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VISIÓN | contents
Celebrating Success M
contents DEPARTMENTS Hispanic Heritage Month...................9 Feedback........................................10 From the Publishers.........................11 Legal Insights..................................22
12 Photo by Miguel Buenrostro
Health..............................................34 Family Matters.................................36 People and Events...........................42 Meet Our Writers.............................46
FEATURE STORY Your Vote Can Change the World...........................12
43 Photo by Tim Tafolia
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
contents | VISIÓN
ARTS Because it was Necessary...............18
COMMUNITY ACTIVIST Pride and Persistence......................24 EDUCATION Let Them Go Away to College..............................28 SURVIVOR Success is Giving Back...................30 TRANSITION Determination to Make It..................38 LEGACY The Phillip Patino Story....................40 Phillip Patino. Photo provided by the family
38 Photo provided by The Mexican Museum
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
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visión staff PUBLISHERS
Fred Bigler and Christine S. Schweininger
DESIGN & LAYOUT Delvisa DiDomenico
HEALTH & WELLNESS Joseph Hernandez, Ph.D.
LEGAL INSIGHTS Janell Freeman Somera
EDUCATION Eddie Garcia
SKIN CARE Kimberley Cockerham MD
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SALES Sally Serrano
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Xavier Huerta Matthew Harrington Rodney Cordova Venus Esparza-Zavala David Fauria Arlene Galindo Esmeralda Gomez-Cruz Jennifer Ramirez Rangel Vanessa Parra Jose Posadas
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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month BY JOSE RODRIGUEZ
AS PRESIDENT AND CEO OF EL CONCILIO,
they do on a daily
a Hispanic community based organization dedicated to
basis to advance our
helping Latino families improve their quality of life, I always
community does not
look forward to Hispanic Heritage Month. Hispanic Heritage
make them famous. In
Month is officially celebrated September 15 through
fact some of the most
October 15 as a result of legislation signed by President
Ronald Reagan on August of 1988. Although it may seem
are done every day
strange that the starting date of Hispanic Heritage Month
by people who are
is in the middle of the month of September and ends in
simply doing their job;
the middle of the month of October there is a very valid
teachers, farm workers,
reason for this. September 15, is the anniversary of the
child care providers,
independence of five Latin America countries: Costa Rica,
cooks, and waiters to
El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
name a few.
During Hispanic Heritage Month we recognize the
As the largest ethnic population in the United States we are
contributions and the presence of Hispanic Americans to
everywhere doing everything. We are opening businesses,
the United States and celebrate their heritages and cultures.
teaching classes, creating jobs and defending this country.
I mention heritages and languages as plural because
We are slowly but surely assuming more elected offices
Hispanics are not only one nationality or one culture. We
from the local school boards to city councils, to state
identify as Hispanics or Latinos. Hispanics are very diverse
legislators and even Governor of states like New Mexico
people who can be of European, African, and or Indian
and Nevada (and possibly California in 2016).
descent or a combination of all three. Hispanics come from Mexico, Central or South America, the Caribbean or even Spain. While the Hispanic population continues to grow and can now be found throughout the entire United States we have a long history of contributing to the betterment of this country starting right from the beginning.
Jose Rodriguez, CEO of El Concilio
Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity not only to look back at our history and accomplishments but to look towards the future and inspire new generations of Hispanics. We must share with our children what Hispanics have accomplished in America and more importantly we must remind them that they have the capacity to do even
History has recorded some of the contributions made
more. Our children must be instilled with pride for their
by Hispanics to the United States and names like Cesar
culture and heritage and the belief that there are no limits
Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Gloria Estefan,
on their future if they dare to dream.
and Sonia Sotomayor are fairly known to all of us as well as their contributions to civil rights, sports, music, or the legal profession. I respect the accomplishments of all these trail blazers and their achievements should be recognized and appreciated because of many instances where they broke barriers so others could follow behind them.
I encourage all Hispanics and Latinos to learn more about our history in the United States and to be proud of their heritage and culture because collectively as a community we have accomplished much. We have and will continue to make a positive contribution to the United States of America. Hispanic Heritage Month is as much about the
To me Hispanic Heritage Month is also an opportunity to
past as it is about the future, and our future is only getting
celebrate the contributions of all Hispanics even if what
brighter. Que Viva La Raza y Adelante! ď Ž
VISIĂ“N | FALL 2015
VISIÓN | feedback
I really appreciate Visión Magazine. It’s really inspiring and has in-depth knowledge for this global village. Thanks for sharing the knowledge and spreading the content worldwide. God will grant you the strength and will power to reach out to others. Amen.
Kodjie Godson ..................................................................................... Hello, My name is Mark Kliengartner and my wife and I own the Postal Center USA, at 2930 Geer Rd, in Turlock. Some months ago one of your representatives left some complementary copies of your Visión magazine in the store for our customers. I was very surprised to see how quickly your magazines were taken. I asked for additional copies to meet our need, which were quickly delivered. My compliments to you and your staff for offering an excellent magazine which is appreciated by those who frequent our store. Please remember to give us additional copies when your new magazine comes out this Fall. Sincerely, Mark Kliengartner ................................................................................... Thank you Visión Magazine for your sponsorship! I cannot recommend Visión Magazine enough. Make sure you pick up your copy. Many inspiring stories of Latinas/os who are making a big difference in our communities. A great read for all the family! Soco Castaña-Liles Ph.D. Assistant Professor Religious Studies Department Santa Clara University ................................................................................... I was at an appointment at Wells Fargo in Modesto and reading Visión Magazine. I love the Power of the Purse ad in the inside back cover and the Women’s Expo! I also loved Dr. Joe Q & A! Lovely magazine. Lynn Telford Certified Money Coach
Martha Villarreal, What a beautiful surprise to see an article written by you in VISIÓN magazine!!! I loved it!! You always have a word of encouragement when it comes to our kids’ education. Thank you!! Ana Lilia Chavez
Great magazine, I’m reading the Summer issue now. Visión Magazine is a thoughtful, well produced celebration of Hispanic successes. My highest compliments. Dave Menshew ........................................................................................... Christine & Visión Magazine Staff, Thank you for sharing the inspiring story of Benjamin Gonzalez and his CV Monarcas Youth Soccer Academy! Benjamin’s vision for offering an Elite Soccer Academy in the Central Valley has come to Fruition. The Organization’s Contribution to the Hispanic Youth in our Soccer Community has not only brought the 1st National Championship to Stockton but has provided Scholarships and Opportunities for many of it’s players. "A Goal For The Youth In Our Community!" Roy Morales Automotive Sales Professional & Community Advocate Chase Chevrolet, Stockton, CA
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VISIÓN | FALL 2015
from the publishers | VISIÓN
Building a better community After a long hot summer fall is finally here and I am glad. I love the cool breeze of autumn and the beautiful colors. But I have to admit, this year I am worried about the weather; I am worried about the lack of rain. At present my lawn has gone from green to gold. I have heard that El Niño is coming and will bring a big rain with it; I am hoping so. Our cover story this issue features political leadership; leadership in the voting booth. What is political leadership? It is when we let our voice be heard. Not only is it our privilege, but it is also our responsibility. Our contributing writer Jose Posadas shares with us the present need for each of us to step up and assume our responsibility to be more active making our wishes known. Also, new to this issue is Dr. Kimberly Cockerham, M.D., F.A.C.S. Dr. Cockerham actively keeps current in plastics, orbit, and neuro-ophthalmology. A passionate educator as well as a practitioner, she is the director of Oculoplastics, Orbit & Lacrial Section of the annual Bay Area Ophthalmology course at Stanford. She is an elected member of several prestigious medical societies, and teaches at annual national meetings throughout the country. Dr. Cockerham has published over 100 peer reviewed abstracts, papers, chapters and a book. In this issue Dr. Cockerham is writing about cancer, especially skin cancer. Unfortunately, skin cancer and related skin anomalies are becoming more common and are topics we should know more about. Recently, I attended a grassroots organization, Restore California, initiated by former congressman George Radanovich. Restore California is a volunteer organization dedicated to resolving social problems, especially “fatherlessness,” by joining with businesses, social agencies, religious institutions and interested volunteers, toward the goals of reducing poverty, drug abuse, unemployment, and personal dysfunctions. Congressman Radanovich related in his 16 years as a congressman he observed first hand our government spending billions of
dollars attempting to resolve social issues, all with limited results. He related that too long we have depended upon the federal government to solve our social problems. He believes it is only by the efforts of common people, seeing the need and willing to do something about it, that we can see effective results. Hence, Restore California was born. I am privileged to be part of this organization, which is dedicated to calling forth concerned people who are willing to volunteer their talents and time to get involved and become part of the solution. Working together we can build a better society. By featuring the lives and work of community leadership we at Visión magazine believe we are educating and encouraging the public to realize that they have the ability and energy to lead the way to cost effective community solutions. In closing, a big thanks to our readers who continue to encourage us in our efforts to put out a quality magazine. We are especially thankful for our advertisers who make this magazine possible. Please let them know you too are grateful for their support of Visión magazine.
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
CHRISTINE SCHWEININGER Publication Director/CEO
VISIÓN | feature
r u o Y
e t Vo
t n u Co
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
Your Vote Can
Change the World BY JOSE POSADAS
GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER “If you are not at the table, someone else is ruling your world.” Those are the words of Imelda Rodriguez, Community Director of CommUniverCity, a communitybased organization that promotes resident engagement in underserved communities of central San Jose, California, the self-titled Capital of Silicon Valley. Yet despite (some might argue as a result of) its rapidly growing hi-tech sector there are communities of color, many recently immigrated, including Latinos, for whom the wealth of this valley has overlooked. Through her work at CommUniverCity, a partnership between the community, San Jose State University and the City of San Jose, she helps to implement
Voting is a right best exercised by people who have taken time to learn about the issues.
programs dealing with education, health, neighborhood
– Tony Snow
environment, safety and access to food.
While not a political organization, CommUniverCity espouses civic participation, builds leaders in the
My own political awakening came when I was already
neighborhood who go on to become politically engaged
into my 30s. The passage of Proposition 187 in 1994, the
at the local level whether as vote-eligible citizens or as
ballot initiative to establish a state-run citizenship screening
immigrants (permanent legal residents or undocumented)
system and prohibit undocumented immigrants from
who advocate for desperately needed services within their
using health care, public education, and other services in
community. Imelda’s own personal path to being a politically
the State of California (only to be found unconstitutional
active Latina mirrors my own political awakening to some
5 years later), lit a fire in my political conscience. While
extent. Like her I was a permanent legal resident all my life.
the referendum would never apply to me as a Permanent
For years she had not taken the next step to becoming a
Resident Alien from Mexico, it was targeted at the
naturalized citizen, she never saw the benefit of voting, until
immigrant community of which I was one, yet I had no
she concluded she wanted a seat at the table. Finally, later
voting power to oppose it. Nonetheless, as an immigrant I
in her adult life, she took the steps needed to become a
became politically active, participated in voter registration
citizen and thus become vested politically in her adopted
drives, labored to get candidates elected to office who
country. Her road to voting began when she sought to elect
shared my views on issues important to me, and helped to
a local candidate running for city council in San Jose and
get out the vote on election day, all the while knowing that I
has continued to vote for the people running for office who
personally could not vote. While engaged in this civic role I
share and support issues important to her community.
too filed my papers for U.S. citizenship.
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
VISIÓN | feature Now as our nation begins to look to the 2016 presidential
UNDERACHIEVERS OR DREAMS UNHARVESTED
elections there is renewed interest in the Latino voter once
Despite our growing numbers, now at 23.3 million
again. It is widely accepted that President Obama won a
eligible voters. Despite the urgent call for mobilization on
second term in 2012 due in large part by winning 71% of
issues affecting the Latino community and the stakes
the Latino vote compared to 27% to republican candidate
involved, everything from the economy, to healthcare and
Mitt Romney. A record 11.2 million Latinos voted in that
immigration, the Hispanic voter seems to continually be
2012 election year and now both the Democratic and the
punching below his weight – performing at a level lower
Republican parties aim to court Latinos once again and
than should be expected.
tap into the awakening giant that many political observers believe may drive electoral outcomes for decades to come.
Needless to say Latino voter turnout has been an ongoing challenge for a multitude of reasons but one thing is certain,
A GIANT IN THE MAKING
as any grass roots activist will tell you, voter turnout is very
The rise of Latino political power as a force to be reckoned
dependent on voter outreach. Currently, only 59% of eligible
with, the proverbial Sleeping Giant, has been trumpeted
Hispanics are registered to vote. As a result, Democrats
by the media for decades going back to the 1980s when
as well as Republics are hoping (and spending millions) on
the Census Bureau put the number at 14.6 million the
changing that in 2016. Whether they are successful or not
number of Hispanics in the U.S. As a percentage of the
depends on answering the age old question for Latinos –
total U.S. population Hispanics accounted for a mere 6.4.
what is in it for me?
Fast forward to post-2010 Census there are now 54 million Hispanics accounting for 17% of the total population.
For both parties they will need to appeal to a diverse Latino population where only 44% of all Latinos are eligible to
In 2014 Hispanics now make up 39% of the nation’s most
vote, a population whose median age is 27, and where
populous state, California, making it just the third state in
U.S. born Latinos are even younger at 18. Latinos’ lack of
the country (after New Mexico and Texas) to have a Latino
economic and educational opportunities contributes to their
majority-minority population. By 2060, researchers predict
voter apathy, having no sense of being a stakeholder in the
that this percentage in the Golden State will increase to 48
outcome of elections they have no drive to be engaged.
percent – dwarfing the white non-Hispanic population at
The party that gets out the Latino vote will be the party that
30%, Asian-Americans at 13% and African Americans at 4%.
can make a strong case as to what Latinos have to win or lose in the next presidential election.
California’s growing Latino population mirrors that of states like New Mexico (46.7% Latino) and Texas (38% Latino).
Other reasons for low Latino voter turnout include:
Meanwhile politically coveted battleground states like
residing in a non-competitive state like California and thus
Colorado, Florida, and Nevada along with other states have
feeling that their vote won’t make a difference; the lack
propelled people of Hispanic origin as being the nation’s
of geographic concentration of Latinos that can frustrate
largest ethnic or race minority and the most sought after by
mobilizing efforts; the absence of Latino candidates or
candidates of any party.
incumbents and feeling that as a minority they are not being represented; the sense that having voted in the past
The often quoted number that brings home the point of
only to see their issues, like immigration reform, not being
Latinos’ growing potential on the political arena is that
addressed by the politicians they helped to elect leaves
every month over 50,000 Hispanics become of legal voting
Latinos with an unwillingness to participate again; and the
age. Looking at it annually, 800,000 Latinos nationwide will
lack of established groups, like churches, fraternal clubs, or
turn 18 every year for the next three decades. By 2050,
unions, that can mobilize Latinos all contribute to a lethargy
Hispanics will account for 29%, nearly a third, of the U.S.
that diminishes the Latino promise.
population, up from 17% now. 14
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
Increasing Latino voter turnout then can be likened
side the seemingly insurmountable obstacle will be to reach
to a farmer harvesting a field. Latinos, while diverse in
the supposedly magic number of 40 which refers to the
their country of origin, their economic and educational
40% of Latino votes needed to take back the White House-
background, or religious views, all have dreams of a
a tricky proposition considering the anti-immigrant rhetoric
better life not just for themselves but for their children. The
coming from many of the republican candidates.
political party that can plant those seeds within the Latino community, that can nurture its growth, that can maintain
While Hispanics overwhelmingly lean toward the Democrat
a relationship that is built on trust and accomplishment, a
party at 56% compared to Hispanics that lean toward the
party that sees the connection between sacrifice and hard
Republican party at 26% there seems to be consensus
work, that values the aspirations of a young population, and
among all Latino advocates that registration, regardless of
is an integral part of La Familia, it is that party that will reap
party affiliation is the key to political empowerment.
the fruit of its labor in the decades to come. “The most important thing is to make voter registration a priority,” argues Teresa Castellanos, Board Vice President
THE RACE FOR VOTES Mobilizing to get the Latino vote in 2016 is occurring on
of the San Jose Unified School District. “We all have to
multiple fronts from groups that, while billed as nonpartisan,
talk about why it is important to our community. We are a
are philosophically inclined either toward the left or the right.
demographic force, but we are not a political force. We have
Groups like Mi Familia Vota (mifamiliavota.org) have the
mobilized the Latino vote a few times, but we have been
goal of engaging Latino voters. Another is the Latino Victory
inconsistent. We need to make sure that no matter what we
Project (LVP; latinovictory.us), begun in 2014 by Henry
are doing or what the topics are, the minimum we do is vote.”
Munoz and Eva Longoria, whose mission it is to building the political power of the nation’s Latinos. Their project aims
WHY YOU SHOULD VOTE
to mobilize Latinos to vote, to recruit candidates, train them
The rise of the Hispanic population, natural born, immigrant
and support them financially in their races.
and undocumented, is shaping this country and will continue to do so for years to come. The “browning of
Preceding the creation of the LVP is the Libre Initiative
America,” as some writers have dubbed it, has been a
(libreinitiative.com), founded in 2011 by Daniel Garza, that
slow but steady process for generations. The 1980s saw
advances the principles and values of economic freedom
a boom in the Hispanic population due in large part to
to empower Latinos. This group provides services to the
immigration. Two decades later, from 2000 to the present,
Latino community such as helping to obtain driver licenses,
births surpassed immigration as the main driver of growth
tax filing, or providing school supplies for children. Backed
in the Hispanic population. These U.S. born Latinos will
by an operating budget of $14 million, it has staff in ten
face a new America, one quite different from that of their
states and represents one of the most expensive and
parents and grandparents.
ambitious outreach programs to the Latino community. The next Hispanic vote, if history repeats itself, will be led Efforts by these groups and others are geared toward
by Latinas who register and vote at rates higher than their
Latino empowerment and establishing goodwill within
male counterparts. The next presidential election will show
the community but with the ultimate goal of furthering the
that more Latinos without a college degree cast a vote than
electoral outcome of one political party or another.
those with a college degree; that more Latinos earning less than $50,000 voted at the polls than those who earn
For the Democratic Party the challenge will be to overcome
more than $50,000; that naturalized citizens voted in higher
the sense of broken promises that many Latinos feel after
numbers than U.S. born Latinos; and that Latinos between
supporting candidates whose platform included fixing the
the ages of 18-29 are the biggest block of Hispanic voters.
broken immigration system. While on the Republican Party
Still the challenge facing Latino advocates is delivering
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
VISIÓN | feature a message that resonates with this wide spectrum
let someone else make the decisions for them. Of course
of Hispanic voters. Issues that matter to Latinos, like
having others decide your fate as a Latino/Latina is never a
Jobs, Education, Health, and Immigration, have to be
good option but one that is made nonetheless by over half
communicated in a way that is tailored to the audience,
of the Hispanic population.
whether in English or Spanish, whether on TV or mobile devices. Get Out The Vote must first be preceded by Why
Raul Peralez, a freshman City Councilman from San
You Must Vote. Educating Latinos on the issues is key,
Jose, representing a downtown district that mirrors the
creative strategies that mix awareness and social bonding
changing Hispanic demographic offered this advice to his
are imperative like get-togethers called “Ballots and Brews”
fellow Latino elected officials, “We need to make a clear
where young Latinos gather to socialize and talk about the
connection between the issues our community is facing on
a day to day basis and how it relates to civic engagement. We need to show them the different opportunities available
For many Latinos, especially immigrants, there seems to
to them in the United States and that their voice matters.”
be a disconnect between citizenship and voting. Some Latinos are not even certain which political party applies
For those who still need an extra nudge on why they
to them as they see themselves liberal on some issues yet
should vote I offer the following plea: If you were ever told
conservative on others. They are uncertain of issues, weary
your opinion doesn’t matter you should vote. If you ever
of empty promises and struggling as much to not make the
went hungry for lack of money even though you had a
wrong decision as they are to even make one. They may
job you should vote. If you were ever told to leave a store,
believe, in the end, it is better to just sit on the sidelines and
a restaurant or park because of the color of your skin
Young people need to vote. They need to get out there. Every vote counts. Educate yourself too. Don’t just vote. Know what you’re voting for, and stand by that. – Nikki Reed 16
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
or the language you spoke you should vote. If you were
get out to vote. By contrast, 70% of adults age 45 and older
ever denied a place to live, an opportunity to grasp or an
consistently vote and their votes are shaping the future.
education to pursue because others told you that you had no chance you should vote. You should vote because you
So why should you vote? Well for one reason the 26th
live in a country that offers you that right regardless of your
Amendment granted you the right to vote when you turned
race, your social background, your income or education.
18. It was not that long ago that 18 year old boys were sent
You should vote because there are forces that would take
off to war in Vietnam yet could not vote here at home until
that right away from you if allowed to do so. You should
that law was passed in 1971. You should vote because
vote because if you do not then your life, your liberty and
those who vote have the ears of elected officials. Why do
those who you love could be placed in jeopardy. You
you think old people vote so consistently? Because they
should vote because you have unmet dreams, because
are a constituency that gets things done and if you want
this country, this democracy is a work in progress and
to get what you want from your government then you had
your vote means as much, maybe more, to the generation
better start doing the same. The more you vote the more
that follows in your footsteps. And when you vote you do
politicians will listen. It is as simple as that. ď Ž
so because you know that such a simple, solitary act can
indeed change the world.
For more information on voting: https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote http://www.rockthevote.com http://projectvote.org/youth-voting-.html http://kidsvotingusa.org/ http://www.whatkidscando.org/youth_on_the_trail_2012/national_youth_ vote_orgs.html
WHY YOU SHOULD START VOTING AT 18 Young people represent 20% of the eligible U.S. voting population. Yet less than half (49%) of millennials will actually
Photo by Miguel Buenrostro
VISIÓN || arts art VISIÓN
Alfredo Arreguin’s “Over the Rainbow” is a 2005 portrait of Rodriguez from the permanent collection of The Mexican Museum
Because it was Necessary My morning with Peter Rodriguez, founder of The Mexican Museum BY ARLENE GALINDO
Never have I ever been so nervous to interview someone for
in South San Francisco. We arrived at the monolithic
an article as I was in late August of 2015. It felt like I was in
structure of what is the old hospital on a hill near Twin
graduate school all over again as I took the morning drive
Peaks overlooking the city. It is prominent, and stately with
across the Bay Bridge. With my esteemed friends at my
character and charm and it is felicitous that Rodriguez
side, we drove into South San Francisco to meet one of the
would be living at Laguna Honda in his vintage years.
most revered pioneers in the, dare I say...Latino, Mexican
Laguna Honda originally opened in 1867 caring for the
Art Community. Soon I would again be with a man whose
primordial generations of San Franciscans, the Gold
work I have admired and followed for over twenty years,
Rush pioneers. It was built on a rancho that had been the
Mr. Peter Rodriguez.
property of José de Noe, the last alcalde, or mayor, of San Francisco in the days when the city was still part of Mexico.
Peter Rodriguez, is an artist, curator and champion
Statuesque, venerable & classical as the older portion of
collector of Mexican art. He is a luminary, explorer,
the hospital is, it is juxtaposed with a newer modern $585
adventurer, risk taker, celebrity, arts community challenger,
million dollar facility right next door where I would meet with
and my own personal hero. As a neophyte writer of art and
Mr. Rodriguez to share some of his invaluable time. Me,
culture with a personal interest in Latino Art, this wasn’t
a fan, a groupie, a Mexican arts ingénue in comparison
going to be just any interview like my other articles on wondrous and fabulous people, artists or exhibitions. This wasn’t work; it was an adventure. This was going to be a journey through my past, my present and my future. I was headed to a meeting of abysmal magnitude that will forever be embossed on my soul. Yes, I realize that I sound like a curator groupie, but as a fledgling collector of Mexican/Chicano/Latino Art myself, how could I not feel as if I were headed backstage to the “Hottest Show on Earth?” To collectors like me, who have studied and valued Mexican Art collections, Peter Rodriguez is the equivalent of a “Rock God.” Peter is 89 years old this year. I met him at his residence, Laguna Honda Hospital All photos provided by The Mexican Museum
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
VISIÓN | arts and a historian who wanted to hear the words from Peter Rodriguez himself on his experiences and hopes for the future. Meandering through the seasoned corridors of the older hospital into the new contemporary hospital to meet Peter was already becoming a surreal experience.
Membership is Important. – Peter Rodriguez
When I was told that Peter would be presenting his new works in an exhibition this for The Mexican Museum’s 40th Anniversary celebration, along with some of his older works, I was not only ecstatic but also intrigued. Laguna Honda has studio space at the hospital for the Art with Elders program where art and innovation thrives within its walls and where Peter is currently preparing for his upcoming exhibition in November. This exhibition for the 40th anniversary of The Mexican Museum is sure to be one of San Francisco’s premiere events this year and a treasured cachet for the Smithsonian as The Mexican Museum is the only Smithsonian affiliated museum institution in the west coast region. To have its founder exhibit his earlier and contemporary works on its anniversary celebration is a PR dream come true. I brought along Alicia Arong from Stockton who grew up with Peter and knew several of his family members. Peter was born in my Stockton, California. He still to this day is esteemed by his Stockton friends and colleagues and has been an influencer in the Stockton Arts scene even in his absence. He has exhibited his works at the Haggin Museum and revered artists and educators from the Stockton area such as Richard Rios, Rudy Garcia, and Raoul Mora, have discussed Peter and his work in the arts with me at one time or another. Another well-known artist from the Stockton area that worked with Peter, Rupert Garcia was a cousin of Alicia’s. 20
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
Peter was waiting for us as we walked in. Commanding the
but significant things such as color & lighting presentation to
room with his presence and looking stylishly dapper for the
interview, I prepared to begin the interview. But sensing my nervousness, Alicia initially broke the ice for the interview
In talking with Peter about the Northern San Joaquin Valley
with her personal memories of Peter’s time in Stockton with
demographics of regional Mexicans, I also asked Peter
his family. When she was as a young girl, she was always
Rodriguez if he thought that some of the local Museum
fascinated to see Peter and his Brother Roy working in
Institutions of the area should be collecting works from
the store windows with their little booties on. She asked
the artists that reflect the community. He stated, “They
him, “Why did you both always wear those little things?”
should have started a long time ago. “ I asked him if he
Peter responded, “I probably thought that they should be
had any words specifically for the artists of Stockton and
covered,” and then we all laughed. But I couldn’t help to
the San Joaquin Valley. He said, “I think this interview here
think that it must have been evident early on that Peter had
is important. I want them to know that they need to stand
an inclination to detail, care and preservation of work and
up for their rights as artists and not let anyone push them
a distinct style of execution and presentation. Working the
around and if they have any money they better put it forward
windows in his younger years was something the Peter
now.” He also stated, “Consider working in other museums
noted in Nora Wagner’s transcripts for the Smithsonian’s
until they recognize that the Mexican Culture is one of the
Archives of American Art in her oral history interview with
best in the world.” And that membership is important.”
Peter. 1 The transcripts are a comprehensive interview with Peter that consist of 32 pages conducted by Wagner who knew him well. The interview is one that is incomparable and
As I ended my morning discussion with Peter, we ended on a beautiful note and a hug. I look forward to my membership
provides invaluable information on Peter’s work.
with The Mexican Museum and other museums and I
I flatly asked Peter, “Why did you start the Mexican
becoming new members, or in particularly joining the level
encourage our readers to support The Mexican Museum by
Museum?” He stated, “Because it was necessary. And
of the Builder’s Society. Peter’s exhibition will take place
it was difficult. It is true that we
at the museum located in Fort Mason in November. I am once
wanted to show our work the way
again in wondrous anticipation of
we wanted to and not how they
seeing him again at the 40th year
(the museum community) would
anniversary of his legacy. Rodriguez
show it for me. And because
encourages all to attend. “I hope all
nobody had been paying attention to them. (The artists).”
my friends can come and that they
We discussed his 1992
own people should pay to get the
bring their money with them. Our museum going and not depend on
Retrospective exhibition at the
others. They have the money and
Haggin Museum in Stockton in
they should give it to the museum
which he had stated in Wagner’s
so that the museum can go on with
transcripts for the Smithsonian that
the plans. Whatever is needed.”
he didn’t like how his work was
initially presented and had them change it. Peter discussed when
For Further information on The Mexican Museum and its upcoming 40th Anniversary Celebration and how to become a member please see their website. http://www.mexicanmuseum.org/
artwork is displayed at a museum some of the important things that made a big difference were small VISIÓN | FALL 2015
VISIÓN | legal insight
BY JANELL FREEMAN SOMERA
Asylum is a type of
3) on account of race, religion, national origin,
membership in a particular social group, or
relief that is available
political opinion, or that they experienced such
to people who have
persecution in the past.
fled their country because they fear persecution. Asylum was first created by Congress in 1980 when the Refugee Act was passed. This act was created to bring the United States law into compliance with established international refugee law. Since the creation of asylum in the 1980s, the amount of asylum applicants has significantly increased due to wars and human rights violations.
An asylum applicant can show they have a well-founded fear of future persecution if they demonstrate they suffered persecution in the past or when there is a “reasonable possibility” that they will suffer persecution in the future. This standard comes from the Supreme Court case INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca. The applicant must have a subjective and objective fear of returning to their home country. To meet the persecution standard for asylum, physical harm is not required. Case law has described persecution as a threat to the life, freedom of, or the infliction of suffering or harm upon, those who differ in a
ASYLEE V. REFUGEE An asylee is someone who seeks relief from inside the United States and a refugee is someone who seeks relief from outside the United States. According to a June 2015 report by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), there are nearly 60 million forcibly displaced people in the world. Half of all refugees are children. Overall, applicants seeking refugee status abroad must meet the same legal test as applicants seeking asylum in the United States.
way regarded as offensive. A deprivation of liberty, food, housing, employment, or other essentials of life might meet the persecution standard required for asylum. It is very common for race, religion, national origin, membership in a particular social group, and political opinion to overlap. Most applicants argue more than one ground. An applicant for asylum must apply for asylum within one year of entering the United States. There are
THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS
To meet the requirements for asylum, the applicant must show that they have:
some very narrow exceptions to this one-year filing requirement. The asylum applicant may also include their spouse and children who reside in the United
1) a well-founded fear
States. Only one family member per asylum application
2) of persecution
must meet the requirements for asylum. Also, there is no fee to file the asylum application.
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
Certain activities might render an applicant inadmissible,
apply for asylum should gather affidavits, police reports,
meaning they are disqualified from applying for asylum.
newspaper articles, medical records, and any other
Individuals who are a danger to the United States, who
relevant documents or evidence.
were firmly resettled in another country before arriving in the United States, or who have been convicted of
Asylum is purely discretionary. Since there is no “right”
a particularly serious crime are barred from applying
to receive asylum, the character of the asylum applicant
for asylum. Whether a crime is particularly serious is
is very important. It is imperative for an asylum applicant
decided on a case-by-case basis.
to present evidence illustrating they are a person of good moral character who deserves asylum. All of the
applicant’s positive qualities should be presented to the
The Department of Homeland Security’s United States
officer or judge adjudicating the case. These officers
Citizenship and Immigration Services adjudicate
and judges receive and review thousands of asylum
(decides) affirmative asylum applications, while
applications so it is important to highlight the reasons
immigration courts adjudicate defensive asylum
the applicant deserves asylum.
applications. Affirmative applications for asylum are filed before the applicant has been placed in immigration
court proceedings and defensive applications are filed
If the applicant’s asylum is approved, the applicant can
once a person has been placed in removal proceedings
apply for several benefits including, work authorization,
as a defense against removal from the United States.
permission to travel outside of the United States,
For asylum processing to be defensive, you must be in
asylum for their relatives, public benefits, and the
removal proceedings in immigration court. For example,
right to apply for permanent residency one year after
if Edgar is present in the United States without legal
receiving asylum. The most important benefit is the
status, believes he qualifies for asylum, and has not
right to apply for lawful permanent residency. This
received a letter to appear before Immigration Court,
benefit could provide the applicant with a path toward
he will file an affirmative application with the USCIS. If
citizenship within 5 years.
Edgar’s application is not approved, Edgar would then have an opportunity to argue asylum once more before
Since the one-year clock beings ticking the moment
an Immigration Judge. If Edgar was intercepted by
the applicant sets foot in the United States, if you or
authorities and placed in removal proceedings for being
someone you know qualifies for asylum, do not hesitate
inside the United States without legal status, Edgar
to contact an experienced immigration attorney.
would lose his chance at filing an affirmative application and would only be allowed to file a defensive application for asylum as a defense against his removal from the United States. ........................................................................................ The evidentiary burden of proving asylum rests on the applicant. While convincing testimony alone might suffice, the officer or judge might require more corroborative evidence to establish the applicant qualifies for asylum. Applicants wishing to successfully
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 | FALL 2015
VISIÓN | community activist
BY VENUS ZAVALA
THE LEGACY OF A STRONG WORK ETHIC PASSED down to our children can possibly be one of the most significant gifts that can be of most value for generations to come. Working hard and doing your job well is the ultimate way to achieve success in whatever one does in life. Success is not always easy; one must truly struggle in order to reap the benefits and appreciate what our achievements ultimately represent. When we reach that goal, it is our responsibility to our family and to our community to encourage, exemplify, and support others in their journey to success. One remarkable woman that I have had the honor and privilege to meet is Attorney Maria Jaime. Maria is the daughter of farm workers, and she has known what hard work is from a very young age. She lived with her parents in a labor camp in Ceres, CA and worked in the fields with her father in the summer. Her mother worked in a cannery and was able to supplement the family’s income. Maria not
Pride and only worked hard, she also overcame many life challenges
family and argued that the family should be able to stay in
despite feeling many times that it would be easier to retreat.
the camp because her mother worked for a cannery. They
The first trial would be the passing of her father while she
won and they were able to maintain their residence. Maria
was a freshman in high school. If she thought that life was
was impressed by the representation her family received
hard to that point, she would soon find out that she would
from CRLA and through the years remained loyal to public-
have to defy life tribulations, and she would also be the
interest concerns and the community in which they served.
proof that few accomplishments were beyond her reach. While she and the rest of her family were mourning her
Her journey towards higher education was not met
father’s death, they were notified that they were no longer
without test. Maria had to work to support her mother
eligible to remain in their home in the labor camp as there
once she became disabled and could no longer work
was no longer a qualified farm worker in her household. The
in the cannery. It was difficult to maintain a job, attend
California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) represented the
school, and to do well in both areas. It proved to be
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
Maria and her mother
Maria with her father on her 9th birthday in 1986
Swearing in June 2, 2004 with Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Cummins
Persistence even more challenging when she went to Law School.
would remind her of where she was now and what she
“Working all day, driving to Sacramento at 5 to attend
was now, and what she would have later. Her Aunt Inez
class at 6:30, then to drive back to Ceres at 9:30 pm,
would say “Ahorita te estas comiendo las agrias, despues
only to get home and do homework until 3 am, it was
vienen las dulces,” which translates to “Right now you are
exhausting.” Maria knew that she wanted to pursue this,
eating the sour ones, later you will eat the sweet ones.”
and continued with the encouragement of her mother and
These words would bring focus to Maria’s tired soul,
her Aunt Inez. When Maria was exhausted and wanted to
“Everything worth anything takes time.”
quit, her aunt would tell her, “Your life is not hard. Imagine what you mother’s life was like. You need to finish. She
In May 2003 she graduated from Lincoln Law School in
needs to have this from you!” There were many of these
Sacramento with a Juris Doctorate, and was admitted
conversations and Maria persisted along the dredging
to the Bar in June 2004. She began her career as a
course. Along with these conversations, her Aunt Inez
Public Interest Attorney for the CRLA, with an expertise in
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
advocating for the farm workers Farm Labor Housing. This
encouraged her, passed away in July of 2006, a little
was her community and she wanted to make a difference in
over one month after her mother’s death. Neither her
their life as the CRLA had made a difference in her life when
mother, nor her aunt would be able to see her celebrate
her father passed. It was hard work, she worked pro-bono,
her 30th birthday, nor would they be present to witness
there was no great monetary gain, but she was able to truly
her exchange vows with her longtime boyfriend Ceasar
help her community attain the legal representation that was
Guzman. Anybody else may have felt the need to take a
very much needed. She was happy doing what she had
long break from work and mourn; not Maria. She was not
in her heart to do! Not only was it hard work, she came
about to let all her hard work fade before her. Instead she
to realize that her biggest obstacle was not being able to
put her energy back into her work, decided she needed
separate herself from the profession. She carried her clients
a change and left public interest law for private practice.
problems with her and she was often more worried about
She joined the very reputable Curtis Legal Group, a law
them than they were. Eventually she learned to balance that
firm in Modesto, California. She would now practice as
obstacle, her substance was her dedication and her level
a Civil Litigation and Personal Injury Attorney. She took
of commitment to them through this role she gained the
the position as a means to pass her grieving and heal the
community’s invaluable trust and respect.
open wounds of the recent passing. She knew that private practice would be grueling and time consuming which
Her mother was able to see her graduate and was able to
would allow her to immerse herself in her work.
see her work hard in the community as a public interest attorney. However in June 2006, her beloved mother
She didn’t have to wait long to build a clientele. She soon
passed away. This loss left her severely wounded, grief
discovered that she had a niche, a very lucrative niche,
stricken, and in a state of desperation. What made her
and a much needed service in the farm worker community.
grieving worse for her family was her Aunt Inez who had
The reward was “Assisting people to get through a difficult
Maria as a little girl growing up at the Ceres Farm Labor Center
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
time. My job is to get them through the process with the
When Maria looks back she realizes it wasn’t so much her
best possible outcome.” She feels very blessed to serve the
language that was a problem, it had more to do with her
community but most importantly she has continued to earn
study habits and lack of routines that made her educational
their trust for representation.
journey a challenge. “Parents need to be active in their kids’ education as much as possible. After school programs
The transition from personal interest to private practice had
can be utilized for homework time, getting tutoring as soon
one uncomfortable factor for Maria, “Charging my clients.”
as possible, taking their kids to the library teaching them
Taking a percentage from her clients via a contingency
how to read quietly in a quiet environment, and allocating
agreement was hard for her, but she realized that her “Hard
a specific time for homework. Good study habits and
work brought good things to her clients, good attorneys
daily routines can be so helpful in preparing for higher
win!” She learned early on to make sure she had the
education.” The other thing that our younger folks need is
substance to work hard for her clients because quality
“ongoing encouragement and resource support.” Working
representation mattered to her clients.
hard in the classroom is just as important as working hard in the fields. That one little thing of ‘I am here for you’ can be the one factor they need to make it.”
Working hard and developing good study habits will go a long way.
“Knowing what I know now and reflecting on my challenges, I am really proud to be part of The Latino Business Association (LBA) as the goal is to promote these kids to give them a message that “We are here to support you!” The association wants to be “That little something that is needed, the encouragement that they can be successful, letting them know it will be hard, but they can
When asked to compare the challenges she faced in higher
do it!” It is a lot harder when you don’t have an education.
education and the current work load, Maria said that it was
By providing scholarships, resources and their time, the
definitely the road to higher education that was a greater
association hopes to advance young people to higher
challenge. She recalls the hardships and the times that she
education one child at a time.
could have given up and imagines that although today’s youth have so much more depth and natural skill than she
Maria exemplifies what it means to work hard while facing
did at their age, she realizes that there are some students
adversity. Her parents and family would be proud to know
who will need much more to succeed. “Preparing for higher
that she continues to honor their legacy of pride and
education starts early. There are many factors that already
persistence. While Maria is definitely a busy attorney, she
plague our community; resources are limited, parents are
is a bit busier as she now has two children, ages two-and-
working several jobs to make ends meet, and language.”
a-half and one-and-a-half. And while this may seem like a
Maria recalls when she was in the first grade and the
recipe for slowing down, she continues to be active in the
difficulty she had in school as she repeated kindergarten.
community and recognizes that “I must act honorably in
Being held back in kindergarten really affected her,
everything I do both personally and professionally. I owe
especially her self confidence. “As a child, the first thing that
my community, my parents and need to set an exemplified
comes to mind is that I can’t do this or I can’t do that. The
role to my children." Her message to our young people is
reality is that there is much more that I can do! There are
“Prepare yourself now while you are young because life will
more positives to being bilingual, we need to stop building
get harder. Working hard and developing good study habits
on the negative and build on the positives! Speaking two
will go a long way. Stay focused and know that you can do
languages at a young age is priceless, and it isn’t always a
it, we are here for you and we believe in you!”
barrier to academic success.” VISIÓN | FALL 2015
VISIÓN | education
Let Them Go Away
to College THIS SPRING, WE HAD
Sandra is an elementary school principal and I served on
a new family ritual that
the high school board. Our daughters had a simple rule
could be called, “Race
about school. If they did their best, we told them, they
to the Mailbox.” This is
could attend any college they wanted with our full support.
how it worked. Every day,
BY EDDIE GARCIA
I picked up my daughter
Sandra and I have spent our careers encouraging Latino
Erica from school. As my
students and their families to get a college education.
car slowly pulled up to
A recent poll sponsored by The Nielsen Company and
the driveway, she dashed
Stanford University indicates that Latino parents agree with
out and ran straight to the
us. Nearly 90% stated that they want their children to go
mailbox before the vehicle
to college. That same poll, however, cited that only 13% of
came to a complete stop.
Latinos who attend college actually finish.
Tossing envelopes onto
The top reason for that discrepancy is the high cost.
the kitchen counter like playing cards, she sifted through
Number two on the list is family obligations. In addition to
the mail looking for that one letter. For parents who have
needing help with the household income and childcare,
gone through this ritual, you know what I’m talking about.
Latino parents are reluctant to allow their kids to stray far
The prize was the big envelope with a packet of information
from home, especially girls. Hogwash, I thought. Our oldest
and a cover letter that began with, “Congratulations! You’ve
daughter goes to school in Los Angeles and she’s doing
After a grueling application process, Erica was in a constant
Then our high school senior was accepted to all five
state of anticipation. She applied to five universities
schools and a funny thing happened on the way to decision
to pursue her passion for fine arts. Two schools are in
day. Sandra and I immediately raised red flags about
Southern California. Two are located close to home,
New York City. It’s really far. It’s really cold. It’s really big.
including San Jose State University, her parents’ alma
Is she ready for such a step? Before we even started a
mater. The fifth campus is at the center of the nation’s art
conversation with our daughter, we had virtually eliminated
world, New York City.
the east coast school from the list.
As first-generation college graduates, my wife Sandra and
There’s no way she’ll go that far, we rationalized. She’ll
I have always put education at the forefront of family life.
choose the school in southern California to be close to
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
her sister. Sandra and I were secretly rooting for San Jose
confidently told us that she wanted to go to New York, we
State. The days leading up to the decision were tense.
hugged her, cried, and gave her our blessing.
Friends and family constantly wondered aloud if she was really considering a school so far from home. They often
This experience has given us insight into why parents
asked,” Are you going to let her go?”
are reluctant to do the same. If the proposition of letting our daughter go so far away from home for an education
Everybody was debating and deliberating the pros and
is scary to us as college educated Latinos, it must be
cons of such a decision, except for Erica. She was typically
terrifying for those who are the first generation in their family
calm and collected holding her cards, or in this case, her
to consider sending their children away to college. But, we
large envelopes, close to her chest. Sandra and I prodded
must get over that fear to ensure that our kids have every
and pried trying to get her to let us know what she was
opportunity to succeed.
thinking. She responded that she wasn’t sure. Either L.A. or the East Coast, she finally admitted.
parents to allow their children to follow their dreams, even if
Then the reluctance we secretly harbored turned into hard-nosed interrogation. What’s in New York that you can’t get in California? How are you going to adjust to the freezing cold? What if you get homesick? What will you do in an emergency? Soon our reluctance became outright resistance. Erica correctly reasoned that there wasn’t a better place in the country to study art and asked why we were discouraging her.
Sandra and I will continue to encourage other Latino that means going afar to study. We can now do so with the compassion that only a parent can understand. As this article goes to print, we’re about three weeks away from boarding a plane bound for New York. I’m anxious and fearful, yet excited and confident. Boarding the plane home won’t be easy. I’ll be okay, though. I know that the young woman we leave behind will flourish at the center of the art world.
Sandra and I were dismissing a lifelong belief system we shared with our daughters. I questioned why were falling into the same trap as our fellow Latino parents. Like many Latinos, we have a large and tight-knit extended family. We do everything together: school and athletic events, birthday celebrations, vacations, dinner on the weekends. We came to the conclusion that Erica would miss too many family gatherings. We finally realized that we were, for selfish reasons, pitting family “obligations” against her choice of a college education. We then became conscious of the real reason behind our motivations. We were scared of the unknown. We ultimately decided to walk the talk. When our “little girl” Photo provided by Eddie Garcia
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
VISIÓN | survivor
Success is Giving Back BY ADOLFO MELARA
I GREW UP IN A COUNTRY AT WAR. THE CIVIL
school’s gate, blocking their path into the school. Life
war in El Salvador, my birth country, was changing the
amidst the war was precarious.
landscape for everyone. But for me, it was all I knew. As a child I experienced firsthand the brutality of murders and killings. I got used to seeing dead bodies, burning buildings and soldiers fighting with the guerrillas. I heard the sounds of war: bullets ricocheting and cries of agony.
My mother felt there was no longer hope for the family in El Salvador. She and my father made a decision to go north, to the United States. She would go first, find a job and send for us later. Like thousands of Salvadorans
Both, my mother and father, who had been prosperous
in the 1980s, she managed to find a way to cross the
middle-class business people, saw their livelihood and
U.S./Mexico border. At 30 years old, my mother found
businesses fall apart. Further, my mother was worried
herself alone in a new country with no place to go. From
about me and my brothers and sisters. Living in the
Calexico, she boarded a bus to San Diego where a
chaos, I was becoming an out of control 8 year old and
stranger casually recommended Lodi, California as a place
my mother was worried for my safety and mourning the
to make a new life (“Once you taste the water in Lodi,” the
loss of my innocence. Nevertheless, through this turmoil,
stranger told her, “you’ll never want to live anywhere else.”)
my parents sent me to school where the Catholic nuns
On faith, she took the advice (and another bus) and found
tried to keep us safe. On one occasion, Sister Ana Maria
a job picking grapes in the summer and pruning vines in the
risked her own life, confronting the rebel soldiers at the
winter. After getting established, she returned to El Salvador
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
three years later to get me (11 years old at the time) and my
torn Cambodia. During lunch one day, he had calmly and
15-year-old brother out of the country, as the military, in dire
solemnly shared how he witnessed soldiers murder his father
need of soldiers, was drafting boys as young as 11. My two
right in front of him. In comparison, it seemed like my life
younger sisters and younger brother would have to wait until
was not so bad after all. I had a good family: my (biological)
she could raise enough money to bring them back too.
dad back in El Salvador, who had always taught me to work
Arriving in Lodi in the summer of 1983 was a shock. I knew no English and peace was a foreign concept to me. I felt lost and out of my element. Mother enrolled me in elementary school and warned me not to cause any trouble. She reminded me I was an illegal alien and told me not to
hard; my (adoptive) dad here in the U.S. who would give his life to spare mine; a mother who, in my eyes, has always been greater than love and life combined; and siblings who showed me unconditional love. We may have been poor
look anyone in the eye. I did my best to learn English and
and clandestine, but we
fit in. But I knew I was different and I longed for my home in
had one another.
El Salvador. As time went on, I progressed through school, in great part due to the heroic efforts of my fifth and sixth
I soon came to realize
grade teachers at Heritage Elementary School. However, my
that I might never get
mother worked long hours to make ends meet, and I was
my green card and
increasingly dissatisfied (and feeling very much ashamed
become a legal citizen
of being an illegal alien.) Sometimes I felt my life in the
of the U.S. I felt I must
United States was worse than the civil war I left behind in
accept my lot in life and
El Salvador. I used to think: “maybe I should return; at least
I would have a country; I could be somebody.” I feared it was impossible to succeed in America. For all intents and purposes, I dropped out of high school – attending classes once every few weeks, not feeling the school knew how to support me, as I struggled in acquiring the English skills needed to master academic content in a foreign language. The support I had received in elementary school had evaporated once I entered secondary. It was nobody’s fault; it was simply the way it was back then. Instead, I found solace in the Public Library, where I read the day away. My brother tried to encourage me to go back to school, but I felt my life was going nowhere, and I lacked the heart to try. You see, back in 1986, the U.S. government established a pathway for illegal immigrants to get a Green Card, and I received one and finally felt that I belonged; I felt like a whole new person. Unfortunately, it was to be short lived. The Green Card program was terminated and all Green Cards were revoked for those who had arrived after January of 1982; my hopes were dashed and I fell into deep hopelessness. I think my change began when I recalled the story of a former middle school friend who had come to America from warVISIÓN | FALL 2015
All photos provided by Adolfo Melara
that at least I should become an educated person –
never give up despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
documented or not; as much as I feared the INS, I feared
I decided to pursue a career in education. Upon earning
ignorance and poverty more. I knew if I applied myself, I
my teaching credentials, I immediately began working as a
could catch up on my high school studies. With a renewed
teacher and found satisfaction in helping children develop
interest in getting my education, I doubled up on my classes,
their abilities and skills. My career in education progressed
took some night courses and attended summer school. I
and today (17 years later) I am humbled and proud beyond
was able to catch up with my class and graduated on time
words to be the Superintendent of Schools for Delhi Unified
from Lodi High School in 1991.
School District, where my goal is to be a servant to all. I have
The following fall I enrolled at Delta College, in Stockton, California, and although it was not easy due to my undocumented status, I fought through the challenges, shame, and self-doubts. Once I made up my mind to do
learned that we become most effective, not when we try to build our own life, but as we build a better world working together as a team. I believe the most powerful way to teach and to learn is through dialogue with others.
something with my life it seems like things began to look up
I want to invite everyone in our community to give, to realize
for me. I worked my way through college; finally received
how much satisfaction one can derive from serving others.
my Green Card (which was actually pink) in 1997; in 1998 I
We must inspire our youth to believe in themselves. Let’s work
earned my Bachelor’s degree; in 2003 I earned my Master’s
together to empower students to gain the tools they need to
degree; and finally in 2006, I earned (yes, earned, my U.S.
effectively put into action their individual abilities, so that they
citizenship). A heavy load fell off my shoulders, and I felt I
may help themselves and others forge a better life. As adults
could now live out of the shadows and take charge of my life.
and professionals, we need to learn to work as a team. By
For the first time since leaving El Salvador 23 years earlier, I
connecting with one another we become stronger and, in
felt a real sense of belonging with a purpose to contribute in
turn, create a more just, positive, and stronger society.
any way possible to the betterment of this country.
That’s a bit about me, a bit about my story: a very difficult
I felt fortunate to be a U.S. citizen, and I also became aware
past, to a hard-working present, to a more perfect future.
of a deep desire to give back to others. I shared my life
Just like you, I’m sure. Just like us. Just like America.
experience to encourage others, especially young people, to
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
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A Spring 2015
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VISIÓN | health
Skin Cancer is a Real Risk –
PROTECT YOURSELF BY KIMBERLY COCKERHAM, MD, FACS
damage which is central to skin cancer formation.
I LOVE THE FEELING OF THE SUN ON MY SKIN
SPF (sun protection factor)
and the beauty of a vibrant sunset. But the sun shines
refers to the burning rays,
brightly nearly every day here in the Central Valley. No
so an SPF of 30 means
matter what time of year it is—whether outdoors or simply
that the product being
riding in a car—it’s important to know the facts on how
applied will prolong the
to best protect your skin from the harmful ultraviolet (UV)
time you can be in the sun
radiation found in sunlight.
before a sunburn forms (e.g., from 5 minutes to 30
SKIN CANCER IS ON THE RISE
minutes). SPF does not
Over the past three decades, more people have had skin
tell you whether you have
cancer than all other cancers combined. Melanoma, the most deadly of the skin cancers, has steadily increased over the last few decades. In those under 30, melanoma has tripled! Skin cancer isn’t limited to the fair skinned among us. While less common in Hispanics and African Americans, melanoma is frequently fatal for these
any protection from the UVA rays that cause aging and contribute to cancer formation. READ SUNSCREEN LABELS The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG’s) Sunscreen Guide for 2015 finds persistent problems with the
populations due to delay in diagnosis.
ingredients and marketing of sunscreens for the American
90% OF SKIN CANCER IS DUE TO SUN EXPOSURE Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that they are getting passive exposure when driving their car and sitting inside their home and office. Clear UVA/UVB coating for your car windows can help combat the DNA damage
market. Fully 80 percent of the 1,700 products they examined offer inferior sun protection or contain worrisome ingredients. The following ingredients should be avoided in sunscreens:
that penetrates the skin and enters the bloodstream
caused while driving. Sun protection is still necessary on foggy or rainy days, yet only 33% of women and 10% of men report wearing sun protection on a daily basis.
with uncertain consequences.
its use is prohibited for minors in several states.
carcinogenic and to stimulate autoimmunity.
• Vitamin A compound (aka retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, or retinyl linoleate) Found in 19 percent of sunscreens, this antioxidant combats skin aging
SUN “TO DO’S” Know your sun terminology. There are two kinds of UV rays: ultraviolet A (UVA) are the aging rays and ultraviolet B (UVB) are the burning rays. Both contribute to the DNA
• Parabens, which act as preservatives to prolong a product’s shelf life, have been found to be both
. Voluntary sun exposure, such as a tanning booth, is a particularly dangerous form of UV exposure, which is why
• Oxybenzone is a hormone-disrupting compound
but has been found to trigger development of skin tumors and lesions when used on skin in the presence of sunlight.
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
PROTECT YOURSELF ON A DAILY BASIS As you head outdoors, keep in mind the following:
• Hats, appropriate clothing and sun avoidance.
While sunscreens are important, EWG finds that these remain the most reliable forms of sun protection.
• Use mineral sunscreens. EWG gives favorable ratings to mineral sunscreens that contain zinc or titanium, which are natural minerals that do not contain any hormonal-disrupting chemicals.
• Try to limit sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Even on an overcast day, up to 80 percent of the sun's UV rays can get through the clouds.
• Have your Vitamin D level checked and supplement with D3 as needed. This hormone is produced when UV light interfaces with the skin; so avoiding sun and wearing sunblock can result in low levels. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to bone depletion, heart disease, depression and increased rates of non-skin cancers.
Dr. Cockerham looks forward to helping you. A decorated veteran, Dr. Kimberly Cockerham is Board-Certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and fellowship-trained in cancer diagnosis and surgical reconstruction for the eyelids, eye muscles and area behind the eyes (the orbit). “Over the last two decades, I have had the privilege to care for so many wonderful people,” says Dr. Cockerham. “I continue to learn every day from my insightful patients and through research with amazing colleagues.” Optimize your health, enhance your appearance. Dr. Cockerham offers the following services to maintain optimal skin health and rejuvenation: • Skin cancer screening, biopsies and reconstruction • Medical evaluations for eyelid, tear drainage, scars and autoimmune disease • Cosmetic consultations for aging changes of the eyelids and face • Botox, dermal fillers, growth factor, stem cells, laser treatments and cosmetic surgery • Doctor-formulated KCMD Skin Science* and other anti-aging products 20% discount on products/services for Visión readers who mention this article.** *All proceeds of KCMD Skin Science skin care sales go toward the Let’s Face It Together Foundation (LFIT). LFIT is a non-profit organization founded by Dr. Cockerham, which provides medical care and surgical reconstruction for community members in need who suffer from facial disfigurement and dysfunction. To learn more, go to LFITfoundation.org or call 209-333-8369. Lodi Stockton Modesto 209-952-3700 CockerhamMD.com ** 20% discount good until November 1, 2015
Look YOUNGER. SeeBETTER! Your Eyes Deserve the Best • Complimentary consultation • 10 units of free Botox with $250 purchase • 20% off laser and/or surgical eyelid lifts Offers expire November 1, 2015
Kimberly Cockerham, MD Former Chief of Oculofacial Plastics, UCSF Celebrating her fourth year caring for you and your neighbors in the Central Valley
To schedule an appointment:
209.952.3700 Lodi - Manteca - Modesto - Stockton VISIÓN | FALL 2015
VISIÓN | family matters
family matters Q
By Joseph L. Hernandez, Ph.D.
me paid my bill. At first, I was confused, because
I didn’t know what was happening. Then, I was
when we have to deal with our kids. It seems that my
upset, because the guy thought that I needed help!
wife treats my kids worse than she treats her kids. She
Fortunately, I recovered in time and thanked the man.
has higher expectations of my children and lets her
Why did it take me so long to recognize and appreciate
kids do whatever they want, without consequences. It
this man’s generosity? – Flustered
doesn’t seem fair. What do you think? – Unfair
Our response to others, including strangers, is usually
based on our life experience: on how we have been
when blending two families into a new unit is the reality
treated by others in the past. Some of us are naturally
that each parent has a different history with each child.
skeptical and suspicious when a stranger shows
That differential history often causes the biological
kindness. Others only see the good in people, and may
parents to be protective of their child. The net
become vulnerable to exploitation.
result, however, is that a stronger bond can develop
Dear Dr. Joe, Not long ago, I was placing my order at a fast food restaurant. As I reached for my wallet, the person in line behind
Dear Flustered, Human beings are complex. While humans are able to do great good, we are equally able to cause great harm.
Dear Dr. Joe, My wife and I have been married for a few years. This is the second marriage for both. We each have two kids from
our prior relationships. We get along great, except
Dear Unfair, I’m glad that you have found true love. Despite the statistics regarding divorce, hope springs eternal for finding a
companion for life. One of the harder issues to resolve
between parent and child than between the adults in a Clearly, it is important to be cautious. At the same
time, we need to be open to, and appreciative of, what others may want to do on our behalf. You were the
A couple works best when the couple’s relationship is
recipient of a random act of kindness. Generosity can
the strongest link. That does not mean that you love
be contagious. Pass it on!
your spouse more than you love your kids. It means
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
that the adults recognize the importance of providing
those situations, it is important to be clear about what
a united front for all of the children. Through that unity,
you want, and say so! Obviously, you won’t be surprised
the children sense that the family is a safe, stable, and
when you get what you asked for. On the bright side,
consistent place for all of them. Without that unity, power
you have a much better chance of getting what you want
struggles occur that threaten the basic stability of the
when you directly tell your spouse what you want.
marital relationship. When we hint, we make our spouse have to be a mindCouples need to discuss, privately without the children,
reader. Most of us are not good at mind-reading. If a
what their expectations are of all the children. They
particular gift is really important to you, consider buying it
need to come to agreement regarding rules and
for yourself or directly asking your spouse for it. Certainly,
consequences. They need to discuss how conflict with
it is better to be grateful for any gift than to be resentful
the children will be resolved. Usually, biological parents
that your spouse could not read your mind. In any event,
take the lead on discipline with their own children. Over
appreciate any gift; as gifts are an expression of love.
time and after a relationship has been forged with the children, the other parent will be in a position to step in to appropriately discipline. Instead of thinking “me and mine,” think “we and our’s.”
Dear Dr. Joe, My husband can’t take a hint. I never get what I want on my birthday or for Christmas! I give him ideas of things I like
throughout the year. As it gets closer to my birthday or the holidays, I try to be as direct as possible. I won’t tell my husband what I want because I want the gifts to come from him. However, he’s clueless. What can I do? – Dissatisfied
Dear Dissatisfied, It’s wonderful to be surprised by gifts. Gifts tell us that we are valued and
PLEASE SEND YOUR QUESTIONS
appreciated. Well-conceived gifts show
intuition and understanding on the part of the giver.
to Dr. Hernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sometimes, however, we want something specific. In
Joseph L. Hernandez, Ph.D., a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist, 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 teaches at Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, maintains a private practice in Salida, California, and is a partner with Family Wellness Associates. Dr. Hernandez is the author of a book on family dynamics published by W.W. Norton and Company, “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.
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
VISIÓN | transition
Determination To Make It BY MATTHEW HARRINGTON
TO SAY LEONARDO LEAL HAD THE WEIGHT OF THE
to care for him, due to her health. However, this move was
world on his shoulders, like that of Greek Titan Atlas, would
not permanent as he was kicked out, at 16, of his step-
be an understatement. Atlas was forced to hold up the
fathers home after a big fight.
weight of the Heavens by Zeus, the leader of the Greek Olympians, for fighting against Zeus in the great Battle of the Gods Unlike Atlas, where the weight of the heavens kept him from moving, Leal never let his circumstances prevent him from achieving his goals and dreams.
He eventually found himself moving from family-to-family home several times, even living with his mother in a small studio-like home at she left her husband for his abusive ways. In one of his many moves that involved a family member’s home, Leal found himself at the house of cousin,
LIFE AND FAITH
Mayra Alvarez, which required Leonardo to register at
another high school, one of his four registrations involving a
was around 6 years
new high school.
old, his mother remarried and moved to the United States. He was not able to follow her and was taken in by his grandmother, Magdalena Guerrero Garcia, in Queretaro, Mexico. While in the care of Garcia, she taught the young Leonardo selfconfidence and a set of beliefs he holds dear to this day. “She taught me principle values that I hold dear to this today. My grandmother instilled in me; confidence, compassion, passion and tolerance,” Leal said. “This set of core values, early in my childhood, are the basis for my faith today.” And when he had a difficulty that was confronting him, Leal said he would pray for the negative to turn into a positive.
As a result, Leal had to become creative when it came to studying. He utilized public transit and would do homework, even study for his SATS. Leal’s daily journeys started at 4:30 in the morning, traveling one and half hours and two counties just to go to high school. In time, Leonardo eventually found his way to Project Heart. The program aids homeless students by providing children and teen’s food stamps, donated clothes and other services for undocumented children that have been neglected by their parents. “Project Heart, and Debra Bailey, were a very invaluable type of support. The program gave me hope, beyond social assistance here in the U.S.,” Leal said. “They reinvigorated my determination, that even though I needed a lot of things, there were people out willing to help me and showed me I wasn’t alone.” “If I had thought in negative ways, my life would have become a disaster,” he said. FOCUSED ON LEARNING If Leal’s living arrangements were not enough of an issue for
Later, at the age of 12, Leal moved to Florida to live with his
him in his young educational career, then the fact he didn’t
mother and step-father, as his grandmother became unable
know English would have surely done him in. However,
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
language is not needed when it comes to the universal
show that I am an example of the type of person the U.S.
language of Mathematics. “At first, I wasn’t doing very well
has. But without help, would not have succeeded.” He said
in school, except for in Math, where I was doing very well.
there are a lot of kids that are undocumented and don’t know
And in the state of Florida, they have standardized test
where to find resources, and end up dropping out of school
called the F-CAT, and on the very first test I earned a 4. It
or become unemployed. “And when that happened, people
was a really high score,” Leal said. “And on my very next
think ‘these undocumented people are just a burden.’ What
F-CAT, I received a 5, even though my language skills were
people don’t realize, is that people like me have to face so
not at the same level.”
many issues and some people can’t make it, or don’t have the will to keep trying and give up.”
Though he did not have the necessary language skills, his teachers saw the determination to succeed in Leal
His journey does not end at a BA. Leonardo plans to enroll
and encouraged him to strive for more. The more was the
at Harvard where he plans to earn a Master in Business
aspiration for college that came early in Leal’s young life. He
Administration. And while there, would like to start a non-
said the aspiration for college was so he could have what
profit for students like himself, who need guidance in finding
others had. “The desire for me to go to college was more
the necessary resources that will help them succeed.
of the cultural background that I saw here in the U.S. When I moved here, almost all kids were
expected to go to college. In Mexico,
At the end of the day, Leonardo
education is seen as a privilege for
suggests, if you want to be successful,
those who can afford it,” Leal said. “I
don’t be scared to probe for the means
always wanted to be like everyone else,
of a way to become successful. “When
I wanted to succeed. So when I came
you ask for help, it doesn’t show that
here, that was my first goal in life.”
you’re weak in any way. Just that you know what you need to improve on,”
Because of the skills he lacked early
Leal said. “When you ask for help, you’re
on, Leonardo said he had to study
asking because you know you need the
harder than most other kids. And that
help.” So he recommends that; 1. Have
involved sacrifices like; not going out
a strong self-determination and 2. Find
with friends, participating in sports or
all the resources you can to help you
even dating. With all his sacrifices, and
succeed. Living in this great country
an inspiring story of struggle and hard
there are many resources and there are
work, Leal graduating high school. He
lots of people that would be more than
then went on to Stanford, where he
happy to help you.
earned an Economics degree. Guidance can also come from the most LIFE AFTER COLLEGE Now, after having graduated from
All photos provided by Leonardo Leal
unlikely of places as Leal found growing up. “I was inspired from something that
Stanford in July 2015 with his Bachelors
no one would ever consider. As a kid I had a big imagination,
in Economics, Leonardo has found employment with Shell Oil
still do, that’s what you need sometimes to escape harsh
Company, in the marketing team as a financial analyst. And
realities of life,” Leal said. “I would play a lot of video games,
in high school, Leal was able to obtain permanent residency
and the main character, being faced with harsh realities
status as a homeless youth, that allowed him apply for
and possibility of losing to the villain. He realized, not all
financial assistance to go to college. But his success doesn’t
power comes from physical strain, but it also comes from
end there, for in about 18 months, some greater will be
the mind.” Paraphrasing on a college application, Leonardo
coming his way. “In a year and half I will become a naturalized
wrote, “Even during the darkest of times, if hope exists in our
citizen,” Leal said. “It will feel like the ultimate success. It will
hearts, the future is a blank page,” Nintendo, Paper Mario.
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
VISIÓN | legacy
Leaving aLegacy T H E
P H I L L I P
PAT I N O
S T O RY
BY JOHNNY BALTIERRA & ESMERALDA GOMEZ
WHEN OUR TIME IS OVER, THE ONLY THING WE leave behind is our “legacy” we all remember loved ones for the role they played in our life, the impact they had on us and the magic they injected into their work. Many of us would not be where we are today if it was not for the individuals that lit our path and challenged us to go that extra mile and strive for more, even when we thought we had nothing more to offer. Mr. Phillip Patino was born in Woodlake, California and attended Woodlake High school. He then went on to study Education at Fresno State University where he received a Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in physical education and a minor in Spanish. None of this came “easy “even to such a dedicated and committed person. His wife Shirley, explained that in order for him to fit everything in, he worked all day and studied at night. He used his time wisely and took advantage of the summer months to work more hours to make ends meet at ACE Tires to provide for his growing family and at Cal Lutheran College in Thousand Oaks, CA. Shortly after completing his education however, he was drafted into the US Army where he served our country in Germany as a driver for a Captain in the Korean War. 40
All photos provided by the family
Clearly, Phillip Patinos heart was being pulled by the heartstrings of education and community involvement; sometimes, in a not so subtle way and he knew he had to answer that call. After returning from the Army, he picked up right where he left off… In school. This time however, it was as a teacher for an Elementary school. He spent a long period of time as the principal at Kings Canyon Middle School, then moved on to Bullard High School. During his time in the Fresno Unified School District, he served in several capacities such as Director of Special Projects,
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
Vice Principle/Resources at Webster Elementary school
graduating Latino males he felt that voice urge him to “do
just to name a few. He concluded his Educational tenure
something.” In 1995 while a member of the Fresno chapter
by serving as principle of an Independent Studies Program
of AMAE, Phillip implemented the “si Se Puede” Latino
then retired in 1991. Phillip was not one to be scared away
Male conference for those High School Students. Recently,
by hard work, in fact; he took on the challenges with gusto
The “si Se Puede” student conference which is usually held
and “rolled with the punches” he simply injected a little
at Fresno State University Celebrated its 20th Anniversary!
“extra” in whatever place was needed. Doing so with a
Mr. Patino proved that commitment was a strong
gentle smile, grace and gratitude. Little did he know that his
component necessary for involving oneself not just in
strong work ethic was imperative to the changes that would
education, but really in instilling direction, belief and
soon pave the way for others.
unconditional support in the kids he worked with. Many AME members remember Phillip as the committed member
Even after retirement though, he could not keep still! When
who did not know the words “I can’t” since Phillip always
your life’s calling is strong, you cannot help but continue to
seemed to find a way to “get it done” whether it was
listen to that voice inside that propels you to “keep going.”
communicating with students, providing guidance or a
At one point, being in the classroom did not seem to be
patient ear for new teachers or working all night on the
enough for Phillip. He needed “more.” More time with kids,
Si Se Puede Conference so that students could have the
more exposure to them, more personal intervention, more
opportunity to learn grow and meet potential role models
involvement in the community. It was as though he knew
and mentors who could inspire them to become the future
from the get-go that education and community involvement
leaders of tomorrow.
had to go together so he involved himself in a local organization called the “Optimist Club.” This was a club that
People as dedicated as like Phillip Patino are a blessing to
“brings out the best in kids” and the Association of Mexican
everyone. They have a “Don” a gift for serving, mentoring
American Educators (AMAE) an organization dedicated to
and educating as needed and maintaining the flexibility
advocating for Latino/Mexican American Students, and
and vision to not only see what needs to be done, but also
awarding them scholarships in Fresno County. Since Local
where to fill a void. While his “kids” may say that his “call”
high schools in the Fresno Area had a dismissal record of
had been completed, with such a compassionate heart, and dedicated soul the father of six charged on with his new “mission,” planting the seeds of compassion, hard work, grace and diligence in the hearts of his grandchildren. He will truly be missed.
Phillip and his wife Shirley Patino
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
VISIÓN | people and events
JULY 11, 2015
Fresno Latino Rotary’s Masquerade Ball Honoring Lupita Lomeli with the Service Above Self Award Held at Double Tree by Hilton in Fresno
Photos by Genevieve Baltierra-Einwalter
See more photos from this and other events on our fan page at www.facebook.com/ourvisionmagazine 42
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
JULY 31, 2015
Sabor del Valle 6th Annual Taste of the Valley 2015 Proceeds benefiting three worthy nonprofits that provide social and educational services to individuals in need
Photos by Tim Mayo Photo Studio
VISIĂ“N | FALL 2015
VISIÓN | people and events
AUGUST 27, 2015
Water in California Drought and Regulations Guest Speaker Samuel Sandoval-Solis Ph.D. Hosted by the Central Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Held at Famiglia Bistro Ristorante in Modesto
Photos by Tim Maya Photo studio
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
AUGUST 28, 2015
A Night of Havana Live performance by Julio Bravo and Orchestra Food prepared by Chef Gema Martinez Hosted by Redwood Cafe & Virgil Madrid
Photos by Angela Kindley Dennis
VISIĂ“N | FALL 2015
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.
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 46
University and is a member of Who’s Who among American High Schools, Colleges and Universities.
Matthew Harrington grew up in Modesto, California
and has lived here his whole life. Matthew graduated from CSU Sacramento, with a degree in liberal studies and a concentration in social science. After graduating, he entered and successfully finished the teacher preparation program at CSU Sacramento. Matthew has an extensive background in multi-media, having five and a half years as a college radio DJ at KSSU1580/KSSU.com and one and a half as a staff writer for the Sacramento State Hornet newspaper, writing over 150 articles, including videos and 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.
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.
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
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.
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
Integrated Marketing Solutions Consultant Office: 209.475.5148 Cell: 209.451.6353 email@example.com
Oseguera Juan Carlos Filmmaker Water” “The Fight for
Making a Positive Impact in the Latino Community.
Dr. Pete Menjares , Ph. D.
A Survivor & True Warrior
www.visionmagazine.us VISIÓN MAGAZINE • 1231 8TH STREET SUITE 150-A • MODESTO, CA 95352
Save the Date for the
48TH ANNUAL 2015
El Concilio Dinner & Dance
Friday, October 16, 2015 hutchins street square lodi, california
Hors d’oeuvres Dinner 7:00 pm
8:30 – 11:00 pm
Honoring: Jonise Oliva, Amiga of the Year Congressman Jerry McNerney, Amigo of the Year Mary & Tino Adame, La Raza of the Year Frank Searcy, Unsung Hero For more information: call (209) 644-2621
El Concilio Offices 445 N. San Joaquin St. Stockton, CA 95202 (209) 888-8334 224 S. Sutter St. Stockton, CA 95202 (209) 644-2600 1314 “H” St. Modesto, CA 95356 (209)523-2860 1330 S. Ham Ln. Lodi, CA 95242 1215 W. Center St. Manteca, CA 95336 th
95 W. 11 St. St. 104 Tracy, CA 95376 www.elconcilio.org
VISIÓN | FALL 2015
EARLY DETECTION SAVES LIVES Breast Health Program Women’s Imaging Center At the Women’s Imaging Center we use some of the most advanced breast imaging procedures available for diagnosis and treatment, including digital mammograms, breast MRIs, and ultrasounds. The MammoPad® breast cushion oﬀers a more comfortable mammogram with a warmer, softer surface between you and the equipment. This helps enhance comfort, enabling the technologist to get the best possible image. We know that you’d rather take a math test than get your mammogram, but this is one test you don’t want to skip.
1205 E. North St. | Manteca | DoctorsManteca.com
See your doctor for a referral and Call to schedule your next mammogram. 800-470-7229