Congratulations to the following students who presented the results of their capstone projects last month. We had a wonderful celebration, everyone awed at the results and the meaning that they brought to both the students involved and to the organizations with which they worked.
From left to right: Jesus Castaneda, Sandra Villegas, Connie Ruiz, Madge Warren, Erin Davis, Kristin Dawson, Bianza Zaragoza, Lonnie Rouser, and Leah Glaister. (Not pictured: Bettie Citizen).
Jesus Castaneda created an awareness program for The Sequoias, Portal Valley. Employees at this Northern California Presbyterian Homes and Services site have new access to EAP (Employee Assistance Program) services.
Erin Davis raised money for the Art of Yoga Project, a non-profit organization in Palo Alto that uses yoga and creative arts to help girls with a history of trauma and incarceration move toward creating a new sense of self. She coordinated a partnership with a local yoga studio, Peacebank, and raised several hundred dollars to support the project by hosting several donation-based yoga classes.
Kristin Dawson developed a training program for a Social Skills class for developmentally disabled adults. According to her project sponsor, the classes were full and had “full and enthusiastic participation,” which met project goals. In addition, her project sponsor said that Kristin’s positive outlook caused the staff to project her enthusiasm, reinforcing class goals. Her sponsor credits “the clear class outline and spirit [Kristin] has… brought to the group” and said that she is “delighted and grateful.”
Leah Glaister created free publicity for the Pomeroy Recreation and Rehabilitation Center, executing a Visibility Campaign that gathered client stories for use in social media, news publications, government reports, and donor appeals. Her sponsors reported that “we are delighted with the outcome of [this] project… the writing is excellent, lively and descriptive, and portrays our clients with dignity and respect.”
Connie Ruiz did a fundraising drive to assist Middle and High School students at Realm Charter School in Berkeley who aspire to travel to Hollywood for an upcoming musical competition. Thanks to the efforts Connie coordinated with parents, teachers, and the community, the school will be able to send approximately 40 students to this competition.
Madge Warren partnered with the McHenry House family shelter in Tracy on a project titled, “Hope Chest for Transitioning Families.” Through it, she began distributing household essentials to families transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing. Pastor Clint Yandris, of Faith Tabernacle Church in Tracy, CA, said gratefully that, “so many churches in the area assist with providing meals… no one has previously thought of providing monthly household essentials.”
Sandra Villegas worked with CORA, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping those affected by domestic violence. Her project involved raising money to purchase car seats for families in need.
Bianca Zaragoza worked with a youth group at an East Bay Catholic parish to raise funds to help send young people from an East Palo Alto parish to World Youth Day in the summer of 2016. This ongoing effort saw remarkable results during the official project and is well-projected to continue its positive work in the new year.