After advocating to her Board of Directors, CSEA President Machelle Kessinger issued a $500 donation to Milpitas High School Assistant Principal Cheryl Rivera for the school’s continued participation in Camp Everytown.
“I’ve witnessed the students going to Camp Everytown and coming back. To me, I can see just a transformation,” said Kessinger during the presentation.
About 1,600 students at Milpitas High School have attended Camp Everytown over the years, with a group of 40 hand-selected each term, according to Rivera.
“We look for leaders on campus. Students who can influence other students,” said Rivera, who has been at MHS for more than two decades. “We look for students that have leadership abilities. A lot of our kids don’t even know they have that.”
The Silicon Valley FACES initiative is an intensive youth leadership program based on core values of respect, acceptance, and responsibility that promote non-violent campus communities. Students experience group exercises and discussion about self-identity; racial, ethnic, and cultural issues; family relationships; gender roles and violence; peer relationships; and conflict resolution.
“They come back with a plan for our campus,” Rivera added.
Jill Nuñez, representing the Nuñez Community Foundation, offered up a pair of donations to benefit the Cal Hills school community. The first, a $13,000 check, went to Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY), a third-year program with a goal of preventing juvenile crime and incarceration.
“This is a special night for Cal Hills,” said Nuñez, noting that the Foundation has supported FLY since its inception. “(Cal Hills) has wonderful programs, wonderful staff and wonderful kids go there.”
Nuñez did not stop there. She also issued a $2,700 check to author and at-risk advocate Enrique Flores so he can provide 180 copies of his book, “Barrio Side Hero,” to every student at Cal Hills. Flores and MUSD have also formed a mentoring partnership for Cal Hills students.