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Author Archives: WSS News

The Walking Diva is on the Move Again, from Laguna to San Francisco

Yolanda Holder

Yolanda Holder

By Yolanda Holder

I walk with experience and I speak from the heart. Losing both my parents to this horrible disease, diabetes, is why I walk EVERY day. Diabetes is a silent killer and 29.1 million Americans have diabetes, 13.2% of African Americans have diagnosed diabetes and the risk is 1.7 times higher compared to non-Hispanic whites. I watched both my parents suffer with type 2 Diabetes and my mom most recent. Three years ago my mom had a massive stroke and passed away.

My name is Yolanda Holder aka “Walking Diva” and I power walked my way into the Guinness Book of World Records not once but twice for the “Most Marathons in a Calendar Year”. I am the first African American to walk or run over 100 marathons in a calendar year and the first woman in the world to ever do it twice but that’s not my biggest accomplishment.

After losing my mom to diabetes complications I wanted to spread the word about Walking & Your Health this is how “Extreme Walk 4 Diabetes” was born. 3rd Annual Extreme Walk 4 Diabetes Gold Coast Challenge will start at beautiful Laguna Beach and end at the famous San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge.

It will take me 15 days and over 525 miles. The past two years I was able to raise awareness and funds for American Diabetes Association and this is my biggest accomplishment! Walking is the world’s oldest exercise and today’s modern medicine it has so many health benefits and its easy and very simple to do. I’m also on a quest to set a GWR I’m walking 26.2 miles (marathon distance) or more daily for 365 days. I started January 1, 2015 and today is day 222 consecutive days.

Extreme Walk 4 Diabetes Laguna 2 San Francisco August 24 – September 7, 2015 to be a sponsor or donate visit my website www.yolandaholder.com. You may follower my journey on Facebook Yolanda Holder or athlete page Walking Diva.

Knotts Family Agency to Host Jazz and Wine-tasting Fundraiser

Ann Clark and Michael

Ann Clark and Michael

Ann Clark of Rialto doesn’t consider herself a foster care parent as much as a parent to many teens in need over the years. The high school vocational education coordinator and her husband, Michael, a logistics worker, are currently parenting four adolescent girls in their home through Knotts Family Agency.

“It’s very challenging but at the same time it’s very rewarding,” Clark says. “You are able to instill the qualities and values that you would on your own children. What you expect of your own children, you expect of them also.”

Knotts, a foster care and adoption services agency in San Bernardino, will honor the Clarks and other parents at a jazz and wine tasting fundraiser from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, August 15 at Edwards Mansion in Redlands. The other honoree foster care parents are Deborah Martelly of Highland, Belita Foster of Rialto and Jeannette and Charles Howard of San Bernardino.

Proceeds from the annual fundraiser will help support the Knotts Family Agency Educational and Cultural Enrichment Initiative. The program exposes over 75 foster care youths in the Inland region to fun and educational activities, from Magic Mountain to math and science camps.

More than 2,500 individuals and families are served each year by Knotts Family Agency, which was founded in 1992. They receive critical support for resilience, mental health, care coordination, parenting, youth mentoring and leadership development, financial and environmental literacy and job training.

CEO Gwen Knotts says that education positively changes the direction of a young person’s life. “We really emphasize that with education and tutoring, we’re hoping to change the outcomes when the youth are emancipated or transition back to their biological family.”

Knotts provides social services to foster care families and stay in constant contact during the child’s stay. “They really go the distance to make sure these kids have what they need,” Clark says.

For tickets to the Knotts Family Agency jazz and wine tasting fundraiser, contact Sandy Oquin at (909) 880-0600. Tickets are $50/$65 at the door. Table sponsorships are also available.




Thanks to a new partnership with desertFIAT, 9th–12th graders with perfect attendance for the 2015–2016 academic school year have the chance to win an array of incentives from iPods, iPads, scholarships, up to a NEW 2016 FIAT 500.

It’s a Gas to Go to Class is a school attendance program designed to motivate students. Now in its fifth year in the High Desert, It’s a Gas to Go to Class is coming to San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD). Thousands of students attending District high schools returned to school on Monday, August 3 and heard about the program on the first day of classes. 

Pacific High School students were among the first in the District to see the new car on Monday, when representatives from desertFIAT visited the campus to introduce It’s a Gas to Go to Class. In the coming weeks desertFIAT will visit every District high school to encourage students to maintain perfect attendance.

“Giving students an incentive to be in school has made a tremendous, positive impact in the High Desert, where It’s a Gas to Go to Class started,” said Billy Mack, Director of Sales at Victorville Motors and desertFIAT. “When students miss school, they miss critical instruction time that cannot be made up,” Mack said. “That impacts teachers who have to spend extra time with the student.” 

It’s a Gas is expected to help SBCUSD significantly improve its high school attendance rates, which have been increasing in recent years. Last school year, about 1,500 high school students had perfect attendance. dj-fiat-500x-ri_653

The program is a win-win. Higher student attendance means more state funding for SBCUSD, but most importantly, it means students are more likely to succeed academically and graduate from high school. According to the National Association of Secondary School Principals, research shows that missing 10 percent of the school year—or 18 days in most districts—correlates with academic trouble.

For more information about the San Bernardino edition of It’s a Gas to Go to Class, visit www.desertFIAT.com/itsagasSB.htm.