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Meet the PAL Charter Academy History Makers

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- March 9, 2018 marks a milestone in PAL Center history as Coach Domonique White and Coach Alex Avila lead the Bulls Boys Basketball team their first ever league Championship in PAL’s 34 year existence.

Under the leadership of Coach White, PAL introduced its Student Scholar Athletics program in the 2015 – 2016 school year. The success of the program developed discipline and academic accountability among PAL student athletes in sports offered: Softball, Volleyball, Basketball and Soccer.

As the underdog in the Inland Empire Alternative Schools League (IEASL) which provides competitive athletics for Inland Empire students at Charter and Continuation schools PAL Basketball program has fought for three seasons straight to earn the bragging rights of Champions. This year they absolutely earned the right as they finished the regular season in the fifth seat with no expectation of making it to the final dance.

The Bulls successfully fought through two rounds of playoffs to face Sierra High School of San Bernardino in the Championship game. An intense game resulted in PAL Charter Academy’s victory. Additionally, these scholar athletes maintained a cumulative 3.7 GPA throughout the season with no participant performing below a 2.7 GPA. The 2018 Bulls Basketball team has certainly made HISTORY as student SCHOLAR athletes!

PAL Charter Academy is a free public charter school which services students 6th to 12th grade. Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 -2019 school year. Please contact the main office located at 2450 Blake Street in San Bernardino or by phone at (909) 887-7002 for more information.

The Beautillion Knights Learn the Value of Education

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Dr. Brian Haynes, Vice President of Student Affairs at California State University San Bernardino spent the afternoon on Sunday, March 11, at the San Bernardino Boys and Girls Club dialoguing with the Social Lites, Inc. Beautillion Knights and participants of the Beautillion program on the value of education, his personal journey in going to college and how higher education opened doors of opportunities for him. 

Haynes encouraged students to pay attention to deadlines in submitting applications for admission to desired colleges and/or universities, filing for financial aid, living on campus at a minimum for the first year of college and getting involved with the University/College of choice clubs and organizations. Haynes is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. which focuses on education, community service and brotherhood.

The 51st Beautillion program will commence on March 24, 2018 at the National Orange Show in San Bernardino. For more information, please telephone chairperson, Mrs. Donna Little-James at 909-528-9793 or co-chairperson, Mrs. Bridgette Shaw at (909) 648-6165 or publicity chairperson, Mrs. Twillea Evans-Carthen at tevanscarthen@yahoo.com.

College Students to Install Solar Systems for Inland Empire Homeowners During Spring Break

RIVERSIDE, CA- Twelve North Carolina State University (NC State) students are spending a week with GRID Alternatives Inland Empire (GRID IE). As part of GRID’s Solar Spring Break program, college students from multiple universities will travel across the country to bring clean, renewable energy to families and help them significantly reduce their electric bills. The NC State students will be installing four solar electric systems in addition to learning more about the renewable energy industry in the Inland Empire. Later in the week, on March 8, they will be celebrating with a few of the 2,700 job trainees and volunteers GRID IE has trained during GRID’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Celebration event.

Since its inception Solar Spring Break has grown expeditiously from six teams in 2014 to 19 teams nationwide in 2018, coming from diverse universities and colleges such as University of Michigan, California State University East Bay, Duke University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This program takes an interdisciplinary approach by providing an opportunity for passionate students to combine sustainability, community development, and renewable energy technologies education.

The NC State students, all engineering majors, will spend 24 volunteer hours installing solar on four homes in both Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. Their hands-on training will be led by GRID’s professional installation supervisors and SolarCorps construction fellows. Additionally, these students will visit the Mars Petcare solar farm and University of California Riverside (UCR) College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) facility to supplement their engineering studies. The students will also hike in the San Bernardino National Forest accompanied by experts on Southern California ecology.

The students’ impact during their spring break week include offsetting 315 tons of greenhouse gases by the installed solar systems and $154,000 in lifetime savings for the four homeowners. To date, 1,340 Riverside and San Bernardino County homeowners have gone solar with GRID at no cost to them. Mars Petcare and UCR CE-CERT are excited to collaborate with organizations such as GRID to continue to bring sustainable change to the Inland Empire.

“We are excited about this year’s Solar Spring Break and welcome the students from NC State,” said Bambi Tran, Regional Director for GRID Alternatives Inland Empire. “The students will have a fun and educational experience, putting into practice what they have learned in the lecture halls. More than that, students will learn, implement, and experience how the power of the sun can bring real-world benefits to real-world economic problems in our communities.”

Dr. Alfredo Martinez-Morales, managing director of UCR’s Southern California Research Initiative for Solar Energy at CE-CERT is hosting the spring break team for an afternoon. “We are looking forward to interacting with the students from NCSU and complementing their experience by showing them some of the exciting research on solar energy being done at UCR,” said Dr. Martinez-Morales. “This program provides a fantastic opportunity for students to learn first-hand the direct and positive impact that solar energy has towards disadvantaged communities, the environment, and the local economy. GRID’s program is an excellent way for sustainable-minded engineering students to spend their spring break by taking their education outside the classroom.”

Every student on the team has their own reasons for dedicating their vacation to GRID. Jonathan Schertz, the student leader and second time Solar Spring Breaker, says, “As an engineering student, it’s easy to get bogged down with all the technical parts and forget why we are here – to make the world a better place. GRID brings the technical side to the humanitarian.” Jonathan feels that, “[The] Solar Spring Break program’s message and education is crucial to raising a generation of adept, socially-mindful engineers.”

GRID provides income qualified families throughout the Inland Empire with long-term relief from unpredictable utility costs, while training individuals for positions in the solar industry. Currently there are more than 250,000 solar workers across the U.S., and more than 100,000 of these solar jobs derive from California. GRID is an industry leader and recognized as the largest non-profit solar installers in the nation.

About GRID Alternatives

GRID Alternatives is a nonprofit organization that makes renewable energy technology and job training accessible to undeserved communities, bringing together community partners, volunteers and job trainees to implement solar power and energy efficiency for low-income families. GRID’s work has helped 9,800 families to date, saving $307 million in lifetime electricity costs, and over 35,000 people have received solar training. GRID Alternatives has nine regional offices and affiliates serving California, Colorado, the mid-Atlantic region, and Tribal communities nationwide. For more information, visit www.gridalternatives.org.