On June 6, 2017 our Executive Director, Aaron Ortiz, spoke at a meeting for the City Council of Hayward, CA. On that day, the City of Hayward representatives and community members were discussing the adoption of a resolution declare Hayward a "Sanctuary City". By doing this, the City of Hayward would be sending a message to its residents that all of the city’s population were valued and protected, regardless of immigration status.
Mr. Ortiz, spoke at the City Council meeting to explain the dramatic and wide-ranging benefits of becoming a "Sanctuary City". He stressed the importance that our local government protect their citizens regardless of immigration status, in order to reduce stressors, mental health impact of immigration stress, and reinforce trust among community members. He also reminded those present that a large population of the younger generation of undocumented immigrants come here as young children and wish to start the process to become United States citizen within the Hayward City and Alameda County. With such a large number of young people - and many soon-to-be voters - Mr. Ortiz helped to impress upon the Board of the City Council is that these young people are the future voters and possible supports of the City Council members.
Conferencia Informativa de Inmigración y Bienestar:
Cultura y Bienestar (CYB), an outreach program within La Familia, had their annual Immigration and Wellness Conference “Recuprando Nuestra Dignidad” (Recovering our Dignity) on Saturday, April 29th, 2017 at Junction K-8 School |298 Junction Avenue, Livermore, CA 94551
This conference was designed to help educate our Spanish speaking community on their rights with Immigration Forums, workshops on mental health (coping skills) through art, sound and breathing. The conference was led by Lupita Barattino La Familia's Mental Health Adult Educator, with the collaboration of many community leaders from Livermore Public Library, CAPE, Junction, St. Michael’s Church, St. Bartholomew Church, Our Savior Lutheran Church, The Art of Living, Cornerstone Church, and the promotoras from CYB.
Cultura y Bienestar in Tri-Valley had a drumming circle on Wednesday, May 31st at the Bess Platt site of CAPE in Livermore, where 60+ men participated along with their children. The drumming circle was led by Arturo Carrillo. The drumming circle is to help Latino men and their children focus on their well-being as father and son, as well as help to build a stronger bond between father and child. The families who participated were from two different CAPE locations. The children greatly enjoyed having their male role models with them as they drummed, danced and sang traditional songs together. Male involvement within the Latino community could be seen as nontraditional, but the idea behind this drumming circle was to help abolish that thought process.
Are you interested in participating in our summer giveaway series?
Here are the brief guidelines for the contest (additional details after the flip):
How to Enter and Win:
- Follow La Familia on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lafamiliaop/
- Add a comment below the Giveaway post and tag one person in each comment. Each comment with a different tagged user is one (1) entry into the giveaway.
- This may be repeated each week of the Giveaway.
- In order to win you must be following @LaFamiliaOP on Instagram; in order for your tagged user to win, they must ALSO be following @LaFamiliaOP. If your comment is selected to win and your tagged user is not following @LaFamiliaOP, you will still win the prize.
- Follow La Familia on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LaFamiliaOP/
- Add a comment below the Giveaway post and tag one person in each comment.
- Each comment with a different tagged user is one (1) entry into the giveaway.
- This may be repeated each week of the Giveaway.
- In order to win you must be following @LaFamiliaOP on Facebook; in order for your tagged user to win, they must ALSO be following @LaFamiliaOP. If your comment is selected to win and your tagged user is not following @LaFamiliaOP, you will still win the prize.
- Each week, one comment on each Instagram and Facebook will be selected to win; thus, four prizes will be given away each week (two winners on Instagram, two winners on Facebook).
- At the end of the four weeks, ONE Grand Prize winner will be selected.
- Winners will be announced on each platform with that platform's winners.
- Winners will be contacted directly by La Familia on the platform on which they won via direct message to arrange for conference of the prize.
- Each user can only win once per platform; all users are eligible for the Grand Prize.
Established in 2007, the FACES for the Future at St. Rose Hospital program (FACES St. Rose), located in Hayward, CA, is a two-year program which motivates and prepares underrepresented youth for entry into careers in all areas of the health professions. Partnering with the Eden Area Regional Occupations Program in Hayward, FACES provides high school students with unique opportunities to learn from healthcare professionals in various hospital settings and explore career options in the health professions. Additionally, students benefit from academic enrichment opportunities, including individualized tutoring and college preparation activities, leadership training, and multi-faceted psychosocial support services, including one-on-one case management. The program also provides support to alumni by assisting them with job/internship placements, academic/career guidance and ongoing life coaching.
La Familia and Hayward Center for Education and Careers (HCEC)-Adult School have received three years of continual funding to expand mental health related services to provide culturally sensitive prevention and early intervention mental health services to those who are wanting to learn to speak English as a second language or receive their GED. Within the three years of the partnership between La Familia and Hayward Center for Education and Careers (HCEC)-Adult School have been able to go above and beyond meeting the outreach, education, consultation, and early intervention quotas required by the county to the ESL (English as a Second Language) population and TAY’s (Transitional Age Youths). The ability to serve such a diverse population is a challenge that is enjoyed by both the staff of La Familia and the Hayward Center for Education and Careers (HCEC)-Adult School. The most recent graduation of the GED program, assisted from La Familia staff, happened May 25, 2017 with close to 52 graduates.
On Friday May 26, Executive Director, Aaron Ortiz and, Youth Mental Health Educator, Stephanie Madrid were invited to be part of a panel for the graduates of the dual Immersion program at Junction K-8 in Livermore. The questions asked by the panel were in both English and Spanish so that the students could show their improvement from being in the dual immersion program for many years.
It was a very unique event to be a part of and La Familia was more than honored to be a part of the panel. Students were able to recognize the importance of being bilingual in the workforce and both Aaron and Stephanie served as examples of the benefits that bilingualism brings within the workforce and personal growth. The students are now off to high school with the hopes of continuing their interest in being bilingual. With these skills the students will be able to be more advanced than their peers in their coming high school Spanish courses.
La Familia was excited to be part of this amazing panel and to help promote a bilingual lifestyle for these young students. We wish them best of luck in their future achievements.
On April 28, 2017, La Familia’s Development Department team participated in Congreso Familiar as volunteers for the annual conference! Congreso Familiar is an organization that is a collaboration of parents, professionals, and community agencies. The goal of Congreso Familiar is to provide education, information, and a sense of community to Spanish speaking families. Congreso Familiar holds an annual conference for Spanish speaking families who have children or family members with disabilities. Over a thousand people from different counties, mainly the San Francisco Bay, attend the conference. The conference promotes and develops leadership skills to families that have a child or family members with disabilities.
During the month of April, La Familia’s project KEY hosted graduation ceremonies for La Familia’s first academy for young adults (youth 17+ who aren’t attending high school). The youth participants completed an 8 week career exploration program, during April 12-22.
Youth participants gained exposure to the fastest growing industries in the Alameda County: advanced manufacturing, construction, and health care. The program also held motivational and industry related talks and speeches. The program also featured Bay area artist Suga-T and technical staff from Tesla.
The students also had the opportunity to attend field trips to: Tri-Ced Community Recycling, The Maker’s space at the Hayward Center for Education and Careers, Cypress Mandela Training Center, Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center, Youth Job Fair (coordinated by Hayward Unified School District’s Youth Enrichment Services, Las Positas College, and Ohlone College.
As an organization that has long championed the importance of caring for mental health, the beginning of this year's Mental Health Awareness Month is particularly special to all of us here at La Familia. Each year, we serve hundreds of people who either have mental health challenges themselves or who have a loved one with those needs. One of the reasons that we know our work is so needed is that, while Latinos have the same prevalence of mental health needs, they seek treatment far less often than their non-Latino peers.
Mental health needs are more in-demand than ever, and 15% of Latinos living in the United States have had a diagnosable mental illness in the past year. Of these individuals, only 10% sought treatment; contrary to popular belief, however, according to a recent report “Hispanics or Latinos may have more positive attitude toward mental health treatment seeking than non-Hispanic whites.”