Friday, August 22, 2008

Sabrina Martinez joins Dameron Communications as PR Coordinator

Sabrina Martinez

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) Sabrina Martinez of Highland joins Dameron Communications as Public Relations Coordinator.

“It’s hard to find a hardworking person to serve as a good public relations coordinator because their duties are so varied and difficult,” says Creative Director Carl Dameron. “Sabrina has been a joy to work with and she has risen to the challenge with every task I have given her. I look forward to having a long and prosperous business relationship.”

Martinez is re-entering the business world after being a stay-at-home mom to two young children. She handled the responsibility of caring for her family while her husband was serving in the Navy. Over the past five years she has had the challenging, yet rewarding, responsibility of balancing family and work. Now that her husband has returned, she is taking the opportunity to return to work and pursue a career in advertising and public relations.

“I heard of the public relations coordinator position through a close friend, and I figured it would be a great opportunity to work in my career field. My experience in this new environment has been intense, but exciting,” says Martinez.

Martinez worked as a bank teller for two years after having her first child, but found it too difficult to be away from her son. That’s when she decided to cut back her hours and work part-time, eventually staying home with her children after the following birth of her daughter.

Martinez works directly on high profile advertising and public relations projects with Dameron and other agency staff.

She works daily with clients who feature some of the best brands in education, real estate development, healthcare, government, non-profit organizations, entertainment and manufacturing.
She assists with coordinating and implementing press conferences, media and special events. She also assists with media relations, client research, makes pitches and informational media calls.

Martinez will be taking classes towards her degree in advertising at San Bernardino Valley College this fall.

“I thought that it would be beneficial to go to work and go to school simultaneously so I can apply the knowledge that I learn in class toward work and visa versa,” says Martinez.

About Dameron Communications
Since 1989 Dameron Communications has creatively met the needs of our divers client base locally, regionally and nationally. They are an award-winning agency that creates integrated marketing solutions to increase sales and profits, win elections, inform the public or gain acceptance of potentially controversial issues. They use their communications knowledge and experience to advance their clients’ objectives.

For more information about Dameron Communications, call (909) 888-0321.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Experts address future leaders

Black Future Leaders Board Member Marion Black, Acquire Educational Services owners Suzy and Craig Aguillard, Rialto Unified School District Superintendent Edna Herring (a mentor of Craig Aguillard) and Black Future Leaders Board Member Lois Carlson. Craig Aguillard was a guest speaker to the Black Future Leaders Class of 2008 on Saturday, Aug. 16.

Craig Aguillard (back, left) with Rialto Unified School District Superintendent Edna Herring and her daughter Ariana (front, right) and Black Future Leaders Class of 2008 members: (Back row: Pascal Sodermann, Brittani Ojogho, Daniele Smart, Front row: Valerie Sharp, Dominique Mackey, Montoya Washington. Aguillard was a guest speaker to these students and others in Black Future Leaders Inc. on Saturday, Aug. 16.

Guest speaker Craig Aguillard speakers to members of Black Future Leaders Inc. on Saturday, Aug. 16.

(San Bernardino, Calif.) Craig Aguillard, president and founder of ACQUIRE Educational Services in Rialto, California joined Edna Herring, superintendent of Rialto Unified School District and other Black notable educators, local politicians and business leaders to address the 2008 class of Black Future Leaders Inc. at California State University San Bernardino’s Chaparral Hall on Saturday, August 16th.

Black Future Leaders Inc., is a leadership development program for high school achievers created 22 years ago from an idea of Dr. Jean Peacock, now a professor at California State University San Bernardino. With the assistance of community members and present board members Lois J. Carson and Marion Black, a model program was developed which is still in use. “Black Future Leaders’ mission is academic excellence through leadership training,” says Carson.

Students must have a 3.0 grade point average or better, and take college preparatory classes and show a serious commitment to achievement and becoming successful and more productive in their community. Each year students are encouraged to enroll in the program while in the ninth grade and to remain until graduation. The students come from schools across the Inland Empire.

Craig Aguillard spoke to an elite group of 25 high school students who were part of the class of 2008 Black Future Leaders’ Summer Resident Component hosted by California State University San Bernardino. Aguillard’s theme was “change and empowerment,” based on the exciting events of this year, stressing the value of education and the importance of becoming successful leaders within the community.

Aguillard shared his experiences as a student attending schools within the Rialto Unified School District: Myers Elementary, Frisbie Middle School and Eisenhower High School where he met his mentor, Edna Herring, who was then acting Principal. When faced with the decision of making the right career choice for his future, Aguillard attributes his success to the importance of a solid academic background instilled by his parents and mentors.

Aguillard was raised in a two-parent home, with both attending Southern University, an historical Black college in Louisiana. Their support and high expectations of academic excellence were instrumental to his success in business and his career path.

Aguillard went on to attend California State University at Northridge majoring in Computer Engineering, however his passion to help others led him to change his major and he successfully obtained his B. S. in Sociology. “ Educating students is my heart’s desire, ” says Aguillard. While at Cal State Northridge, he became a college recruiter and went on to receive his Master’s Degree in School Administration in Education at Loyola Marymount University.

While working with the Inglewood Unified School District, Aguillard collaborated with a colleague to create the “Summer Academy,” a program developed to promote empowerment and continuous academic success. Aguillard says, “The Summer Academy was created based on a need for us (African American students) to be on the same level as other students who were excelling in school.”

Aguillard illustrated key points on being successful and always pursuing your passion and dreams as elements contained in his philosophy on entrepreneurship to the group of attentive high school students. “Find out what it is that you want to do in your life and allow your passion to drive you,” says Aguillard. “Helping somebody along the way to your success is the best way to keep the door of hope and opportunity open for the next generation to come.”

About ACQUIRE Educational Services
Craig Aguillard and wife Suzy Aguillard are the owners of ACQUIRE Educational Services in Rialto. They provide tutorial services designed to supplement regular school day programs in mathematics, English language arts, computer skills and English as a second language. ACQUIRE Educational Services is a California authorized Supplemental Education Service provider servicing Rialto, Fontana, San Bernardino, Colton and Upland unified school districts. ACQUIRE Educational Services provides free tutoring and instruction to those who qualify. Their office is located at 1188 West Leiske Dr., Suite 100, Rialto, CA, 92376. For more information contact ACQUIRE Learning Center at (909) 875-3356 or visit their website at

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Learn the inner workings of state government

Dia Poole, Capital Fellows Program, Class of 1995

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) – College graduates interested in public administration have a unique opportunity to learn about the inner workings of a branch of state government through the Capital Fellows Programs.

“The Capital Fellows Programs provide an opportunity to engage in public service while preparing for a future career,” said Robbin Lewis-Coaxum, Chief of Staff for Assembly Member Wilmer Amina Carter (D-Rialto). “Since they have an impact on the future development of California, we need more Fellows from the Inland Empire, because that is where much of the state’s growth is taking place.”

There are four programs within the Capital Fellows Programs. The programs are the Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellowship Program, the Executive Fellowship Program, the California Senate Fellows and the Judicial Administration Fellowship Program. Each is sponsored by California State University, Sacramento and the legislative branches (Assembly, Senate, Office of the Governor and California Judicial Council).

In each of these, Fellows work full-time for 11 months as staff to a legislative, executive or judicial office and are usually given assignments with significant challenge and responsibility. For instance, in the legislative branch, tasks may include, but are not limited to, drafting and tracking legislation, responding to constituent letters, writing speeches, meeting with constituents, preparing committee briefs, tracking legislation or researching policy issues.

Dia Poole, the Bench-Bar/Communications Liaison for the Judicial Council of California’s Administrative Office of the Courts, served as a Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellow in 1994-95, after working nearly 14 years with the County of San Bernardino. Undaunted by the fact that most of her fellowship classmates were fresh out of college, Poole immediately felt she had an advantage.

“Not only did I have a lot more life experience, I brought with me many years of work experience from San Bernardino County where we were tackling the same issues being debated in the legislature,” Poole said. “I had an agenda, and I was ready to hit the ground running.”

That agenda was spawned by Poole’s own passion for community service and her view of how public policy decisions made in Sacramento affected youth and minorities. The legislative fellowship provided her with the tools she needed to address the obvious gap in the public’s understanding of how the political process worked and what people could do to lessen the impact of legislation and policy decisions they perceived as harmful.

Applications for the 2009-2010 fellowships will be available online at and from local offices of assembly members such as Wilmer Amina Carter, (355 N. Riverside Ave., Rialto, 93726, (909) 820-5008) and state senators such as Gloria Negrete-McLeod, (4959 Palo Verde St., Ste. 100 B, Montclair, CA 91763 (909) 621-2783) starting in mid-October 2008. Fellows will be chosen in May 2009 and will serve in their fellowship from October 2009 through September 2010.

Anyone with a four-year degree from a college or university, and a demonstrated interest in state government and public service is eligible to apply. All majors are welcome. Recent Fellows’ majors have been as diverse as child development, religious studies, law and biochemistry.

People with graduate degrees, or who have substantial career experience are encouraged to apply.

Fellows are officially employed by California State University, Sacramento, which pays a monthly stipend of $1,972 and health benefits, as well as university tuition. CSUS enrolls Fellows as graduate students, and they receive 12 units of credit from either the Government or Public Policy and Administration departments.

Jazz is alive in Blue Jay

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) Jazz In Blue Jay had a rather inauspicious beginning: a local jazz trio and five chairs in a parking lot. That was back in 1991, under the foresighted leadership of community leader and businessman Pat Welsh. August 21 marks the debut of the 17th annual musical event, formerly known as The Blue Jay Jazz Festival.

Leading off this summer’s series will be trumpeter Carl Saunders and his sextet Thursday, August 21 from 6 to 9 p.m. in Blue Jay.

Saunders, a Los Angeles area stalwart, auditioned for, then joined, one of the legendary jazz bands, the Stan Kenton Orchestra right out of high school, spending 1961-62 on the road as a member of Kenton’s well-known mellophonium section.

Saunders’ resume continues to impress, his stints including appearances with classic singers Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra, plus the bands of Benny Goodman, Harry James and Charlie Barnet.

The following week, organizers feature the Latin Soul Jazz sounds of multi-instrumentalist Scott Martin and his sextet at Blue Jay. Thursday, August 28 from 6-9 p.m. audiences will be treated to one of the strongest Latin-soul-jazz performers in America.

With 10 of the band’s recordings to his credit, the composer, arranger and multi-reed player has also performed over the years with countless bands including those of Ray Charles, Tito Puente, Chick Corea, The Temptations, Barry Manilow and Mongo Santamaria.

The blues sounds of Southern California’s King Brothers, Lee and Sam, will highlight the Thursday, September 4 installment of Jazz in Blue Jay. From 6 to 9 p.m. the cousins of blues great Freddy King will bring fans their “new standard” of blues. “It’s danceable,”
says Lee King, “it’s rock-flavored, funk-flavored, gospel-flavored. I don’t know a damn thing about picking cotton; I don’t drink whiskey; and I don’t dip snuff. I don’t fit any of those blues-man stereotypes. We just dig it for the art form, and we’re taking it where it needs to go.”

All three shows are above Rite Aid in Blue Jay Village on Highway 189. General Admission is $15.00. Tickets will be at the door or available by calling (909) 337-7253.

Saturday September 13 marks a special presentation, Blue Jay’s “Jazz by the Lake,” an in-home performance at a Lake Arrowhead estate featuring the 14-year-old Rim High School student Olivia Clark, the vocalist recipient of the Blue Jay Jazz Foundation’s first music scholarship. She’ll be appearing with 17-year-old jazz violin sensation Antonio Pontarelli, who, at 13, was the Grand Prize winner of “America’s Most Talented Kids.”

Fontana-born Clark is from a musical family where she was raised on the sounds of Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Dave Brubeck.

Her $1,500 “Keeping Jazz Alive” scholarship is earmarked for music instruction and materials, funded in part by a generous grant from Maria’s Studio of Music and Voice in Lake Arrowhead and, according to festival organizers, “is based on artistic potential, financial need and academic achievement,” adding, “Olivia will benefit from ‘selective’ professional training to enhance her remarkable raw talent.”

The Mission Statement of the nonprofit Blue Jay Jazz Foundation states an objective clearly: “To foster and expand a greater awareness of jazz in all its forms by bringing the finest local, national and international jazz musicians to the San Bernardino Mountain communities of Lake Arrowhead, Blue Jay, Crestline.”

For details on the Jazz in Blue Jay or the Jazz by the Lake performances, phone (909) 337-7253.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

FHA-HERO Program Creates Leaders

2008 Chino High School graduate Manual Alvarez, 11th-grader Tiffanie Williams and 12th-grader Michael Navkirk prepare snickerdoodle batter for a Chino High event FHA-HERO was catering at the end of the 2007-08 school year.

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) “We have to teach leadership,” said Chino High School teacher Elizabeth Williams. “It’s in the state standards.”

Learning how to work in groups, make decisions as a team, get along with diverse coworkers and resolve conflicts peacefully is woven into the curriculum of every high school subject in California. But since Williams is a Home Economics Careers and Technology teacher, she has found the most effective way to do this is through her department’s co-curricular student organization, FHA-HERO.

FHA once was an acronym for Future Homemakers of America, and later became FHA-HERO to reflect its additional focus on Home Economics Related Occupations.

Now, it is so highly revered for its ability to develop leadership abilities, some students join FHA-HERO just for that reason alone. FHA-HERO helps 300,000 students at 750 schools throughout California, whether they plan on going into a home economics-related career field or not.

“I joined FHA-HERO because of all it has to offer,” said Francisco Gutierrez, a recent graduate of Golden West High School in Visalia. “No other organization at Golden West had anything that could have prepared me to succeed the way FHA-HERO did.”

Gutierrez learned a little about being a CEO, because he served as the Chapter President of his FHA-HERO organization at Golden West during the 2007-08 school year. He also learned about healthy living, time management and effective communication.

Alicia Freude, the 2008-09 FHA-HERO Chapter President at Chino High School in Chino, does want to open a bakery after she graduates from high school. So, while she values the education she receives in culinary courses offered through the Chino High Home Economics Careers and Technology program, the leadership experience she’s gaining is just as valuable to her.

“I love organizing things, so organizing activities for people will be fun,” she said. “I want to make a difference and motivate more people to join.”

Prior to last school year, Alicia was more interested in soccer than home economics. But she took one course, and when she was asked to help a classmate prepare a salad for a FHA-HERO competition, she found herself hooked on how fun the organization could be.

In his Consumer and Family Studies course, which focused on healthy living, Gutierrez took on a project examining the various medications that can be used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD. That turned out to be a highlight of his time in FHA-HERO, he said.

He so thoroughly researched this project, it earned him second place in a statewide competition of FHA-HERO students who had done various studies in Consumer Education. When the state competition’s winner announced she wouldn’t be able to make the trip, Gutierrez’s efforts paid off with a trip to a national competition over the summer.

Alicia’s classmate and Francisco were among hundreds of FHA-HERO members last year who took part in an important aspect of FHA-HERO, which is its Competitive Recognition Events program. Students compete in 21 different events, as diverse as salad preparation and consumer education, commercial food preparation and interior design, creating artful food displays and having the best documentation of what the chapter did in a year. State-level winners in this competition took home cash awards, scholarships and other prizes along with trophies and certificates.

Many FHA-HERO chapters provide diverse, meaningful activities for their students. For instance, at Chino High School, where FHA-HERO has been recognized as one of the state’s Superior chapters for its many activities, active members put on assemblies for other students enrolled in Home Economics Careers and Technology courses, cater school events and participate in community outreach events, such as clothing drives for the area’s less fortunate. Golden West High School also has been recognized for its chapter’s diverse activities, along with many others in the state.

Monica Vargas, who served as Chino High School’s FHA-HERO chapter president during the 2007-08 school year, said participating in FHA-HERO activities together is one of her most cherished high school memories. It’s also an experience she knows will greatly benefit her now that she’s moved on to college, she hopes followed by a career in fashion design.

“We worked together as a team, and by doing so we were able to reach out to people,” she said. “We got more students to be involved in FHA-HERO, and we got the community involved in making Chino a better place to live. As the president, this gave me lots of leadership skills and communication skills. It also taught me to work my hardest for the team.”

For more information, call FHA-HERO State Adviser Janice DeBenedetti at (916) 323-5025.