How Concierge Parenting Services Can Help Prepare Kids for College

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student with exam paper and pencil taking a test

College admissions issues has been stealing the headlines. From the college admission scandal, where wealthy people allegedly paid to help their kids get accepted to high ranking colleges, to the talk of adding diversity scores to help boost some SAT/ACT tests, the news is filled with the challenges that those wanting to go to a good college may face.

Some parents are opting to take an approach that is more tailored to helping the child become prepared to excel and get into the college of their choice. This new approach, called concierge parenting services, aims to provide a customized plan to take the child to the next level, by identifying their fullest potential and capitalizing on it.

“Too often, the approaches taken in schools are failing students. Every child learns differently, so a cookie cutter approach just doesn’t work,” explains Reena B. Patel, a parenting expert, licensed educational psychologist, and author, who offers virtual workshops. “Through concierge parenting services, parents can learn exactly what their child needs to focus on in order to excel. The plan has been tailored to their unique child.”

Recently, Gallup suggested that education in the country takes the opposite approach of standardized tests, which students are being inundated with around the nation. What they suggest is that students need a test that is for them and about them, so that they become better at understanding and developing their own unique talents, which will help them succeed in school and life. This is the goal of concierge parenting, too.

Concierge parenting is service offered by Patel and other professionals in the field, in which they conduct extensive assessment on the child. Here are some of the ways that concierge parenting services can help prepare kids for college:

  • The assessments that are conducted show a child’s strengths, so that they can capitalize on them in order to reach their goals.
  • Parents receive a customized learning profile of their child, which will give insight as to how they best learn and optimize their strengths while developing areas of need. Parents can use that information to ensure that their educational needs are being addressed and how to take their child to the next level of growth.
  • Their learning profile includes such things as the child’s emotional resilience. This is important information, because it sheds light on how well the child will adapt to stressful situations or challenges. They can use the information to help the child learn more coping skills.
  • Parents receive the tools that they need in order to help their child navigate studying, taking tests, and applying for colleges. Rather than guessing how to best go about these things, the information has been tailored to the needs and styles of the individual.
  • Similar to a concierge in a hotel, parents get a tailored approach that is focused on meeting their needs and ensuring their child’s success. By taking advantage of a service like this, parents can learn their child’s strengths then nurture them and focus on excelling those strengths to be the best version of themselves.

“If you want to feel confident about your child’s education and future college acceptance, you can’t go wrong with taking a concierge parenting approach,” added Patel. “The purpose of concierge parenting is to help remove the stress, hurdles, and disappointment that may come later on. It helps your child to set out on their path with a detailed map to help them successfully get there.”

Patel offers several concierge parenting services packages, including being able to tailor a program to meet individual needs and goals. Two of her popular packages are titled Optimal Learning and New Parent. The Optimal Learning package offers a comprehensive assessment, customized report with specific tools to apply, follow up emails to ask questions, comprehensive evaluations to include, but not limited to, intelligence testing, academic testing, social and emotional readiness, and executive functioning testing. The New Parent package focuses on the idea that every baby and child is unique and has a different temperament. It’s ideal for new parents or a parent of a teen. Finding time to address challenges, such as behaviors, or how best to get your baby to sleep is hard. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a service customized just for your family and child? One that is effective and developed by a professional expert.

Each concierge parenting package includes initial consultation to identify concerns and goals, three session observation, modeling, and implementation of expert techniques, and one follow up virtual call after strategies are implemented.

In addition to offering concierge parenting services, Patel is the founder of AutiZm& More. As a licensed educational psychologist and guidance counselor, she helps children and their families with the use of positive behavior support strategies across home, school, and community settings. She does workshops around California, and virtual workshops globally where she provides this information to health professionals, families, and educators. She is also the author of a book that helps children with anxiety coping strategies called “Winnie & Her Worries,” and author of a book about autism awareness and acceptance, called “My Friend Max: A Story about a Friend with Autism.” Both of her books are available on Amazon. To learn more about her services, visit the website at reenabpatel.com.

About Reena B. Patel
Based in the San Diego area, Reena B. Patel (LEP, BCBA) is a renowned parenting expert, guidance counselor, licensed educational psychologist, and board-certified behavior analyst. For more than 20 years, Patel has had the privilege of working with families and children, supporting all aspects of education and positive wellness. She works extensively with developing children as well as children with exceptional needs, supporting their academic, behavioral and social development. She was recently nominated for San Diego Magazine’s “Woman of the Year.” To learn more about her books and services, visit the website at reenabpatel.com, and to get more parenting tips, follow her on Instagram @reenabpatel.

Gallup. It’s time to try the opposite of standardized testing. gallup.com/education/237284

ALPFA’s Damian Rivera: The Power of Your Origin Story

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headshot of Damian Rivera, CEO of ALPHA

The journey from Spanish Harlem to the boardroom has been magical. I have the benefit of being able to look back at my 20+ years as a consultant for Accenture, along with my life growing up, to identify all of the “hard times” as a kid, which have made me successful in the boardroom.

As a Latino managing director in a global Fortune 500 company, I have always given back to my community, from serving on the board of non-profits to leading up Accenture’s Hispanic American ERG for six years. With all the experience I have gained, it is my mission to help others achieve their dreams.

With the opportunity of stepping into the role of CEO of ALPFA, I am honored and humbled to continue the legacy built by our members, countless volunteers, leadership teams from our professional and student chapters, and corporate partners that have made ALPFA what it is today. As I think back to my childhood growing up in Wagner Projects in Spanish Harlem, New York, in the 1980s, I can’t believe that in the same way the Latinx community helped give me opportunities in life, I am now in a position to do the same for others. What makes it even more exciting is I am not alone—I have an extended family of 80,000+ members focused on the same mission.

Everyone has an origin story, but the ability to really understand how your story gives you power is critical for Latinos as we strive to elevate in the corporate world. Hearing stories helps inspire, but knowing how your story gives you strength translates inspiration to action.

So, the question I usually get next is, “How can we learn to better understand our story?” There are four components/activities that I tell people to focus on: (1) Journey Line (2) Value Tree (3) Value Mantra (4) Purpose Framework. I’ll focus on the Journey Line and Value Tree here because they are the most critical. I recommend everyone develop their journey line, which is a drawing of your life, starting at any point going to present day. Your level of happiness is on the y-axis, and time is on the x-axis. As you think back on your life, you will plot out the highs and lows, and it’s in these moments that we learn our lessons of life. The high of highs and low of lows are where we build our character and grow the most. When people take time to develop the line, they start to see all they have accomplished and all they have persevered through to achieve success. Once you have done that, you begin to see the strength you have on paper. This is your origin story; it’s no different than a Marvel comic superhero. Once you have documented your journey line, you realize just as Superman had his hero’s journey, so did you. You may not be able to fly, but you definitely have developed your own version of superpowers in finance, accounting, or blockchain. When people work through this, they often have more confidence because it removes the impostor syndrome issues they encounter. They see their story and realize: I belong in the boardroom!

The second key piece is knowing your values. My values are legacy, opportunity, diversity, justice, courage, fortitude, energy, and industriousness. When people talk about being their authentic self at work, I believe that means sticking to your values. Through a person’s journey he or she will change. Everyone should be evolving as a person, and if you stay true to your value system, then you are being authentic as a leader. Know your origin story, enjoy your hero’s journey, and remember to help others along the way.

Rosario Dawson: Called to Action

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Rosario Dawson Summer Issue Cover

By Erica Sabino

Rosario Dawson is more than just another famous face in Hollywood. In addition to her high-profile film career, she’s a philanthropist, activist, and entrepreneur. Not to mention producer, singer and comic book writer!

First and foremost, Dawson is fiercely passionate about her philanthropy and her desire to serve her community. Her early life wasn’t easy. Her family lived in a squatter’s apartment in New York’s East Village, where she grew up seeing poverty, sickness, and suffering all around her. “Growing up here in New York, with a mom who was a teenager when she had me, I had family and friends who were either trans and/or had HIV or AIDS and/or had drug problems or housing issues or issues with access to education,” Dawson said in an interview with the lifestyle website mindbodygreen. “I saw the whole maelstrom of privilege and access.”

Growing up in a liberal-minded family, she was raised to understand the value of social change at a young age. “My mother worked for a women’s shelter when I was young,” she said. “To see strangers helping other strangers, just showing up and giving, was so inspiring to me.” It’s not hard to see how her experiences have inspired her to make a change for others. She serves as a board member of V-day, a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. She supports charities like the ONE Campaign, Amnesty International, Oxfam, International Rescue, and Lower East Side Girls Club, and the Environmental Media Association, among many others. She is also active in such programs as Conservation International, Doctors Without Borders, National Geographic Society, The Nature Conservancy and Save The Children.

In 2013, Dawson partnered with her longtime friend Abrima Erwiah to found Studio 189, a fashion and media brand based in Ghana that produces African and African-inspired clothing and lifestyle content. In an interview with Google, when asked about their decision to launch in Ghana, Dawson and Erwiah had this to say: “We were impressed by the culture of creativity, craft, and innovation and the rich history present in Ghana. We felt it was a wonderful place to develop social infrastructure, to add value to natural resources, to create opportunities for work and support capacity building. At the same time, we wanted to support the growth of a local market of consumers as well and help create a space for more people to enter conversations and be included in the growth of the global fashion industry.” For these two partners, Studio 189 is not just a business, but also a social enterprise. Through their brand, they have been able to make changes in the community through educational workshops, counseling, and employment.

Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Gina Rodriguez, Zoe Saldana and Rosario Dawson are seen prior to the Latinas Stand Up rally ALEXANDER TAMARGO/GETTY IMAGES
Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Gina Rodriguez, Zoe Saldana and Rosario Dawson are seen prior to the Latinas Stand Up rally ALEXANDER TAMARGO/GETTY IMAGES

Politically active for much of her life, Dawson says, “The American future is here, and there’s great news: the future votes.” She co-founded the pioneering civic media nonprofit organization, Voto Latino, in an effort to boost Latino participation in the political process. Established in 2004, Voto Latino’s mission is to provide culturally relevant programs that engage, educate, and empower Latinos to be agents of change. It also seeks to transform America by recognizing Latinos’ innate leadership. Whenever we do voter registration, we ask, ‘Why haven’t you voted before?’ The response is often, ‘No one’s asked us.’ It’s not about telling people what to do—it’s about sharing what they can do.

“Voting is the umbrella to everything else that I’m doing,” says Rosario. “Women’s issues, health and disease, poverty, housing—these all fall under that voting power.” In recognition for her efforts, she was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2017.

Also a health advocate, Dawson, a self-proclaimed oat enthusiast, recently partnered with Quaker Oats to create a three-part video series that encourages people to incorporate healthier practices into their everyday lives. “I’ve been eating Quaker oatmeal since I was a young child, ever since my aunt taught me how to make it from scratch, so I’m excited to team up with them to help spread the word about the benefits of oats,” Dawson said. “As an advocate for health and wellness, I never want to short-term my health—I think it’s so important to have long-term plans. And what’s great is that you don’t have to start big, because even small steps can make a difference.”

Rosario, Abrimaand guest
Designers Rosario Dawson, Abrima Erwiah and guest attend as STYLE360 THOMAS CONCORDIA/GETTY IMAGES

Dawson’s first step on her journey to fame happened by accident when she was just 15 years old. Sitting on the front porch step of her apartment building, she was spotted by photographers Larry Clark and Harmony Korine. Aspiring screenwriter Korine thought Dawson would be perfect to cast in the 1995 film, Kids, where she played Ruby, a sexually active adolescent. From there, Dawson went on to star in more films, like Rent, He Got Game, Men in Black II, Seven Pounds, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, and Sin City, among many others. In the music industry, she had a speaking part in the re-release of Prince’s 1980s hit, “1999,” renamed “1999: The New Master.” She also appeared in the music video for Out of Control by The Chemical Brothers and was featured on the Outkast track, She Lives in My Lap.

Currently, Dawson is set to voice the iconic heroine Diana Prince in the DC animated original film, Wonder Woman: Bloodlines, a character she’s voiced since 2015’s Justice League: The Throne of Atlantis. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actress has also been cast in Sony Pictures’ next installment of the post-apocalyptic comedy, Zombieland 2. She will be working alongside original cast members including Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg, and Abigail Breslin, as well as newcomers Zoey Deutch and Avan Jogia. In addition to these roles, Dawson will both produce and star in the upcoming drama series Briarpatch from Sam Esmail, the creator of Mr. Robot. Based on the Ross Thomas novel, the first season of the series will be produced by Universal Cable Productions and Paramount Television. In this drama, Dawson will be playing a Washington, D.C.-based investigator who returns to her hometown in Texas to help search for her sister’s murderer.

Last year, she announced her guest collaboration on La Borinqueña, an original character and patriotic symbol presented in a classic superhero story created and written by graphic novelist Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez. Her powers are drawn from history and mysticism found on the island of Puerto Rico. Dawson and her writing partner David Atchison joined Dawson’s uncle, comic book artist Gustavo Vazquez on the project.

Although she has a full workload, she still finds time to make an impact outside the world of Hollywood. From being a political activist to running a sustainable fashion line, Rosario Dawson is continuously showing her passion and commitment to the causes she advocates for.

Using her platform to make a difference, Dawson’s activism has allowed her to not only witness change but also effect it. “I’m really moved by everything I’ve seen achieved over the years, and there’s so much that’s being worked toward now with many more people,” Dawson says in an interview with InStyle. “I’m inspired to just do whatever I feel called to do and to be of service and to be of use… There are so many different ways that we can serve, and I want to figure out as many ways as I can to fit into this lifetime.”

American Indian College Fund Awards More Than $17K of “Think Indian” Grants to Support the Vibrancy of Native American Students Nationwide

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The American Indian College Fund’s “Think Indian” Community Awareness program awarded seven non-profit, accredited colleges and universities with $2,500 grants to promote the vibrancy of Native American students, scholarship, and communities.

The American Indian College Fund’s “Think Indian” Community Awareness program awarded seven non-profit, accredited colleges and universities with $2,500 grants to promote the vibrancy of Native American students, scholarship, and communities.

“Think Indian” was originally created in 2009 as a public awareness campaign to promote the American Indian College Fund and the contributions Native American scholars make to our world. The “Think Indian” campaign was renewed in 2018 to promote the American Indian College Fund’s scholarship and support programs for Native students. The “Think Indian” Community Awareness Grants will support specific efforts of Native-serving colleges and universities, helping them better raise awareness and connect with students and tribal communities.

The following seven higher institutions were awarded grants under the program:

Idaho State University (ISU) – ISU will hold its Bengal Warrior Bootcamp July 25-26, 2019, engaging students in physical and educational challenges. Participants from the Shoshone-Bannock Tribal community will participate in two days of college preparatory workshops and obstacle course drills to prepare them for the future.

Redlands University – Redlands’ Native Student Programs will bring students and community members together this summer to create a mural to inspire Native people to seek higher education. Prospective students will write essays about what it means to “Think Indian” and share their thoughts at a ceremony unveiling this art project.

College of Menominee Nation (CMN) – CMN will reach out to the thousands of attendees of the Menominee Pageant at their annual powwow contest. They will highlight profiles of exceptional Native students and scholarship opportunities in the pageant program and distribute “Think Indian” pageant shirts to further raise awareness.

George Washington University (GWU) – GWU’s Center for Indigenous Politics and Policy will create an indigenous guide to D.C., including a walking tour map and associated mobile application. The guide will highlight sites of importance to Native people throughout our Nation’s capital. GWU will raise general awareness of the tool and incorporate it into their pre-college preparatory program for Native students.

Leech Lake Tribal College (LLTC) – LLTC will implement a multi-platform promotion of the college and scholarship opportunities throughout the summer, inviting prospective students to “Think Indian: Come Find Your Place.” Using targeting info from a community needs survey, they will launch social media posts, flyers, advertisements and banners – creating new content to better reach their audience.

New Mexico State University (NMSU) – NMSU hosts a Dreamkeepers Summer Enrichment Program June 16-28, 2019, for Native American high school students in New Mexico. Student participants will create a landmark mural in Las Cruces, celebrating Native American vibrancy and resiliency. And Native hip-hop artist Tall Paul will deliver an inspirational speech and perform a free concert for their community.

White Earth Tribal and Community College (WETCC) – WETCC will host a Boarding School Awareness Campaign and Healing Event in August to educate and provide a space where Native Americans of all generations can recover from the brutal effects of colonization. WETCC will create a traveling art exhibit, communicating the timeline of boarding schools’ impact – and will host a healing ceremony with a meal and a screening of Iron Horse, a documentary about boarding schools.

About the American Indian College Fund—Founded in 1989, the American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for 30 years. The College Fund believes “Education is the answer” and provided 5,896 scholarships last year totaling $7.65 million to American Indian students, with more than 131,000 scholarships and community support totaling over $200 million since its inception. The College Fund also supports a variety of academic and support programs at the nation’s 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities, which are located on or near Indian reservations, ensuring students have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers. The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators and is one of the nation’s top 100 charities named to the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. For more information about the American Indian College Fund, please visit collegefund.org.

What to Expect From Your First Job Out of College

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Latinos at office meeting

You’ve graduated college — congratulations! You are now ready to enter the professional world and start building your career with your first job out of college. The prospect can be very exciting and more than a little intimidating.

Remember how big your college campus seemed when you first arrived as a freshman? You were unfamiliar with the buildings and there were a lot of new people. But by your sophomore and junior year, you had it all figured out. As a senior, you felt as comfortable at college as you did at home.

Get ready to feel like a freshman again. Your first job out of college is a foray into the unknown, but that doesn’t mean you have to go into it completely blind. Here are few things you should expect from your first job after college. But first, what does “entry level” even mean?

What does “entry level” mean in terms of your first job after college?

Just like it sounds, an entry-level job is meant to get your foot in the door at a company. It may not require a lot of the specific skills that are expected of higher-level employees — it’s a training ground for new employees. However, the competition can be steep, so don’t assume you’ll get the first job you apply for just because you have that shiny new degree. You’ll need to think carefully about what you accomplished in college outside of the classroom and frame that properly on your resume. Did you have a part-time job, an internship, or work-study? Perhaps you were the leader of a campus organization. Anything that you can leverage to show that you’ve learned discipline and leadership skills can help give you an edge over the competition.

Now that you know what “entry level” means, here’s what you should expect when you land the job.

You need to be communicative

The ability to communicate clearly and effectively both in person and in print is an essential part of most businesses. Employers look for that in candidates — especially when it comes to entry-level candidates. An applicant with a strong resume but poor communication skills may lose out to a lesser qualified candidate who knows how to get his or her point across clearly.

Why? Because the same holds true after the person is hired. In today’s workforce, the ability to communicate is crucial. Whether it’s person to person, in meetings, or via email, communication skills are a must-have for employees at any level. But don’t just declare that you’re a good communicator; employers need to see it in action.

Make note of any internships, jobs, or even hobbies that showcased your ability to communicate verbally or otherwise. Most importantly, when you are looking for that entry-level job, make sure that everything they see shows how well you communicate. Your Linkedin bio, other social media, and especially your cover letter should be interesting and clearly get your message across.

If you do all of those well, you’ll set the table for a great first interview.

You won’t get paid a lot

Most entry-level jobs come with entry-level pay. Think carefully before you accept a job offer. This will likely be your pay for the next year. Most employers do not negotiate or give raises after three or six months anymore. On the bright side, while it may not pay as much as you were hoping to make, it’s probably a lot more than you were making in college.

Remember, it’s not about this job; it’s about where this first job out of college can take you. Do you know what you want to be doing in five years? Think about it because employers will ask, and they want to know that you have a plan.

Related: How to Answer “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?”

You won’t get the “fun” tasks

You chose your field of study with certain jobs in mind. However, those jobs are probably at the higher end of the pay scale. For your first job out of college, you will find yourself doing things that may seem menial or beneath you. There are a few reasons for this.

First, as an entry-level employee, you’re at the lower end of the pay scale, therefore the lower-end tasks go to you. Secondly, and this is really important for you to realize quickly, you’re being tested.

If you want to get bigger, more exciting tasks to handle at your new job, you need to knock those trivial ones out of the park. Don’t just shuffle through them. Take care of your assignments and maybe even see if there is a better way to do them. When you show that you can handle these little jobs, and handle them well, you’ll earn the opportunity to get cooler assignments.

You need to embrace variety

Not only will you be doing things that may seem trivial to you, but they may not be relevant to your field of study at all. This can be challenging or even frustrating, but at this stage of your career, you can do yourself a big favor by embracing these diverse tasks. Why? By engaging yourself fully in a variety of jobs, you will give yourself a chance to discover what you really like to do. Maybe what you thought you’d like isn’t what you do best.

In any case, you’ll want to work to the best of your ability at this first job. Even if you find out what you don’t like doing, that can help you guide your career.

Your attitude matters more than ever

In college, you just needed to get your work done and done well. Once you enter the workforce, there’s a lot more to it. It’s not just what you do and how well it’s done — it’s how you do it. Do you roll your eyes when given an undesirable task? Do you pay attention in meetings, or are you zoned out or playing with your phone? Once you have a foothold on your career path, it’s not just about getting the work done, it’s about finding better ways to do it. Always be engaged and enthusiastic.

Does this mean you can’t challenge your boss on certain things? Absolutely not. If you believe you’re being treated unfairly or need a change of scenery, you need to speak up for yourself. Get your thoughts together and have a detailed argument for your points. A good boss respects an employee who is willing to speak up when they have a legitimate complaint.

You have more to worry about than just yourself now

You’ve grown used to being on your own and realizing that the choices you make impact your life. Once you join a new company in your new first job out of college, there’s more to it. It’s not just about you. The choices you make can affect those in your department or even across the whole company.

Sick days are a great example of this. They’re willing to pay you not to come to work when you don’t feel good. How cool is that? However, think about what will happen at work if you do call in sick. Who has to cover for you? Will they have to call someone else in on their day off? Will another worker be responsible for their own job plus yours?

You’re part of a team now, and while it’s okay to use sick days when you’re really sick, you have to be aware of how your choices affect the rest of your team. This same mode of thinking needs to go into every work decision that you make. Your employer needs to know that they can depend on you.

Continue on to Top Resume to read the complete article.

American Indian College Fund to Continue College Access and Success Program with $2.5 Million, Three-Year Grant

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smiling classmates posing together

Native American and Alaska Native students are in a college-going and completion crisis.

Research shows the national rate of all students going to college within six months of graduation after high school is 70%. For Native American and Alaska Native students, those numbers are closer to 20%.

The American Indian College Fund knows that education improves the lives of individuals, their families, and entire communities, yet scholarships are not enough for student success. It needed to create a college-going culture with prospective students to ensure the transition to college and support them while in college. Thanks to a $2.5 million grant renewal for 36 months from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the College Fund will continue its work to increase college access and success through the College Fund’s Native Pathways to College Program .

The College Fund’s Pathways program is divided into four components working with students. The High School Admissions Pathway program works to increase the college-going rate of Native Pathways participants closer to the national college going rate. The College Bridge Pathway works to bring Tribal College and Universities (TCUs) and area high schools together to help prepare students for the academic and social environments at college. The Tribal College Transfer Pathway aims to increase the retention rate of TCU students, increase the number of TCU graduates, and increase the number TCU graduates transferring to a four-year institution. The Student Success Pathway will support successful transition and increase retention of students who transition into a new institution of higher education.

The program will continue its work in broadening a college culture and college completion at more schools across the nation, with the goal of working with 90 reservation-based high schools and 30 TCUs in 11 states, impacting approximately 16,000 students. The College Fund will provide training materials and will work with students, staff, and community members on college access workshops, coaching, and events.

Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said, “The College Fund and the Andrew Mellon Foundation share a vision of equity that emerges when young people see themselves as having an education that leads to a better life. Engaged, active citizenship rooted in Native identity is our goal. We know that all of society benefits from healthy communities, diverse knowledge, and improved economies. We are pleased that the Andrew. W. Mellon Foundation looks beyond the academy to the future of our society in our youth.”

About the American Indian College Fund

Founded in 1989, the American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for 30 years. The College Fund believes “Education is the answer” and provided 5,896 scholarships last year totaling $7.65 million to American Indian students, with more than 131,000 scholarships and community support totaling over $200 million since its inception. The College Fund also supports a variety of academic and support programs at the nation’s 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities, which are located on or near Indian reservations, ensuring students have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers. The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators and is one of the nation’s top 100 charities named to the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. For more information about the American Indian College Fund, please visit collegefund.org .

 

 

 

Latina chef Daniela Soto-Innes is youngest to be named ‘World’s Best Female Chef’

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Daniela Soto-Innes poses for camera smiling while working in a kitchen

Mexican-American chef Daniela Soto-Innes has become the youngest honoree to be named the World’s Best Female Chef by The World’s Best 50 Restaurants.

The award, which was announced Wednesday, recognizes the culinary achievements of one woman every year. Past winners include British chef Clare Smyth of London’s Core and Dominique Crenn, who leads San Francisco’s Michelin-three-star Atelier Crenn

Though she is known for running Cosme and Atla, two popular modern Mexican restaurants in New York City, Soto-Innes, 28, didn’t always plan on becoming a chef, according to the award announcement. She was a competitive swimmer during her young adulthood in Texas, where she moved from Mexico City when she was 12.

Yet the culinary arts were almost an inevitability for Soto-Innes, who was surrounded by a grandmother, mother and aunts who instilled a passion for cooking in her at a young age. “I grew up with a line of really strong women that love to cook,” Soto-Innes told The World’s Best 50 Restaurants. “When I was born, my mother was a lawyer with my father, but she wanted to be a chef because my grandma had a bakery and my great grandma went to school for cooking.

Everything was about who made the best cake, who made the best ceviche, who made the best mole. I just knew that it was the thing that made me the happiest.

It’s not only the flavorful food that appeals to Soto-Innes, but also the people who make it. Most of the staff at Cosme are Latin American immigrants, while a few hail from Russia and other countries, as well. It’s this fusion of people, ideas and recipes that makes the restaurant so successful, she said.

That shared knowledge has led to some of Cosme’s most famous dishes, including its fluffy fried tortillas called infladitas (which means inflated).

Continue on to NBC News to read the complete article.

2019 AISES Leadership Summit: Planning STEM Futures in a Welcoming Cherokee Community

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STEM is here. STEM is evolving. STEM is the future. The AISES Leadership Summit is focused on honing strategies to enable science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professionals and emerging leaders in STEM fields to think proactively about their goals.

This annual gathering focuses on the core competencies and capacities of individuals. It stimulates participants to think about their responsibilities and the impact of their work and studies on the global STEM community. It enables participants to stop, think, and plot their incredible life journey, and it supports them as they process the lessons and opportunities they come away with.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) generously sponsored and hosted the 2019 AISES Leadership Summit March 14–16 in Cherokee, North Carolina. The Qualla Boundary, the official name of this sovereign nation’s land, is adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in western North Carolina. This historic, scenic area is home to a close-knit community that proudly and graciously welcomed Leadership Summit participants as friends and relatives.

There was excitement in the room! Cherokee Principal Chief Richard Snead opened the Leadership Summit by sharing his message of goodwill from the Cherokee community. AISES is grateful to the EBCI community, tribal members, and Cherokee community partners that invested in the 2019 Leadership Summit, including the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, the Sequoyah Fund, Owle Construction, the Ray Kinsland Leadership Institute, the Cherokee Boys Club, and many programs of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Following Principal Chief Snead’s inspirational talk, the Cherokee Youth Council (CYC), a culturally based leadership program for students in grades 7–12, performed two social dances. The CYC is housed under the Ray Kinsland Leadership Institute at the Cherokee Boys Club and is funded by the Cherokee Preservation Foundation. EBCI Youth Ambassadors invited conference participants to join them in the Friendship Dance, bringing together friends and strangers in unity.

Once again, AISES designed and presented a top-notch conference of action-packed days filled with meetings, tours, and events. Complementing all the activities were multiple forms of learning, from written materials and workshops to a choice of over 30 conference sessions. Participants arrived from Canada and 31 states as far away as Alaska and Hawaii. Over 260 students and professionals, including advisors and chaperones, were part of this year’s gathering.

Within the Leadership Summit was a lineup of AISES program events. The Faculty Career Development Workshop was a daylong program for Native people preparing to become STEM faculty.

Pre-college Energy Challenge poster participants presented their winning concepts and had an opportunity to showcase their work before skilled career professionals, who offered advice and feedback. Each student’s project is based on an energy challenge affecting his or her community, and students use a two-phase engineering process to create a real-world solution.

“The AISES Leadership Summit is an extraordinary example of how a Tribal community is committed to the future of their people and sustainability of their workforce,” says Alicia Jacobs, Vice Chair of the AISES Board of Directors. “I have seen the value of increasing the representation of American Indians in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies and careers right here on the Qualla Boundary. The EBCI community through the exposure of a national organization such as AISES has a strong STEM presence within the professional body of the tribe along with our college students pursuing STEM fields, and down to our students at the Cherokee Central Schools level who are working on culturally-based STEM curriculum. The EBCI community, Executive Office and Tribal Council are setting a strong example for other tribal communities to follow when it comes to supporting STEM by investing in the AISES Leadership Summit.”

Investing in the Leadership Summit benefits us all. AISES could not accomplish the goals of the Leadership Summit without the support, involvement, and enthusiasm of our committed sponsors, which include the tribal programs and partners previously listed, along with BMM Testlabs, Chevron, HP, America’s Navy, University of North Carolina Asheville, General Motors, United States Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service, Double Rafter, and DiversityComm.

The Leadership Summit is an opportunity for STEM professionals, industry partners, and students to meet and interact with each other, as well as with the AISES board of directors, staff, and advisory council members. Together participants build a shared support base for the growth and development of essential leadership skills. Invest in yourself and you invest in the future.

Join AISES at the 2019 National Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, October 10–12, 2019. We’d love to see you there!

 

What Is the Future of the Term Chicano?

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Recently, the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán – better known as MEChA – made waves after local chapters of the group decided to drop the words “Chicanx” and “Aztlán” from their name. Given all the contentious debates going on online, Remezcla wanted to give people familiar with the organization, its mission, and its history a platform to weigh in on MEChA’s evolving goals and objectives. Below, check out three different perspectives about the name change.

Why MEChA Burned Out After 50 Years

by Jacqueline M. Hidalgo

When leaders of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán (MEChA) voted to change the organization’s name, some MEChA alumni claimed that by dropping “Chicano” and “Aztlán,” their history would be erased. But students are not fleeing their history or disavowing the struggles of past generations. The terms “Chicano” and “Aztlán” have always been disputed, meaning that today’s students are participating in the student organization’s practices of conscientization and self-determination.

In March 1969, with his preamble to El Plan de Aztlán, the poet Alurista effectively renamed the southwestern United States as “Aztlán,” the Aztecs’ homeland. This inspiring utopian vision stated that ethnic Mexicans couldn’t be foreigners within the US’ borders and drew attention to how they had been displaced and erased from US land and history.

50 years ago, several student groups came together at a Santa Barbara conference to become El Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán: a collective mecha (matchstick or fuse). They were not “Mexican American,” but Chicano. They were not in California, but Aztlán. In the organization’s founding, Mechistas sought out names that better spoke to who they were and wanted to be. MEChA’s contemporary leadership is engaging in this same process.

Chicano/a/xs are a diverse group that has been divided over their name and platform since the 1960s. Santa Barbara steering committee member Anna Nieto-Gómez has observed that the Plan de Santa Barbara made little room for a large number of voices and visions. We too easily forget how internal contestation has been central to the histories of Latina/o/x activism.

Even though some Indigenous ethnic Mexicans embraced it, Aztlán has long faced criticism, particularly from certain Indigenous populations in Mexico and the United States. Earlier generations have asked: Does Aztlán help or hinder solidarity with Indigenous non-Mexicans’ rights to land, sovereignty, and self-determination?

Appeals to Aztlán drew upon a Mexican nationalist revolutionary mythos that valued racial mixture – mestizaje – appropriating Indigenous imagery while opposing Indigenous rights, and excluding Mexicans of African and Asian descent. Alurista responded to already present critiques in 1972 with his Nationchild Plumaroja by being more gender inclusive and emphasizing Indigenous traditions rather than mestizaje.

Continue onto Remezcla to read the complete article.

American Indian College Fund Honors Wieden+Kennedy Co-Founder David Kennedy with PENDLETON Pathway Blanket

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The American Indian College Fund and Pendleton Woolen Mills, the acclaimed lifestyle brand headquartered in Portland, Oregon, are introducing a new, exclusive blanket to the American Indian College Fund Collection to honor the contributions of David Kennedy, the co-founder of independent creative advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy.

For nearly 29 years, Wieden+Kennedy, has been a creative partner of the American Indian College Fund and led an effort that’s continued to raise awareness about the importance of higher education to ensure a better future for Native American people, their families, and communities. The agency, under the creative leadership of David Kennedy, has provided its public service media, creative design, and collaborative work with Pendleton Woolen Mills and the College Fund to design blankets for the American Indian College Fund Collection. Kennedy has also served as a member of the College Fund’s board of trustees.

Kennedy was presented with The Contemporary Pawnee Pathway blanket, designed by Bunky Echo-Hawk, an acclaimed Native American artist and longtime friend, at a reception in his honor at Wieden+Kennedy’s Portland offices on March 28.

The blanket is available at Pendleton retail stores and on their website at pendletonusa.com. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the American Indian College Fund and student scholarships.

Echo-Hawk first met David Kennedy while employed by the American Indian College Fund. They continued their friendship as their paths intersected in the art world. Echo-Hawk relied upon his experiences as a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts, a tribal college alumnus, and a friend of David Kennedy to inspire his blanket design.

Echo-Hawk said, “The blanket design is saturated in traditional Pawnee color theory and symbology, while also reflecting a contemporary flare. The blanket adheres to colors deemed sacred: red, white, yellow, black, and turquoise blue. The red, white, yellow, and black represent the four stages of life, from birth, to adolescence, to maturity, and finally, to death. But they also represent the four semi-cardinal directions (NE, SE, SW, & NW), as well as the four races of humankind. The four-pointed stars in the middle of the blanket represent the Milky Way, which is considered the Path of Departed Spirits in Pawnee culture. The repeating red and black elements are derived from Pawnee parfleche designs, specifically, from burden strap designs. According to our philosophy, life is an unending force, a path that we continue upon, persevering in education and accomplishment along the way, so that when we become ancestors traversing the Milky Way, future generations can look to us and learn.”

Echo-Hawk said the paint splatters are a nod to the creativity of David Kennedy, and are not geometric or symmetric, mirroring our life path, which is winding and sometimes messy. The turquoise blue represents the heavens, which are present above us in each stage of life and all around us, as symbolized by the blue border.

Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said, “The College Fund’s national recognition inspires support for our mission—transforming the lives of American Indian students. We thank David Kennedy for the love and commitment that encourages others to give to our work so more Native students can go to college and so tribal colleges and universities can thrive. It is fitting that we are able to honor David on the 30th anniversary of the College Fund with a blanket that reflects his creativity, his generosity, and his belief that education is the answer.”

For those wishing to honor David Kennedy, in addition to the blanket, the David Kennedy Endowed Scholarship has been established in his honor. Individual donations can be made at collegefund.org/David.

About Bunky Echo-Hawk—Bunky Echo-Hawk (Pawnee/Yakama) is an internationally recognized visual and performing artist. His work is exhibited in national and international museum and gallery exhibitions. As a performance artist, he has performed in major venues throughout the country. His work is celebrated and widely collected and held in private and permanent collections globally. Echo-Hawk also enjoys commercial success as an artist, and has created work for non-profit organizations, corporations, and Tribal communities. He has created design work for Vans and has designed the Nike N7 Collection since 2010. As a muralist, Bunky is commissioned to install large public works of art throughout the country in various tribal communities, towns, and public places. Most recently, he has installed murals in American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida, the home of the Miami Heat, and on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation.

About Wieden+Kennedy—Wieden+Kennedy, founded in Portland, Oregon, in 1982, is an independent, privately held global creative company with offices in Amsterdam, Delhi, London, New York City, Portland, São Paulo, Shanghai, and Tokyo. Wieden+Kennedy works with some of the world’s most innovative brands, including AB InBev, Airbnb, Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, KFC, Instagram, Nike, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, and Spotify.

Wieden+Kennedy was recently honored as Adweek’s US Agency of the Year and one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in Advertising. Learn more at wk.com.

About Pendleton—Setting the standard for classic American style, Pendleton is a lifestyle brand recognized as a symbol of American heritage, authenticity, and craftsmanship. With six generations of family ownership since 1863, the company recently celebrated 156 years of weaving fabrics in the Pacific Northwest. Known for fabric innovation, Pendleton owns and operates two of America’s remaining woolen mills, constantly updating them with state-of-the-art looms and eco-friendly technology. Inspired by its heritage, the company designs and produces apparel for men and women, blankets, home décor, and gifts. Pendleton is available through select retailers in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Japan, Korea, and Australia; Pendleton stores; company catalogs; and direct-to-consumer channels including the Pendleton website, pendleton-usa.com.

About the American Indian College Fund—Founded in 1989, the American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for 30 years. The College Fund believes “Education is the answer” and provided 5,896 scholarships last year totaling $7.65 million to American Indian students, with more than 131,000 scholarships and community support totaling over $200 million since its inception. The College Fund also supports a variety of academic and support programs at the nation’s 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities, which are located on or near Indian reservations, ensuring students have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers. The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators and is one of the nation’s top 100 charities named to the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. For more information about the American Indian College Fund, please visit www.collegefund.org.

Photo: Artist Bunky Echo-Hawk (Pawnee-Yakama) poses with the Pathway blanket he designed in honor of Wieden+Kennedy founder David Kennedy. Photo by Thomas Ryan RedCorn (Osage).