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Rwandan Genocide Survivor Reinvents’ Career

LiberataLOMA LINDA, CA- Liberata Ashilevi was a survivor of the Rwandan Genocide who immigrated to the United States as a refugee.  As a resident of Loma Linda, she turned to the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board’s America’s Job Center of California (AJCC) for help with building her career. Today she enjoys working in the Loma Linda University Medical Center Operating Room caring for others.

Though she was a certified physician’s assistant in Zambia, Liberata took a housekeeping job when she arrived in the United States.  When she was laid off from this position, she felt she had nowhere to turn.

“When I was laid off, I panicked,” Liberata exclaimed.  “When I arrived at the San Bernardino America’s Job Center of California and met their staff, I became hopeful about my future.”

Workforce Development Specialist Nidia Vargas was assigned to handle Liberata’s case. The two women soon formed a bond that Liberata says is everlasting.

At the AJCC, Liberata received career counseling, and help with her job search, resume, and interview skills.  The Workforce Development Board also provided funding for her to earn her Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) certificate, to put her on a new career path, and assisted with travel to classes and job interviews.

As a result of the service she received, Liberata was well prepared to answer questions volleyed to her by the Loma Linda University Medical Center Operating Room Technician position interview panel.  Her first call to share the good news was to Nidia at the AJCC.

“It is always heartening to hear success stories such as Liberata’s,” said San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos.  “It is validation that the County is serving its residents well, and working to attain countywide prosperity.”

Liberata has already received a promotion and looks forward to a successful career.  She has embraced the American Dream with a contagious exuberance.

“Our staff’s care and concern for the people we are helping lends to successful outcomes for job seekers,” said Workforce Development Board Executive Director Sandy Harmsen.  “This is an example of how our staff members are truly dedicated to helping others achieve their goals.”

 

Talented Artists Set to Compete to See ‘Who is the Best at Music and Art’

MORENO VALLEY, CA- On Saturday, May 14, over 150 artists will compete to see who is the best at music and art at the 5th annual Changing Lives Showcase!  The Changing Lives Showcase, is the fastest-growing performance competition in the Inland Empire created to allow our youth to express their creative talents while fighting to reduce our communities’ dropout rates.

The Showcase is presented by Music Changing Lives, a non-profit arts organization in partnership with Moreno Valley Unified School District.  Artists and their respective schools will compete in four categories – Musical Instruments, Vocal Performance, Dance and Visual Arts, while schools compete in Overall Performance.

The Changing Lives Showcase is no ordinary school performance; this event rolls out the red carpet for its talented performers, artists and guests.  Celebrity judges will decide the winning finalists and this year’s lineup includes Tray Deee, a member of the platinum selling group Tha Eastsidaz; YouTube sensation and recording artist Ellise; and Stephen Hickner an American film director at DreamWorks Animation.

Music Changing Lives launched the Showcase five years ago, and since then they have produced musicians, artists, fashion designers and more.  MCL’s goal is to create a culture of school being cool and using music and art as a way to inspire students that anything is possible.

The Showcase will be located at the Moreno Valley Recreation Center from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  To get tickets to the event and reserve your seat please visit 2016changinglivesshowcase.eventbrite.com.

The Changing Lives Showcase is sponsored by MVUSD, Wells Fargo Foundation, UC Riverside, The Art Institute of San Bernardino, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Niagara Cares, Edison International, Time Warner Cable, Classics for Kids Foundation, Vizard PR and Goliath Graffix.

For more information about Music Changing Lives or to become a sponsor for the event, please contact an Music Changing Lives staff member at Jbruny@MusicChangingLives.org or visit them on the web at www.MusicChangingLives.org.

San Bernardino High Basketball Team Wins National Sportsmanship Award

San Bernardino Basketball TeamVarsity Brands wanted to find one athletic team that shows respect and graciousness to opposing teams and school groups. The San Bernardino High School Varsity Basketball Team demonstrates the utmost sportsmanship by raising community pride; the team regularly volunteers at homeless shelters, elementary schools, and throughout the school. On game days, the team dresses in suits, demonstrating good sportsmanship off the court, to empower school spirit and character. Before games, they show respect to visiting teams by greeting them and welcoming them to campus. For more information or to download the Varsity Bands 2016 booklet, please visit www.varsitybrands.com/home.