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YAP Hosts AmeriCorps Member Graduation for Class of 2013-2014

KODAK Digital Still Camera

YAP AmeriCorp Graduates, staff and Elected Official Dignitaries Photo by Naomi K. Bonman

Written by Naomi K.  Bonman

Joesph Williams being presented with a from Bank of America

Joesph Williams being presented with a from Bank of America

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- On Thursday, June 26, the Youth Action Project (YAP) held its 2013-2014 AmeriCorps Members Graduation ceremony. The ceremony was held at the San Bernardino Adult School. The brief ceremony featured a light meal as guests gathered in before the ceremony followed by a welcome from YAP Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Joesph Williams. YAP AmeriCorps Alumni Shonda Hutton was the keynote speaker for the evening where she spoke on “Self-Love and Knowing Who You Are”. She explained the four steps to success which were:

  1. Defining your purpose
  2. Knowing Your role. You don’t know everything. Make sure to value teamwork because ‘Teamwork makes the Dream work”.
  3. Involve yourself around those who are succeeding and doing what you desire to do. Take notes and have them take you under their wings as their mentee.
  4. Cultivate your relationships. Serve with those that you become involved with. Thank them often.

Proceeding Hutton, Alfred Arguello of Bank America presented YAP with a check for their dedication and commitment to everything that do in the community.  Kimberly Scott, YAP Program Assistant; and Tremanine Mitchell, Director of Operations, then recognized each graduated and presented them with their certificates and acknowledgments from elected officials throughout San Bernardino County and State District.

2014 community supporters included  Assemblymember Cheryl Brown, 47th District; San Bernardino Mayor, Carey R. Davis; Senator Mike Morrell, 23rd District; Fontana City Mayor, Acquanetta Warren; San Bernardino City Unified School District; San Bernardino  Employment Training Agency; California Volunteers, AmeriCorps; and Corporation for National and Community Service.

The three partner sites were Arroyo Valley High School, San Gorgonio High School, and San Bernardino Adult Education.

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXgQEsdmfFQ&feature=youtube_gdata]

July 1 Brings Higher Rates, Other Changes for New Federal Student Loans

Interest rates and fees rise, subsidized loans won’t accrue interest during grace period

Oakland, CA – July 1 is when most changes to federal student aid go into effect for the coming school year.  Several are lined up for 2014-15, including higher interest rates on new student loans for undergraduates, graduate students, and parents. The Institute on College Access & Success’ (TICAS) Project on Student Debt has created a new easy-to-read chart with interest rates, loan amounts, and other useful information about federal loans issued in 2014-15.

In 2013, Congress changed the interest-rate rules for federal student loans. Rates for new loans are now set each year based on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rate in the spring of that year plus a fixed percentage that varies based on the loan type. Those rates are then fixed for the life of the loans.

“Federal student loans are still the safest way to borrow for college, with fixed rates, flexible repayment options like income-based repayment, and consumer protections like discharges when schools close,” said Lauren Asher, TICAS president. “But with interest rates on the rise, federal loans are expected to cost students and families more over time than if Congress had simply left them alone last year. Without clear information about the benefits of federal loans, news of rising rates may lead more borrowers to take on much riskier private loans instead.”

The rates for new loans this year are lower than if Congress had let the old rules stand, but beginning next July, the rates on some loans are expected to be higher than under prior law.  According to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections, rates for new loans will rise substantially over the next decade and generate $127 billion in government profits at borrowers’ expense.  Under prior law, interest rates would have consistently been 6.8% for all Stafford loans and 7.9% for PLUS loans. Under currentlaw, CBO projects rates for undergraduates to exceed 6.8% by 2017, and rates for graduate students and parents to top their old levels in 2015, just one year from now.

The changes coming on July 1 also include some good news for students and families:

  • For new subsidized loans, interest won’t accrue during the six-month grace period before the first payment is due.  (This benefit was temporarily eliminated for subsidized loans issued in 2012-13 and 2013-14.)
  • The maximum Pell Grant will increase by $85 to $5,730 (up from $5,645), financed by savings from cutting costly middlemen out of the student loan process back in 2010. However, even with this increase, the maximum Pell Grant will cover less than a third of what it costs to attend a four-year public college, the smallest share since the program began.

And here’s how the higher loan costs break down for federal student loans issued in 2014-15:

  • Fixed interest rates
    • Stafford loans for undergraduates: 4.66% (up from 3.86% for loans issued in 2013-14).
    • Stafford loans for graduate students: 6.21% (up from 5.41% for loans issued in 2013-14).
    • Parent and Graduate PLUS loans: 7.21% (up from 6.41% for loans issued in 2013-14).
  •  Origination fees
    • Because of budget sequestration enacted by Congress in 2011, origination fees will rise for federal Direct loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2014. For Stafford loans the fee will be 1.073% of the loan principal (up from 1.072%); for PLUS loans it will be 4.292% (up from 4.288%).

TICAS’ 2013 white paper includes detailed recommendations to keep federal student loans affordable, streamline the loan program, and better target benefits, as well as broader reforms to increase college affordability and completion.

For more information on new student loan terms, please see our summary of Federal Student Loan Terms for 2014-15.

Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown Honors Men of Distinction

Men of Distinction

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown (D-San Bernardino) honored outstanding men from the 47th Assembly District at her annual Men of Distinction program on Friday, June 20, at the Grand Terrace Community Center. The recognition event was attended by the honorees and their family members and included special appearances from Mayor Carey Davis, Mayor Pro Tem Virginia Marquez and Councilman Rikke Van Johnson, City of San Bernardino; Mayor Pro Tem Edward Palmer, City of Rialto; City Treasurer Janet Koehler-Brooks, City of Fontana; and Trustee Joseph Williams, San Bernardino Community College District.

The 2014 honorees included: Trustee Randall Ceniceros, Colton Joint Unified School District; Carlos Teran, a longtime community advocate; Alan Dyer, a member of the Board of Directors at the West Valley Water District; Richard Loder, a community volunteer and youth advocate;  Ratibu Jacocks, a consultant and executive board member of the Westside Action Group (WAG); Danny Marquez, founder of Veterans Partnering with Communities, Inc., Kermit Moss, a small business owner; and Matthew Slowik, a planning commissioner for the City of Fontana.

For more information, contact Ashley Jones at (909) 381-3238.