Planned Parenthood Teaches Students to School Peers on Health Advocacy

OUTLOOK photo A group of Planned Parenthood Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley peer advocates discuss updates on their school action project.
OUTLOOK photo
A group of Planned Parenthood Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley peer advocates discuss updates on their school action project.

Even bipartisan groups agree that health care is complicated, but a contingent of local students is keeping it simple at a grass-roots level, taking charge of their own care through a peer-to-peer education program at Planned Parenthood Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley.
Now in its fourth year, the nonprofit organization’s Peer Advocacy Program has reached youth across 16 school districts in the valley, teaching students how to become their own best advocates when it comes to access to reproductive health care. So far, 38 students have completed the program, but those kids have, in turn, touched a host of others at their schools by creating public service announcements and sharing brochures about the broad range of free services available at PPPSGV.
The program is growing quickly, with 25 students — the largest group ever — participating this year. Continue reading “Planned Parenthood Teaches Students to School Peers on Health Advocacy”

Local Resident Instrumental in Advancing Philharmonic’s Diverse Goals

Photos courtesy Mathew Imaging  L.A. Philharmonic Executive Director Gail Samuel and Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel
Photos courtesy Mathew Imaging
L.A. Philharmonic Executive Director Gail Samuel and Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel

Gail Samuel has always loved being part of an orchestra. There was something poetic about all the small parts, each instrument and every chord, coming together and building the swell of the ensemble’s greater, symphonic whole.
But Samuel, an accomplished violinist and the daughter of two public high school music teachers, also knew that becoming a performing artist wasn’t her final goal: “I didn’t like spending that much time alone in a practice room,” the Pasadena resident recalled.
Now, however, in her fourth year as executive director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, Samuel has found her stride in pushing forward the greater whole of one of the world’s premier orchestras. Her tenure at the L.A. Continue reading “Local Resident Instrumental in Advancing Philharmonic’s Diverse Goals”

Young & Healthy Dental Clinics Give Kids Reason to Smile

Photo courtesy Young & Healthy A young patient receives care recently at Young & Healthy’s annual dental clinic, run in partnership with the USC Mobile Dental Clinic. This year, Y&H provided free dental treatment to 113 local school-age children.
Photo courtesy Young & Healthy
A young patient receives care recently at Young & Healthy’s annual dental clinic, run in partnership with the USC Mobile Dental Clinic. This year, Y&H provided free dental treatment to 113 local school-age children.

At Young & Healthy’s recent annual dental clinic for school-age children, Dr. Sunny Fereshteh recognized a poised and confident patient from a few years back.
Three years ago, that same little girl had been terrified of the dentist — so much, in fact, that when Fereshteh turned around to take X-rays, she jumped out of the dental chair and took off.
“She booked it all the way down the street. I couldn’t believe it — we were like, wait, where did she go?” Fereshteh, director of the USC Mobile Dental Clinic, recalled. “Her front teeth needed a lot of work and she was so afraid.”
But this past month, Fereshteh said, that same little girl flashed a big smile, asking the staff to pay special attention to a back tooth. Continue reading “Young & Healthy Dental Clinics Give Kids Reason to Smile”

Villa Esperanza Commits Its Long-Term Care to Kids With Disabilities

OUTLOOK photo Villa Esperanza Services staff, including Gioia Pastre, vice president of development, and CEO Kelly White, are dedicated to changing lives through the nonprofit’s work.
OUTLOOK photo
Villa Esperanza Services staff, including Gioia Pastre, vice president of development, and CEO Kelly White, are dedicated to changing lives through the nonprofit’s work.

When 13-year-old David Ledden first came to the school at Villa Esperanza Services last year, he seemed a shell of a boy — withdrawn, guarded, refusing to make eye contact and barely speaking a word.
There were reasons, of course. He’d been homeless a good part of his young life, most recently living out of a truck in a Costco parking lot with his stepfather, rarely able to bathe and used to eating only about four different fast-food items. School attendance had been sporadic over the years. He read at a 1st-grade level.
But when a social worker reached out to Derrick Freeman, indicating the boy in need of help might be his biological son, David’s life took a rare and momentous upward turn. Continue reading “Villa Esperanza Commits Its Long-Term Care to Kids With Disabilities”

Kids Find PAL an After-School Friend to Count On

Photo courtesy Brandon Black Pasadena Police Activities League board President Barbara Baptie, PAL Director Eddie Bondarczuk and longtime board member Sarah Horner Fish have worked hard to make the nonprofit’s low-cost after-school and summer programs a big hit with the kids.
Photo courtesy Brandon Black
Pasadena Police Activities League board President Barbara Baptie, PAL Director Eddie Bondarczuk and longtime board member Sarah Horner Fish have worked hard to make the nonprofit’s low-cost after-school and summer programs a big hit with the kids.

Throngs of bustling children arrived at Pasadena’s Police Activities League on a recent Friday after school, but then quickly dispersed, their backpacks lined up in an orderly fashion.
In order to play, they know, the homework has to be done first. It’s a rule any household might have trouble enforcing, but PAL’s police officers and youth advisers make the reward worth the wait. Carrying out a program that has been around for 24 years, they even manage it without eliciting any grumbling.
The kids are required to spend at least 30 minutes in the homework room, with the college-student youth advisers at the ready to help break down math problems or offer an essay prompt. But the advisers, 10 in all, are also there to talk about the day and listen to the kids. Continue reading “Kids Find PAL an After-School Friend to Count On”

School Officials Probe Alleged Offensive Language at Game

La Cañada High School and district officials said they have launched a comprehensive investigation into allegedly offensive language and behavior attributed to a specific group of student fans at a CIF championship basketball game between LCHS and Ontario Colony High School at Azusa Pacific University on Feb. 23. The alleged language was described in a first-person, front-page editorial column by Outlook publisher Charlie Plowman on Feb. 28. Continue reading “School Officials Probe Alleged Offensive Language at Game”

Hathaway-Sycamores Helps Foster Youth Bloom Into Adulthood

OUTLOOK photo illustration Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services CEO Debra Manners and Samuel Gonzalez, vice president of supportive housing, are dedicated to increasing housing and supportive services for youth who have aged out of the foster care system.
OUTLOOK photo illustration
Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services CEO Debra Manners and Samuel Gonzalez, vice president of supportive housing, are dedicated to increasing housing and supportive services for youth who have aged out of the foster care system.

Like many children in the foster care system, Tencha Nieves grew up in a lot of different places.
She tries to remember them all, but having been in the system since she was 2, it’s hard. There was her grandma’s home, she recalls, then her aunt’s, but four children were a lot and that’s when the siblings were separated. Sometimes Nieves lived with her twin and another brother, but sometimes not. There were individual homes and there were group homes. There was the time when she thought everything was going OK with her foster guardian, but she came home from a barbecue and was told to pack her bag. That one still hurts.
But all in all, Nieves, 22, who graduated from Pasadena High School, still has a positive outlook. Continue reading “Hathaway-Sycamores Helps Foster Youth Bloom Into Adulthood”

Friends In Deed Hits the Streets to Fight Homelessness

Outlook photo Friends In Deed Director Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater and street outreach specialist Najwa Jones are taking a new approach to getting the homeless housed: Head to the streets to make connections.
Outlook photo
Friends In Deed Director Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater and street outreach specialist Najwa Jones are taking a new approach to getting the homeless housed: Head to the streets to make connections.
How to Donate,  Volunteer at  Friends In Deed  Friends In Deed is celebrating its 125th year as an interfaith organization helping to meet basic human needs for the homeless and at-risk neighbors. To help the nonprofit achieve success with its critical programs, including homeless outreach and prevention, food pantry, Pasadena Bad Weather Shelter and the Women’s Room, visit friendsindeedpas.org and go to the “Get Involved” tab. Volunteers are welcome and donations are vital to programming.
click on the picture for direct access to the link

By most accounts, Bonnie Morrison was on track to live a pretty normal middle-class life in Pasadena. By middle age, she was married and had raised a family, gone back to school, finished her degrees and worked briefly in her field before trying to further her education even more.
But a series of events interrupted that trajectory. She and her husband divorced, and Morrison, who had never paid bills before, suddenly struggled to make rent and keep up with details like insurance. She fought back depression. Then, her car collided with a Mack truck in a no-fault accident. She survived the crash but suffered an untreated head injury that heightened her depression and left her feeling isolated and incapacitated. Continue reading “Friends In Deed Hits the Streets to Fight Homelessness”

At 100, Fosselman’s Ice Cream Churns Into the Future

OUTLOOK photo Pasadena brothers John and Chris Fosselman are third-generation owners of Fosselman’s Ice Cream Co., which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
OUTLOOK photo
Pasadena brothers John and Chris Fosselman are third-generation owners of Fosselman’s Ice Cream Co., which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

If there’s anything Fosselman’s Ice Cream Co. has proved in 100 years, it’s that when it comes to ice cream, the purest tried-and-true recipes of yesteryear still hit the sweet spot.
As one of the oldest continually-operating ice cream manufacturers in Southern California and the oldest business in Alhambra, Fosselman’s is celebrating its centennial this year old style — a lot of tradition mixed with a little newness. To kick off the year, the flagship ice cream parlor and production center at 1824 W. Main St. recently underwent a remodel to evoke the days of soda fountain shops, complete with an old-fashioned candy counter stocked with pastel salt water taffy, eye-popping swirled lollipops and jawbreakers almost the size of a child’s face.
And the ice cream? Well, that remains the same. The rich, creamy concoction still is mixed from a base of four simple ingredients, including 16% premium butterfat and a paradigm of pure essences and flavors, just as its founder, Christian Anthony (C.A.) Fosselman, intended all those years ago.
“Go big or go home — if you’re going to indulge, you’ve got to do it right,” said owner John Fosselman. “One of the things we’ve learned over the years is: Know your niche. We’ve always only made our ice cream with premium ingredients.”

Continue reading “At 100, Fosselman’s Ice Cream Churns Into the Future”

Ronald McDonald House Gives Patients All the Comforts of Home

Photo courtesy Mary Reynolds Pasadena Ronald McDonald House Director Elizabeth Dever is shown with Mary and Tom Reynolds, who found housing at the facility during Mary’s troubled pregnancy. The facility accommodates not only patients who have come to Pasadena for advanced medical treatment, but also their families.
Photo courtesy Mary Cox
Pasadena Ronald McDonald House Director Elizabeth Dever is shown with Mary and Tom Cox, who found housing at the facility during Mary’s
troubled pregnancy. The facility accommodates not only patients who have come to Pasadena for advanced medical treatment, but also their families.

One year ago, the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House bore witness to a miracle.
Actually, two miracles.
Mary Cox, who’d been a guest at the house, gave birth to twin boys after doctors initially gave one of her babies a less than 1% chance of survival in utero. Oliver and Elliot suffered from a rare disorder known as twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, in which one baby receives more blood flow and nutrients than the other, even more than it should.
Early on, doctors gave Cox the choice to terminate the pregnancy, or one baby to save the other, a choice that, as impossible as it seemed, still did not guarantee viability as the death of the first child could also trigger stroke in the second. Continue reading “Ronald McDonald House Gives Patients All the Comforts of Home”