY COCKERHAM, MD, FACS As we age, the skin around our eyes becomes excessive and the fat from behind the eye migrates forward creating eye bags. When the upper eyelids rest on your eyelashes, your vision is blocked. Surgical excision optimizes your vision during tasks of daily living like driving, reading, and working on the computer. The excess

Photo by Briggs Photography

upper eyelid skin is removed during a 30-minute outpatient surgical procedure that is usually covered by insurance. In contrast, lower eyelid bags are typically considered a cosmetic problem since they do not interfere with vision in most cases. If the eye bags are so large that they drag the lower eyelid down or interfere with wearing glasses, the surgery may be covered by your insurance. Before and after upper and lower eyelid lifts (blepharoplasty) The eyelid muscle can become weakened due to contact lens wear, eye rubbing, ocular allergies and/or sleep apnea. When the upper eyelid is low, your vision is impaired. Surgery is focused on making the muscle that opens the eyelid more effective. This procedure is also a 30 – 60 minute outpatient surgical procedure. The surgical approach depends on the severity of your eye muscle weakness. Before and after right upper eyelid muscle tightening (ptosis repair) Eyelids can also droop due to more complex causes. A stroke in the brainstem, injury to the nerves or destruction of the eye muscle – nerve junction (neuromuscular junction) can all result in drooping eyelids. Additional imaging and blood tests may be needed. In the case of myasthenia gravis, an oral medication may relieve the drooping without surgery. Rarely, the eyelid can be infiltrated with lymphoma – a form of cancer that can affect the eyelid, eye and area behind the eye (orbit). Radiation can melt the lymphoma making eyelid surgery unnecessary. Before and after upper eyelid reconstruction (retraction repair) Finally, bulging eyes can occur due to thyroid problems. In active thyroid eye, the eye and eyelid can be red, swollen and even tender or achy. Double vision that is worst in the morning may also develop. The picture shows a typical case of thyroid related eyelid retraction and bulging. 



Warning Symptoms and Signs that You May Have Something More Thyroid Eye Disease – • Abnormal labs and imaging • Bulging eyes/eyelids with redness and swelling • Double vision that is worst in the morning • Tearing, irritation and itching • Hair loss, racing heartbeat, weight loss, anxiety (hyperthyroidism) • Hair loss, fatigue, weight gain, depression (hypothyroidism)

Myasthenia Gravis – • Abnormal labs • Drooping of the eyelids, tearing and double vision that is worst with visual tasks and at the end of the day • Snarling appearance to the mouth • Weakness of arms and legs • Nasal sounding change in voice • Difficulty swallowing or choking with normal bites of food • Shortness of breath

Lymphoma – • Abnormal labs and imaging • Visible salmon colored lump on the eye (in some cases the lump can’t be felt but not seen under the eyelid) • Painless lumps in neck, armpit or groin • Weight loss due to loss of appetite • Fever and night sweats • Itching of face and body • Weakness and fatigue • Breathlessness with swelling of face and neck

VISIÓN | welcome

Meet LCR’s

New President BY MATTHEW HARRINGTON Photo by Miguel Buenrostro

Transition is inevitable when working in a governing

noticed a divide at the social level within the Latino

structure based in democratic values. Predetermined term

culture. “I didn’t think that I was particularly astute or that I

limits ensure that change in leadership of any organization

knew much about the world around me. However, at that

or government is a must. And with this change, comes the

tender age there was one thing that left a lasting impression

introduction of new ideas and processes that are intended

on me,” she said. “I noticed that we (Latinos) were not

to help an organization or governing body grow and

supportive of one another.”

continue to be viable for the good of the whole. This holds true from the President of the United States down to your

Harrington cited that there was a thing between Mexicans

local, grassroots’ non-profit organization.

born in the United States and Mexicans born in Mexico. “It was an unspoken rift, but it was felt and seen in the

In January 2016, we welcomed the new president to the

community. It seemed that as soon as someone began

Latino Community Roundtable of Stanislaus County (LCR).

to prosper there would be another Latino trying to tear

Stepping into the role of president for the 501(c)(4) non-profit

down the person who was reaching some measure of

political organization was Rebecca Harrington. She succeeded

success,” she said. “I wondered why this was so because

termed President, Maggie Mejia, who revitalized LCR and has

my grandma always said, ‘de la misma tela vienes’, loosely

stayed on in the supporting role of Vice President.

translated it means that we are from the same cloth. Whether you were born here or in Mexico, your roots came

For Harrington, stepping into the socio-political forum is

from the same place.”

nothing new. She actually began her journey at the age of 17, right in her own “backyard.” Though feeling that she

Being cut from the same cloth stretched to her parents,

may not have had the full grasp of the issues of the time,

John and Emily Ortega. Even though they were born in the

Harrington did not let that stop her. Rather she quickly

U.S., they too worked in the fields early on in life to help



little over eight years ago she moved back to her childhood

“The power of one, if fearless and focused, is formidable, but the power of many working together is better.” – Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

home to help her elderly parents. She saw many things that were happening in the neighborhood so she made phone calls to the County Supervisor. Those calls led to her becoming the Chairperson for the South Modesto Municipal Advisory Council (South Modesto MAC). Those leadership skills did not end at the South Modesto MAC. Now as President of LCR, Harrington is taking her early experiences in civil organization to the next level, as she has stepped in as the head of the well-known non-profit in Stanislaus County. She stated she continues to be the chairperson, as she has for the last eight years, of the South Modesto MAC and is a volunteer for the Latino Veteran group American GI Forum. “These are all organizations that have one thing in common.

their families. “My dad worked hard to give us a better life

Trying to make our community a better place.”

and he did that when he was discharged from the Army in December of 1946. He found a job with the US government

At LCR’s March 2016 general membership meeting, the

at Sharpe Army Depot in Lathrop. Because of his hard

guest speaker for the luncheon was former Modesto Mayor

work and my mother’s ability to save, I never worked in the

Garrad Marsh, whose bid for re-election fell short in the

fields,” Harrington said.

February run-off against challenger Ted Brandvold. Marsh, who has been a long standing member of the organization,

Though her friends still asked why she was interested in

thanked everyone for their support of him as mayor and

Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers movement.

said something that struck a chord with Harrington about

She replied that her grandmother and parents worked the

the ability of Latinos in the county and local government. “In

same fields. “I was blessed to have a better life, but it didn’t

his speech, Marsh commented that if we (Latinos) can work

mean that I could not support others who did not have the

harder together, we could be a force to be reckoned, within

same opportunities.”

the community and political arena. In my 40 years we are finally seeing change.”

So in 1976, Harrington, like many other civil minded individuals, marched with Cesar Chavez in support of the

Currently, there are at least a dozen Latino based

farm workers and helped organize the Modesto Leg of the

community groups in Modesto, and more in other

March Against Gallo. “I never forgot the day that I received

communities in the county. All working to help make their

the letter from Cesar Chavez, I opened it and read it. I was

communities a better place to live. “I’m excited for my new

so proud of that letter and I told my mom someday this

role, I looking forward to working with my community and

letter is going to be of great value,” she said. “So I took that

all the other organizations.”

letter in its original envelope and put it in my mom’s hope chest. I still have that letter and envelope, however both are

LCR’s vision statement can be found on its website,

now in a frame.”, and states LCR is, “… a think tank where the Latino Community of Stanislaus County could

In between her early twenties and now; Harrington

bring to the table their knowledge, experience and

raised three children and went to college and earned an

community skills to make a difference, hence the name

Associates of Arts in Behavioral and Social Sciences. A

“Latino Community Roundtable.” 



VISIÓN | arts

Photo by Miguel Buenrostro

Richard Soto & the Chicano Research Center


A from the Heart BY ARLENE GALINDO


B i b l i o t e c a  L I VISIÓN B R |ASUMMER R Y 2016  Neighborhood


the delicious smell of Chicken next door at Fernando’s El

interest and was a collector of Latin American Literature,

Azadero, another newly opened friendly business. This

Richard Soto invited me to his home to see his personal

neighborhood is thriving and it’s inhabitants know it. There

collection that I had heard about from friends over the

is a sense of pride in this community and Soto is about to

years. I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams the

give them one more reason to be proud.

collection I would experience. Richard invited me into his beautifully landscaped and designed Mexican style home


and introduced me to his personal library. I will never forget

Soto: It all started a long time ago…Living in the south

the overwhelming emotions I experienced that day.

side of Tracy California my mother, after my father was killed, was a single mother of four children and one on the

Soto led me to the basement where numerous homemade

way at 26 years of age. She thought that it was important

bookcases shelved volumes of journals, magazines and

for us to learn to read and she read with us. I developed my

books. There were newspapers on the chairs and in boxes

love for reading. My mother was a woman of great strength

and more books and more journals and more magazines. It

and knowledge.

was endless but it was organized. I couldn’t fight back the tears. I was completely engulfed in literature Heaven. I just stood there dumbfounded and cried. It was unfathomable to me that this exquisite collection was down the street from my house located in a basement. It was also where he first told me of his grand plans and what he envisioned for the future. Fast forward to 2016 and I am now sitting with Soto in his new Chicano Research Center Library (CRC) located in Stockton California’s East Side on Main St. in the former infamous Yolanda’s Bakery building. Situated up the street

“To me…and this is important... the biggest benefit of the Chicano Movement is all of the PhD’s now coming out of the Universities doing Chicano Research!”

from the once grand but now white ghost of the former and now closed Fair Oaks Library, the CRC is perfectly

After graduation I went to Vietnam. The discriminatory

positioned in the hub of Stockton’s Latino, Hispanic,

experiences I had in civilian life and in the military war led

Chicano and Mexican community. Barrio Chivo as it is

me to embrace the Chicano movement in 1969. I went to

known to the locals is a rich historic community that even

Delta College in Stockton and at that time they only had two

though neglected in the past is in recent years showing

books for the Chicano Studies class. Only two books about

a revival with new immigrant and millennial businesses.

Mexicans and Chicanos. North from Mexico and another

The CRC has landed in a rich cultural neighborhood

book on Texas. At that point for some reason I began to

environment. “It reminds me of the Mission district in San

collect. I thought to myself that there had to be more, so I

Francisco,” says Soto.

started looking. By the time I left Delta I had ten books.

As we sit in the center to begin our discussion, his friend

I moved on to Sacramento State and it was there where

Sherry is working diligently in the center organizing books

I studied under Jose Montoya, Joe Serna, Esteban Villa,

on the shelves. There is a cool breeze through the bars

Joaquin Fernandez and others who influenced me. I kept

on the doors and we can hear the traffic, kids walking by

everything that I got. I just knew that this was going to

laughing, business owners talking amongst each other,

be something big. I aggressively went after books and

Mexican music at the barbershop across the street and

whatever I could afford.

29 C h i c a n o  S e l f EVISIÓN s t e| SUMMER em  2016C u l t u r e  R a Z A

I would go to Eldorado Distributors on Van Ness in San Francisco who was marketing the first Chicano books. Modern Times Book Store in the Mission District by Dolores Park was a gay and lesbian store carrying third world books. They also had a speaker series and I got to meet a lot of the authors there. I would go there and sleep in my car.

“Whoever thought this little Mexican from the housing projects of South Side

“You can separate the Mexican from the Chicano but you cannot separate the Chicano from Mexico.” WHAT DO YOU ENVISION FOR THE CRC? Soto: I would like to focus on helping young people with

Tracy would be reading the

their self esteem and identity formation through literature,

great Mexican Philosophers

for students interested in ethnic studies. In many places

such as Vasconcelos,

many topics that link with each other and possibly

cultural DVD’s, music, etc. Also, provide a place of research ethnic studies do not exist. I would also like to incorporate workshops, speaker series and cancioneros.

Reyes and Ramos?”

It’s going to take about a year to settle in here and focus When I left Sacramento State I had over 250 books. The

on the center being functional. I can see myself here some

one thing that not that many people know though is that

days from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. developing morning programs

before I collected books I collected coins. I have a great

for seniors, evening programs for veterans, high school

Mexican coin and paper collection.

summer programs and other school programs such as credit recovery for students collaborating with the school districts.


Our children’s library located in the back room will teach

Soto: Early 1960’s and 70’s Chicano Newspapers such as

parents how to read and engage with their own children.

UFW’s EL MALCRIADO. Many journals that are in complete sets and in some cases I have two complete sets. Event

The Chicano Research Center will open to the public on

flyers, posters, dichos, books, films, music and anything

June 25th. Soto tells me that many other leaders and

regarding Chicano. I didn’t really start buying books until

members of the community are involved in helping Soto

I got closer to retirement. I usually focus on an author or

open the center. He notes friend and colleague Raoul Mora,

a topic and I buy everything on that topic. When I read a

a well known educator and artist, as a contributor as well

book I go to the bibliography and if I do not have a book in

as other friends and supporters who helped him begin his

that I buy it.

path to Barrio Chivo in the beginning such as Sofia Colon. It hasn’t been an easy road but he acknowledges those who


helped him on this venture.

PIECE OF YOUR COLLECTION TO MAKE ENDS MEET? Soto: I would rather starve than sell a piece of my

For more information and how you can help please visit

collection and believe me, there were many times when I

the Chicano Research Center and don’t forget to like CRC

got pretty hungry.

on facebook. 





 Identity

Saving a life... Arlene Galindo

Integrated Marketing Solutions Consultant Office: 209.475.5148 Cell: 209.451.6353

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VISIÓN | philanthropy

Focus on

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION Mitre’s participation in HIP’s Next Generation fellowship


SAN JOSE NATIVE VICTOR MITRE, IS BUILDING A momentum of Hispanic leadership in philanthropy to represent a growing Hispanic population state – and nationwide. Mitre is a member of the inaugural leadership cohort, Next Generation, launched by Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP), a nationwide network of philanthropists investing in entrepreneurs working to build more prosperous Latino communities.

program is one of an advocate. Centering his goals on diversity, he is intentional about making organizations and boards resemble the communities they serve. “When Hispanics are engaged, they fulfill a social responsibility. Inclusion is imperative for innovation and achieving goals. HIP’s fellowship empowers leaders to address varied issues that impact youth, our elderly, and all sectors of our communities in both secular and non-secular arenas.”

Next Generation of Latino Philanthropic Leadership

Mitre has worked in administrative capacities with non-

Program specifically connects and trains philanthropic

profit, educational, and healthcare organizations for the

Latino leaders from across the nation on effective leadership

past fourteen years. He is currently the Director of Develop-

and impactful social change. “There are significant focus

ment and Stewardship for the Roman Catholic Diocese of

areas of crossover in which leaders from faith-based

Stockton where he connects donors (parishioners, founda-

organizations, non profits, and corporations share on similar

tions, and businesses) to support the diocesan ministries.

issues,” Mitre says. “Although the intentions may be varied

Charitable donations to the diocese support scholarship

for each sector, it takes a prepared leader to participate at the table. Next Generation provides the opportunity to engage in the synergy among faith and business leaders, educators, and philanthropists.”

Photo by Miguel Buenrostro



and tuition assistance, parish ministries and capital cam-

for him. “I am the one learning from them. When I learn

paigns. The diocese also works on funding initiatives for

what drives other people, this is energy to me. We all put

Catholic Charities including immigration, social services,

on our shoes the same way. We all have a common goal to

and advocacy for the elderly, the poor, and veterans. In

do the best for each other. Philanthropy draws out the best

addition to the diocese, Mitre is a member of the Yosemite

in people, and I’m happy to connect those individuals who

Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Profession-

are making investments for a brighter present and future.”

als, a professional association of individuals responsible for generating philanthropic support for a wide variety of nonprofit, charitable organizations and serves on the board of the Turlock Education Foundation. Most recently, Mitre obtained his Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential, an internationally recognized certification in the fundraising field and administered by CFRE International.  His passion to pursue a career in philanthropy was sparked during college as his exposure to the structure and needs

Mitre’s efforts focus on diversity and inclusion: diversity that spans the gamut of ethnicity, culture, abilities, age, gender, and faith. Only when organizations bring diversified voices to the table can the communities they represent be effectively cared for. Being engaged and intentional in a venue that affects policy-making is a core value of social change for Mitre. “Diversity brings innovation that is necessary. When boards have this focus, it ensures

of his own community widened. In college, he was a

an appropriate service to the community that may be

member of Chi Delta Beta, a multicultural fraternity and

neglected if certain voices are absent in the decision-

volunteered on service learning projects. While benefiting

making process. It is my goal to serve on a national

from scholarship money himself during this time, others

board that directly impacts policy change and builds the

around him were visibly struggling. Roommates picked

leadership capacity of the Latino population. By serving

up groceries from the United Samaritan Foundation food

on a national board I can advocate for the people of the

pantry and some peers lived paycheck to paycheck. Living

Central Valley.”

and serving in these areas kindled gratitude and a desire to be a part of a greater calling to make a difference.

Mitre believes that everyone has a gift to give. Whatever the origin or nature of our gifts, sharing them is what

Today, Mitre continues to be inspired by his collaborators,

counts. “Realize that you have gifts—even if you are

colleagues and a generous community of people who

against a barrier. We all have the ability to make a

continue to define philanthropy through what is known as the three T’s: time, talent, and treasure. Not everyone can give in all of these capacities, but everyone can give in at least one. Some people can give financially, some give of their special skills or talents, others can give their time. Seeing a parishioner’s prison ministry provide support and connection to prisoners who are otherwise forgotten, or connecting a donor with a first generation college student, fuels Mitre’s motivation to engage others in their

difference in some capacity. But being part of a solution requires integrity, clarity and focus. It requires having the confidence to share with others when things are not right. We must make our voices heard.” Prioritizing things that are important to you takes discipline and hard work. He is grateful to his grandparents and parents for instilling a strong work ethic in him. Mitre takes

own personal philanthropic missions. “This gives us a

time to focus on building his spirituality through his Catholic

greater sense of purpose, why we’re here, and why we do

faith as parishioner at All Saints Catholic Church, his health

what we do.”

by committing to regular Cross Fit trainings and Spartan obstacle-course races. He also enjoys cooking up paleo-

Mitre serves as the bridge between those who have a

inspired meals. Mitre lives in Turlock with his wife, Dorali,

desire to give and those needing support. Connecting

of 15 years, his 10-year-old daughter, Jacqueline and

people is the most rewarding experience of philanthropy

labrador retriever. 



VISIÓN | legal insight

The absence

of a will creates a platform

for a legal battle!


MOST RECENTLY, the superstar musician Prince committed one of the worst estate planning offenses a wealthy celebrity could commit, he died without leaving a will. The absence of a will creates a platform for a legal battle that could easily go on for fifteen years or more. These estate planning battles are not something limited to the lives of the rich and famous. Many people die without leaving wills. Since estate planning can be complicated to comprehend, it is important to understand certain basic principals.

decedent leaves an estate that needs to be distributed. When a decedent leaves a will, the probate process is needed for the beneficiaries to obtain legal ownership. Certain legal instruments avoid probate. Pay-on-Death Accounts Pay-on-death accounts can be used to avoid probate. Someone can designate his or her bank accounts to be payable-on-death accounts. This is by filling out a form and listing a beneficiary. Thus, when someone dies, the money goes directly to the beneficiary and avoids probate. Forms of Joint Ownership Several forms of joint ownership may also easily avoid probate when an owner passes away. To take title in this fashion, one must declare on a legal instrument, such as a real estate deed, how title is to be held. When one of the owners die, the property automatically goes

The person who passes away is called the “decedent.” The property the decedent leaves behind is called “the estate” and the people who inherit the property are called “heirs” or “beneficiaries.” When someone dies without a will they die “intestate” and there is no guarantee how their estate will be distributed. Dying intestate often creates a complicated manifesto and family dissention. Upon death, assets that have not been designated to beneficiaries are subject to probate court where the court then determines how the property is to be distributed pursuant to California Law. This process is called “probate.” Probate happens when the


to the other joint owner and probate is avoided. Small Estates Many states have streamlined the probate process for small estates. For example, in California, beneficiaries of estates valued up to $150,000, excluding property that passes directly to beneficiaries, can skip probate. Trusts Trusts are also often used to avoid probate. A trust is a written legal document that partially substitutes for a will. A trust is a legal title to some of the decedent’s property


that passes to the beneficiaries without needing to go through probate. With a trust, assets, homes, stocks, land, etc., can be placed into a trust and managed for someone’s benefit during the owner’s lifetime. Upon death, when the owner becomes a decedent, the property is transferred to the beneficiaries. With a trust, the trustee, controls the trust property.

not name an executor, the probate court appoints an administrator to handle the process. The court usually chooses the closest living relative, or someone who will inherit a portion of the decedent’s assets. With large estates, the court will usually appoint a representative with an advanced understanding of finance.

A trust allows for control on how property is allocated and since the trust does not go through the probate process, the trust prevents assets in the estate from becoming public record. Trusts accomplish many goals, including avoiding probate, minimizing estate taxes, and making sure beneficiaries receive the assets accordingly. There are many different types of trusts; ultimately the type of trust someone creates will depend on what their goals are.

Advance Health Care Directive There are other legal instruments that protect someone’s rights regarding death and incapacity. A durable power of attorney for health care is a document that can direct others regarding what to do in the event of incapacity or death. A living will is a document setting out the types of medical treatment someone would like or not like to receive in certain situations. In California, these two documents are combined into a single form called an advance health care directive. Setting up an advance health care directive or durable power of attorney allows for designated decision makers to make health care decisions when someone can no longer make them for themselves. In an advance health care directive, someone may dictate their wishes regarding life support treatment, organ donation, and funeral arrangements. A health care directive also allows an authorized agent to access medical information, which could become essential due to the increase in federal privacy laws.

The person appointed to manage the trust is called the “trustee.” Certain powers and authorities are given to the trustee to manage and distribute the trust‘s assets. The trustee is a “fiduciary” which means they hold a position of trust and are subject to strict responsibilities. Someone can serve as their own trustee but they must select someone upon their incapacity or death in order for the selected trustee to easily and quickly transfer the trust property to the beneficiaries. Since trusts avoid probate and wills do not, privacy is a common consideration in choosing a trust over a will. Finding out whether someone is a named beneficiary of a will or trust is not as complicated as it sounds. Since trusts are private and rarely become public record, if you are named in the trust, the trustee must contact you to inform you of your status as a beneficiary. It is easy to gather information about the beneficiaries of a will. To find out if someone had a will, check with the probate court in the county where the decedent lived. If there was a will filed, see if it is available for public viewing. If there is a will, the person named by the decedent to be in charge of the will is called the “executor.” The court usually appoints this executor as the personal representative. The personal representative is responsible for managing the distribution of the estate according to probate law. If a will does not exist or the will does

A Durable Power of Attorney/

Proper estate planning is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family so it is important to seek the advise of an estate planning attorney before making any major decisions. When making the important choices regarding estate planning, remember one size does not fit all. An estate plan should be prepared in a way that best meets the personal needs of you and your family.  *This is intended only as general information and does not constitute legal advice in any particular case. *

........................................................................................ 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.



VISIÓN | education

These Days



course that provides students with the tools to present and

“Kids these days.” You know what I mean. People my age

conduct themselves in a professional manner.

often wonder what happened to the days when kids would speak only when spoken to and say yes, ma’am and no sir.

The students learn how to set and plan goals, make

My favorite is, “Kids these days don’t say ‘please’ when they

professional presentations, and work in teams. They also

want something or ‘thank you’ to show gratitude anymore.”

do professional development exercises to help them with shaking hands, sitting and standing posture, making eye

Many old timers worry about what will happen when we

contact, and using body language to convey confidence.

have to rely on the next generation to take care of us. What

The goal of the class is to send our kids to college and

a mess, right? People tell me that these kids can’t even

beyond with the self-assurance to succeed.

write full sentences when they text. They would rather send “pics” on Instagram and Snapchat than pick up a phone or

At Luis Valdez Leadership Academy (LVLA) I’ve been

write a letter.

able to see the results of the program as the student government advisor. LVLA is in its second year of operation,

What kids today listen to isn’t even music. What happened

so the student government is comprised of freshmen and

to the good old school days when you could understand

sophomores. That means that these young leaders have an

the lyrics? Earth, Wind, and Fire. Santana. Al Green. Lionel

opportunity to set the cultural tone for the school well into

Richie. That was music. Many people my age wonder how

the future.

kids these days will run the place when we retire. The old folks are sure that the world will go straight to the dogs

The elected student body leaders learned how to run a

when the youngsters take charge.

decision-making government. The leadership group is large. There are four school-wide elected officers, class officers,

Well my dear readers, I absolutely, overwhelmingly,

and classroom representatives. In all, 23 students represent

vehemently, and respectfully disagree! I know we’ll be in

their peers to create and manage events and activities

good hands when the next generation of leaders takes the

for the school year. In any governmental environment, a

helm. Let me tell you why. During the last two school years,

leadership team of that size is challenging to manage.

I’ve had the privilege and pleasure to teach leadership classes at three east San Jose high schools: Latino College

With that in mind, the student leaders are studying the

Prep Academy, Luis Valdez Leadership Academy, and

fundamentals of the rules of order used by city halls,

Roberto Cruz Leadership Academy. I teach a freshman

statehouses, and congress. They’re learning how to share



their ideas with their fellow leaders through orderly debate and

To have the event they wanted, student leaders had to raise

discussion. The students are using the committee system to

$800 by selling tickets. They had less than three weeks

tackle the details of putting their ideas into an actual plan.

to achieve this goal. That’s a tall order in a working-class neighborhood. Many on campus quietly shared concerns that

After several weeks of intense training, the student

the student council took on too much than it could handle.

government was ready to take on its first project. They decided to have a dance, the first-ever dance in the

Using the rules of order they learned, the young decision-

school’s history. The young leaders felt much pressure

makers developed a ticket sales and marketing strategy,

to make the event successful. They had heated debates

and created a plan for a 100% student led and managed

about the theme of the dance, the date, fundraising, the

dance. I’ve been around many leadership teams in my

food and refreshments, decorations, and much more.

career, and the students experienced all of the potential pitfalls and challenges that any team of leaders could confront. Through their raucous use of the democratic process, they worked through each barrier. When the dust settled, here’s what happened: LVLA had the first-ever school dance, they called it the “Falling for Fall” event. More than half of the student body attended. The student government actually made money on the event by raising over $1,000. The buzz on campus the next Monday was all about the dance. Everyone had a great time. The event was an overwhelming success by any and every measurement. This gets me back to adult’s concerns about “kids these

s e R o L mp o C age Im

days.” Given the right tools and the confidence to succeed, students will be exemplary leaders in the future. We’re in good hands. Today’s political leaders could learn a few things about teamwork and cooperation from the LVLA student government. Oh, by the way, the student leaders planned and hosted a surprise appreciation potluck in my honor to celebrate their achievement. They wanted to say “thank you” for the small role I played in supporting their efforts to plan and manage a successful dance. Kids these days.  ........................................................................................... Eddie García is a leadership development coach who has worked with over 80 Silicon Valley education administrators, community leaders, non-profit executives, corporate managers, and elected officials. He is the creator of, a blog that comments on leadership, education, and politics from a Latino perspective. He served on the Board of Trustees for the East Side Union High School District in San Jose from 2006-2010. His career also includes leadership roles as a corporate executive, political chief of staff, and community advocate.



VISIÓN | family matters

family matters Q

By Joseph L. Hernandez, Ph.D. Dear Dr. Joe,

not to change. As a marriage counselor, I usually ask

My wife has been unfaithful. She denies

people to notice their own strengths and weaknesses and

it, but I know! I can forgive her, I think.

to decide how they can change to improve the relationship.

She doesn’t want to go to marriage

That perspective requires an understanding that something

counseling, no matter how many times I’ve begged her to

is not working, making a decision to change, and actually

do so. We’re now sleeping in different bedrooms. I want

making concrete changes in our own behavior, thinking,

to fight for my marriage, but what can I do if she doesn’t

and attitude. If I change, I give myself the best chance that

want to? – Dismayed

my partner may change. No guarantees.


Dear Dismayed,

In relationships where there has been infidelity, it is often

The decision to separate or divorce is not

difficult for marriages to continue: often because the

one done by committee: it is an individual

offending party denies culpability for as long as possible,

choice. Sometimes, people leave one

because they minimize the extent of the infidelity, and

another simply because they have “fallen out of love.”

because they place blame on other people. Therapists

Other times, the reasons are very complicated: lack of

refer to this pattern as minimizing, rationalizing, and

fidelity by one or both parties, pornography, substance

externalizing: “It’s not that big a deal; I have my reasons

abuse, domestic violence, boredom, insensitivity,

for why I had to do it; and, it was your fault anyway!”

extremely different parenting styles, perceived lack of support, out-of-control gambling, extreme financial

Marriages wherein infidelity has occurred can not only

stress, personality conflicts, mental illness, etc. If one

just survive, they can actually flourish. For that flourishing

person chooses to end the marriage, it is over: no matter

to happen, three factors must occur: Acceptance of

what the other person wants.

responsibility, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

The decision to make a marriage or relationship better

When a guilty individual does not accept that s/he has

requires a commitment from both people. A healthy couple

done anything wrong, there is no basis to believe that

is only possible if each individual is emotionally healthy.

the marriage will improve. Trust is such a foundational

What we usually do is notice our partner’s faults, point

factor in healthy relationships that when trust has been

them out, and get upset when the other person chooses

broken, it is difficult to repair. When individuals repeatedly



deny that they been unfaithful, there are really only two

Thank you for being open about such a serious matter. I

options: either they did not do anything wrong or they are

would encourage you to keep talking to your wife about

unwilling to accept responsibility for their actions. The fact

what you need and want. Then, be prepared to listen

that you have such strong doubts about your wife’s fidelity

to her needs. Finally, if she continues being unwilling to

means that you must have some evidence of infidelity. I

seek outside help, I would encourage you to get help for

assume that you and your wife have had many discussions

yourself. You will need information and support as you

about this. Trust is clearly a prerequisite for any healthy

decide what is best for you into the future.

relationship. Some marriages continue for many years despite significant doubts about the faithfulness of the partner. These relationships are usually either boiling hot, replete with lots of loud accusations and hurt feelings, or are quiet, distant, and cold. Lives of “quiet desperation.”


Dear Dr. Joe, My father just died. We had a great memorial service that was a celebration of his life: complete with music, pictures,

and a nice reception. However, I’ve become extremely

In some cases, a marriage cannot survive even one

resentful. My brothers and sisters wanted everything to

instance of infidelity. In other situations, even marriages

be just so: perfect. But, they expected me to pay for

where serial infidelities have occurred, a marriage can

everything. They didn’t offer to share in any of the costs for

actually be made better than ever by working through

the funeral arrangements, for any of the services, or for the

the serious issues. If an individual admits to having been

flowers. Even the obituary was extremely expensive. My

unfaithful and ends the other relationship(s), these actions

siblings think that, just because I have a good job, I can

can be giant steps toward healing. Individuals accept

afford it. I’m mad and, now even more, sad! More than

responsibility when they admit to what they did, are

anything, I think I’m disappointed. – Resentful

open about the length of time, the intensity of the other relationship(s), and are specific about what they have done. I usually admonish the offended spouse to be careful not to ask for too many details about the infidelity. Although it is natural to be curious and have a strong need to know every detail, once those details have been heard it is next to impossible to erase them from your memory. That awareness can impede the healing process.


Dear Resentful, You bring up two very important topics, both of which are taboo subjects: end-of-life decisions and money.

I hope that your father previously provided your family with his end-of-life choices and preferences. When someone in the family dies is not the time to have to decide if that

I was once asked on a radio program, “How many times

person wanted to be cremated, wanted an open-casket

should I forgive my partner for serial infidelities?” My answer

wake or memorial service, or wanted a closed-casket

was that we are supposed to forgive “seven times seventy”

service. In many families, the topic of death is simply

(which is a large number). Remember that we do not forgive

not discussed. This silence results in despondent family

for the sake of the other, but for ourselves. As Dr. Cameron

members having to decide very important decisions in a

Lee (of Fuller Seminary) said, “Not forgiving is like drinking rat

hurry, under a lot of pressure, and without much information.

poison and expecting the rat to die.” Forgiveness is one issue,

This unfortunate mess usually leaves family members

reconciliation is another matter altogether. In other words,

at odds with each other, where resentments can easily

one person can forgive and end a relationship because the

develop. In some cases, it tears apart previously close-knit

inappropriate behavior continues to occur. In order to reconcile

families. I would encourage you and other members of your

and make the marriage better than ever, both people must

family to think carefully about end-of-life choices, including

commit to one another exclusively and must move forward

decisions about whether you want a “Do Not Resuscitate

using healthy skills for problem-solving. If a couple does not

Order” or not. Write your preferences down and talk with

possess those skills, they may require additional spiritual or

the rest of your family. Booklets on these topics and for this

professional assistance in order to learn and practice them.

purpose are available through your local funeral parlor.



have a good job. Therefore, you are expected to take care


all of the arrangements and pay for them. Sometimes, this

know that I will never forget the love that my husband and I

problem occurs when birth order is used to determine who

shared. Recently, however, I’ve been thinking about dating

will be responsible for making important decisions. Again,

a man who was our mutual friend for many years. He and

there is no discussion: there is simply an expectation. Finally,

his wife divorced shortly after my husband died. He recently

when a family member is designated to be the executor of

asked me out, and I declined. But, I’m interested. I know

an estate, this authority/responsibility usually places that

that my adult children will never accept the idea of me

individual in a very difficult position with the other relatives.

dating anyone, ever! What should I do? – Unsure

What is consistent in all of these scenarios is that family

Now that the funeral and related services are over and


(presumably) paid for, I would encourage you to document

with other human beings. Sounds as if you have the

the exact cost of everything that you paid for regarding your

possibility of exploring a new relationship. He’s interested,

father’s death. Do so in precise detail and send a copy of

you’re interested. Why not?

The second issue: money. Nothing tears up families and friends like arguments about money. Worse, often there is no argument, there is simply an expectation. That is, other family members may decide that you must have money, since you

members do not discuss these issues because money and death are involved. Our society and culture often avoids any discussion of money or of death.

Dear Dr. Joe, Two years ago, I lost my husband after nearly 40 years of marriage. He had high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. But,

he died of cancer. I guess if it isn’t one thing, it’s another! I

Dear Unsure, Follow your heart. Your kids will get over it. If not: “Oh, well!” As you have learned through the loss of your husband, life is short. One

“dirty little secret” is that people of all ages seek connection

these costs to each family member that can reasonably be expected to share in this “family expense.” Directly ask

There is no “appropriate” length of time to mourn the loss

each such person to pay their share. I do not know what

of your husband before starting to date. More than likely,

their responses will be. I suspect that some will gladly pay

you will mourn your husband for the rest of your life. Ideally,

some or all of their portion, some will begrudgingly do so,

the outward mourning turns to blissful inward memories of

some will say that they cannot afford to do so, and some

the love that your both shared. It is not disrespectful to date

will be upset that you even asked them to contribute

again. In fact, most couples discuss this topic as they get

anything. In any event, you will be much less resentful if

older, usually in a jovial manner. It is usually the adult children

you are open with your siblings about what you need from

who have a hard time considering you being in a new

them instead of simmering in silence. I know that this is a

romantic relationship with anyone who is not their father.

high-risk action. However, I can assure you that you will be forever resentful if you do not let your family know what

It is amazing to me how many older adults seek out

you expect from them. This bold action opens the door for

services through computer matching services. The issue is

healthy communication about money within your family. Do

not whether to date again, but when and with whom. I wish

not let resentment take root through inaction. No matter

you the best as you explore this next chapter of your life.

what the results, your dad would be very proud of you for


being so brave!

P.S.: Your kids may need therapy! 

.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 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, LLC, and with several universities, provides the opportunity 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.





VISIĂ“N | people and events

APRIL 16, 2016

Havens Women Center 3rd Annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes An event to Stop Domestic Violence

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


MAY 9, 2016

The Valley Business Forum “Our World is Changing” Hosted by the SBDC held at the Ceres Community Center

Photos by Daniel Cano



VISIÓN | people and events

MAY 7, 2016

The High Tea of Hope hosted their 9th Annual “Tea for Hope” to raise awareness about the issue of domestic violence. Keynote Speaker - Author Tina Aldatz

Photos by Shirley Hadley



MAY 21, 2016

Sabor del Valle held their first Annual Wine & Food event at Ramon Rios Winery. The event raises funds for local non profits.

Photos by Michael Torres



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/ and one and a half as a staff writer for the Sacramento State Hornet newspaper, writing over 150 articles, including videos and 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 non-profit 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.


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LATINOS ARE AT INCREASED RISK FOR ALZHEIMER’S Latinos are 1.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than Caucasians. And the number of Latinos with Alzheimer’s disease could increase 600 percent by 2050. Alzheimer’s is an epidemic devastating our families, our finances and our future. The disease is all around us – but the power to stop it is within us. Join us for the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s and be inspired by all the footsteps that fall into place behind yours. Together, we can end Alzheimer’s.




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Vision Summer 2016  
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