The VERY Latest from Our CEO
Dear ALearn Friends and Supporters,
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
Nelson Mandela's words have never been more true or more needed, since education is the great equalizer-and the great closer of the opportunity gap which has widened in the 21st century. Education, and in particular graduating from high school and college, is the hope and dream of the low income students we serve. For them, it is the way to raise up not only themselves but their whole family; many are succeeding.
ALearn has served 8,000 students in the last 8 years.
We are so proud of them all, and especially the many st
udents of our very first class of our Catalyst to High School Program who are graduating from college this spring. Students like
(beaming at left), who is graduating from Dominican University.
continue to connect with them (quite a number have worked as Teaching Assistants to "pay it forward"--including Sal!), and we will be bringing you their stories.
ALearn Student Gets Vocal - about Paying it Forward
When you meet Christina Vasquez for the first time, you are going to get a hug. That's your first hint that this 15-year-old from Mt. View is special. She is bubbly and exuberant when she tells us "I love the environment of people who are yearning to make changes... Teachers are the ones raising people to do all these creative things!"
Her teachers have fostered Christina's creativity. As an ALearn student in 2014, she shined in a talent show at the end of our summer program. Together with other classmates, she composed and performed
"Let's Graph a Line"
to the tune of the "cup song" in the movie,
Christina led this talented group for this performance in front of a standing ovation crowd at ALearn's fundraising dinner.
She continues to sing in the Madrigals group at Mountain View High School.
Her parents have always supported her and encouraged her to stay on the college track. But Christina has had to veer away from some programs and clubs at her high school, because her family cannot afford them.
ALearn Partnerships Expand Our Reach
ALearn is pleased to announce that we will be partnering with three new organizations this summer, Bayshore Christian Ministries, Building Futures Now, and Unity Care. We've worked with each organization to ensure that our programs complement theirs well. Some highlights:
Bayshore Christian Ministries
and ALearn are partnering to include MAP
in BCM's 4-week, full-day summer camp, CREATE Academy, available to youth in 6th-8th grades. Youth who participate will be exposed to mathematics, technology and art instruction in order to strengthen their critical thinking and mathematics skills, as well as grow their confidence in preparation for future opportunities in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) programs and careers.
Building Futures Now
and ALearn are partnering to include MAP in BFN's 5-week 6th-8th grade Academic Advocacy program where students receive ongoing support to maintain high academic standards and engage in meaningful extracurricular activities and summer learning experiences. Students attend retreats and skill-building workshops, which include exploration of self-identity and enrichment.
and ALearn are partnering to provide MAP for 5 weeks this summer.
SAVE THE DATE: October 16
Join us for our biggest fundraiser of the year! We will honor students, teachers, and teaching assistants, as well as this years Dream Makers Honoree, Ned Barnholt. It is a not-to-be-missed festive evening of entertainment and celebration.
More Students Becoming "Math Strong, College Ready"
Flagship MAP & Catalyst to High School Programs Going Strong
This summer, ALearn will offer 31
classes to a total of
incoming 6th and 7th grade students. Twenty of the classes will be in schools in the Alum Rock, Berryessa, Franklin-McKinley, Mountain View-Whisman, Mount Pleasant, and Oak Grove School Districts. Two classes will be at Downtown College Prep in San Jose. The remaining 9 classes will be offered in partnership with other non-profit organizations:
Unity Care, in San Jose; and Bayshore Christian Ministries and Building Futures Now, both located in East Palo Alto.
Also this summer, ALearn will offer 24
Catalyst to High School
classes to a total of
incoming 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students. Classes will be held in the East Side Union, Mountain View Los Altos and Sequoia Union High School Districts. An additional 2 classes will be offered in a pilot program in Richmond, CA.
Four Cheers for New ALearn Staff Members!
Please join us in welcoming four new staff members, Eric Vasquez, Tim Mennuti, Susi Rodriguez, and Desirée Victor!
Eric is our new Office Operations Manager.
He comes to us from Sunday Fr
where he was a Resource Developer. He is currently working towards a Bachelor's in Technology and Entrepreneurial Management from the Arizona State University online program. Originally from Visalia, California, Eric was in the AVID program in high school, as an student as well as a Tutor. He is the first in his family to attend college.
Tim is our new Director of Programs.
He brings over 20 years of experience teaching in communities similar to those ALearn serves, beginning in 1991 as a Teach For America Corps Member teaching high school French in eastern North Carolina; then, earning his credential while working as a Bilingual Spanish Elementary school teacher in San Jose Unified Schools; and, most recently, serving the families of east Menlo Park and East Palo Alto in the role of science teacher for Beechwood School.
Susi is our new
Catalyst to College Program Coordinator. A
recent graduate of San Jose State University, she earned her B.S. in Justice Studies with a Minor in Human Rights. Previously, Susi worked in Residential life at SJSU as both a Resident Advisor and Senior Resident Advisor. As a first generation college graduate, Susi recognizes the importance of education and is passionate about empowering first generation students in obtaining higher education and is excited to improve college access to underserved students in San Jose.
e is our new Programs Coordinator. She
graduated from San Jose State University in 2013 and received her B.A. in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminology. Currently a graduate student working on her Masters in Mexican American Studies, also at SJSU, Desir
e hopes to develop the critical consciousness to best address the barriers for our underserved communities.
e has served the community as a residential counselor, program manager, and case manager to a non-profit organization that housed foster youth, and has worked with school age children as a behavioral specialist.