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.”
Continue reading “Former Westridge Athlete Wins Olympic Silver”

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.
Continue reading “Fellowship Monrovia Leadership to Steer Pasadena’s Harambee Ministries”

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.
Continue reading “Local Actor Bradley Whitford Relishes Oscar Movie Buzz”

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.
Continue reading “Leadership Pasadena: Battlefield to Community, Veterans Should Lead”

Reading Partners’ PUSD Students Need More Volunteers

Photos courtesy Chelsea Mason Reading Partners volunteer Michael Sedano reads to his elementary school reading partner.
Photos courtesy Chelsea Mason
Reading Partners volunteer Michael Sedano reads to his elementary school reading partner.

Reading Partners would like you to read between the lines: More volunteers are needed to partner with elementary schoolchildren.
The nationwide nonprofit’s local branch has been working with children at seven Pasadena Unified School District elementary schools each week, tutoring them on reading fundamentals and in practice.
But a dire need for more volunteers to read to the children has driven up a wait list of more than 100 young students in Pasadena who are still waiting for a reading partner.
Continue reading “Reading Partners’ PUSD Students Need More Volunteers”

Western Justice Breaks Barriers Teaching Conflict Resolution

Photo by Camila Castellanos / OUTLOOK Western Justice Center Executive Director Judge Judith Chirlin is dedicated to programs teaching children conflict resolution to reduce bullying and anti-bias behavior.
Photo by Camila Castellanos / OUTLOOK
Western Justice Center Executive Director Judge Judith Chirlin is dedicated to programs teaching children conflict resolution to reduce bullying and anti-bias behavior.

One of the first lessons Western Justice Center teaches is that with conflict, there is opportunity — a chance to break barriers, appreciate differences and raise awareness.
The nonprofit’s mission is to build a more civil, peaceful society by promoting differences and understanding in culture, race and class through creative programs that build skills in conflict resolution. And one of the best places to begin building, WJC has found, is from the ground up: in the schools.
“You can never eliminate conflict because conflict is a part of human nature, but teaching people how to manage and deal with conflict is essential to reaching peaceful resolution, whether it is in the courts, in schools or in the community,” said WJC Executive Director Judge Judith Chirlin.
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Journey House Gives Former Foster Youth Support, Advocacy

Photo courtesy Julio Quijada Journey House’s Beyond Foster Care advocates include Julio Quijada, director Jesse Aguiar and David Garduno. BFC celebrated its first legislative victory recently with the passing of AB 1567, which requires that foster youth be notified of the services they qualify for at state community colleges or a California State University.
Photo courtesy Julio Quijada
Journey House’s Beyond Foster Care advocates include Julio Quijada, director Jesse Aguiar and David Garduno. BFC celebrated its first legislative victory recently with the passing of AB 1567, which requires that foster youth be notified of the services they qualify for at state community colleges or a California State University.

Tim Mayworm opens the door to the historic craftsman in Orange Heights with a small, welcoming flourish, just as he has done thousands of times since 1983, when he founded Journey House as a group home for probation youth, and then later repurposing it for former foster youth
Built in 1912 by renowned architect David M. Renton, the large olive green abode exudes character and warmth, just like Mayworm himself as he gives the traditional tour, proudly showing off the large dining room and recently renovated kitchen.
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PUSD’s Math Academy Brimming With Exponentials

Sandy and Jason Roberts
Sandy and Jason Roberts

The thing about a great idea is nobody knows they need it until it exists.
Such was the case for Math Academy at Pasadena Unified School District, an advanced math program that is guiding its students to complete AP calculus in 8th grade so they can dedicate high school to college-level proof-based mathematics, including investigative research of probabilities and abstract formulas. By the end of high school, in fact, students might finish the equivalent of three quarters of an undergraduate mathematics degree.
Jason and Sandy Roberts, the parent volunteers and founders of Math Academy, know that the success of their great idea lies in its execution. The two are working diligently with the district to build the curriculum capable of incubating as many as 250 math students in one school year — “our own mini-CalTech,” quipped Jason — with 50 graduating each year from Pasadena High School Math Academy.
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