Fresh from her reed College graduation, Catherine Borek came to Dominguez High School in 1996 with the Teach for America program. Courtesy MDHS
Dominguez High's Catherine Borek honored as 'Teacher of the Year'
COMPTON (MNS)—Fresh from her Reed College graduation, Catherine Borek came to Dominguez High School in 1996 with the Teach for America program. She taught 9th grade English, loved it, and realized this was her home. Now, 26 years later in 2022, Borek has been honored as "Teacher of the Year."
Soon after landing at Dominguez High, Borek's creative abilities surfaced and it became apparent she was a special educator.
In 1999, she reestablished the long-defunct drama program. In Drama, Borek saw the creative potential in her students. Along with Karen Greene, she produced the play Our Town that year. The award-winning film: Our Town documents their trials and tribulations–and their students’ success.
In 2005, the Dominguez Drama Club won NEA’s SuAnne Big Crow Memorial Award at the Human and Civils Rights Awards.
A passionate life-long learner, Borek enrolled at CSULA to earn a masters in English Literature. She wrote her thesis on Charles Darwin and how he changed the literary imagination. What she learned in the program influenced her classroom teaching, bringing her students college-level rigor.
In her time at Dominguez, Borek and her students have completed the LA Marathon, collaborated with the LA Opera to perform mini-operas, made it to the Poetry Out Loud regionals, starred in a Keurig commercial, pub- lished a play with Pen in the Community, and started a rugby club.
Borek joined the AVID team at Dominguez and found a powerhouse of collaborators with whom to build a vision for the school’s progress.
"Pre-pandemic, a student said to me, 'you taught my mom!' Since then, this has happened over and over. Some- times it’s 'you taught my uncle,' 'you taught my auntie,' 'you taught my dad,'" Borek shared. One thing is clear: she has demonstrated a 26-year commitment to her Dominguez family, and she continues to be a proud Don.
Borek and the other District Teacher of the Year nominees were celebrated at a reception honoring their outstand- ing contributions to the education of students and to their school communities.
"To be distinguished as Teacher of the Year is no minor designation in our District. it says that you have made an impact in the lives of both students and your colleagues. It means that you have contributed significantly toward our District elevating and opening doors to opportunities for our students," said President Micah Ali.
"I am grateful for Ms. Borek's contributions and commitment to our students. It is so fitting that our District's Teacher of the Year has brought innovation and excellence through arts programming, as we are a district that recognizes the value that the arts bring to students," said Superintendent Darin Brawley.
Los Angeles Dodgers pitching star Clayton Kershaw and a crowd of young athletes at Dreamfields event. Courtesy Tyrone Cole
Second Phase of Dodgers Dreamfields Complex in Compton Unveiled
COMPTON (CNS)—The second phase of the $2.7 million Dodgers Dreamfields complex in Compton has been unveiled, with Jackie Robinson's widow Rachel, his son David and granddaughter Ayo in attendance along with Dodger pitching star Clayton Kershaw.
The second phase includes solar power installation, which powers park lights, a solar carport with public electric vehicle charging stations and rooftop photo- voltaic arrays. This phase of the project also features a completed Kershaw's Challenge Fitness and Train- ing Zone, which includes an outdoor training area, two enclosed batting cages and bullpens, an infield practice area and outdoor fitness equipment.
The complex at Gonzales Park features three fields and is the largestDodgers Dreamfields project.
Jackie Robinson's widow Rachel and son David were in atten- dance. David addressed the crowd. Courtesy Tyrone Cole
Field 42, named for the uniform number Robinson wore with the Dodgers, is designed for baseball and softball players ages 5 to 8. Rachel Robinson Field is designed for baseball players ages 9 to 12 and softball players 9 to 18. Jackie Robinson Stadium was designed for baseball players 13 years old and older and college play.
The first phase was unveiled on April 15, 2021, coinciding with the 74th anniversary of Robinson breaking baseball's color line with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.
MLB greats Duke Snider, Reggie Smith, Eddie Murray, Ozzie Smith, Darryl Strawberry, Eric Davis, Kenny Landreaux and Hubie Brooks all sharpened their skills at Gonzales Park in their youth. The park is named for Ramon Gonzales, a Compton business owner who raised money to build the ballfield.
The Dodgers Dreamfields program began in 2003 when the team was owned by the Fox Group. It continued when Frank McCourt owned the team from 2004-2012 and under the current ownership. The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation has refurbished 57 Dodgers Dreamfields in the Greater Los Angeles area since 2003.
The foundation is the team's official charity, supporting programs in sports and recreation, education and literacy, health and wellness benefiting children and families throughout the Greater Los Angeles area.
Its programs are funded through private donations and various fundraising events. Team finances are not used. The foundation has pledged to complete 75 fields by 2033, the 75th anniversary of the Dodgers' move to Los Angeles.
Sebastian Lletget, New England Revolution midfielder appears at Davis soccer practice
COMPTON—Davis Middle School students in Compton received the experience of a lifetime when youth enrolled in Think Together’s afterschool and expanded learning program walked onto their soccer field to see New England Revolution Midfielder Sebastian Francisco Lletget standing there to greet them.
Lletget kicked activities off with soccer drills, dribbling and passing the ball to students up and down the field.
Sebastian Lletget and budding young soccer star.
The former LA Galaxy player still considers the area home and felt proud to give back to the communities who often aren’t provided the privilege of playing club soccer or the same opportunities of students going to school in more affluent areas.
"I know how important sports can be for building relationships and having fun. I want to share that with these kids and give them the proper gear to hopefully spark something in them to continue being active," said Lletget. "I'm grateful to have the opportunity to do this and want to give a huge thanks to the team at Adidas and Think Toge- ther for bringing it all together. I want these kids to know that with hard work, they can be in my shoes one day or go even further than I have."
The appearance was made possible by Lletget through his relationship with adidas and the U.S. Soccer Founda- tion. adidas has been a longtime supporter of the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s work including its Soccer for Success program which is proven to help children establish positive social, emotional, and physical health behaviors and to develop critical life skills. Think Together is one of the Foundation’s afterschool and expanded learning provi- ders operating this program in the LA area.
Lletget also worked with adidas to donate soccer gear to the 60 kids in attendance. Equipment given to students included soccer balls, jerseys, cleats, socks and shin guards, some signed by Lletget as kids stopped playing to take pictures with the soccer player.
"Think Together is tremendously grateful for Sebastian’s generosity and for this incredible group of organizations that came together to create such a memorable day for our students," said Randy Barth, founder and CEO of Think Together. "For the students we serve, these collaborations become the moments that spark a passion for sports, education and enrichment that so many kids might not otherwise experience."
The U.S. Soccer Foundation and adidas have a long history with Think Together and last year worked with The DICK’s Sporting Goods Foundation to donate 15,000 cleats to Think Together students enrolled in programs throughout California. In 2020, Think Together students kept their skills sharp using the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s adapted curriculum, which allowed youth providers to run Soccer for Success across a variety of settings—from pre-recorded sessions to live virtual sessions to in-person socially-distanced sessions.
Sports programs like Soccer for Success provide a positive platform for kids’ who have endured an especially difficult two-years of disruptions amid the pandemic. According to the USC Keck School of Medicine, children were less physically active in the early phases of the pandemic. It hurt traditionally underserved students most.
Regular exercise and sports programs help student social and emotional development as they learn to work as
a team and practice strategy and collaborative thinking skills. In addition, regular exercise helps students focus better while in the classroom.
Think Together serves 43,710 students across Los Angeles County and nearly 200,000 students across the state with academic-based youth programming and school improvement services. Private and nonprofit philanthropic partnerships are pivotal to Think Together’s expanded learning programs and provide students with equitable access to academic and enrichment programs.
Think Together’s afterschool expanded learning programs are funded in part by After School Education and Safety (ASES) grants awarded by the California Department of Education and 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants secured from the U.S. Department of Education.
Nursing students will graduate with associate of science degrees in nursing, Dec. 16, 2021. Photo courtesy Compton College
Compton College to honor nursing grads at virtual pinning ceremony
COMPTON (MNS)—Compton College will host a Virtual Nursing Pinning Ceremony on December 16, 2021, from 6-7 p.m. in honor of 27 students who will graduate with an associate of science degree. Register via Zoom.
“I’m so proud of these nursing students for successfully completing their associate of science degrees during these challenging times,” said Compton College President Keith Curry. “A succession of qualified health care providers are needed now and in the foreseeable future. Compton College has strong nursing and biomedical science programs and a state-of-the-art Allied Health Building complete with a simulation lab. We hope to inspire and educate a new generation of leaders in nursing and other medical professions.”
The students who have met the requirements for an associate degree in nursing are:
Erendira Judith Andrade
Olga Alicia Castillo
Veronica Lorena Castro
Jasmin Elizabeth Gonzalez
Angelica M. Laureta
Juan Carlos Neri
Nancy J. Perez
John William Marsigan Rein
Lily Socheata Sann Tauch
Compton College’s Nursing Program is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN). Compton College student nurses are supported by counseling, opportunities to further their education and referrals to jobs in the community. Upon completion of the program, graduates earn an associate degree and are ready to take the National Council Licensure Examination – Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN). After passing the exam, graduates are eligible to seek employment as a registered nurse and work in health care fields such as intensive care, pediatrics, obstetrics, geriatrics, rehabilitation, oncology, cardiology, and occupational health. Compton College partners with area hospitals and medical centers for clinical rotations and mentoring. The majority of program graduates go on to obtain their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing, in addition to obtaining a job as a registered nurse in the area
For information about the Compton College Nursing Program, contact Carol DeLilly, associate dean of Nursing at 310-900-1600, ext. 2702. Visit the Compton College Nursing Program webpage at: http://www.compton.edu/ gpdiv/health-public-services/nursing/index.aspx
Metropolis News Service.
Student beats odds for success
Jessica Ramos. Compton College Photo College
COMPTON (MNS) — Jessica Ramos embarked on what many might call an improbable mission a few years ago, mired in a bog of circumstance of little means and a dreary future at best. But amid the darkness, she found a streak of light and followed its path.
“It blows my mind!” Ramos said. “I’m a single mother who went from having no high school diploma, no job, no transportation, and no means to support my family, to now having a job, graduating from community college, and transferring to a university this fall.”
Ramos, a mother of two, is a member of Compton College graduating class of 2021. She will receive an associate of arts degree in business administration this month. She was also accepted to California State University, Dominguez Hills, where he will explore several career options.
“I still have a lot of things I want to accomplish and the first big step is transferring this fall to the university,” she said.
Ramos was awarded two scholarships through the CalWORKs public assistance program: a $250 scholarship through Compton College’s CalWORKs Office, and a $500 CalWORKs 2021 Student
California community college students in the CalWORKs program were awarded 2021 scholarships among those thaVoices Scholarship by the CalWORKs Association Board. Only 23t applied.
As a single mother and domestic abuse survivor, Ramos has overcome the odds to earn an associate degree and continue her journey to self-sufficiency through education. CalWORKs data reveals that 1-in-5 college students is parenting a child, but only 8 percent of single moms earn a degree within six years.
A high school dropout at age 15, Ramos attempted to resume her education, but stalled when she birthed her first child. She eventually earned a high school diploma from Paramount Adult School after her second child was born.
“My marriage was full of abuse and manipulation brought on by my ex-husband’s drug and alcohol abuse,” she said. She finally broke free of the marriage, enduring a painful divorce. “I fear[ed] losing my kids, [suffered] depression, anxiety, and financial crisis.”
Realizing she needed to find a way to provide for herself and her kids, Ramos had heard about public assistance and available resources to help her get a college education to gain skills for employment. She also began to realize she needed access to mental health resources. She decided to go to the county public assistance office where she was enrolled in the GAIN program and referred to a variety of resources such as domestic violence counseling, individual therapy, and CalWORKs. In 2018, she enrolled at Compton College to begin her transformation through higher education.
Ramos displays an incredible attitude about the obstacles she has overcome. “For me, every single life experience I have encountered has led me to become the super mom I am; my superpower is resilience,” she said.
That resilience was tested when the father of Ramos’ children passed away. But this time, Ramos knew what to do.
“I reached out and asked for help, which is a difficult thing for people of my culture,” she said. I believe part of having the superpower of resilience is knowing when to ask for help.”
Compton College CalWORKs staff helped Ramos during this difficult time and assisted her in getting the care she needed. They referred her to counseling and helped her find a therapist she was comfortable with.
“I am a proud CalWORKs student; CalWORKs saved my life,” she said.
The CalWORKs office at Compton College has helped Ramos in many ways and she considers the staff her second family, crediting the staff with helping her to navigate college life and to keep on track. Ramos currently works for the college CalWORKs Office as a student ambassador. She began working in the office in fall 2020, working the front desk, helping students register for workshops, setting up appointments, and creating documents and flyers.
“Working in the office, I’ve grown so much and I am learning new skills,” she said. “I’m happy to have the chance to pay forward all that CalWORKs has done for me by helping other students.”
Ramos has also used many other student support services at Compton College to aid in her success, such as the Transfer Center for the university application process, academic counseling, the Library-Student Success Center as a quiet study space, and the state-funded Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) and Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE) for extra financial and academic support.
“The sense of community and respect on campus and seeing the same friendly faces every day is what I like best about Compton College,” said Ramos. “If I asked for help, it was always given to me.
“I’m looking forward to my upcoming Compton College virtual commencement ceremony,” she said. “I will have my kids close during the ceremony and I can share intimately that moment of celebration with them.”
Metropolis News Service.
Rams ‘Fan of the Year’ — Compton firefighter Deonte McReynolds
Deonte McReynolds was surprised by a visit to Fire Station No. 2 by the Rams mascot to announce his selection as “Fan of the Year.” Courtesy Los Angeles Rams
Firefighter, Compton native lifelong Rams fan
COMPTON (MNS) — The Los Angeles Rams have named Compton firefighter Deonte McReynolds, “Fan of the Year.”
McReynolds, an 11-year veteran of the Compton Fire Department, and a lifelong Rams fan, was born and raised in Compton, His wife ,Brittany, who submitted his nomination for the title, said her husband wears his Rams jersey every game day, “even if he has to work at the fire station.”
The Rams, who moved back home to Los Angeles in 2016, “Are a huge part of my husband’s identity,” Brittany added. “They give him hope. I can remember when we moved my grandmother from Houston to Los Angeles driving a U-Haul that broke down, my husband didn't fret because we got to watch the Rams-Tampa Bay game in the truck on the iPad.
“As a firefighter for an underserved community, my husband goes to work day in and day out giving his all to a community that is so often neglected and forgotten and he does it so proudly,” said Brittany. “He exemplifies a super fan and I truly am his because of all of those things.”
The Rams surprised Deonte at his fire station to break the news to him, and Safety John Johnson, III face-timed him to break the news of his selection as Fan of the Year. With the honor comes a tour of SoFi Stadium. Rampage, the Rams mascot also made a surprise visit to the station to present Deonte with a personalized jersey and a $500 fan shop gift card.
Metropolis News Service.