Pacific Clinics Expands Services to Most Vulnerable, Low-Income Children

Photo courtesy Kathryn Roberts Teacher Sonia Ebrahimi reads with a child at Pacific Clinics’ Nesbitt Early Head Start center in Altadena.
Photo courtesy Kathryn Roberts
Teacher Sonia Ebrahimi reads with a child at Pacific Clinics’ Nesbitt Early Head Start center in Altadena.

It may be one of the largest community mental health agencies in Los Angeles County, but Pasadena-based Pacific Clinics keeps its care personal, always looking to improve services to some of the most vulnerable in the community and help those struggling with mental illness to live their best lives, one person at a time.
Although the nonprofit serves more than 22,500 clients annually throughout 60 locations spanning the Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Ventura counties, and has an operating budget of about $98 million, Pacific Clinics President/CEO James Balla said he just keeps his eye on that one patient at a time.
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Clairbourn Headmaster to Step Down, But Never Away

Robert Nafie, Clairbourn School Headmaster
Robert Nafie, Clairbourn School Headmaster

Following nearly four decades as headmaster at Clairbourn School, Robert Nafie has seen a lot of changes in education and the way students dress, talk and even absorb information, but the children themselves have remained largely the same.
Along with their innate sense of wonder, imagination, joyfulness and innocence, he said, the children still all really want to succeed.
“Over the years, the kids from the ’70s and ’80s were vastly different than the kids today, the Pokémon era and all, but they all have those same elements. They all want to feel success,” said Nafie, whose life’s work has been to inspire and lead the children at Clairbourn School. Continue reading “Clairbourn Headmaster to Step Down, But Never Away”

Local Private Schools Urge Bipartisan Gun Reform in Letter

Several Pasadena private schools weighed in on a national debate surrounding gun control reform this month, joining more than 200 schools throughout California that signed an open letter that ran in the Los Angeles Times, imploring regional and national leaders to work together on a bipartisan effort to pass safeguards related to guns and help keep students safe. Continue reading “Local Private Schools Urge Bipartisan Gun Reform in Letter”

Huntington Hospital’s New CEO Puts Patients Ahead of Business

Huntington Hospital President and CEO Dr. Lori J. Morgan
Huntington Hospital President and CEO Dr. Lori J. Morgan

Before Dr. Lori J. Morgan makes any big decision as Huntington Hospital president and CEO, there’s a method she likes to use first, where she imagines the patient is in the middle of the room.
“There is a business side to operating a facility that is as large as Huntington, but when it comes to decision-making, I always put the patient in the center of the room and try to make the right decision for that patient at that moment,” she said. “For me, in the long-term that always ends up being a good business decision, although it’s not always the case in the short-term.” Continue reading “Huntington Hospital’s New CEO Puts Patients Ahead of Business”

Supercoders Camp Inspires Young Girls

Photos courtesy Brandon Jermain Coding volunteers include Justine Tashiro, Norma Coombs Elementary School Principal Jennifer Jackson Smith, Louisa Tsai, speaker Keila Banks, Katie Powell, instructor Leslie Covarrubias and Krisserin Canary.
Photos courtesy Brandon Jermain
Coding volunteers include Justine Tashiro, Norma Coombs Elementary School Principal Jennifer Jackson Smith, Louisa Tsai, speaker Keila Banks, Katie Powell, instructor Leslie Covarrubias and Krisserin Canary.

Two Pasadena-based organizations, codeSpark Academy, the computer science platform for young kids and STEAM:CODERS, a nonprofit organization that teaches underrepresented and underserved kids the basics of STEAM, are celebrating Women’s History Month by hosting Supercoders Camp, a series of girls-coding and game-making workshops each Saturday through March in Pasadena. Continue reading “Supercoders Camp Inspires Young Girls”

Union Rescue Mission Leader Committed to Ending Homelessness

Photo courtesy Union Rescue Mission Union Rescue Mission CEO, the Rev. Andy Bales, is dedicated to finding housing solutions for those experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County.
Photo courtesy Union Rescue Mission
Union Rescue Mission CEO, the Rev. Andy Bales, is dedicated to finding housing solutions for those experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County.

It was a recent Wednesday afternoon, and the Rev. Andy Bales, Union Rescue Mission CEO, had already put in a 38-hour workweek. As head of one of the nation’s largest and oldest missions of its kind, perched in the dubious center of Skid Row on South San Pedro Street, the Pasadena resident has doubled down on his efforts to rescue the estimated 58,000 men, women and children experiencing homelessness across L.A. County. 
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Former Westridge Athlete Wins Olympic Silver

Photo courtesy USA Bobsled Former Westridge athlete Lauren Gibbs won a silver medal in the bobsled event at the Winter Olympics last week.
Photo courtesy USA Bobsled Former Westridge athlete Lauren Gibbs won a silver medal in the bobsled event at the Winter Olympics last week.

When Westridge School graduate Lauren Gibbs told her parents in 2010 she was thinking of leaving her sales manager position and six-figure salary to try out for the United States women’s bobsled team, her parents laughed.
“We all did,” her mother, Akila, said by phone from South Korea. “Even she said that it would make a great cocktail story.”
Four years later, Gibbs, 33, has much more than a cocktail story. She has a silver medal.
She teamed up with decorated Olympian Elana Meyers Taylor and took second last week in the women’s bobsled event at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
The American duo finished .07 seconds behind gold medalists Mariana Jamanka and Lisa Buckwitz of Germany, who won the four-run race with a time of 3 minutes, 22.45 seconds.
“Sharing an Olympic medal with Elana is pretty special,” Gibbs told NBC. “This is her third and my first, so it’s unreal. She’s a legend in this sport, and I’m just honored to be part of her journey.”
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Fellowship Monrovia Leadership to Steer Pasadena’s Harambee Ministries

Outlook photo Fellowship Monrovia’s Rev. Albert Tate (left) will take over as Harambee executive director in August for Harlan Redmond (right), who will attend Princeton Theological Seminary in the fall.
Outlook photo
Fellowship Monrovia’s Rev. Albert Tate (left) will take over as Harambee executive director in August for Harlan Redmond (right), who will attend Princeton Theological Seminary in the fall.

For some time now, Fellowship Monrovia’s Rev. Albert Tate and Harambee Ministries and Preparatory School Executive Director Harlan Redmond have been travelling a trajectory of intertwined fate.
The two long-time friends both hail from the South, relocating to Southern California around the same time (“We could have been on the same plane,” noted Tate). Both men are fathers with new babies on the way, and both have been greatly influenced by the life’s work and ministry of John M. Perkins, a Christian civil rights activist and community developer who founded Harambee in 1982.
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Local Actor Bradley Whitford Relishes Oscar Movie Buzz

Photo courtesy NBCUniversal Pasadena resident Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener play the unsettling parents Dean and Missy Armitage in “Get Out,” a comedic horror thriller nomin­ated for best picture at the Academy Awards on March 4.
Photo courtesy NBCUniversal
Pasadena resident Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener play the unsettling parents Dean and Missy Armitage in “Get Out,” a comedic horror thriller nomin­ated for best picture at the Academy Awards on March 4.

If there’s anything Bradley Whitford has learned after starring in supportive roles for two critically acclaimed movies that have earned Oscar nominations for best picture this year, it’s that the only surety of show business is its unpredictability.
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Leadership Pasadena: Battlefield to Community, Veterans Should Lead

Photo courtesy Dennis Lowe Army Capt. Dennis Lowe participates in a field training exercise at Fort Carson, Colorado, during his last year in the Army. Lowe, currently enrolled at USC Marshall School of Business, hopes to be a part of Leadership Pasadena’s efforts to train veterans as community leaders.
Photo courtesy Dennis Lowe
Army Capt. Dennis Lowe participates in a field training exercise at Fort Carson, Colorado, during his last year in the Army. Lowe, currently enrolled at USC Marshall School of Business, hopes to be a part of Leadership Pasadena’s efforts to train veterans as community leaders.

Like a lot of young people, it’s taken some time for National Guard veteran Giselle Ashook to find her professional calling.
After serving in the armed forces, including a deployment to Afghanistan, she stayed on in the reserves, working a lot of odd jobs along the way.
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