Historic MOU Signed by San Bernardino County, CSUSB, and SBCCD to Combat 66% Food Insecurity Among College Students

In a landmark move to combat food insecurity among college students, leaders from San Bernardino County have signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at expanding access to CalFresh benefits for potentially over 181,000 college students. The agreement was officially signed on Friday, April 12, 2024, at the County Government Center. The partnership involves the County of San Bernardino, California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), and the San Bernardino Community College District (SBCCD). A recent survey conducted by the California Student Aid Commission highlighted that a shocking 66% of students experienced food insecurity during the 2022-2023 academic year, a significant rise from 39% in the 2018-2019 period. Dr. Tomas Morales, President of CSUSB, addressed the critical issue of student hunger affecting learning and their families. “Hungry students cannot learn, they just cannot. Hungry students come from hungry families. This is not just about our students, this is about their families too,” Morales said. He further noted, “As an anchor institution here in the Inland Empire, we serve the needs of our community so that we can help build its growth and sustainability.” Angel Rodriguez, Associate Vice

Amazon Surprises Fontana High School Senior With $40,000 Scholarship and Internship Offer

Amazon announced its award for Lucia Otanez, a high school senior from Fontana High School, with the surprise of a lifetime. Otanez is one of 400 award recipients across the country and just 63 students in California to be selected for Amazon’s Future Engineer Program, a comprehensive “childhood-to-career” program aimed at increasing access to computer science education for students from underserved and underrepresented communities. Lucia will receive up to $40,000 to be applied toward tuition, fees, books, and school supplies and will be guaranteed a paid internship with Amazon to gain hands-on experience in computer science. Through Amazon Future Engineer, Lucia will also receive skills development and mental health resources, access to an emergency grant fund for unexpected financial obligations that might prevent them from attending school, and networking opportunities with their managers and peers. The surprise took place during a school-wide assembly at Fontana High School, in which the entire senior class will be present, Lucia’s family, as well as Mayor Acquanetta Warren to congratulate the student on their achievements.  For more information about the Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship program, visit AmazonFutureEngineer.com. Continue Reading

Fontana Unified Fire Technology and Law Enforcement Pathways Receive National Certifications of Excellence

Fontana High School’s highly acclaimed Fire Technology and Law Enforcement Public Service pathways were each awarded national certification from the Law and Public Safety Education Network (LAPSEN), representing the commitment to excellence and quality of both programs. Both of FOHI’s career technical education (CTE) Public Service pathways join a prestigious cohort of secondary and post-secondary schools across the country to be named a LAPSEN National Program of Excellence (NPE). A LAPSEN national certification signifies a program has reached the apex in terms of preparing students for careers in law enforcement, firefighting, emergency management, legal studies, and related fields. Fontana High’s Fire Technology and Law Enforcement CTE pathways are hands-on electives that prepare students for jobs in the public safety sector, with more than 170 students enrolled across both pathways. The pathways fulfill a student’s A-G requirements and are dual-enrollment programs that articulate with Chaffey College, allowing students to earn both high school and college credits and putting them on a fast track for industry certifications. “FOHI is the first CTE fire program to attain this designation,” FOHI Fire Technology and Emergency Services CTE Director George

RUSD Community Unites at Literacy & Numeracy Block Party

The education community across the Rialto Unified School District was abuzz with excitement as families excitedly gathered for the Literacy & Numeracy Block Party on April 6. The district’s annual celebration of literacy and numeracy attracted several thousand attendees who were enthusiastic to celebrate learning. This year’s event carried a theme reminiscent of a bustling construction site and transformed the Cesar Chavez/Dolores Huerta Center for Education into a hub of creativity and learning. Families delved into a world where literacy and numeracy intertwined seamlessly, crafting unforgettable memories one activity at a time. Families enjoyed the engaging booths hosted by elementary schools and service areas from across the district. These booths offered resources for families and celebrated reading, math, and learning with different creative activities and games for the whole family to enjoy. From constructing ‘block’tastic adventures with LEGOs to immersing themselves in ‘wordy’ wonders with free books, there were many options for attendees to explore. Every corner of the event echoed with laughter and the sounds of eager minds at work. The day was filled with an array of engaging activities. Attendees had the opportunity

Colton High Rocked by $20K+ Equipment Heist, Allegedly 10 Classrooms Burglarized Over Spring Break

In a shocking spring break heist, allegedly 10 classrooms at Colton High School were burglarized, resulting in the loss of over $20,000 worth of digital equipment from the school’s student news publication the Pepper Bough and other areas. Pepper Bough adviser, Mr. Jeremiah Dollins, reported a series of unsettling break-ins across the campus, including the theft of valuable equipment from the publication’s studio. “It’s like a home invasion. This is our home away from home, and to have it violated in such a manner is devastating. It’s not just a loss for us, but for the entire school community that we provide coverage for,” Dollins lamented. Among the stolen items were 15 digital Canon cameras, a set of lights, microphones, and flashbulbs, as well as Dollins’ personal Nikon camera, bass guitar, and amplifier. “They knew exactly what they were looking for. It’s clear that this wasn’t a random act,” Dollins added, noting that drones were spared, likely due to their hidden location known only to a select few students. The intruders also targeted the Dreamer Alliance Club’s advisor room, making off with $600 in cash.

Rialto USD Students Shine Bright at SIMSEF Awards

The science whizzes from Rialto Unified School District have once again proved their mettle at the San Bernardino, Inyo, and Mono Counties Science and Engineering Fair (SIMSEF). On March 14, the district’s students showcased their talent and science skills, earning a slew of awards across various categories. RUSD students, ranging from elementary to secondary levels, stacked up admirably against some of the top science students in the area. The performance in the annual science fair was highlighted by several students earning a Silver Medal in the competition. John Philip Yu and Jennifer Velasco from Garcia Elementary School, Leilani Martinez, from Bemis Elementary School, and Mark Rivas and Ollie Grace Rodrigues from Eisenhower High School all earned Silver in the competition. Additionally, several RUSD students also captured a Bronze Medal. Fitzgerald Elementary School’s Amelia Ortiz, Jard Garibay, and Renata Garcia were joined by Jahaira Maldonado, Rialto High School, and Carter High School students Jonathan Arevalo, Autumn Covington, and Aidan Lim as Bronze Medal winners. These students’ achievements underscore their academic prowess, curiosity, and dedication to scientific exploration. Please read below for a full list of award

Two Students Crowned San Bernardino County Spelling Bee Champions Headed to Scripps National Spelling Bee

The San Bernardino County Spelling Bee concluded with exhilarating victories, showcasing exceptional linguistic scholars from across the region. Representing a diverse array of school districts and charter schools, the competition culminated in a thrilling event between the county’s finest spellers. San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools (SBCSS) hosted the annual competition at San Bernardino Valley College on Mar. 13. This year’s champions emerged from the ranks of Etiwanda School District. Shrey Parikh, a sixth-grade student, and Srikanth Satheesh Kumar, an eighth-grade student, demonstrated exceptional skill and composure throughout the competition. “The San Bernardino County Spelling Bee serves as a testament to the dedication and talent of our students,” said County Superintendent Ted Alejandre. “It’s inspiring to witness their hard work and determination on display, showcasing their semantic skills in such a challenging and prestigious competition.” Sixth-grader Parikh solidified his victory after correctly spelling the word “rarefaction.” Satheesh Kumar was named the co-champion after providing the correct spelling of the word “recrudescent.” The champions will now prepare to compete on the national stage where they will represent San Bernardino County during the Scripps National Spelling Bee

Kolb MS Student Earns Best in Show at Young Artists’ Gallery

Leah Delgado, an eighth-grade student from Kolb Middle School in the Rialto Unified School District, recently made waves by clinching the prestigious Best in Show Award for the Middle School Division at the Young Artist Gallery. Delgado showed off her artistic talent with a creative charcoal drawing capturing the playful essence of her beloved cat, Tanji, adorned in a bunny outfit. In her artist’s statement about the piece, Delgado reflected that she wanted to capture the essence of her pet cat while also showcasing textures, details, and shadows as she practiced realism. Delgado shared, “I really wanted to focus on creating a more realistic work of art, so I decided to take a photo of my cat wearing a bunny outfit. I wanted to show off my cat’s fun and playful side while creating different textures and values to practice my realism. I focused on the eyes because I wanted it to feel like the cat was looking at the viewer. I wanted the eyes to be realistic so I focused on making them have the glare from the light as he stared at the

School of Medicine Class of 2024 Receives Residency Placements During Annual Match Day Ceremony

As the clock struck 9 a.m. today, fourth-year medical students at Loma Linda University (LLU) eagerly opened their envelopes, revealing their future specialties and residency training locations as part of the annual Match Day ceremonies. Fourth-year medical students across the county participate in Match Day every year on the third Friday in March, an event of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). After months of applications and interviews, over 44,000 applicants across the world learned today where and in what specialties they will train. Kevin Codorniz, MD, associate dean of clinic education at LLU School of Medicine, who graduated from the school in 2005, addressed students and their families, saying that 58% of LLU medical students will remain in California, 35% of whom matched at Loma Linda University Health. Others will start their residencies at numerous programs across the nation, including Mayo Clinic Rochester and Arizona, UCLA, University of California San Francisco, UC Irvine, and University of Colorado. The program included remarks from deans and student leadership before an official countdown was held to find out where the medical students will be assigned for the

Wells Fargo Study Uncovers Critical Money Stressors, 50% of Teens Lying About Financial Affluence as Two-Thirds of Adults Reduce Spending

A comprehensive study by Wells Fargo has laid bare the financial anxieties faced by Americans across different age groups, providing a deep dive into the nation’s monetary concerns and offering practical advice for navigating these challenges. Teenage Financial Fears: The Pressure to Appear Affluent The study’s findings reveal a startling trend among teenagers, with 50% admitting to lying about their spending habits, and a third distorting the truth about their family’s wealth. “The influence of social media has intensified the pressure on teens to present a facade of affluence, leading to a disconnect between their perceived and actual financial status,” explained Emily G. Irwin, Managing Director & Head of Advice Relations at Wells Fargo Wealth & Investment Management.  To address this, Irwin advocates for open and age-appropriate discussions about money within families, aiming to demystify financial matters and foster a healthier attitude towards money among the younger generation. Middle-Aged Americans: Balancing Act Between Savings and Debt For those in their middle years, the struggle is centered around inadequate savings and escalating debts. The research indicates that individuals in this demographic are caught in a financial

Student Talent Takes Center Stage at San Bernardino County Honor Concerts

More than 650 student musicians from throughout San Bernardino County were selected to showcase their musical talents during three separate honor concerts. In partnership with the San Bernardino County Music Educators Association (SBCMEA), San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools (SBCSS) was proud to provide students the opportunity to perform in front of packed audiences that included elected officials, community members, educators, and families. “Our honor concerts show just how important arts education is to our students and community,” said County Superintendent Ted Alejandre. “SBCSS is proud to continue providing our students with opportunities to showcase their incredible talents and fuel their passions.” To qualify for a spot on stage, each student auditioned in front of professional musicians. After just three rehearsals together, these outstanding students at the elementary, middle and high school levels delivered a masterful performance. Whether playing wind instruments like the clarinet, flute and oboe or stringed instruments like the violin, cello, and string bass, each of this year’s selected student musicians practiced for countless hours, ensuring an exceptional performance in front of a live audience. “Overall, this gives students a place to

Grand Terrace High School Awarded Distinguished School Status by the California Department of Education

CJUSD’s Grand Terrace High School is one of just 293 middle and high schools from throughout California selected for the prestigious 2024 California Distinguished Schools Program, recognizing the exceptional work of its students, staff and administation. “GTHS’s motto is Be G.R.E.A.T…. Graduate,” Principal Charles Neighbours said. “As our students and staff strive to be GREAT every day, it’s a fantastic accomplishment to be recognized as a California Distinguished School.” Schools were selected for the distinction by the California Department of Education by analyzing data reported through its 2023 Dashboard, with a focus on demonstrating excellence and growth in academic achievement and ensuring a positive school climate. “Being recognized as a distinguished school is an incredible honor that I feel is an accurate reflection of our academic excellence and school culture here at GTHS,” ASB President Alyssia Pelayo said. “Students on our campus are motivated to come to school everyday and look forward to participating in our student-led activities. ASB works hard to promote inclusivity on campus and make our school a place where everyone feels welcome.” GTHS earned the distinction in the category of closing

The Social Lites Annual Beautillion is Set for March 30

The Social Lites, Inc. will award scholarships to deserving Black high school senior young men at its Beautillion Knights event on March 30 at Cal State San Bernardino. The Inland Empire nonprofit has provided scholarships for 54 years to young men going on to college or technical school. The 2024 Beautillion Knights are Ali Dphrepaulezz of Etiwanda High School; Daniel Rivera of Cajon High School; Destyn Maurice of Flabob Airport Preparatory Academy in Moreno Valley; Frank Cox III of Summit High School; Solomon Moore of Citrus Valley High School, Syncere Brackett of Centennial High School in Eastvale, Darvion McGee, The PAL Charter Academy in San Bernardino.  “College-bound 11th and 12th-grade students who are enrolled in the Beautillion Knights program participate in a five-month extracurricular program. During that time, they gain practical knowledge and experience that grounds them with lifelong foundations that benefit their academic and career success,” said Social Lites spokesperson Marlene Davis. Subjects include leadership development, life skills, and health education. Mentor-tutors work with young men to develop their talents and skills, exposing them to real-world experiences that give them insights into how to solve

Fontana Unified Celebrates District Teacher of the Year for Dedication to Supporting Her Students, Colleagues

Surrounded by cheering students, Chaparral Academy of Technology teacher Alexandra Cruz was surprised when Fontana Unified School District administrators and colleagues came into her classroom carrying a bouquet of flowers and a sign to announce she had been named the 2023-24 District Teacher of the Year on Feb. 20. Cruz was recognized as the FUSD Teacher of the Year, out of the District’s 45 schools, for her dedication to supporting both her students and colleagues, along with her engaging classroom lessons and how she has embraced new technology in the classroom. “I was completely shocked and honored by the classroom announcement,” said Cruz, who has taught at Chaparral Academy for six years and currently teaches a combination fourth-and-fifth grade class. “It was very powerful and moving to see my students’ reactions. I always tell them how proud I am of them, so to see them proud of me made me realize that this class is a family and we really care about each other.” The recognition continues a surreal 2023-24 school year for Cruz, who was also selected the Computers, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Grand Terrace Students Get Sneak Peek at Condor Energy Storage Project

Dozens of students from Grand Terrace High School in California got a rare look inside Arevon’s 200 megawatt (MW)/800 MWh Condor Energy Storage Project during a field trip to learn how battery energy storage systems work. The opportunity to tour the facility came by invitation from the builder, Rosendin Renewable Energy Group (RREG), a California company and one of the largest Renewable Energy General Contractors in the U.S. Rosendin Project Manager Ray Nelson worked with Grand Terrace H.S. Engineering Pathway Lead Matthew Johnson to coordinate the Feb. 2 site tour for 35 students. Rosendin builders explained how the facility was built to use Tesla Megapack battery units to store energy and discharge it into the electric grid when demand is at its peak. Students toured the new main power transformer, substation control, and overhead interconnection tower that is designed to transfer energy to and from the Southern California Edison Highgrove Substation. The Condor Energy Storage Project, which is still under construction and slated to be operational in Q2 2024, was designed to directly benefit the local community, while helping address the region’s energy challenges. The