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tv   Comunidad del Valle  NBC  January 8, 2012 10:30am-11:00am PST

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hello, welcome to comunidad del valle. happy new year. welcome back to the show. today, we have some cash for college for you, and a clean slate tattoo removal program. this is comunidad del valle. ♪ we begin today with the green cadre program, work to future offices in san jose. with me, david with green cadre,
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and elizabeth who is a graduate here to tell us about her success story. welcome to the show. start with you, david. tell us about the premise of your program and who you're helping? >> the green cadre is set up to give those who are low income, at risk youth a chance for success and job skill training, work experience as well as providing valuable community service on a weekly basis. it is a ten week program right now. you come in, you get the training, nationally recognized certifications, while working at our number of different internships we provide through san jose, gaining work experience, collaborating, networking, building your resume. the whole idea to make you more employable, building your portfolio of who you are and what jobs you're skilled and trained to do while providing community service for nonprofits through the city. >> how are you able to afford this given the cuts we have seen in. >> we have funds through grants and we recently started a
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program with our funding specifically for youth, so it is considered a youth program. 18 to 24, which is now our current green cadre is 18 to 21 seeking job training. >> tell us what it was like for you in your life. >> for me in my life, it has done amazing things. i found myself in this program, gotten a lot of skills for jobs, a lot of personal skills, speaking in front of people. i learned a lot of -- got to know who i am through this program. before this program, i was lost. i was not heading the right direction. i had a lot of troubles within myself. but i got in this program, i was expecting the unexpected. i went in with an open mind an open heart. i was done for the things i was doing before. when i got in this program, i met the staff. the way they treated me, the
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experiences, the life changing moments we had. we had to wake up at 4:00 in the morning, get hot coffee, get food for homeless people. we had to interview them. the things i experienced in that program was life changing for me. it touched my heart. i got speaking skills, job training skills, got interning in the program. to this day, i am actually there permanently. i got hired, i got a job. it has been an amazing program and i recommend it for everybody. >> how big a success story is elizabeth? her life was headed as she said in the wrong direction. >> those are the stories we see on a cohort to cohort basis. those coming in are either like elizabeth, open arms, what do you have for me, those with clear direction, path. when you come in, we sit down with you, what are your goals. ten weeks is a very short time frame to make life changing decisions and life changing goals, but we make it happen.
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we make it happen. for some people, it is the first step of many steps to make changes in their lives, but at least we get them on the right path or headed that direction. >> you had an internship with goodwill. they kept you on and hired you full time. >> they did. >> what's the problem with the kids on the streets, why is it we're seeing increase in violence that we're seeing. you were out there at one point, decided to turn your life around. >> to me, what i truly see and what i experienced myself was just loneliness. i didn't have a direction. i didn't know what was out there. i only knew one thing, and the only thing i did know was what i experienced day to day waking up, what i seen. i didn't know the difference. i always wanted a change, always had it in my heart. what the kids now need is somebody to push them there. if i could relate to you, if i could tell you, you know, i have been there, done that, this is what it's done for me, i recommend this program, but you have to want it. you have to really want it.
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i could show you and tell you, but if you don't want it, you're not going to go for it. >> do you have to leave the attitude behind that i am bad and i can't do that? >> you have to leave all of that behind because if you don't leave it behind, you're not going to go nowhere. you can't be like that in certain places. like this program taught me to dress in an office. it taught me how to present myself, how to present yourself in a lot of places business wise. if you have that attitude with you, it will take you. >> if you know somebody that might be able to benefit from this great program, green cadre out of the work 2 future office in san jose. there's a number for more information. any final thoughts? >> we want to connect to those who qualify for the program but also reaching out to those that are parents, legal guardians, have someone at home that needs a push, that direction, that opportunity for success is what cadre is willing to do for you.
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that request goes to anybody. if you know somebody or you are somebody that wants that, we're here for you. >> what an inspiration. thank you for coming. munidad del valle. next, on comunidad del valle. the clean slate tattoo removal program. they're back. dinner's ready. [ female announcer ] hamburger helper stroganoff. beefy. creamy. stroganoffy. helpers. forty dishes, all delicious. gives us the most nutritious of gifts. but only when they are ready to be given. that's why green giant picks vegetables at their peak. ...and freezes them fast, locking in nutrients ...for you to unwrap. ♪ ho, ho, ho. green giant
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thenchts remove tattoos so you can get a second start at a professional career. the clean slate tattoo removal program in san jose. they have been on the show many years because they do great work. we have a volunteer with the program, and registered nurse. and from the gang prevention taskforce. welcome to the show. >> thank you. >> how important, let me ask you this, how does it fulfill you to see the images. we will show you video of some of the kids going through the process. how does it make you feel to see the images we look at now of kids who said i shouldn't have done this, i don't want this any
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more. >> it is very exciting. we get to know them very well as they go through the process, see them fading. one of the things, they come in a certain way. over a period of two years it takes to take it off, they go out of there totally different. their demeanor is different. the tattoo is off, but it is not about them. they are a valuable member of the communities. even the demeanor, the face is different, the way they dress and carry themselves. very exciting. >> there's an attitude change and adjustment? >> unbelievable, yes. it is. and i think they see themselves different at the end of the program. they're case managed throughout the time. that makes a big difference. there's a lot of programs that the city has to help them out as they are going along. everybody needs help to change, right? >> and i know that every year, every six months we look through the budget, say this has to go, this has to go. somehow we managed to keep the clean slate tattoo removal program intact. tell us about it. is it because it is that vital?
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>> clean slate, having started back in i believe '95, '96, one of the rare programs that outlasts several administrations, has never been thrown out with the bath water, but it is one of the few programs that isn't talking about planting seeds that sprout later, you're talking instantaneous change in individuals from being in some people's minds tax liabilities to employable taxpayers, contributors to society, and these kids can't come in looking you in the eye, i believe programs like green slate and green cadre and all other at risk programs are hope. you come in wondering if the world dealt you the wrong hand, if there's anything that can change, and i see people, angels like priscilla, david and everyone that do the work that they do, actually being agents of hope, give the kids something to push for, something to look
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forward to, because life hasn't been that great. >> your hands in your office now, your hands are full. there's a lot of things going on on the streets now, a lot of youth violence. i mean, there's no hiding it, it is on the increase. what are we doing to make sure we curtail it, hopefully decrease it? >> you know, damian, the city had the luxury of being one of the safest cities, not by coincidence, by strategic approach. we are staying the course. we work from a strategic work plan with goals. tremendous partnership and collaboration and true relationships have been established between the county, the city, and it is an amazing thing that i don't see anywhere in the state or in the nation. that's why we have been selected to be part of the national forum on youth violence because we don't change every other year. of course, we look at our model, and we always look for
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efficiencies, but what we're going to do this year to make sure we don't have 18 gang related homicides is to not completely throw things out and start anew, it is stay the course, work your protocols. make sure we continue to provide great opportunities we provide in the city and we're confident this year we'll see a return to what we expect in the fine community. >> establish the relationships. do you find, priscilla, when the kids come in, they're rough around the edges? >> never. never. no. they're very vulnerable when being treated, you know, it is a little painful sometimes, so no, never. no. i see them the way they really are, i see them as kids who have gotten in a little trouble, went down a wrong path. the rest of us have done that from time to time, a different way maybe, but the same thing. no, i see them as kids trying to make a difference. >> you mentioned the 18 gang related homicides.
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do you see that changing if you stay the course, maybe tweak a thing or two here and there? >> i do, damien. it is hard to say what caused the up tick in gang violence last year. there are anecdotal reasons, bad weather, good weather, cyclical, release of prisoners. we believe we have something that's shown for 19 years in this city to be effective. one bad year isn't going to be the reason to walk away from something that has proven itself and seen as a model. we really need to stay the course. we have the commitment of the mayor and city council, even in tough budgetary times to make sure we are viable enough to have an impact. we're excited about this year's potential. >> that's great. we just need now parents to do their part. know where your kids are at night. be responsible. you're their parents. you brought them into this life. make sure you know where they are and you're gearing them the right direction. there's the information for the
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clean slate tattoo removal program out of the city of san jose, the mayor's gang prevention taskforce. priscilla will be here, she made a wonderful gift to the program. we will talk about that in the next segment. stay with us. [ female announcer ] what would you call an ordinary breakfast pastry that's been wrapped in a flaky crust stuffed with a gooey center toasted up all golden brown then given a delicious design? a toaster strudel. pillsbury toaster strudel. so fun.
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she's pretty good. hey, flobot, great job. oops. [ powers down ] uh-oh, flobot is broken. the "name your price" tool, only from progressive. call or click today. we are back with priscilla, a volunteer with clean slate tattoo removal program. and also joining us juan avula, works with the clean slate, working for kids for a long time. welcome to the show. >> thank you. >> so we talked about how important the clean slate tattoo removal program is. but you thought it was so important that -- let's talk first of all about how you nominated her for the special award. tell us about it. >> basically, the foundation with an awards ceremony for volunteers of the year, this year we submitted priscilla's
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name into that pool of people, and our superintendent, mario and esther and myself got together to fill out the application, and we submitted it. >> because of her work with what we've seen in this video with the tattoo removal. >> correct. priscilla has been with the clean slate program even before my time, but i been with clean slate going on 12 years, and then she helped with the very beginning stages of it, and has been the volunteer. has seen several doctors go through, but she has been, you know, the most senior nurse around for the program. >> you nominated her. >> we nominated her. >> california wellness foundation said yes, why not. >> let's do it. she was recipient this past year. >> you received $25,000 award. >> yes, i did. >> and what did you do with the money? >> well, i am a christian, so i really prayed for a couple of months about what to do with it. i know that god wants to bless this city. i know he loves these at risk
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kids and i do, too. that's why i gave them the money. i've seen it work for 15 years. i've seen the mayor's gang prevention taskforce work, that's who i gave it to, and to clean slate. i have seen behind the scenes. i know all about it. they are really doing a good job for our kids, they really are. we want a safe community, don't we? yeah, we do. so i think i have the responsibility of all of us to help. >> just in listening to you, it seems like it wasn't a difficult decision for you. >> no, no, it wasn't a difficult decision. i love these kids, and i have seen so many changes in them. you know, some of them are going to good schools, some getting professions, but more important than ever is them getting their kids back, getting their records expunged, getting a clean slate to start over. we want that for ourselves, don't we? >> you could have gone to paris. >> no, this is better than paris, yeah.
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>> how awesome is that? >> that's awesome. i found out the recipients got $25,000, i said wow, that's great, and i even asked priscilla, where you going? what are you going to do? she goes you know, juan, i am giving it back to the gang taskforce and clean slate program because i want to give it back to the youth and to the program, which now during these times of budget cuts will help us tremendously with marketing efforts and just different things for the youth. >> what does it mean about the quality of people who you have recruited to help our youth in the city? >> i think the quality of people is important. it is people that have the passion i think for helping youth. again, kids have made their mistakes, been there, done it. they learn from them. you know, they want change. i think this program has helped them with that. they go now to a seven week life skills curriculum, and then the staff helps them out, communicating with them,
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mentoring them. then the bottom line is letting them know, you know, helping them plan the future, you know. what is it you want to do? now that the tattoos were removed, what's next? college or vocational training or starting my own little business. >> that's a seed you helped plant in the kids. if it wasn't for people like you that give hope to the kids, can you imagine where we would be? >> the medical center has given the facilities and it is part of the trauma center, violence prevention program. they've done a lot, too. >> directing the credit to other folks, but it is really you. do you know any other priscillas to nominate next year? >> i hope not just with cleep slate, other organizations have more priscillas. the unique thing is we're so for the national title to have this type of program, because again,
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the doctors and the medical staff, the clerks, nurses, everybody, we are very fortunate. i know since i have been with the program, there's been a lot of other cities and different states calling us and saying hey, how do you guys do this, because it is so unique and it is unheard of really. >> let me show you the the clean again for slate tattoo removal program. find out if youor or someone yo know may qualify to get those ugly things removed from your body. any final thoughts, priscilla, on your generous gift to this great program? >> i just know god wants to bless this city, and i'm glad to be part of it. >> i'm glad you did that. and i am honored you're with us this morning. thanks very much, juan. kids are going to college, need money. we have the person that has that money. stay with us. i'm not crazy about these light fixtures. kitchen's too small. what's next? 607 franklin st. ♪ sea bass... ♪
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for college and sonya ramos is here to tell them how to get a lot of money. tell us about the program if you would and then we'll talk about why there's all this money there. >> the student opportunity program is state funded through california student aid commission. we are one of 15 consortiums through the state and work with low income, first generation students and families to help prepare them for college, make sure they take all of the appropriate courses, providing them with tutoring support, making sure they met all of the requirements necessary in order to qualify for and apply for college. >> you help them because there's money there, grants there, loans there? >> there are lots of grants and loans available for students. we are currently watching our cash for college campaign which begins january 1st through march 2nd, pell grant deadline that students and families should be aware of. during this period of time we work specifically with seniors.
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our focus on the statewide level is with low income, first generation students, and to make sure they understand the process for applying for the financial aid, whether state, federal aid, and scholarship awards through the period. >> it is intimidating to fill out financial aid forms. they guide you through the process. you have different seminars around the area? >> yes, we're growing each year. last year we were able to organize 18 workshops throughout san jose with all of our high school and with high school and college higher ed partners in san jose area. this year, we have about 25 workshops that we'll be offering from down south, far down south as san bern eat oh through san jose. >> we have that information. grab a pen and paper. we're going to give you a website and a couple of phone numbers to call in case you want to know where the workshops are.
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i am going to throw this at you. family of four need to make what to qualify, any idea? where does the line go? >> it is very much dependent on the personal financial family status. we don't try to give a specific number or magic number, there isn't. there are so many variables taken into consideration when a family submits the application, all the family income, assets, other types of, you know, income resources that need to be reflected on the application. it is family by family basis. even if students feel like our families feel like they may not qualify because they may feel they earned too much, we encourage families to apply because you never know. it is a family by family basis. you may qualify for other types of federal loans and grants. >> do you find that maybe some families were too intimidated to apply, maybe don't go to college
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because of -- >> absolutely. one of the biggest barriers we face with students and families, students successfully completed all they need to do to qualify for college, go through the application process which can be daunting, then come to the financial aid application process, and many times families feel uncertain about sharing that type of personal information. it is confidential. it is kept confidential. we assure families the information won't be shared with anyone. we want them to understand the process enough to successfully apply for financial aid, and ultimately that is the ticket for many students and families, getting that financial aid for the students. if not, students will probably not end up going to college, if they're not given the proper resources. >> how vital are workshops now that schools are eliminating the guidance counselor positions at
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the different schools? >> it is very critical because of the challenge with the number of counselors and career center technicians that are no longer working with high schools that we serve. so it has been a great collaboration with higher ed partners. they really stepped up and taken on the lead and working with the high schools directly to make sure every high school interested in having a workshop at the high school for their seniors is able to actually offer one for their seniors and families. so it has been critical. last year we were able to serve 1500 students, including undocumented students, and we hope to exceed that this year and serve more students and families. >> they have about two months to apply for the cal grant? >> two months for cal grants, and the cal grant is something that is state aid which will now be offered to undocumented students that qualify after
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january 1st of 2013. so with some of the new legislation that just passed, two bills specifically, we have students now also undocumented students who can come to the workshops and fill out the fafsa or survey for cash for college workshop, qualify for $1,000 scholarship for a raffle for $1,000 scholarship, and ab 45 students are able to qualify for private scholarships through their colleges and universities. >> and when we talk about cal grants, this is free money the state is giving you. you don't have to pay it back. >> students don't have to pay it back. up to $12,000 for uc campus. and as low as $5500 for csu. there are various pell grants, students can qualify for one of several cal grants available. it is free money they don't have to payback. >> so glad they were there when i was going to college. here is the information for you to jot down. a number to call.
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you can also e-mail. i also have a couple of websites that you might have. >> sure. the cal, websites students and families can go to find an actual workshop location in their area. >> we thank you so much for joining us. we are going to show you if you have any questions, you might have, we have run out of time to show you the community calendar and birthdays. there's the address for next week. remember to pick up a copy of the newspaper and support your bilingual weekly all across the area. thank you again for sharing part of your sunday with us here on comunidad del valle. we will see you again next week. so, this is delicious
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