UC Riverside Hosts ‘Boot Camp’ To Ease Native Americans’ Entry

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Krysta Fauria, published in the Press-Enterprise on July 23, 2014.)

Young college bound Native Americans are being encouraed to attend the “Boot Camp” opportunities at UC Riverside.  These exercises are an outstanding model of Riverside growing as a unified city.  Riversiders care for one another and ensure that everyone has access to a great education and the resources necessary to succeed.  We are a caring community that engages with one another for a better life for all. 

Native Americans take part in a drum circle before workshop sessions at UCR. Only 12 percent of Native Americans between 25 and 34 have four-year degrees, compared to 37 percent of whites, according to a 2012 report.  Photo credit: Chris Carlson

Native Americans take part in a drum circle before workshop sessions at UCR. Only 12 percent of Native Americans between 25 and 34 have four-year degrees, compared to 37 percent of whites, according to a 2012 report. Photo credit: Chris Carlson

Throughout their week at UCR, students got a taste of the college experience by attending classroom lectures, eating in the cafeteria and sleeping in the dorms. The 30 students also participated in cultural activities like prayer circles and beading workshops.  Upon completion of UCR’s program, students are given access to the university’s resources and staff to assist with the application process.

Elijah Watson knows he wants to go to college. He also knows it will be difficult to leave home on the Navajo reservation if he does.  The 17-year-old was reminded of the tough decision he’ll face next year when he participated in a week long celebration in March of his cousin’s Kinaalda, a hallowed Navajo ceremony marking a girl’s transition into womanhood.

Native Americans gather for a drum circle before workshop sessions at UC Riverside on Thursday, June 26.  Photo Credit: Chris Carlson

Native Americans gather for a drum circle before workshop sessions at UC Riverside on Thursday, June 26. Photo Credit: Chris Carlson

To reach students like Watson with higher education aspirations, a growing number of universities are offering programs to recruit and prepare Native American students for a transition to college life that can bring on a wrenching emotional conflict as they straddle two worlds.

Many young Native Americans find themselves divided by their desire for a higher education and the drive to stay close to home to hold onto a critical part of their identity. Sometimes, families discourage children from pursuing college, fearing once they leave the reservation, they won’t come back.

To read the full article, click here.

Riverside Unified School District Teachers Go On Arctic Expedition

(This article contains excerpts from rusdlink.org and the Arctic’s Edge Facebook page.)

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After collecting samples from four ponds along Lindy Trail this morning, the team “chills” on the tundra. Photo credit: Arctic’s Edge

Eight Riverside Unified School District teachers went on an Arctic Expedition this summer. With an Earthwatch fellowship made possible through the Riverside Educational Enrichment Foundation (REEF).

The adventurers include: Stephanie  Niechayev from Arlington High School; JulieOlson from Chemawa Middle school; Melinda Lang from Madison Elementary School; Erin Garcia from University Heights Middle School; Suzanne Priebe from Earhart Middle School; Tammy Soper from Sierra Middle School; Carla Yawney from Kennedy Elementary School; and Kristin Kund from Poly High School.

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Photo credit: Arctic’s Edge

The expedition team from RUSD exemplifies Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar.  Not only were they able to gather valuable research and data, they are now able to share the findings with their students. This experience gives students the opportunity to take their eyes out of the books briefly and connect with teachers in a fun and interesting way.

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Photo credit: Arctic’s Edge

The teachers departed for their trip on July 9 and were gone through July 20. They travelled to Manitoba, Canada to measure evidence of global warming. The objective was to take water samples; assess the abundance of fish and frogs, and monitor the health of trees in the area. Teachers spent the mornings collecting data, worked in labs in the afternoons, and attended lectures in the evenings.

To read more, click here.

 

Riverside Teen Launches Fashion Collection

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Laurie Lucas, published in the Press-Enterprise on July 23, 2014.)

Kubrat Salaam, a 16- year old fashion designer, business owner, and entrepreneur from Riverside, is launching her new clothing line.  Called Kubitees, it combines African and American fashion styles to create unique pieces of apparel.

Help 16-year-old Riverside teen, Kubrat Salaam, launch her fashion line, a fusion of American and African styles. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Help 16-year-old Riverside teen, Kubrat Salaam, launch her fashion line, a fusion of American and African styles. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

To introduce her company she has designed a 15 -piece clothing collection called “The Bridge”.

Bursting with entrepreneurial spirit, Kubrat Salaam is a true testament to Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar. Her dedication, passion, and drive remind us all that creativity and talent can blossom at a young age. Our community values the talents and efforts of our next generation, as harnessing these individuals’ entrepreneurial spirit is one of the keys to a prosperous future in Riverside.

She has everything set, from designs to manufacturer.  Kubrat is using a  crowdfunding platform (Kickstarter) to raise this money.  The minimum pledge is one dollar, but there are rewards for pledges of $5 or  more and they increase to pledges of $500.

To read the full article, click here.

Business Workshops To Grow Your Business

(This article contains excerpts from iesmallbusiness.com)

The City of Riverside Office of Economic Development is hosting a Business Summer Series at City Hall in conjunction with the Inland Empire Small Business Small Business Development Center (IESBDC). The first workshop, Developing A Business Plan For Success, brought 35 attendees.

Business Workshop 2

Photo Credit: Paul Bush

Are you looking to increase your bottom line? Attend the upcoming workshop on Friday, July 25th and learn how an effective marketing plan can help you to increase your sales and profitability while efficiently managing your marketing dollar. This workshop will be presented by Vincent McCoy from IESBDC and will cover topics such as Marketing Research Basics, Defining Your Customer & Target Market, Analyzing Your Competition and Determining Market Mix. Be sure to go online to iesmallbusiness.com to pre-register, as seats are filling up!

The sponsored workshops hosted by the City of Riverside exemplify intelligent growth within our community.  Small business owners are given the opportunity to develop their business plans and become familiar with the different resources available to them.  All of the workshops will take place in the Mayor’s Ceremonial Room on the 7th floor at Riverside City Hall.  Be sure to pre-register at iesmallbusiness.com, as seats fill up quickly.

To sign up for the workshops, click here for details.

For the IESBDC calendar of events, click here.

Riverside Ranks 28th On Annual Fit City Index

(This article contains excerpts from an article featured in theievoice.com, published on July 5, 2014)

Summer is finally here, and everyone’s attention shifting towards health and fitness.  The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) with support from Anthem Blue Cross Foundation,unveiled it’s seventh annual American Fitness Index (AFI) data report during the organizations annual meeting.

Photo credit: americanfitnessindex.org/

Photo credit: americanfitnessindex.org/

The Riverside area ranked 28th in the 2014 report with a overall score of 47.5 (out of as possible 100 points).  The 2014 AFI data report, “Health and Community Fitness Status of the 50 Largest Metropolitan Areas,” reflects a composite of preventative health behaviors, levels of chronic disease conditions, and community resources and policies that support physical activity.  “Health advocates and community leaders have come to expect the arrival of the American Fitness Index as an annual check-up regarding their community’s health and fitness levels,” said Walter Thompson, Ph,D., FACSM, chair of the AFI advisory board.

“The AFI data report is a snapshot of the state of health in the community and an evaluation of the infastructure, community assets and policies that encourage healthy and fit lifestyles.  These measures directly affect quality of life in our country’s urban areas,” says Thompson.

Only through commitment and dedication was our beloved city of Riverside able to claim the 28th spot on the AFI report for 2014.  Riverside is a location of choice where health and fitness are priorities among its inhabitants.  An unmatched landscape, year-round outdoor activities, ample recreational options and attention to healthy living make Riverside one of the most inspiring, livable, healthy and adventurous cities to live in or visit. 

To read more, click here.

 

Students Score Paid Summer Internships

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Kyle Glaser, published in the Press-Enterprise on July 14, 2014)

From teaching kids’ art classes to working with nonprofit groups, recent high school graduates are earning money and experience.

Some Inland teens have landed cool summer jobs – paid internships that also give them the chance to help their communities.  Riverside residents Saul Gonzalez and Roberto Gutierrez are working with Habitat for Humanity of Riverside, building homes, collecting donations and managing inventory. Riverside residents Margarita Oreta and Christina Chu are interning at the Riverside Art Museum, teaching art classes and helping create exhibitions.

Roberto Gutierrez, left, and Saul Gonzalez are interning Habitat for Humanity through a Bank of America program.  Photo credit: Kurt Miller

Roberto Gutierrez, left, and Saul Gonzalez are interning Habitat for Humanity through a Bank of America program. Photo credit: Kurt Miller

All four earned their internships as part of Bank of America’s Student Leaders Program, which puts recent high school graduates in eight-week paid internships at nonprofit organizations.  The internships go beyond the stereotypical teen summer internship of answering phones or getting coffee. Interns are assigned similar tasks as full-time professionals with the hope their experiences will help them through their college days and into their working years.

This a great representation of Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar.  In the past, high school students and graduates looked forward to the summer to sleep in and spend time with friends.  With the current job market becoming more and more competitive, students are starting to make more efforts toward developing their work experience and not just settling for a summer job at a fast food restaurant.  Riverside promotes an outstanding quality of life for all through intelligent growth.

While the students are getting pay and invaluable experience, they aren’t the only ones benefiting.

“The kids get a lot out of it and then, of course, we get a little bit of extra labor, which always helps,” Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Kathy Michalak said. “These kids bring a different twist. Both of us get something really great out of it, which is what makes this work.”

To read more, click here.

 

Entrepreneurs Team Up Under One Roof

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Laurie Lucas, published in the Press-Enterprise on July 13, 2014)

Three Inland Empire entrepreneurs with enough chops and hops to go pro have tapped into an unusual business model to keep their home drafts flowing.  Brad McCauley, 31, Jason Castonguay, 38, and Philip Vieira, 29, are exceptionally bright science and computer geeks with a thirst for creating innovative beers and ales. But they lack the big bucks for a startup.

Brad McCauley, 31, Jason Castonguay, 38, and Philip Vieira, 29, left to right, are three brewers sharing facilities in an “incubator” for home brewers provided by Brew Crew, who hold the lease in a Riverside building. Photo credit: Kurt Miller.

Brad McCauley, 31, Jason Castonguay, 38, and Philip Vieira, 29, left to right, are three brewers sharing facilities in an “incubator” for home brewers provided by Brew Crew, who hold the lease in a Riverside building. Photo credit: Kurt Miller.

The concept is to help nanobrewing neophytes shed their amateur status by allowing them to work in a collaborative space where they can share equipment, develop recipes in a commercial setting and test-market directly to the public.

It is interesting to see entrepreneurs collaborating to help build each others brands by sharing knowledge and equipment, the brewers at Brew Crew Inc exemplify Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar.  Working everyday to harness entrepreneurial spirit within the community, Riverside embraces economic growth and directs it so it maintains and improves our already outstanding quality of life. 

Brew Crew, an 1,800-square-foot manufacturing and retail facility at Suite G, 11626 Sterling Ave., contains two brewing systems, a walk-in cooler to store kegs and a bar with 16 taps. There’s seating for 50, 25 in the store front and 25 in the warehouse when brewing isn’t happening.

The trio of brewers are contract laborers working under the umbrella of a single corporation, Brew Crew, which leases the building. Its co-founders, CEO McCauley and Vince Pileggi, chief business officer, scrambled for 18 months to obtain all of the licensing and permits before opening the brewery and tap room six weeks ago. Depending on drink sizes, prices run from $1.50 to $7. There’s no food served, but customers may bring their own.  “There are a lot of home brew clubs in this area that have amazing brewers,” Pileggi said. The goal is to provide the resources “to incubate” fledgling brewers who hope to eventually take wing on their own. “We’re finding the best talent we can and courting others who can benefit and grow,” he said.

To read more, click here.

 

Device Eliminates 93 Percent of Lawnmower Pollutant

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Sean Nealon, published in UCRToday on July 7, 2014.)

Students create device that cuts harmful emissions from lawnmowers, which emit 11 times the air pollution of a new car for each hour of operation

A team of University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering students have won an EPA student design contest for a device they created that curbs harmful pollutant emitted from lawnmowers by 93 percent.

From left, Wartini Ng, Timothy Chow, Kawai Tam, Jonathan Matson and Brian Cruz. Photo Credit: UCR Today

From left, Wartini Ng, Timothy Chow, Kawai Tam, Jonathan Matson and Brian Cruz. Photo Credit: UCR Today

The students developed the device – an “L” shaped piece of stainless steel that attaches to the lawnmower where its muffler was – because small engine devices produce significant harmful emissions. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that a gasoline powered lawn mower emits 11 times the air pollution of a new car for each hour of operation.

The students’ device also fits in with UC President Janet Napolitano’s recent announcement to make the University of California system carbon neutral by 2025. With that in mind, employees responsible for maintaining the lawns at UC Riverside have agreed to pilot the students’ device. That will likely start in the coming months.

The device can be thought of as a three stage system. First, a filter captures the harmful pollutants. Then an ultra-fine spray of urea solution is dispersed into the exhaust stream. The urea spray primes the dirty air for the final stage, when a catalyst converts the harmful nitrogen oxide and ammonia into harmless nitrogen gas and water and releases them into the air.

The device created by the student team being attached to a lawnmower. Photo credit: UCR Today

The device created by the student team being attached to a lawnmower. Photo credit: UCR Today

The University of California, Riverside is clearly dedicated to making a positive impact on the environment, and exemplifies Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst for innovation pillar. The students and professors collaborate to address issues, which lead to more inventive and multi-disciplinary approaches. The people and educational institutions of Riverside cultivate and support useful and beneficial ideas and research. Riverside is setting the bar as a Catalyst for Innovation in many ways.

The incoming team will work to further improve the device. Possible areas for refinement including scaling it up so that it could be used with rider lawnmowers and develop a way to insulate it.

To read the full article, click here.

Students Interact With Officials In Summer Bridge Programs

(This article contains excerpts from rusdlink.org.)

Over the past several weeks, students enrolled in RUSD Summer Bridge programs have had a unique opportunity to learn about our community and government by speaking directly with local, state and national leaders. Congressman Mark Takano, Assemblyman Jose Medina, Riverside, City Councilman Mike Gardner, and Darlene Trujillo-Elliot, Assistant to Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey and Riverside firefighters were among those who took part in this project.

Photo credit: RUSD

Photo credit: RUSD

Students participating in the community history project included those in the AVID Excel Middle School programs at Chemawa, Sierra andUniversity Heights Middle Schools and English Language Learner students from across the district.  Working with Taylor Libolt, Curator of Education for theMission Inn Museum, students learned about our community, researched government roles and wrote and practiced interview questions for dignitaries.

My broad goal with our community history project is to teach students about local history in non-traditional ways,” Darlene Trujillo-Libolt noted. “This is accomplished through guided research, walking tours, photography, mural design, and of course oral history interviews.  I hope that our students were able to gain insight into the many untold and unseen histories of Riverside by speaking with and learning from our community leaders and professionals.

Photo credit: RUSD

Photo credit: RUSD

The Summer Bridge Programs are great examples of Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar.  Riverside is committed to nurturing an environment where everyone is involved and everyone has a voice.  Riverside is a city for everyone and by everyone. Riversiders respect and value the cultural heritage, distinct needs and varied input of each of our neighbors, while proactively engaging them across historical dividing lines.

To read more, click here.