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Youth Action Project Hosted YAP TALKS: An MLK Event

jonathan

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- On Friday, January 15, 2016, Youth Action Project hosted YAP TALKS: A Martin Luther King Jr. event, to commemorate and honor Dr. King’s life and legacy. This event was held at the San Bernardino Valley College Library Viewing room.

YAP TALKS strongly resembled a TED Talks. Four speakers were invited to deliver 15-minute speeches that incorporated the philosophies, teachings and principles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to current issues experienced by San Bernardino community members and its youth. Each speaker projected a positive message by bringing awareness to these issues and by sharing their insight on how we can resolve them. The speakers consisted of:

Enrique Murillo, Professor at California State San Bernardino and Executive Director of Latino Education Advocacy Days (LEAD); Johnathan Buffong, co-founder of Buffong Consulting and Mental Health Consultant with the County of San Bernardino; Raihanah Medlock (Grand Terrace High School, Junior), Sheba Jennings (Summit High School, Junior), & DeVon Clay (California State University, San Bernardino, Freshman); Lolita Lyles, Professor at California State Long Beach and University of La Verne; and Rev. Dennis Brown, influential speaker who is also known as the “Voice of King.”

The event also featured a special guest, R&B sensation, Abraham McDonald. You may have seen him on The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Voice. He graced everyone with his humorous personality and beautiful voice.

Jonathan Buffong, a speaker for this event, said, “To see the community celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King life’s work and dreams is always a great thing. Youth Action Project went an extra step when they did YAP TALKS, as each speaker not only analyzed King’s memory, but also forced the audience to look at ways to actualize how they can implement Dr. King legacy in their daily life. That’s when you will see true change in the way we engage with each other”.

Eleven-year-old student, Alexis Gallarzo, simply said, “I loved listening to everyone’s speech, especially since I am learning about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in class right now. The best thing about this event were the girls who free-styled their poems. It was so cool!”

Carol Flores, one of the event coordinators, said, “It was an honor working on an event that served as an agent to promote social change. My goal was to construct an event that would make people think about their current predicament and take action by fighting for social justice and equality as Martin Luther King Jr. did.”

Youth Action Project had one purpose in mind when planning YAP TALKS and that was to host a community event that would impact a diverse audience. C.E.O Joseph Williams closed the night with a powerful quote stating: “Youth Action Project was pleased to host this event. Our aim was to see Dr. King’s dream implemented. I believe we did just that.”

Assemblymember Brown Introduces the 47th Assembly District Youth Academy Members for 2016

Back row: Daniel Enz, Assemblymember Brown’s office; Garrett Dewhirst, Grand Terrace High School; Patrick Davis, Arroyo Valley High School; Ivan Gudino, Slover Mountain High School; Tatum DeMarco, W.A. Carter High School; Aastha Chaudhary, A.B. Miller High School; Michael Egiebor, W.A. Carter High School; Dominick Maiorca, Kaiser High School; and Ramses Jair Castro, Middle College High School. Front row: Lyzzette Martinez, Arroyo Valley High School; Johanna Silva, Alta Vista Public Charter; Rebecca Egiebor, W.A. Carter High School; Assemblymember Brown; Kalynne Brantley, W.A. Carter High School; Maria Mendoza, Kaiser High School; and Ashley Jones, Assemblymember Brown’s office. Not pictured: Josue Marin, Kaiser High School; Jordan Brown, Middle College High School; and Omar Moreno, A.B. Miller High School.

Back row: Daniel Enz, Assemblymember Brown’s office; Garrett Dewhirst, Grand Terrace High School; Patrick Davis, Arroyo Valley High School; Ivan Gudino, Slover Mountain High School; Tatum DeMarco, W.A. Carter High School; Aastha Chaudhary, A.B. Miller High School; Michael Egiebor, W.A. Carter High School; Dominick Maiorca, Kaiser High School; and Ramses Jair Castro, Middle College High School. Front row: Lyzzette Martinez, Arroyo Valley High School; Johanna Silva, Alta Vista Public Charter; Rebecca Egiebor, W.A. Carter High School; Assemblymember Brown; Kalynne Brantley, W.A. Carter High School; Maria Mendoza, Kaiser High School; and Ashley Jones, Assemblymember Brown’s office. Not pictured: Josue Marin, Kaiser High School; Jordan Brown, Middle College High School; and Omar Moreno, A.B. Miller High School.

SAN BERNARDINO, CAAssemblymember Cheryl R. Brown (D-San Bernardino) held her first meeting with the 47th Assembly District Youth Academy on Saturday, January 23.  The Youth Academy, comprised of local high school students, will work together to create a legislative proposal and organize a community outreach activity. Additionally, they will participate in professional development classes and district field trips.

“The intended goal of the Youth Academy is to improve the quality of life in our communities, while enhancing our students’ leadership skills,” stated Assemblymember Brown. “Our students are very insightful and passionate about making a difference in their community. I’m so honored to work with them, and I look forward to a successful outcome.”

During the first meeting, students were given an overview of the program; learned about the legislative process; and participated in an open discussion about issues affecting youth in the 47th District.

“It was really great to understand the legislative process and know that I, along with other really brilliant minds, will be creating a piece of legislation that will hopefully impact our community,” said Johanna Silva of Alta Vista Public Charter in San Bernardino. “I really look forward to growing with the group, and helping solve some of the problems that face the 47th District.”

“I’m very thankful for this wonderful opportunity to work alongside peers from the 47th District, as well as our state Assemblywoman, Ms. Brown,” said Dominick Maiorca of Kaiser High School in Fontana. “I’m looking forward to helping the community through public policy and our outreach event. I cannot wait to begin our mission to gain leadership experience and to better the community we live in.”

This year’s Youth Academy members include: Garrett Dewhirst, Grand Terrace High School; Lyzzette Martinez, Arroyo Valley High School; Patrick Davis, Arroyo Valley High School; Ivan Gudino, Slover Mountain High School; Johanna Silva, Alta Vista Public Charter; Tatum DeMarco, W.A. Carter High School; Rebecca Egiebor, W.A. Carter High School; Michael Egiebor, W.A. Carter High School; Kalynne Brantley, W.A. Carter High School; Aastha Chaudhary, A.B. Miller High School; Omar Moreno, A.B. Miller High School; Dominick Maiorca, Kaiser High School; Maria Mendoza, Kaiser High School; Josue Marin, Kaiser High School; Ramses Jair Castro, Middle College High School; and Jordan Brown, Middle College High School.

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

Paying Tribute to Amazing Vocalist, Natalie Cole

Natalie Cole

Natalie Cole

By Billy Gee

Like millions of others, I was shocked to learn of the demise of vocalist par excellence, Natalie Cole.  She was close to the heart of many Baby Boomers, like myself, who not only thrilled at the sound of her mellifluous voice, but who also associate her with her legendary father Nat “King” Cole.  I had the privilege of meeting her when she spoke at the commencement exercise for the Berkley College of Music when I graduated in 1995.  She shook my hand and smiled as she congratulated me.  Her smile was the kind that could melt your heart from across the street.  The experience was truly “unforgettable.”  (Pun intended.)

Even if you never had the occasion to meet her in person, chances are that you felt that she was someone that you knew personally.  Each fabulous note she sang would find its way to your heart–to the depth of your being, as was the case with her inimitable dad.

Natalie may be gone, but rest assured that she will never be forgotten; for I know she will live on in the hearts of admirers the world over who knew and loved her through her music.  Rest in peace, “Sweetie.”