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Veterans Diploma Project 2016 Grad Class to be Honored on November 9

SAN BERNARDINO — Twenty-two veterans — who served in the military during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, as well as had their high school completion interrupted — will receive their diplomas during a ceremony organized by the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools.

This will be the eighth graduation class for the Operation Recognition Veterans Diploma Project, which is held in partnership with the County Department of Veterans Affairs. This year’s ceremony will be held at Serrano High School in the Snowline Joint Unified School District on Nov. 9 at 4:30 p.m. The school is located at 9292 Sheep Creek Road in Phelan.

Veterans in this year’s graduating class are:

  • Louis Avilez of San Bernardino, World War II, Marines (posthumous);
  • James Bezenah of Phelan, Vietnam War, Navy;
  • Shelvere Black of Colton, Vietnam War, Marines;
  • Edward Cervantes of Victorville, Vietnam War, Army;
  • George Cervantes of Loma Linda, Vietnam War, Marines (posthumous);
  • Leonardo Contreras of Hinkley, Vietnam War, Marines;
  • Allen Cronk of Apple Valley, Vietnam War, Marines;
  • Lewis Gayle of Highland, Korean War, Air Force;
  • Jacob Hall of Landers, Vietnam War, Army;
  • Carlos Holguin of Rancho Cucamonga, World War II, Army;
  • Stephen Jacobs of Hesperia, Vietnam War, Navy;
  • Melvin Larsen of Phelan, Korean War, Navy;
  • Jerry Martin of Phelan, Vietnam War, Marines and Navy
  • Allen Miller of Apple Valley, Vietnam War, Marines
  • John Miller of Yucca Valley, Vietnam War, Marines;
  • Wilburn Milligan of Fontana, World War II, Marines;
  • Stephen Morrow of Hesperia, Vietnam War, Marines;
  • Ricky Reyes of Yucca Valley, Vietnam War, Army;
  • John Rivera of Wrightwood, Vietnam War, Army;
  • Fred Romero of Hesperia, Korean War, Navy;
  • Roy Rubio Jr. of Upland, Vietnam War, Marines;
  • David Villafana of Barstow, Korean War, Army.

Following the graduation ceremony, veterans and their guests will be honored at the 22nd annual Veterans Dinner taking place in the Serrano High School gymnasium. The dinner will be hosted by the Snowline Joint Unified School District and the Tri-Community Kiwanis Club.

Operation Recognition Veterans Diploma Project provides veterans and internees, who were unable to complete high school due to military service or internment, the opportunity to receive a high school diploma, according to the state education code. Veterans who served in and received an honorable discharge from World War II, the Korean War or the Vietnam War; or individuals who were interned in a Japanese American relocation camp and are San Bernardino County residents are eligible to participate.

For more information, contact County Schools at (909) 386-2412.


350 Young Men from Area High Schools to Return for Black-Brown Conference

SAN BERNARDINO, CA– The foundation that was laid at last year’s inaugural Black-Brown Conference will be built upon on Friday, Oct. 28, when Cal State San Bernardino brings back to campus about 350 African American and Latino ninth-grade young men for the second annual conference.

Designed to increase the number of African American and Latino males who enroll and graduate from college, the students, representing five Inland Empire school districts, will receive critical college information, get connected with CSUSB students and have the opportunity to talk about relevant issues facing young students today.

Colton, Fontana, Rialto, San Bernardino and Victorville school districts will be sending youths from about 20 schools to the free conference, which will be held at CSUSB’s Santos Manuel Student Union Events Center from 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. The conference also will provide lunch for the students.

Raising the percentages of black and brown male students who graduate from high school and complete a college degree is vital for the social and economic prosperity of the area and the U.S., say conference organizers.

Only 21 percent of black males and 25 percent of Latino males graduated from high school two years ago in San Bernardino County having met the A-G requirements. At the same time, young black females graduated high school at a rate of 31 percent, Latina females at 33 percent, white males 33 percent and white females 43 percent having taken more challenging courses and being better prepared to attend college.

The National Center for Education Statistics has reported that only 12.4 percent of Latino men and 20.8 percent of black men ages 25-29 have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 37.7 percent of white men.

The conference focuses on this ninth graders because early college awareness and access is critical to improving college enrollment and degree completion for historically underrepresented students. In ninth grade, said Olivia Rosas, CSUSB associate vice president for enrollment management, students are pondering the college prep courses they need to enroll at a university.

CSUSB is nationally recognized for its leadership role in changing the face of U.S. higher education. A reflection of the region’s dynamic diversity, CSUSB, which has the most diverse student population of any university in the Inland Empire, and the second-highest African American and Latino enrollments of all public universities in California, is considered a model of access and excellence in higher education.

For more information about the Black and Brown Conference, email blackbrown@csusb.edu.

Obituary: Rev. Floyd Lofton

Reverend Floyd Lofton

Reverend Floyd Lofton

Reverend Floyd Lofton  who was born on June 2, 1935, in Crystal Springs, Mississippi to Louis and Eliza Lofton. He was the youngest of eleven children. After graduating from high school in 1954, he entered the United States Air Force where he proudly served 30 years as a Security Police Officer.

He received many outstanding awards, one of which was the Outstanding Security Police Officer of the Year. He retired as a Senior Master Sergeant. After his separation from the USAF, he was employed as a Classified Destruction Manager with Northrop-Grumman for 15 years.

In 1968, while station at March Air Force Base, he met Betty, the love of his life. They were united in Holy Matrimony in 1971. With this union, he also married Kenneth, DeJuan and Esther (Betty’s sister). Rev. Lofton and Betty have had a happy and blessed union for 45 years.

He accepted his call to the ministry in 1989 under the late Bishop Dr. Herman Hubbard. in 1994.  He united with New Hope Missionary Baptist Church where it was evident he had a passion for praying, worshipping, visiting and praying for the sick and shut-ins.  His favorite declaration was, “…God will never leave you, no forsake you” Hebrews 13:5. He was appointed the Assistant Pastor at New Hope MBC in 1998, and served faithfully until his retirement in November 2015. 

On September 6, 2016, Rev. Lofton became ill and was hospitalized.  On October 17, 2016, God, in His infinite wisdom, gently and peaceably called him home from his journey as a preacher, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, godfather and friend, to his eternal rest.

He was preceded in death by his parents ,Louis and Eliza Lofton, and all his siblings.

He leaves to cherish his memory his loving and devoted wife, Betty, sons: Kenneth (Wynolia) and DeJuan; six grandchildren: Stephanie (Kenneth), Tanya (Dewaan), Phylicia, Destiny (Edward), Mark (Leslye), and Jol (Bracchell); 11 great-grandchildren: Aaliya, Troy, Josiah, Mycah, Lexi, Angelique, Mya, Kolby, Kylee, Amiah, and Markie; 6 goddaughters: Joi, Tammy, “Starr” (Leon), Krystal, DeNae and DeJahna; 3 sisters-in-lw: Alice Jaqueline and Esther (John); and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and church family.

God sent His Son into the world; God didn’t tell Jesus to be partially committed to His will. God didn’t have His Son embrace only part of the cross or only go part way up Calvary’s hill.  When Jesus came to earth, He gave His life completely for you. There was no holding back, no turning back and no going back in Gods plan or in the obedience of Jesus. Reverend Lofton was obedient to these teachings and faithfully followed Jesus’ example fully in his dedication to preaching, helping and being a true reflection of God’s grace and love.