Victimization Prevention Event Seeks Sponsorships for Daughters

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In her lifetime a daughter is at risk of being pimped or punched.

The role that a father plays in helping his daughter build a healthy and sustainable lifestyle is priceless.

On April 29, 2017, Women Wonder Writers, Daughters Lives Matters and award-winning Street Positive is hosting the “Art of Fatherhood: Daddy/Daughter Paint Date & Expo” for victimization prevention. We need your help today!

We have 40 “girls without fathers” who would like to attend this uplifting and engaging painting event, but have little or no support to do so. There will also be “Women In Unique Careers” available to meet, share and encourage them to succeed in life; USAF Fighter Pilots, Firefighters, Race Car Drivers, Iron Workers, Airline Pilots, Truck Drivers, Electricians and many others. All, of which, understand the importance and impact of a father.

Please be 1 of 40 donors to provide a $40.00 tax-deductible sponsorship contribution to support a “girl without a father” to paint and lunch at the Art of Fatherhood on April 29, 2017.

Pledge your #NoPimpNoPunch support today to ensure all Daughters Lives Matter!

Visit WomenWonderWriters.com to sponsor a girl now!

And, remember “If you don’t spend time with your “daughter”, someone else will. We Guarantee It!”

The Write of Your L!fe Announces Daddy-Daughter Essay Contest

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We are now accepting writing submissions for The Write of Your L!fe Essay Contest focused on fatherhood impact. Essay contest winners will be announced and awarded at Art of Fatherhood and provided free admission.

Art of Fatherhood™, a Daddy/Daughter Paint Date & Expo is set Saturday April 29, 2017. You can register to attend and/or become a sponsor or exhibitor at this multicultural family event offering outreach to fathers with daughters ages 7-18. The event is open to the public!

Accomplished artists and instructors will be assisting attendees to create their own masterpiece to take home, along with guest speakers, elected officials and community leaders. There will be giveaways, drawings and an aviation showcase.

Why do Daughters’ Lives Matter?

71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes, 63% of youth suicides are connected to fatherless homes, 71% of pregnant teens lack a father, and American children from fatherless homes are the most vulnerable to being trafficked. Additionally, issues of promiscuity, poverty, drug and alcohol use, as well as teen pregnancy are identified as high-risk areas when fathers are absent from a daughter’s life.

Visit WomenWonderWriters.com for more information.

Swing Tree Painting to Bring L!fe to Daddy-Daughter Paint Date

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Swing Tree, painting for Art of Fatherhood 

We are pleased to announce Art Instructor Dixie Roybal of Perfect Palette will inspire dads and daughters at Art of Fatherhood: Daddy-Daughter Paint Date & Expo Saturday April 29, 2017. Dixie will guide guests to paint their own masterpiece inspired by Swing Tree, a painting promoting healthy father-daughter relationships.

 
Dixie founded Perfect Palette, a mobile paint company, offering a variety of locations all around Southern California geared towards all levels of skill.  Perfect Palette even offers private parties such as birthday, bridal, baby showers, date nights or just a simple girls night out.  For more information, visit their website.
“After assisting multiple business owners from various industries build and manage their company, I knew I was ready to build my own.  Through all my experience, I learned that I have a passion for creating and teaching.  Combining that with my love for entertaining, so was born Perfect Palette Cocktails & Canvas. My commitment is to ensure that every guest has an amazing experience.” says Dixie Royal, owner of Perfect Palette.
Join us on April 29th to be create your own masterpiece inspired by Dixie’s painting Swing Tree, a tribute to healthy father-daughter relationships.
Register to attend and/or become a sponsor or exhibitor at this multicultural family event offering outreach to fathers with daughters ages 7-18. The event is open to the public!
Guest speakers, elected officials and community leaders will be present and there will be The Write of Your L!fe™ Essay Contest focused on fatherhood impact, giveaways, drawings and an aviation showcase.
Visit WomenWonderWriters.com for more information.
dixie

Dixie Roybal, Owner of Perfect Palette, Art of Fatherhood Painting Instructor

Top Latina Music Artist Joins Art of Fatherhood to Inspire Dads & Daughters

IMG_0275Professional female artists like T Lopez are expected to inspire dads and daughters at Art of Fatherhood:™ Daddy-Daughter Paint Date & Expo Saturday April 29, 2017. To kick off the event, T will perform the National Anthem followed by a tribute song to healthy father-daughter relationships.

With her most recent single release, “Company”, T has established herself as a relevant music artist throughout the industry, and has built a successful career as an actress, and television personality, as well. From serving as a producer and host on the nationally-syndicated series, LatiNation, to debuting her latest music video “Vivelo”, on the McDonald’s Channel, T continues to prove that her versatility as a performer has helped put her on the map and she intends to bring her community along for the ride.

During her run with Cash Money Records, beside artists like Drake, and Nicki Minaj, T was asked to join forces with countless superstars including Hip-Hop heavyweights, Lil’ Wayne, T-Pain, and Flo-Rida. Not stopping there, the former member of the all Latina-girl group Soluna, wasn’t satisfied until she was able to incorporate an aspect of her own brand into her music. T recruited some of the biggest names in Latin music, including: A.B. Quintanilla, C-Kan, and Jon Secada. Her first Spanish single, “Mentirosa”, released on the “A.B. Quintanilla’s Allstarz” album, skyrocketed to #1 in South America, which allowed Lopez to go on an international tour with his crew. Following that, T co-wrote two songs on C-Kan’s newly released album, Clasificacion C , and has begun touring throughout Mexico and Europe. The first of the C-Kan-T Lopez collaborations released, “Eres Para Mi,” has already reached over 1 million views on Vevo/YouTube in just under two months, and sales of the single continues to grow.

Although Lopez experienced the rigors of the touring world nearly a decade earlier, when Soluna opened for artists like Marc Anthony and Enrique Iglesias, it is her performances in Latin America that have had an extraordinary impact on her.

Join us on April 29th to be inspired by T’s music along with other female artists as you paint your masterpiece.

Register to attend and/or become a sponsor or exhibitor at this multicultural family event offering outreach to fathers with daughters ages 7-18. The event is open to the public!

General admission (without painting) is FREE. Daughters under 18 years old paint FREE. Adults and children may purchase tickets to paint at WomenWonderWriters.com.

Accomplished artists and instructors will be assisting attendees to create their own masterpiece to take home, along with guest speakers, elected officials and community leaders. There will be The Write of Your L!fe™ Essay Contest focused on fatherhood impact, giveaways, drawings and an aviation showcase.

Visit WomenWonderWriters.com to register and for more information.

Top Female Pro-Am Series Drifter Joins Art of Fatherhood to Inspire Girls

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Professional women in non-traditional careers like Rathyna Gomer are set to attend Art of Fatherhood:™ Daddy-Daughter Paint Date & Expo Saturday April 29, 2017 at Flabob Airport in Riverside. As a top female drifter, Rathyna currently competes in drifting in the ProAm series and is looking to earn her professional competition license for Formula Drift Pro2.

What makes Rathyna unique? Her passion for education and dedication to the community! Not only has she spent the last six years refining her skills as a driver, but she has managed her time outside of the track to earn two Bachelor’s Degrees and a Master’s in Business Administration. She also is very active in the non-profit sector including working with Women Wonder Writers (WWW) and uses her experiences to inspire teenage-aged girls to reach their full potential. She also uses her free time to volunteer at fundraisers and community events.

Join us on April 29th to meet Rathyna, along with other female professionals in non-traditional careers as you paint your masterpiece.

Register to attend and/or become a sponsor or exhibitor at this multicultural family event offering outreach to fathers with daughters ages 7-18. The event is open to the public!

Accomplished artists and instructors will be assisting attendees to create their own masterpiece to take home, along with guest speakers, elected officials and community leaders. There will be The Write of Your L!fe™ Essay Contest focused on fatherhood impact, giveaways, drawings and an aviation showcase.

Why do Daughters’ Lives Matter?

71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes, 63% of youth suicides are connected to fatherless homes, 71% of pregnant teens lack a father, and American children from fatherless homes are the most vulnerable to being trafficked. Additionally, issues of promiscuity, poverty, drug and alcohol use, as well as teen pregnancy are identified as high-risk areas when fathers are absent from a daughter’s life.

Together we can provide support in helping to build healthy daddy/daughter relationships. If a father doesn’t spend time with his daughter, someone else will. We guarantee it!

Visit WomenWonderWriters.com for more information.

Local Prosecutors & Law Enforcement Enhance Civics Education in New School District-Based Youth Court

News Release
                                                

Jurupa Valley–The Jurupa Valley Unified School District (JUSD) in collaboration with the Riverside District Attorney’s Office, Riverside Sheriff Department, Women Wonder Writersand Reach-Out operate the JUSD Student Court bi-monthly at the School District’s Board Room. The idea took root last year in an effort to curb school-based offenses and delinquency incidents, such as marijuana use, chronic truancy, and disrupting the school and learning environment. When JUSD Director of Administrative Services Ilsa Garza-Gonzalez approached Debra Postil, a community prosecutor and member of the steering committees of the Riverside Police Department Youth Court, Coachella Valley Youth Court Collaborative, and California Association of Youth Court, Ms. Postil welcomed the opportunity to start a student court to serve middle and high school students in Jurupa Valley. The District collaborated with the Sheriff’s Department, District Attorney’s Office and local nonprofits to help set up the student court, which runs bi-weekly on Saturdays at the Jurupa Unified School District.

Having regularly presiding as a judge over the JUSD Student Court, Senior Deputy District Attorney and Superior Court Judicial Candidate Burke Strunsky, who is also the author of the book The Humanity of Justice, named after his charitable foundation The Humanity of Justice Foundation, which strives to root out child abuse across the nation, “To me, being in a public service profession means that one has a heightened responsibility to be involved in the community. What I particularly like about Student Court is that-although I act as a judge-it is the youth juries who ask the probing questions to their contemporary who is accused of some type of misconduct. I believe that hearing relevant questions and suggestions from young people, who are at the same place in life as the accused, have a far deeper impact than the same coming from any adult. So, there is a two-way process in which the youth questioners and the accused youth feed off of each other and both come out stronger because they are more understanding of the particular problem. Eventually, this leads to a broader perspective on the underlying factors that can make a young person go off track and the consequences of not correcting that negative behavior. But I believe that the true genius of Student Court is making part of any disposition the requirement that the youth come back and serve on future juries involving other young people accused of misconduct. This empowers the former accused youths by allowing them to see a person in a similar situation to them and formulate a disposition that gets his or her colleague back on track.”

Ms. Postil confirmed that youthful offenders are required to come back to serve as jurors as a part of their sentence to, “give them a chance to help others, connect with a caring community, encourage them to play more positive roles in their communities, and expose them to pro-social peer influences, which is ideal in effective restorative justice programs.”  School-based incidents are referred by school administrators and hearings are held from twice monthly in the formal education board room at the School District. Other students volunteer to serve as jurors, clerks, and bailiffs, including from the local Sheriff’s Explorer program. The jury, that is made up of middle and high schoolers, decide the sentencing consequences for the youthful offenders who come to court already admitting their guilt. Sentences have included community service, apology letters, counseling, tutoring, essays, and curfew restrictions.

Aside from hearing actual cases, according to Ms. Postil, the students receive a variety of training and educational programming, which is coordinated by Riverside-based nonprofit Women Wonder Writers and San Bernardino-based nonprofit Reach Out. At the beginning of the school year, all students received training about the history of youth courts, juvenile law, empathy, and social and emotional issues surrounding juvenile delinquency and truancy. On December 2nd, the students attended the Youth Track of Beyond the Bench, a multidisciplinary statewide conference devoted to children, youth, and families in the California court system. Last Saturday, the students received specialized training regarding appropriate internet, texting and social media behaviors and the consequences of cyberbullying by Riverside Police Officer Ryan Railsback.

In truancy cases, the youth jurors have imposed reverse curfews, requiring students to leave home in the morning to get to school.  It is well known that truancy and dropout rates not only have a long term impact on crime rates, there is also an immediate and significant detrimental economic impact to our local school districts. According to the California Department of Education Data Reporting Office’s latest truancy figures (2013-14), Riverside County’s truancy rate is 33.15%. This is higher than the state average of 31.14%. According to the Attorney General’s 2014 Report on California Elementary School Truancy & Absenteeism Crisis, Riverside County’s truancy rate equated to a substantial loss of $96,833,125.00 to Riverside County school districts. According to Ms. Postil, the types of first time or low level offenses mostly engaged in by Riverside County Youth involve offenses related to property (22.1%), violence (20.2%), drugs and alcohol (12.7%) and truancy (14.7%). According to a Vanderbilt study directed by Professor Mark A. Cohen, each teen prevented from adopting a life of crime (including future adult offenses) can save public expenditures between $1.7 million and $2.3 million per youth. In the short term, each youth deterred from incarceration in California saves the government approximately $180,000 per child in annual incarceration costs according to the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office.

According to the California Judicial Council’s Administrative Office of the Courts, studies show that youth court participation helps juvenile offenders be held accountable, an effective youth court can impose a consequence in a more timely fashion than a traditional juvenile court, can help build community connection, teens respond better to peers than adult authority figures, and can prevent future delinquent acts by empowering and educating youth. The national body of literature on youth courts recognize that these programs promote restorative justice, youth leadership and civics education as the students are having a real-life interaction with criminal justice professionals.

The student feedback demonstrates the value of civic learning. For example, Director of Administrative Services Ilsa Garcia-Gonzalez stated, “I had a few students talk to me and they were very excited to have had the opportunity to ask Deputy DA Burke Strunsky questions.  One student even requested we continue to bring professionals from the legal community to speak to them because at schools they only get to hear from college representatives.  I believe Mr. Strunsky inspired more than one to follow in his footsteps.”

To date, the Jurupa Unified Student Court has presided over 29 cases. Over 40 youth volunteers show up bi-weekly to participate. The next Student Court is set for March 5, 2016 where Senior Deputy District Attorney Burke Strunsky will act as a judge alongside the youth jury. The program will conclude Saturday, May 21st with an Awards Banquet in Jurupa Valley. Sponsorships and donations are being sought for the Banquet and for students to attend the 2016 CAYC Youth Court Summit being held on June 23-25 at UC Santa Cruz. For more information, questions, donations, or sponsorship opportunities for the JUSD Student Court, contact Kathy Ediss at (951) 532-3280 or Kathy@WomenWonderWriters.com.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Burke Strunksy with Student Court Participants.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Burke Strunksy with Student Court Participant.
Riverside Sheriff Department Deputy with Student Court Participant.
Deputy District Attorney Matthew Strickroth with Student Court Participants.
2015 California Association of Youth Court Summit, Pepperdine University

Quasi-Military Youth Academy Draws Positive Support to Help Reduce Juvenile Delinquency & Truancy in the IE

News Release

RIVERSIDE – Sunburst Youth ChalleNGe Academy, an Orange County-based residential and quasi-military program for at-risk youth, hosted an orientation in the Inland Empire on Saturday, December 12, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at California Baptist University.  The orientation, which was first of its kind to take place in the Inland Empire, covered the history and background of Sunburst, the application process, and what to expect if accepted into the residential Academy, which is located at the Joint Force Training Base in Los Alamitos.  The orientation and program is geared for California students ages 16-18, who are free of felonies, and are at-risk of dropping out of high school or credit deficient.  The orientation is open to the public, students interested in applying, parents and families, and community members working with youth at-risk for dropping out of high school or credit deficient.

The Sunburst Youth ChalleNGe Academy, as part of the National Guard Youth Challenge Program, is operated through a Cooperative Agreement between the National Guard Bureau and the State of California.  The Academy is a residential program that incorporates a highly structured quasi-military format emphasizing self discipline, personal responsibility, and positive motivation. Students, who are referred to as cadets while at the Academy, must meet military grooming standards, wear military type uniforms, and observe standard military customs and courtesies. Each class involves a 3-phase program that begins with a two week Acclimation phase where the goal is to identify those students that have the desire and discipline to complete the program. Students who successfully complete the Acclimation phase enter the 20-week Challenge phase where the emphasis is on the “Eight Core Component” curriculum. Cadets must show improvement in each component.

Stacie Matthews, a Riverside District Attorney assigned to the Crime Prevention Unit who helped coordinate the orientation stated, “The room was filled with standing room only. 76 parents and 57 students attended the orientation. 47 students obtained applications and scheduled themselves for interviews to join the January 2016 class.” Probation Officers from the Riverside County Department of Probation were also in attendance in an effort to show youth they supervise a “golden opportunity to make some important changes,” stated one probation officer.  Isaiah, a youth from Perris in attendance, whose full name is being withheld to protect his confidentiality, took an application, scheduled himself for an interview, acknowledged he is not doing very well overall and stated, “I want to join the program to catch up on credits and make myself a better person.”

According to Riverside District Attorney Crime Prevention Unit Supervising District Attorney Gerry Lopez, “Today’s unrehabilitated juvenile delinquent or at-risk youth is tomorrow’s adult criminal if there is no proper or effective intervention. Unfortunately, many of our local families encounter great difficulty finding effective and low cost resources for helping their children struggling with behavioral and academic issues. The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office and our community partners are collaborating with the California National Guard to bring the Sunburst Youth Academy orientations and recruitment efforts to the Inland Empire. This collaboration will serve to help local families discover and participate in one of the most effective and successful juvenile interventions programs in the entire state. This partnership will greatly promote our efforts to help local youth overcome personal challenges, achieve academic and social success, and become the great leaders of tomorrow.”

Sunburst has a mission to intervene and reclaim the lives of 16 to 18 year old high school drop outs; to produce program graduates with the values, life skills, education & self discipline to succeed as productive citizens.  Sunburst reported success rates including that approximately 75% of Academy graduates earned their high school diploma, GED, or return to high school. Additionally they report on average, 34% of Academy graduates pursue a higher education, 6% of graduates join the military, and 47% join the workforce. As of February 2011, more than 100,000 students have graduated the program.

According to the California Attorney General’s 2015 Report on California Elementary School Truancy & Absenteeism Crisis, during the 2014-15 academic school year, Riverside County had a 25.06% Elementary School Truancy Rate, equating to a loss of $96,833,125.00 to Riverside County.  Riverside County’s high school dropout rate in 2014 was reported at 9.4%.  The California Attorney General Kamala Harris reported in her office’s 2014 Report on California Elementary School Truancy & Absenteeism Crisis that 82% of prisoners in America are high school dropouts.  Research shows that when students are chronically absent, they fall behind academically, they are less likely to graduate from high school, and they are more likely to be unemployed, on public assistance, or victims or perpetrators of crime.

Debra Postil, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Women Wonder Writers (WWW) commented, “Community partners like CBU and the DA’s Office are instrumental in the successful implementation of intervention programs for at-risk youth in the IE.  We often see transportation as an issue for our youth and their families in the Inland Empire, so bringing the initial orientation and first phase of the program to a local site will help remove that barrier for youth who are serious about challenging themselves to get back on track.  We’re excited to support this collaboration with Sunburst.”  CBU Associate Professor Marilyn Moore stated, “The Sociology Undergraduate Program is looking forward to supporting the Sunburst Youth Academy as they begin to use CBU as a recruitment site reaching out to high school students in need.  We recognize it is another important step in reducing the truancy and dropout rate here in the Inland Empire and giving at-risk young people a path to a brighter future.   These collaborative efforts are extremely important and we will continue to look for any opportunity to improve our community.”

Additional Orientations for Sunburst Youth ChalleNGe Academy are expected to take place in 2016 beginning in February at California Baptist University, located at 8432 Magnolia Avenue, Riverside, California 92504.  Sunburst is still accepting applications for its class starting January 2016 for both young men and women who are California residents ages 16-18, who are free of felonies, and are at-risk of dropping out of high school or credit deficient.  More information about Sunburst can be found at www.theburst.org or by contacting Sgt. Cotton at cotton.sya@gmail.com or call (562) 936-1752.

 sunburst
Sunburst Academy’s Sgt. Cotton at Dec. 3 Orientation, which drew over 130 Parents & Students from the Inland Empire

Winners of Daughters Lives Matter Essay Contest Announced at Youth Art Exhibit

News Release
                                                  

RIVERSIDE – Women Wonder Writers (WWW) announced the winners of its Daughters Lives Matter essay contest at its youth art exhibit Transformation: The Color of Change on December 3rd at Riverside ArtsWalk.  Winners included Jericka Roshell, Monique Jordan and Lorriane, high school students from Moreno Valley Unified School District and Riverside County Office of Education, and Melvin Lucas, a father who’s daughter attends John F. Kennedy Middle College High School in Norco.  The artwork, which debuted simultaneously at Riverside Art Museum, included 36 mixed media work created by local youth in collaboration with WWW’s The Write of Your L!fe ProgramRiverside County Office of Education, Southwest Juvenile Hall, Riverside County Department of Probation, Sojourners Haven Group Home, Riverside County Office of Education, Gateway College & Career Academy, Riverside artist Judi Randolph and life coach Joan McCullough. Over 200 people viewed the artwork, which was created by students ages 12 to 17 from WWW’s The Write of Your L!fe andHealing H’Arts programs sponsored by Community Foundation Youth Grantmakers Fund.

During the evening, the winners of the Daughters Lives Matter essay contest were announced. In collaboration with Street Positive, WWW created the 500 word essay contest for young women ages 14-22 and their fathers who live in the Inland Empire. Fathers were asked to answer questions such as “What have you taught your daughter?” And daughters were asked to write about the greatest lesson they had learned from their fathers.

The first place winner in the daughter category, Jericka Roshell, an 11th grader from East Riverside, was awarded a sleek “Go Anywhere” Speaker valued at $200.00 donated on Giving Tuesday by Fugoo, an Orange County based company making waterproof, shockproof and mudproof wireless speakers. Jericka commented, “As soon as I read the topic I knew what I would write. The essay allowed me to express my feelings about my dad. I’m not sure I will show it to him.” Jericka’s mother Ericka, also in attendance, was emotional and grateful for the opportunity the contest provided her daughter, stating that she wasn’t aware how much her daughter was affected by her father’s absence until she read Jericka’s essay.

The second place prize, a $100 Mastercard gift card, was awarded to 16 year-old Lorraine, a Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE) 11th grade student, who detailed her struggles through the foster care system, juvenile hall and learning to trust her father who came into her life at age 12 having been through the “system” himself, yet kept showing up to visit and teach her that, “no matter what you’re going through you can always get through it.  Quitting is not an option.” Lorraine stated, “my dream is to go to community college, major in English and become a writer. I have a passion for writing that gives a voice to my story and helps me push through the tough times.”

The third place award, a $75 Visa gift card, was presented to 16 year-old Monique Jordan, an 11th grader from Moreno Valley High School. Monique, who attended the event with her teacher Tamra Handysides who initially informed her about the contest stated, “Writing helps a lot, it felt really good afterwards to be able to say what I needed to.” Melvin Lucas, winner in the father’s category, was presented with a Wireless Headset valued at $200 donated by Pendulumic Headset Company. Mr. Lucas, whose daughter attends John F. Kennedy Middle College High School in Norco wrote, “I personally feel that part of society’s problems today involving black youth comes from the lack of a father or father figures being in their lives.  For girls it’s important for them to see appropriate standards exhibited by fathers, toward women.”

Submissions were judged by an independent scoring committee on how well the entrants followed the instructions, showed passion in their writing, and addressed all the parts of the prompts. WWW Executive Director Debra Postil who is also a prosecutor and children’s book author of It’s This Monkey’s Business tackling domestic violence stated, “fathers are important in the lives of their daughters, especially when it comes to teaching them about relationships and self-worth. The contest provided a way for our community to share their impactful stories.”

Essay contest and youth art show sponsors included United States Liability Insurance Company (USLI)FugooPendulumicRiverside Art MuseumRiverside District Attorney’s Office, and Community Foundation Youth Grantmakers Fund, who awarded a WWW $2,500 grant earlier in the year, to implement youth art programs and art show. VisitWomenWonderWriters.com for more information about services, programs, and how to donate or volunteer.
The Write of Your L!fe Student putting finishing touches on Artwork for Dec. 3 Art Show.
The Write of Your L!fe Student putting finishing touches on Artwork for Dec. 3 Art Show.
Dec. 3 Youth Art Show, over 200 people viewed artwork at Riverside Art Museum.
The Write of Your L!fe Students with Artwork at Dec. 3 Youth Art Show
L-R, WWW Exec. Dir Debra Postil, 1st Place Essay Winner Father Category Melvin Lucas, 1st Place Essay Winner Daughter Category Jericka Roshell, WWW Board Member/TD Auto Finance Todd Strawn, Street Positive CEO Terry Boykins
Dec. 3 Youth Art Show, over 200 people viewed artwork at Riverside Art Museum

WWW Helps to Bring Sunburst Youth Academy to the IE

News Release

COMMUNITY PARTNERS COLLABORATE TO BRING SUNBURST YOUTH ACADEMY SERVING AT-RISK YOUTH TO THE INLAND EMPIRE
   

RIVERSIDE – Sunburst Youth ChalleNGe Academy, an Orange County-based residential and quasi-military program for at-risk youth, is set to host an orientation in the Inland Empire on Saturday, December 12, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at California Baptist University.  The orientation, which will be the first of its kind to take place in the Inland Empire, will cover the history and background of Sunburst, the application process, and what to expect if accepted into the residential Academy, which is located at the Joint Force Training Base in Los Alamitos.  The orientation and program is geared for California students ages 16-18, who are free of felonies, and are at-risk of dropping out of high school or credit deficient.  The orientation is open to the public, students interested in applying, parents and families, and community members working with youth at-risk for dropping out of high school or credit deficient.

The Sunburst Youth ChalleNGe Academy, as part of the National Guard Youth Challenge Program, is operated through a Cooperative Agreement between the National Guard Bureau and the State of California.  The Academy is a residential program that incorporates a highly structured quasi-military format emphasizing self discipline, personal responsibility, and positive motivation. Students, who are referred to as cadets while at the Academy, must meet military grooming standards, wear military type uniforms, and observe standard military customs and courtesies. Each class involves a 3-phase program that begins with a two week Acclimation phase where the goal is to identify those students that have the desire and discipline to complete the program. Students who successfully complete the Acclimation phase enter the 20-week Challenge phase where the emphasis is on the “Eight Core Component” curriculum. Cadets must show improvement in each component.

According to Riverside District Attorney Crime Prevention Unit Supervising District Attorney Gerry Lopez, “Today’s unrehabilitated juvenile delinquent or at-risk youth is tomorrow’s adult criminal if there is no proper or effective intervention. Unfortunately, many of our local families encounter great difficulty finding effective and low cost resources for helping their children struggling with behavioral and academic issues. The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office and our community partners are collaborating with the California National Guard to bring the Sunburst Youth Academy orientations and recruitment efforts to the Inland Empire. This collaboration will serve to help local families discover and participate in one of the most effective and successful juvenile interventions programs in the entire state. This partnership will greatly promote our efforts to help local youth overcome personal challenges, achieve academic and social success, and become the great leaders of tomorrow.”

Sunburst has a mission to intervene and reclaim the lives of 16 to 18 year old high school drop outs; to produce program graduates with the values, life skills, education & self discipline to succeed as productive citizens.  Sunburst reported success rates including that approximately 75% of Academy graduates earned their high school diploma, GED, or return to high school. Additionally they report on average, 34% of Academy graduates pursue a higher education, 6% of graduates join the military, and 47% join the workforce. As of February 2011, more than 100,000 students have graduated the program.

According to the California Attorney General’s 2015 Report on California Elementary School Truancy & Absenteeism Crisis, during the 2014-15 academic school year, Riverside County had a 25.06% Elementary School Truancy Rate, equating to a loss of $96,833,125.00 to Riverside County.  Riverside County’s high school dropout rate in 2014 was reported at 9.4%.  The California Attorney General Kamala Harris reported in her office’s 2014 Report on California Elementary School Truancy & Absenteeism Crisis that 82% of prisoners in America are high school dropouts.  Research shows that when students are chronically absent, they fall behind academically, they are less likely to graduate from high school, and they are more likely to be unemployed, on public assistance, or victims or perpetrators of crime.

Debra Postil, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Women Wonder Writers (WWW) commented, “Community partners like CBU and the DA’s Office are instrumental in the successful implementation of intervention programs for at-risk youth in the IE.  We often see transportation as an issue for our youth and their families in the Inland Empire, so bringing the initial orientation and first phase of the program to a local site will help remove that barrier for youth who are serious about challenging themselves to get back on track.  We’re excited to support this collaboration with Sunburst.”  CBU Associate Professor Marilyn Moore stated, “The Sociology Undergraduate Program is looking forward to supporting the Sunburst Youth Academy as they begin to use CBU as a recruitment site reaching out to high school students in need.  We recognize it is another important step in reducing the truancy and dropout rate here in the Inland Empire and giving at-risk young people a path to a brighter future.   These collaborative efforts are extremely important and we will continue to look for any opportunity to improve our community.”

The Orientation for Sunburst Youth ChalleNGe Academy will take place Saturday, December 12, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at California Baptist University, located at 8432 Magnolia Avenue, Riverside, California 92504.  Signs will be posted saying “Sunburst Orientation,” to guide attendees.  Sunburst will be providing and accepting applications for both young men and women who are California residents ages 16-18, who are free of felonies, and are at-risk of dropping out of high school or credit deficient.  More information about Sunburst can be found at www.theburst.org or by contacting Sgt. Cotton atcotton.sya@gmail.com or call (562) 936-1752.
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Youth Art Show Set for December Riverside ArtsWalk

News Release

YOUTH ART SHOW SPONSORED BY THE YOUTH GRANTMAKERS COMMITTEE FUND AT THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION SET FOR RIVERSIDE ARTSWALK

RIVERSIDE – Women Wonder Writers (WWW) will exhibit Transformation: The Color of Changes created by local youth at the Riverside Art Museum on December 3rd in the upstairs DeVean/Powell room during ArtsWalk. The art work is the mixed media work created by local youth in collaboration with WWW, Riverside artist Judi Randolph and life coach Joan McCullough. WWW serves students ages 12 to 17 through its signature program The Write of Your L!fe at juvenile halls, group homes, probation sites, community centers, and schools serving students at-risk for dropping out.  The art show will be funded in part by the Youth Grantmakers Committee Fund at the The Community Foundation, whose grant selection committee is made up entirely of youth.

The art show will feature student work including Your Authentic Self, acrylics on canvass, designed to help youth discover who they are at their core; Perspectives, weaved and painted canvass, designed to teach youth how negatives can be used as motivators for positive change; and Inside/Out, a three dimensional work designed to help youth become aware of the way they present themselves to the world. “We believe that similar to writing, artistic expression helps our students in their journey of resilience and we were honored to be recipients of the Community Foundation Youth Grantmakers Fund Award, which helped support our youth art programs and art show this year,” stated Debra Postil, WWW Executive Director and Co-Founder.

Also on December 3rd, the winner of the Daughters Lives Matter essay contest will be announced. In collaboration with Street Positive, WWW launched the 500 word essay contest for girls ages 14-22 and their fathers who live in the Inland Empire. Fathers were asked to answer questions such as ‘What have you taught your daughter’? And daughters were asked to write about the greatest lesson they had learned from their fathers. The winner in each category will receive $200, second place winner will receive $100 and third place winner will receive $75.

Transformation: The Color of Changes Youth Art Show will be exhibited on Thursday, December 3rd from 6 – 9 p.m. in the DeVean/Powell room upstairs at the Riverside Art Museum located at 3425 Mission Inn Avenue in Riverside, California. The Riverside Artswalk is a monthly community event that celebrates the diversity of arts and culture in Riverside and the Inland Empire. The event is free and open to the media and public. VisitWomenWonderWriters.com or contact Kathy Ediss at (951) 532-3280 for more information, to donate, or learn about upcoming events.

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