Screen Shot 2021-04-30 at 10.28.13 AM.png

Northeast Valley Best Start Social Resources Project 
and Her Vaga Bound Roots present:


Vagando Towards Empowerment

Screen Shot 2021-04-30 at 10.26.06 AM.png

We are thrilled to share that Her Vaga Bound Roots (HVBR) was recently awarded Los Angeles Education Partnership's Northeast Valley Best Start Social Resources Project NEV $45,000 grant and will be launching ‘Vagando Towards Empowerment’ this Fall 2021. HVBR will execute four workshops that are centered on education equity & mental health awareness, and will also be awarding 21 academic scholarships totaling $28,000 dollars in scholarships to BIPOC women community members of the Northeast Valley in pursuit of their academic dreams. 

Community Impact

The Northeast Valley Best Start Community: Participatory Budgeting Social Resource Project awarded four applicant agencies/organizations a one-year grant of $45,000 in community funding. NEV’s Social Resources Project is focused on providing families in the communities of Pacoima, San Fernando, Arleta, and Sylmar with programs that will help meet their needs via workshops, new projects, and professional services. The funds will be used to meet the following identified needs: Education, Mental Health, Technology, and Wellness.

1.jpg

Project Background and Description

"The Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP) is a nonprofit organization that empowers people to decide together how to spend public money, primarily in the US and Canada. PBP is the lead organization advancing participatory budgeting (PB) across the United States and Canada. They have empowered more than 400,000 people to directly decide how to spend $300 million in public funds in 29 cities. Participatory budgeting (PB) is a democratic process in which community members decide how to spend part of a public budget. It gives people real power over real money.

The Best Start Communities in the San Fernando Valley have been on a journey to implement the Participatory Budget process since September 2020. The Northeast Valley Best Start Community: Participatory Budgeting Social Resource Project is introducing a funding opportunity for organizations providing services in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. NEV’s Social Resources Project is focused on providing families in the communities of Pacoima, San Fernando, Arleta, and Sylmar with programs that will help meet their needs via workshops, new projects, and professional services. We also look to community schools as partners in providing resources that will have a bigger impact on families.

The goals of this grant are to 1. strengthen the relationships between NEV Best Start parent leaders and organizations 2. build the community’s power to influence systemic and policy changes. Applicant organizations are invited to work closely with community leaders in the proposal development phase. NEV Best Start will be awarding four projects from a one-year grant of $45,000. Awarded organizations will provide impactful new projects or workshops for the families and children of the community. Proposals should reflect the needs of the residents of the Northeast San Fernando Valley and have a community voice present. It is highly encouraged to co-create the proposal with community members."

Scheduled workshops

Education Equity Series

October 21, 2021: College Application & Personal Statement Virtual Workshop

December 2, 2021: Financial Aid Empowerment 

Mental Health Series

February 24, 2022: Destigmatizing Mental Health 

March 23, 2022: How to identify Depression and Anxiety and developing heathy coping skills

Scholarships

May-June 2022:

21 scholarships awarded to BIPOC women scholars in the NEV area (Sylmar, San Fernando, Pacoima, Arleta)

WORKSHOPS/events

MH Part 2 Flyer.png

Mental Health Workshop - Part 2

This workshop will be facilitated by Kristal Ruiz is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who currently works as an Individual Psychotherapist. She was born and raised in New York City where she obtained her bachelor’s in Psychology from The New School, a Masters in Social Work from Hunter College where she also obtained a special certification in providing trauma informed therapies; and obtained a post-master's degree from NYU’s Silver School of Social Work in Advanced Diagnosis and Assessment. She has spent over 5 years working with children and adolescents who have experienced varying mental health struggles from depression and anxiety, to academic difficulties and behavior management, to survivors of trauma. Kristal approaches mental health and mental health treatment from a creative space, to help guide people through their healing journey, and employs mindfulness-based practices to encourage all people to be more connected with their bodies and take care of their overall health and wellness. 

6AFCD038-9F7F-424C-8D99-DA792706DE0E.jpeg

Mental Health Workshop

This workshop will be facilitated by Kristal Ruiz is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who currently works as an Individual Psychotherapist. She was born and raised in New York City where she obtained her bachelor’s in Psychology from The New School, a Masters in Social Work from Hunter College where she also obtained a special certification in providing trauma informed therapies; and obtained a post-master's degree from NYU’s Silver School of Social Work in Advanced Diagnosis and Assessment. She has spent over 5 years working with children and adolescents who have experienced varying mental health struggles from depression and anxiety, to academic difficulties and behavior management, to survivors of trauma. Kristal approaches mental health and mental health treatment from a creative space, to help guide people through their healing journey, and employs mindfulness-based practices to encourage all people to be more connected with their bodies and take care of their overall health and wellness. 

image_6483441.JPG

Financial Aid Empowerment Workshop

 

Our guest speaker, Silvia Marquez currently serves as an Associate Director in the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office and as the HSI Implementation Manager for the University of California, Berkeley. She is the daughter of Mexican immigrants who were low-income and worked el tomate in the Central Valley; Silvia was raised in Stockton and is a 1st gen college student. She holds a bachelor’s in Social Welfare from Berkeley, a Masters in Public Administration from CSU East Bay and is currently working on her doctorate in Educational Leadership at UC Davis - she is 100% a product of public education. Silvia has over 20 years of student service experience in higher education including director roles in both financial aid and admissions. Her current role allows her to advance DEIB initiatives on the Berkeley campus and within the UC system.

image_6483441 (1).JPG

College Application & Personal Statement Virtual Workshop

 

Our guest speaker, David Melena. A College Prep Counselor, David Melena has over 8 years of experience in higher education access as a former director of college readiness at both College Track and The Foundation for Hispanic Education. He is also a former assistant director of undergraduate admissions at UC Berkeley where he read and evaluated both freshman and transfer admissions application. Currently, David is a college counselor at Bellarmine College Prep a Jesuit high school in San Jose. David cites his experience as a first generation college bound student and son of immigrants from Mexico as a foundation for his pursuit to be a resource to future generations of BIPOC and first generation college bound students.

2.jpg