Riverside

Inland Empire school districts commit to increasing financial aid application completion rates

Inland Empire high school students will be fully informed of college financial aid resources available to them through the “Leave No Money on the Table” campaign spearheaded by BLU Educational Foundation, to eliminate barriers around college affordability and access to financial resources in regards to disadvantaged students in the inland region. The launch was announced on Friday morning, Sept. 4, at Carter High School in Rialto, where leaders from various school districts throughout Riverside and San Bernardino counties came together to commit to the goal of increasing FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and Dream Act application completion rates among high school students. According to BLU Foundation President / CEO and Rialto Unified School District Board member Dina Walker, the nonprofit organization has strived to make the conversation of financial aid imperative for the past 10 years; the movement started to gain traction two years ago across California. “I want to thank Assemblymember Eloise Reyes because two years ago we came to her and said ‘this is an opportunity for us to do something big,’ and she did not hesitate (to work with us),”…

Boys & Girls Clubs support distance learning

Local students had their “first day of school” at Boys & Girls Clubs on Aug. 13 amid COVID-19 school campus closures. More than 60 students brought their electronic devices to the Club to log in to class. The kids were spaced apart in rooms throughout the Club, and Club staff helped with any issues that arose until the first day’s projects were finished. As the school year continues virtually, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Redlands-Riverside is offering distance learning support as long as needed. Club staff will make sure students keep to their school schedules, and feed them lunch. “We want to continue to be there for working parents, as we have the last few months, and help ensure that their kids are successful as they do distance learning,” said Club senior vice president Mark Davis. Kids can get help with certain subjects and homework support at the Club, along with fun activities like art and sports. They can also take advantage of the Club’s collection of books, including some donated by the Redlands Sunrise Rotary Club and UPS Stores. Safety measures for youth…

Service clubs take 80 Boys & Girls Club kids school shopping

Two local service clubs and volunteers took 80 youth from Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Redlands-Riverside “back-to-school” shopping on Aug. 8. Kiwanis Club of Redlands-Noon and Kiwanis Club of San Bernardino paid for the youth to each get $100 worth of clothes, shoes, socks and other essentials at Kohl’s in Redlands. A service club or community volunteer was paired with each young person and accompanied them around the store. “The Kiwanis Club of San Bernardino is excited to help with the shopping spree every year,” said president Liz Silvius. “Our volunteers always enjoy the opportunity to help the kids of San Bernardino, and this event is an awesome way to meet and directly help out the kids in our area. We sponsored and shopped with 30 kids this year and will be excited for next year, as well.” Photo BGCGR: Boys & Girls Club member Hailey Trujillo goes shopping with staff member Olivia Jamison at Boys & Girls Clubs’ back-to-school shopping spree Saturday, Aug. 8 at Kohl’s in Redlands. “I have been a part of this event since its inception,” said P.T. McEwen, president…

Riverside County Nonprofit Assistance Fund brings aid to organizations significantly impacted by COVID-19 crisis

Has your Riverside County organization experienced a loss in funding, cancelled or postponed fundraising events or made staff changes because of COVID? Inland Empire Community Foundation is currently accepting online grant applications from nonprofits for financial support through July 31, 2020. Nonprofits must provide services in Riverside County to be eligible for funding. On June 9, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors approved $5 million in financial support to the nonprofit community using CARES Act funding. Funds are being dispersed through the Riverside County Nonprofit Assistance Fund that is administered by IECF, in partnership with the Riverside County Homeless Solutions and Workforce Department and the Inland Empire Funders Alliance. “The nonprofit community that provides direct services fills gaps that the county and other government agencies cannot meet,” said Vice Chair Karen Spiegel, Second District Supervisor. “These agencies are some of the highest in-demand agencies in the county, and they need financial support to get through this pandemic, just like our businesses.” With over 7,500 organizations countywide, the new program will assist nonprofits headquartered in or who have an office in Riverside County who have experienced…

Rialto resident helps feed 14,000 people per week in response to COVID-19

Rialto resident, Chandrasekar Venkatraman, president of India Association of Inland Empire (IAIE), has been busy volunteering, coordinating and fundraising to ensure 1,500 residents of San Bernardino and Riverside counties receive a hot meal everyday, in response to COVID-19. The initiative, an effort in conjunction with United Sikh Mission (USM), not only feeds hot meals to those in need, but also to healthcare workers. “Initially, we wanted to try and feed 10 people everyday of the week and then we elevated it up to 25 people per day. I then leveraged my network and connected with USM, who was then serving 175 meals per day…Now together, we’re serving as many as 14,000 hot meals per week,” said Venkatraman. Also a senior program manager for Veolia North America, he said he has received the enthusiastic support of his colleagues, supervisors and supporters at VNA, where he handles a portfolio of major engineering and construction projects. He said that at the start of the pandemic, he reached out to his manager and inquired about volunteering on behalf of IAIE, to assist USM handle, package and distribute food. “Just…

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