First Year Free is a ‘PCC Promise’

Sometimes you have to hear it, see it and read it to believe it: The first year of community college for local, qualifying high school graduates really is free at Pasadena City College — and it doesn’t matter how much, or how little — your parents earn.
In its fledgling roll-out program for the “PCC Promise” this fall, the campaign has garnered about 149 students from 16 high schools around the Pasadena Area Community College District who are attending free of charge. Continue reading “First Year Free is a ‘PCC Promise’”

Flintridge Center Paves Positive Pathways for Formerly Incarcerated

Photo by Staci Moraza / OUTLOOK Flintridge Center staff includes Wyatt Whitlock, Daniel Torres, Jaylene Mosley, Jeffrey Bellissimo, Peter Matich and Emma Gerch. The staff plays multiple roles to engage and help at-risk youth and reintegrate formerly incarcerated adults who seek honest, hard-working jobs.
Photo by Staci Moraza / OUTLOOK
Flintridge Center staff includes Wyatt Whitlock, Daniel Torres, Jaylene Mosley, Jeffrey Bellissimo, Peter Matich and Emma Gerch. The staff plays multiple roles to engage and help at-risk youth and reintegrate formerly incarcerated adults who seek honest, hard-working jobs.

Bryan Barajas dreams of becoming a journeyman, buying a little home in Pasadena and building a family there.
It’s the first time he’s dreamt in a long time, since dropping out of school in the 9th grade when he had a son, trying to find work, but then embarking on a life that would send him to prison by 2015, facing multiple felonies. Upon exiting, he knew he’d have trouble staying sober and out of trouble, never finding decently paid work with his background record. But he had heard of the Flintridge Center, a nonprofit dedicated to helping combat poverty, community violence and formerly incarcerated individuals.
Continue reading “Flintridge Center Paves Positive Pathways for Formerly Incarcerated”

La Salle High Senior Crowned 100th Rose Queen

Photo courtesy Tournament of Roses Rose Queen Isabella Marez (center) reacts to her name being called at last week’s coronation ceremony at the Pasadena Playhouse.
Photo courtesy Tournament of Roses
Rose Queen Isabella Marez (center) reacts to her name being called at last week’s coronation ceremony at the Pasadena Playhouse.

Alas, there can be only one Rose Queen.
The Tournament of Roses last week crowned Altadena resident and La Salle High School senior Isabella Marez as the 100th Rose Queen for 2018, marking a century of city pride and tradition at the packed Pasadena Playhouse theater. Continue reading “La Salle High Senior Crowned 100th Rose Queen”

Maranatha Students Inspired by City Hall Walk

Mayor Terry Tornek and Maranatha High School Principal John Rouse meet in the early hours last week on the steps of City Hall.
Mayor Terry Tornek and Maranatha High School Principal John Rouse meet in the early hours last week on the steps of City Hall.

Maranatha High School students took a walk of faith last week to Pasadena City Hall, the start of what might become an annual tradition.
Amid the chirping of morning birds and freshly dewed streets on the morning of Thursday, Oct. 19, about 350 students, freshmen to seniors, divvied up into small groups with school staff chaperones and took separate walking tours from the school’s campus to Garfield Avenue.
As they walked, they discussed ways they might volunteer for the city during their student service projects in November. Continue reading “Maranatha Students Inspired by City Hall Walk”

Local Producer Brings Redemptive Stories to the Big Screen

Producer Darren Moorman
Producer Darren Moorman

Darren Moorman has always loved a good story.
Even though he started out acting, over the years, the Pasadena resident found his true calling to be that of producing, finding those great stories and bringing them to light.
“There are so many miraculous stories out there,” Moorman said in a recent telephone interview. “They come in a lot of different ways and forms, like through a book or a news article; I’m just out there reading and listening to people. My heart is kind of focused on redemptive and moving stories.” Continue reading “Local Producer Brings Redemptive Stories to the Big Screen”

Pasadena Princesses Named to 2018 Royal Court

Photo courtesy Tournament of Roses Association Members of the 2018 Royal Court are Julianne Lauenstein, La Cañada High School; Sydney Pickering, Arcadia High School; Savannah Bradley, Pasadena High School; Georgia Cervenka, LCHS; Lauren Buehner, AHS; Isabella Marez, La Salle High School; and Alexandra Artura, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy.
Photo courtesy Tournament of Roses Association
Members of the 2018 Royal Court are Julianne Lauenstein, La Cañada High School; Sydney Pickering, Arcadia High School; Savannah Bradley, Pasadena High School; Georgia Cervenka, LCHS; Lauren Buehner, AHS; Isabella Marez,
La Salle High School; and Alexandra Artura, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy.

The Tournament of Roses on Monday announced its chosen seven members of the 2018 Royal Court from 37 contending finalists, pulling three young Pasadena women into the time-honored Rose fold.
As a frenzied crowd of family, friends and classmates whooped up their support, Alexandra Artura from Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy; Isabella Marez from La Salle High School; and Savannah Bradley of Pasadena High School, carefully descended the tiered staircase of the historic Tournament house. The wide-eyed girls were part laughing, part crying. Continue reading “Pasadena Princesses Named to 2018 Royal Court”

Swim With Mike Scholarship Fund Swells With Support

Photo courtesy Dan Avila Ron Orr and Mike Nyeholt, founders of the Swim With Mike organization, attend a 2017 fundraiser at USC to provide scholarships for physically challenged athletes. This year, the nonprofit has awarded 56 scholarship recipients with more than $1 million.
Photo courtesy Dan Avila
Ron Orr and Mike Nyeholt, founders of the Swim With Mike organization, attend a 2017 fundraiser at USC to provide scholarships for physically challenged athletes. This year, the nonprofit has awarded 56 scholarship recipients with more than $1 million.

Mike Nyeholt keeps on swimming.
The former three-time All-American swimmer, who was paralyzed from the chest down following a motorcycle accident 37 years ago, is in the pool three, sometimes four times a week. Despite some shoulder injuries, the Pasadena resident still hits the water and is a familiar face to anyone doing laps at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center pool.
He has a lot to swim for. This year, his Swim With Mike nonprofit is bigger than ever, helping 56 physically disabled athletes find new purpose in life through scholarships at colleges nationwide. The Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund, based at USC, is the only kind in the country, raising more than $19.6 million and sending recipients to 104 universities across the country since its inception.
Continue reading “Swim With Mike Scholarship Fund Swells With Support”

Families Forward Offers Education Services for High-Risk Parents, Children

Photo courtesy Families Forward Learning Center Families Forward Learning Center benefits both parents and their children in the northwest Pasadena community.
Photo courtesy Families Forward Learning Center
Families Forward Learning Center benefits both parents and their children in the northwest Pasadena community.

Like most big families, Families Forward Learning Center members almost always end up gathering in the same spot: the kitchen, of course.
It’s the heart of the home, where breakfasts and lunches are shared and the conversation flows. For young parents living far from any family and struggling financially, it’s where a cup of coffee also offers a reprieve from the pressures of raising young children.
“This is just where everyone comes through, between classes or before or after,” said Berit Anderson, development associate of Families Forward Learning Center, giving a recent tour of the center’s gleaming kitchen and colorful facility. “It really is the heart of our center. I’m sure you can tell today is fish stick day!” Continue reading “Families Forward Offers Education Services for High-Risk Parents, Children”

Little Rock Nine Alumnus Reflects 60 Years Later

Terrence Roberts
Terrence Roberts

When Pasadena resident Terrence Roberts was growing up in the 1950s in Little Rock, Arkansas, he wasn’t allowed to sit in most restaurants or even enter a good number of them, only able to order food from a side window. The rest of his life, he knew, would be defined by racial segregation; where he could walk, live and work, whether he could go to school or get a bank loan or whom he could marry. Every move would be controlled. Continue reading “Little Rock Nine Alumnus Reflects 60 Years Later”

Heifer Intl. Donors Give Vietnam Villages Leg Up From Poverty

Photo by Staci Moraza / OUTLOOK Craig and Carolyn Watson (from left), Rob Floe, Cheryl Bode and Charles Chiara are local residents and Partners For Change, a donor support group for Heifer International, which has provided two provinces in Vietnam with a dairy development project that has taught them sustainable farming. PFC will hold Heifer’s biggest fundraising event ever on Oct. 1 at the NBC Universal Backlot.
Photo by Staci Moraza / OUTLOOK
Craig and Carolyn Watson (from left), Rob Floe, Cheryl Bode and Charles Chiara are local residents and Partners For Change, a donor support group for Heifer International, which has provided two provinces in Vietnam with a dairy development project that has taught them sustainable farming. PFC will hold Heifer’s biggest fundraising event ever on Oct. 1 at the NBC Universal Backlot.

For anyone out there feeling depressed about the news lately, Rob Floe has a message for you: Do something. Do something good, with people you like.
It seems simple enough, but Floe has set the bar pretty high — solving world hunger, nonetheless. The founder of Partners For Change has created a donor support group for Heifer International, a global nonprofit that has helped thousands in more than 20 countries around the world break out of crushing poverty and hunger by providing them with sustainable farming. Continue reading “Heifer Intl. Donors Give Vietnam Villages Leg Up From Poverty”