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Grad Summit: Increasing Graduation Rates through Career Pathways

San Bernardino County School Board District Members  and Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown gather for a group shot during the Grad Summit ceremony on Saturday, November 15. (Photo credit: Angela M. Coggs)

San Bernardino County School Board District Members and Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown gather for a group shot during the Grad Summit ceremony on Saturday, November 15. (Photo credit: Angela M. Coggs)

By Angela M. Coggs

On Saturday, November 15th, Grad Summit 2014 was held at California State University, San Bernardino from 8:30am to 3:00pm. The event was organized by a coalition of local, state and national organizations that joined forces to make college and career readiness a core educational priority in San Bernardino.

The summit convened in partnership with America’s Promise Alliance and National GradNation Campaign and the San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) and CSUSB, among other groups, which was attended by parents, students, and community officials.

The primary goal of the National GradNation Campaign is to achieve a 90% graduation rate nationwide by 2020 with no high school graduating less than 80 percent of its students.

The summits goal is to build on dropout prevention efforts by elevating San Bernardino County-Wide efforts to link classroom innovation with career development to improve graduation rates and college/career readiness. The day-long summit featured inspirational speakers and dynamic workshop sessions that demonstrated rigorous academics emphasizing real-world application critical for college and career.

Dina Walker (Photo Credit:: Angela M. Coggs)

Dina Walker (Photo Credit:: Angela M. Coggs)

Officials in attendance included SBCUSD Superintendent Dr. Dale Marsden, SBCUSD Communications Director Linda Bardere, Superintendent Elect SBCS Ted Alejandre, CSUSB President Dr. Tomas D. Morales, SBCUSD Board President Mike Gallo, SBCUSD Board Member Abigail Medina, and Executive Director Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement (COPE) Rev. Samuel Casey.

Two SBCUSD students helped to kick off the morning with encouraging and inspirational words. Raihanah Medlock, Grand Terrace High School sophomore, recited an uplifting spoken word and Alexander Mattison, San Bernardino High School senior, also represented the student voice and challenged students to graduate from high school and to sign the pledge banner. His speech reverberated with the audience.

Dina Walker, newly elected member of the Rialto School Board and President/CEO of BLU Educational Foundation, was the moderator for the event.

“I thought the Summit was excellent. We had great buy-in from many community leaders, educational leaders, as well, parents and students. The connection for career and college was definitely evident. The feedback I received from some of the students was that they were very interested in everything especially about the entrepreneurship. It gave them ways to connect what they want to do and make money out of it. Even if they did not go onto college how they would be viable,” said Walker.

The keynote speakers, Eric Schmidt, Co-Founder of Exquadrum Inc. and Garner Holt, Garner Holt Productions, Inc. addressed the attendees with their inspirational stories of how their passion was realized at a young age and how they made a living from something the loved. Their message really resonated with the students, as well as the parents, in the audience. Walker agreed, “One of the things they (students) got out of the speakers today was taking their personal interest, even as a young person, and making into a business opportunity.”

Rev. Sam Casey with members of the SB County Sheriff Department (Photo Credit: Angela M. Coggs)

Rev. Sam Casey with members of the SB County Sheriff Department (Photo Credit: Angela M. Coggs)

In addition to the speakers and the many valuable workshops, including Building Ideas for Teen Entrepreneurs, Career Pathway Success in Public Safety Academy, College Knowledge 101, and Building Ninjas Robots, there were vendors on hand with information and giveaways. Edison International representative, Wendell Jones, attended the summit to promote their 2015 Edison Scholars Program and was very impressed with the day-long event. “The Summit was amazing. It had a lot of valuable information for the students and the parents here. It was a great informational session and I look forward to being a part of it again next year.” Jones spoke to many students and parents about the scholarship opportunity from Edison in hopes to motivate them to apply for the program. “Edison is offering thirty (30) $40,000 scholarships to high school seniors looking to go into a four year university in an S.T.E.M (Science Technology Engineering and Math) program. They must live or go to school in an Edison region, have a 2.8 grade point average. The application pool was low last year and this is why I am out here and going to other events and schools and letting students know about this opportunity.”

Performances from local schools Richardson PREP Jazz Band, San Gorgonio High School Dance Group, and Arroyo Valley High School Dance Company in the afternoon were a real crowd pleaser. All the students put on a flawless routine and received standing ovations.

Brianna Robertson, 9th grader from Cajon High School, was empowered after the Summit. “I was really surprised how much of a good time I had. I learned a few new things that will better prepare me for college. Plus, I had friends there and we will remind each other of what we learned and to stay on track. The school band, BSU dancers, lunch and raffle prizes made the day even better.” Robertson attended the event with her mother who was also a vendor. Devona Robertson is an engage mother of three, community leader, District African American Advisory Council (DAAAC) Officer and Vice President of Young Women’s Empowerment Foundation (YWE), signed the San Bernardino 2014 GradSummit Call to Action Pledge banner after accepting the challenge given to the educational leaders, parents/caregivers and students during the opening welcome and remarks.

As a growing movement of dedicated individuals, organizations and communities working together to end America’s dropout crisis, this day-long summit to help ensure that all students graduate from high school prepared for college and a career was a success.

 

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Recognized with Quality Achievement Award for Heart Failure Care

RRUCLA Exterior

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center has received the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines®–Heart Failure Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Foundation guidelines for heart failure patients.

This marks the sixth consecutive year that Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center has been recognized with a heart failure quality achievement award.

Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure is a quality improvement program that helps hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing hospital readmissions for heart failure patients.

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include proper use of heart failure medications, including beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aldosterone antagonists, and diuretics while patients are in the hospital. Before patients are discharged, they also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, as well as referrals for early follow-up.

“Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our heart failure patients, and implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure program helps us to accomplish this goal by tracking and measuring our success in meeting internationally-respected guidelines,” said Gregg C. Fonarow, M.D., director of the Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center and co-chief of clinical cardiology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

“We are pleased to recognize Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center for their commitment to heart failure care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With The Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce patients’ length of stays and 30-day readmission rates and also reduce disparity gaps in care.”

According to the American Heart Association, about 5.1 million people suffer from heart failure.  Each year, 825,000 new cases are diagnosed and more than 275,000 people will die of heart failure. However, many heart failure patients can lead a full life when their condition is managed with proper medications and devices and with healthy lifestyle changes.

About the UCLA Health System

The UCLA Health System has for more than half a century provided the best in health care and the latest in medical technology to the people of Los Angeles and the world. Comprising Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center; UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica; the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA; Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA; and the UCLA Medical Group, UCLA Health, with its wide-reaching system of primary care and specialty care offices throughout the region, is among the most comprehensive and advanced health care systems in the world. For information about clinical programs or help in choosing a personal physician, call 800-UCLA-MD1 or visit www.uclahealth.org.

About Get With The Guidelines

Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 4 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit heart.org/quality or heart.org/myhealthcare.

 

1st KIDZ Music Camp- Courageous, Contagious Praise!

Choir Director, Ayanna Smith (front, center), poses with the Park Avenue Baptist Church A.M. Simpson and Youth Choir during the Children’s Music Workshop in 2013.

Choir Director, Ayanna Smith (front, center), poses with the Park Avenue Baptist Church A.M. Simpson and Youth Choir during the Children’s Music Workshop in 2013.

RIVERSIDE, CA- Park Avenue Baptist Church presents it’s “1st KIDZ Music Camp- Courageous, Contagious Praise!” This extraordinary camp will be held on Saturday, November 29 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the church which is located at 1910 Martin Luther King Blvd, in Riverside.

There will be offering workshops from highly skilled Christian musicians, dance instructors and voice coaches, and Marvina “Cooky” Levy will be making a special visit for the event.

Your children will be learning about basic music theory, liturgical dance, voice as well as how to play various musical instruments.  There will also be a bible class, arts and crafts and games.  This camp will give memories to the kids that will last a lifetime.  It plants seeds and inspires kids to use their music gift for God.  They get hands on experience on the instruments and are able to hear firsthand testimonies from Christian musicians. This will be a unique experience for the children to fellowship, learn and enjoy each other in a Christian environment.

They will culminate the camp with the Courageous, Contagious Praise Concert on Sunday, November 30 at 4 p.m.

“We are excited about what God has in store for this event! We pray that you will come and share in this awesome experience with us,” Ayanna Smith, choir director, said.

In addition to the festivities at Park Avenue, the church will also be celebrating their 99th Anniversary on Sunday, November 16 at 3 p.m. The festivities for this year’s anniversary will be a lead up to the big centennial celebration which will be held in November 2015. Guests are welcome to bring their family and friends to both the afternoon service and morning service which starts at 10:45 a.m.