Westmoreland Meets Its Students’ Learning Challenges

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Westmoreland Academy Education Director Nicholas Pinto and Shawn Prokopec, managing director of the nonprofit Institute for the Redesign of Learning, are helping to bring cutting-edge technology and a research-based, specialized curriculum to students with autism spectrum disorders.

Scott and Maggie Jurgensen can recall the exact moment they realized that their daughter, Isabella, was in love with her new school, Pasadena’s Westmoreland Academy, owned by the Institute for the Redesign of Learning nonprofit organization. Continue reading “Westmoreland Meets Its Students’ Learning Challenges”

Villa Esperanza Works to Find Jobs for Special-Needs Adults

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Villa Esperanza Services program supervisor Perla Moran (left) has helped Danny Chan find new purpose and confidence through his job at the Huntington Library’s noodle house, with support and advocacy from Villa staff and CEO Kelly White.

Before coming to Villa Esperanza Services, Danny Chan didn’t think he could ever work, feel smart or appreciated, or make good friends.
But Chan, 40, has learned this past year that anyone, at any age, can begin a new chapter. Continue reading “Villa Esperanza Works to Find Jobs for Special-Needs Adults”

King, Who Galvanized Playhouse, to Be Honored at March Gala

Brad and Pam KingBy all accounts, Pasadena Playhouse board member Brad King has been an invigorating force for the centenarian institution as it moves forward following a period of financial difficulty.
Between leading the search that ultimately landed Producing Artistic Director Danny Feldman and putting up the initial donation that spurred a multimillion-dollar fundraising campaign, King has distinguished himself as a monumental part of the theater’s resurgence, Playhouse officials say. So it seems appropriate that those officials selected him to receive the inaugural Gilmor Brown Award — named for the Playhouse’s founding director — at the theater’s gala in March. Continue reading “King, Who Galvanized Playhouse, to Be Honored at March Gala”

Helping Exploited Teens, Foundation Lives Up to Its Name

Photo courtesy Give-Mentor-Love
The Give-Mentor-Love Foundation is expanding its dedication to help young women recover from sexual and physical abuse through positive mentorship and fun activities. The nonprofit’s board includes (from left) Aline Bakewell, vice president; Julie Dell’Aquila Hernandez, secretary; Donna Pierson, founder and chairwoman; Natalie Friberg, treasurer; and Ginger Umutyan, events director.

For the past nine years, the Give-Mentor-Love Foundation volunteers have filed into the Pasadena Victor Treatment Centers weekly to provide the girls living at the specialized-care facility with a welcome gift or an art class, an experience such as high tea or a life skill like sewing. Continue reading “Helping Exploited Teens, Foundation Lives Up to Its Name”

Local Resident Spearheads Fight Against Cancer as ACS Chairman

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American Cancer Society 2020 Board of Directors chair Jeffrey Kean (center) attends a recent ACS fundraising gala with Tyler Prime and family members Anne, Margaret and Lauren Kean.

Longtime Pasadena resident Jeffrey Kean is perhaps more acutely aware than most that cancer eventually touches virtually everyone, in one form or another. Continue reading “Local Resident Spearheads Fight Against Cancer as ACS Chairman”

Church Service to Celebrate Famed PHS, PCC Coach Terzian

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George Terzian guided the Pasadena High School boys’ basketball team to four CIF Southern Section championship game appearances and two titles. He was 383-110 in 17 seasons.

The life of renowned basketball coach George Terzian will be celebrated in a special service at Lake Avenue Church this Saturday, Jan. 18, at 11 a.m. He died in his home on Dec. 15 at age 83 after a reported battle with lung cancer.
Terzian is a local legend after guiding Pasadena High School to CIF Southern Section championships in 1977 and 1978 and two other finals appearances. In his 17 years with the Bulldogs, he accumulated an overall record of 383-110 and was a major influence on his players, most notably Los Angeles Lakers standout Michael Cooper.
“George treated players like they were part of a family,” Cooper told the Outlook in 2014. “Many of us needed that role model at that stage of our lives.”
Cooper went on to play at Pasadena City College and then transferred to the University of New Mexico before being drafted by the Lakers in 1978. Continue reading “Church Service to Celebrate Famed PHS, PCC Coach Terzian”

It’s a Parade Do-Over for Cancer Survivor, Thanks to Nonprofit

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Foundation for Living Beauty members Anita Mendez and Gayle Michel, with Lt. Carolyn Gordon, helped organize a private parade for six-time cancer survivor Stacy Kimmel (top), who was slated to ride on the City of Hope float in the 2020 Rose Parade, but had to cancel due to illness.

The decorations and flowers from last week’s 131st Rose Parade had disappeared, but Stacy Kimmel could still feel the bands’ echoing drums and cheers from thousands accompanying her as she was led down Colorado Boulevard in her own procession on Monday, perched atop a shiny blue convertible and sporting a sash and crown fit for the Rose Queen. Continue reading “It’s a Parade Do-Over for Cancer Survivor, Thanks to Nonprofit”

Shelton at Home With Los Angeles Rams

Photo courtesy Los Angeles Rams Coleman Shelton (center with ball), a Pasadena native, was signed by the Los Angeles Rams six days prior to the team’s season opener.
Photo courtesy Los Angeles Rams
Coleman Shelton (center with ball), a Pasadena native, was signed by the Los Angeles Rams six days prior to the team’s season opener.

Coleman Shelton had visited the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum numerous times throughout his life, most notably as a member of the Washington Huskies football team. The Pasadena native mostly set foot on the stadium’s real grass as a rival taking on USC, but that changed last September. Continue reading “Shelton at Home With Los Angeles Rams”

Equine Therapy Gives Free Rein So Kids Can Heal

Photo courtesy MACH 1
The equine therapy nonprofit, Move A Child Higher, known as MACH 1, has given children like Chance, 12, the opportunity to ride horses as an invigorating form of physical therapy. Chance rides Will-o with the help of side-walker volunteers Amilia Kung and Tineke Crossland.

For anyone who must use a wheelchair or has limited physical mobility, the feeling of riding a horse might be akin to the experience of flying: Breathtaking, really, is how it’s described, those powerful strides suddenly moving your body by means of a warm and supple force that almost feels your own.
Joy Rittenhouse knew that the moment she felt it, some 40 years ago, she would never let it go. So Rittenhouse, who overcame polio, has dedicated her life’s work ever since to ensuring other children and adults with physical disabilities can catch a bit of that euphoria, too. And the adrenaline rush of riding a steed is just the icing: More and more research shows that horse riding — or equine therapy — is an effective form of physical strengthening of core muscles and balance.
For 24 years, Rittenhouse has provided that opportunity locally through the nonprofit organization she founded, Move A Child Higher, or MACH 1, so that anyone with disabilities can experience the joy of therapeutic horsemanship and a horseback riding program that offers equine-assisted activities. Continue reading “Equine Therapy Gives Free Rein So Kids Can Heal”

Pasadena Poly Football Set to Join Rio Hondo League

Photo courtesy Eric Danielson
The Pasadena Poly varsity football team will be competing in the Rio Hondo League in the 2020 season. Panthers head coach Chris Schmoke (above) is 3-2 against RHL squads since taking over in 2013.

The 2020 high school football season is already looking interesting with the Rio Hondo League adding Pasadena Poly. Continue reading “Pasadena Poly Football Set to Join Rio Hondo League”