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2014 March

MAPS 4 College Gets Recognized by Former Secretary of Labor and California Park and Recreation Society District 13

PRESS RELEASE

 

MAPS 4 College Contact:

Contact: Dr. Sarai Koo, CEO/Founder

E-mail: info@maps4college.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MAPS 4 College Gets Recognized by Former Secretary of Labor and California Park and Recreation Society District 13

BALDWIN PARK, Calif. – March 28, 2014 – Nonprofit MAPS 4 College (MAPS) was visited by former United States Secretary of Labor, Hilda L. Solis, at the Teri G. Muse Family Service Center in Baldwin Park on March 27, 2014.  She thanked MAPS staff, Celia Fletes, Certified Enrollment Counselor and Human Resources Coordinator, and Leslie Martinez, Certified Enrollment Counselor and Operations Manager for their hard work in helping low-income, minorities enroll in Covered CA.

“We have had an increase of clients walking in despite our scheduled appointments,” Leslie Martinez and Celia Fletes shared with Ms. Solis.  “With the deadline approaching, people are looking for certified enrollment counselors to help them sign-up.”

“Although, MAPS 4 College is the first college access organization to provide holistic college readiness and job training services to youth and community members in Baldwin Park, it is also the first and only Covered CA certified enrollment entity to help individuals and families enroll in low cost healthcare,” stated MAPS CEO, Dr. Koo.  “We are about making change.  At MAPS, we take the initiative to launch new services and programs that focus on filling-in the missing resources needed to eradicate inequities.”

Besides a visit by the former Secretary of Labor, Hilda L. Solis, MAPS was recognized for its outstanding service on March 26, 2014, at the Diamond Bar Center.  Out of 28 cities in San Gabriel Valley, the California Park and Recreation Society District 13 awarded MAPS 4 College the “Best of the Best Community Service”.

MAPS is committed to addressing the sociopolitical issues that impede many people’s lives by implementing many innovative services and programs.  In the coming months, MAPS will be hosting numerous workshops on relationship skill building, job training, and college readiness.  These excellent workshops parallel the work MAPS has accomplished since moving to Baldwin Park.

MAPS has one of the highest percentage of low-income, minority students matriculating and not dropping out of four-year colleges and universities from its College Preparatory Leadership and Mentoring Project and Mountain Top College Prep Summer Bootcamp programs.  In MAPS’ Leadership and Career Training Program, interns who complete the program become gainfully employed (mostly full-time employment) and/or go on to receive their graduate degrees.

 

 

MAPS 4 College is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that helps students succeed in school, college, and life.  The organization helps students graduate from high school, get accepted to a college, and life.  MAPS engages students in a rigorous comprehensive, one of a kind learning skills program designed to develop and inspire lifelong learning and workforce readiness.  This program helps students discover, articulate, and achieve their personal and educational goals regardless of their previous learning difficulty. (www.maps4college.org)

 

 

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Genessis is changed!

Received on March 26, 2014

MAPS 4 College ended up being something completely different than I thought. I went into MAPS thinking it was going to be just another organization, just another extra-curricular, just another thing to write down on my college applications. I was wrong. This program was about to make a huge impact on my life and I didn’t even know. I started going to MAPS junior year of high school and honestly I’ve never been good at staying dedicated to a club or organization, but with MAPS it was different. I kept going because I enjoyed it. It was a place where we could all come together to talk and share things. It was a place where no one was more superior to anyone else. Sarai never forced us to go, she never penalized us or got mad if we didn’t go. I liked that. The first couple of times, I’m not going to lie, I was confused. I was only confused because I was trying to understand what MAPS was. At first we were really into the ACT and how to achieve our highest possible score on the ACT. I figured “Oh cool, I’ll come here to practice the ACT so I can do well and get into college…that’s must be what MAPS is about!” Wrong. The next time I’d go Sarai would talk to us about our purpose. The first time she did this, it honestly blew my mind. I had never thought about what my purpose was! I remember I went home that night thinking about everything Sarai had said and that was when I knew MAPS wasn’t just another organization. I don’t know if it was my curiosity about what this odd program was about, the people, or the free snacks, but I kept going and loved going!

MAPS has affected my life in every aspect. When I first started MAPS I was kind of shy, and wasn’t comfortable with speaking in front of large crowds. I was scared of sharing my opinion, even though I have an opinion on literally everything. I blame shifted for the smallest reasons you can imagine. I never thought about my purpose. I was happy in my comfort zone. I was many things that looking back at, I wish I would have fixed way before MAPS. However, I feel very blessed that MAPS gave me the opportunity to change myself, and I owe it all to Sarai.

I slowly started to see that I wasn’t shy, and that I loved to talk (because I did, just not in front of huge crowds). I started to realize I was becoming more open about my opinion and that I liked to share it, but still listened and respected the opinion of others. I think this change happened because at MAPS we used to all sit in a circular table, Sarai would ask us a question, and we’d all go around and say something. At first I remember I’d rehearse what I was going to say because that’s how shy I was at expressing myself. I used to do this in school also; I’d process what I had to say, then only say parts of my opinion, probably in fear of being judged. The process of all of us going around the table saying our opinion or input on anything and everything really helped me find confidence in myself. Now I love talking, I love getting others to talk, and I love being able to stand confident in front of a crowd.

I used to blame shift a lot. Blame shifting is basically the act of blaming things on others. For example, this one time my little brother was telling me about something that had happened at school that day while I was doing homework. I honestly wasn’t even paying much attention to him, I was just focused on sending the right PowerPoint presentation to my group members but I accidently sent it to the wrong person. I got so mad! I told him “See what you did! You made me send it to the wrong person because you kept talking!” It wasn’t his fault. It was mine. I was the one who hit send, I was the one who didn’t double check, and there was really no reason to be mad. It was a simple mistake. I guess I blame shifted a lot because I wanted to be perfect. So when I would mess up, I’d find it easier to blame others so I would still be the one who never messed up. I no longer blame shift and my relationship with my brother has been a million times better. I also no longer explode the way I used to, which I’m sure my family is very happy about. MAPS taught me that we aren’t perfect. We mess up, and that’s okay. I learned that I had to stop wanting to be like my neighbor, I had to stop worrying about what my neighbor was doing and focus on myself. I learned that competition shouldn’t exist. We should be the only person we are competing with because everyone has a different destination to reach.

So how did I stop blame shifting? How did I stop wanting to compete with others and realize we all have a different purpose? There isn’t really a formula. I remember Sarai simply told us these things, these things that I used to do on a daily basis without even noticing. When she pointed them out for me, I realized she was right and that I didn’t want to live like that. I’m going to be honest, it’s sooooo not easy, and till this day I’ll still sometimes catch myself doing it, but now I can detect it and stop it immediately before it happens. This change has to take work from the person, this change didn’t happen at the MAPS office, it happened when I went home, when I went to school, interacted with others. I had to slowly change myself.

MAPS has given us opportunities that I feel wouldn’t have been given to us without it. Sarai treats us like equals, she doesn’t act like a normal CEO at all. She allowed us to run an entire Out-of-State College Fair for our city on our own. She puts a lot of trust in us, and I feel like because she does we are so eager to help. Most adults wouldn’t have given us that kind of responsibility.

Sarai once asked me to go with her to meet with a bank who was interested in MAPS and wanted to know more about us. I thought this was so cool! We were going to meet a person of position and Sarai trusted me to portray MAPS the best way that I could. I remember that during the meeting the President was trying to put MAPS into a “category.” I never realized how protective I was of MAPS until I sat there listening to a list of types of organizations he was trying to compare MAPS with. MAPS can’t be categorized. It’s impossible. Trust me, I’ve tried. MAPS is a verb, not a noun, it’s a form of living, it’s a feeling, it’s something I sadly can’t describe. You have to go through MAPS in order to understand it.

All I know is that MAPS is something that needs to go global. It will change the world, I promise. I’ve changed so much as an individual since I started MAPS. Now that I’m in college I am nothing but grateful for all the growth, opportunities, and experiences MAPS has given me. I use MAPS everyday while I’m at UC Irvine, at times I still ask myself “What would Sarai do” when I’m in sticky situations. What I love the most about MAPS is that Sarai does her best to be what she preaches. She is one of those insane dreamers that scares everyone with her ideas, humble about everything and anything, positive, and all the characteristics of a good leader. She makes MAPS everything that it is. She is the one who has taught us how to live a quality life. She may sound crazy, but she is wise and when she says MAPS can change the world, I hope people don’t take it lightly…because it can.


One Family

At MAPS we like to think of ourselves as one big family. The MAPS’ goal is to create a confortable environment so people can open up and talk freely about issues they are having. Our youth outreach services exemplify the familial environment that we have set up. We at MAPS know that we cannot pressure students into telling us how they feel or accepting our help. What we do is stay by them, make sure they feel comfortable with us, and then provide them with an ear to hear them out.

The youth outreach services here are one of a kind. Most of the students that we work with come from families who have never been to college or have not received high school degrees. We want to empower our students. We want them to know that going to college is not an impossible dream, but a reality. Through our college tutoring services and Summer Boot Camp, we teach students the necessary skills they need to be successful in college.

The Summer Boot Camp is one of the most successful of all the youth outreach services that we provide at MAPS. This intensive eight-day program (it used to be a three day overnight program) exposes students to professionals that work in different college admissions offices. The admissions counselors review the materials they are looking for acceptance AND help the students write their personal statement. During the duration of the camp, we witness students’ open up to others and to us about how much they believe in themselves and the fire to succeed in college.

MAPS is a great place to be a student. The youth outreach services provided are one of a kind. We want our students to feel comfortable in our familial like environment. Believing in our youth is the only way for future success; MAPS believes in our youth.

 


Covered CA services

MAPS 4 College became the only Covered CA Entity in Baldwin Park to sign-up individuals and family for Covered CA.

MAPS believes in holistic development; providing Covered CA information and services is one way to ensure people’s needs are met. Since most of the Baldwin Park residents are low-income, many people have come to see our certified counselors to enroll in the program.

 


Step Up. Have an Active Voice. Lead.

During my sophomore year, the college started to offer a leadership development program lead by professors from different departments on campus. However, I always seemed to have practice during the times these classes were being offered. I was upset that I could not attend, so I found away to obtain the information. I learned some of my professors and tennis coach were serving as mentors in this leadership development program; I explained my situation to them and was able to receive the information necessary to take part in the course.

It was not required of me to go through the leadership development program, but I knew that this would be highly helpful information for the future. My professors, who served as the role of mentors to me, taught different strategies to force yourself into a leadership role, how to feel comfortable being a leader, and why it is important to have leadership qualities. The semester long course was truly helpful. I started to be more of an active voice within my fraternity and even in classes when group work was assigned. Looking back on the course I believe that it was designed not for one to immediately be a leader, but for one to become an active voice in their community and their own life.

How to feel comfortable being a leader was one of the most effective portions of the course. Before the completion of the leadership development program I never wanted to inject input into class or a general conversation; I would say something if I knew I was 100% right or I was comfortable with the situation. I avoided speaking because I had a strong desired to be liked—and I felt if people disagreed with my views then I would no longer be liked. This program taught me to disregard that notion and know that it is better to speak than not speak at all. A leader needs to be willing to accept that not everyone will agree with his or her opinions; this should not stop you from leading or speaking.

At MAPS we offer a leadership development program that helps students take control and have an active voice. If a program and mentors were offered to me in high school I would have jumped on the chance to partake. Shying away from a leadership role is a sign of possessing zero self-confidence. Maintain confidence, step up, have an active voice, and be a leader.

 


PICK a Partner – Session 2

Date and Time:

Monday, April 21, 2014 – 10:30 am – 1:30 pm
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 – 9:30 am – 1:30 pm
Thursday, April 24, 2014 – 9:30 am – 1:30 pm

Location:

Teri G. Muse Family Service Center/MAPS 4 College, 14305 Morgan Street, Baldwin Park, CA 91706

Language:  English and Spanish

The PICK-a-Partner Program (Premarital Interpersonal Choices & Knowledge)  is a  curriculum based on elaboration of the Relationship Attachment Model (RAM) divided into two major sections: the head and the heart. Section 1 is an overview of the RAM that explains the importance of building safe relationships while knowing what to look for in a dating partner. Section 2 and 3 develop the five key areas to explore in a partner in order to have an accurate understanding of what that person would be like in a long-term relationship. This is referred to as “head knowledge” in the RAM. The last two sections, 4 and 5, explain the “heart knowledge” of the RAM- the dynamics of trust, reliance, commitment and sexual touch. Appropriate for teens through adults.

El programa de PICK-un-compañero (Las siglas PICK en Ingles significan: Premarital Interpersonal Opciones y Conocimiento) es un currículo basado en la elaboración del Modelo de Relación de Apego (RAM, por sus siglas en Ingles), dividido en dos secciones principales: la cabeza y el corazón. La Sección 1 es un resumen de la memoria RAM que explica la importancia de construir relaciones seguras, al saber qué buscar en la pareja durante el noviazgo. Sección 2 y 3 desarrollan las cinco áreas claves a explorar en una pareja para tener una idea precisa de lo que esa persona sería en una relación a largo plazo. Esto se conoce como “conocimiento en la cabeza” en la memoria RAM. Las dos últimas secciones, 4 y 5, explican el “conocimiento en el corazón” de la memoria RAM, la dinámica de la confianza, la dependencia, el tacto y el compromiso sexual. Apropiado para adultos hasta adolecentes.

Registration: mapsforcollege@gmail.com

Phone: 310-487-1228


Pick a Partner: Strengthen Your Relationship

Date and Time:

Monday, April 14, 2014 – 10:30 am – 1:30 pm
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 – 9:30 am – 1:30 pm
Thursday, April 17, 2014 – 9:30 am – 1:30 pm

Location:

Teri G. Muse Family Service Center/MAPS 4 College, 14305 Morgan Street, Baldwin Park, CA 91706

Language:  English and Spanish

The PICK-a-Partner Program (Premarital Interpersonal Choices & Knowledge)  is a  curriculum based on elaboration of the Relationship Attachment Model (RAM) divided into two major sections: the head and the heart. Section 1 is an overview of the RAM that explains the importance of building safe relationships while knowing what to look for in a dating partner. Section 2 and 3 develop the five key areas to explore in a partner in order to have an accurate understanding of what that person would be like in a long-term relationship. This is referred to as “head knowledge” in the RAM. The last two sections, 4 and 5, explain the “heart knowledge” of the RAM- the dynamics of trust, reliance, commitment and sexual touch. Appropriate for teens through adults.

El programa de PICK-un-compañero (Las siglas PICK en Ingles significan: Premarital Interpersonal Opciones y Conocimiento) es un currículo basado en la elaboración del Modelo de Relación de Apego (RAM, por sus siglas en Ingles), dividido en dos secciones principales: la cabeza y el corazón. La Sección 1 es un resumen de la memoria RAM que explica la importancia de construir relaciones seguras, al saber qué buscar en la pareja durante el noviazgo. Sección 2 y 3 desarrollan las cinco áreas claves a explorar en una pareja para tener una idea precisa de lo que esa persona sería en una relación a largo plazo. Esto se conoce como “conocimiento en la cabeza” en la memoria RAM. Las dos últimas secciones, 4 y 5, explican el “conocimiento en el corazón” de la memoria RAM, la dinámica de la confianza, la dependencia, el tacto y el compromiso sexual. Apropiado para adultos hasta adolecentes.

Registration: mapsforcollege@gmail.com

Phone: 310-487-1228


Road Map to Success

Disorganization in life does not lead to success. Unfortunately, I found this statement to be true the hard way. My freshman year of college I had a flippant disregard to setting up a schedule for myself. I went to class when I had to and practice when it was time, but homework fell by the wayside. I never set up a road map to help me succeed that semester. I did not properly sit down and think about how to achieve goals for myself. When informed about a test or a paper due I would wait until the last minute to study or write; I was fully aware that this was not how I should be going through college—I needed a road map.

 

What is a road map?

A road map is a pathway to success. It helps define what goals you want to achieve, and how to accomplish them. I decided the only way I would succeed in school was to write my goals on a piece of paper and write down how to find success. Once this was complete I was able to keep track of my progress and if I was doing everything I needed to do. The road map truly helped me refocus myself on school and I managed to have a successful end to my freshman year.

What should be on a road map?

Individual goals and how to achieve them is what the road map should consist of. To go into specifics, one of my goals was to finish my creative writing class with an “A” grade. How I did this? I made sure to schedule times to read and write for the class. I found dedicating a certain time and day to one subject made me more productive than just bringing all my work at random times to the library. Once I created a specific study schedule I was able to excel as a student and not just succeed in one class, but also have success in all my classes.

 

Before, I felt like I was lost at sea bobbing above water straining to hold my head up so I could survive. With a road map, I did not just survive; I succeeded. Being able to physically see my goals and know the steps to achievement was—and still is—incredibly beneficial. Define your goals, create a road map, and success is within reach.


MAPS receives a healthy relationship award

On March 20, 2014, MAPS 4 College receives an award from Healthy Relationships CA for providing healthy relationship/marriage education classes during the 2011-2014 HMR Grant.  Since 2011, MAPS 4 College, has served more than 865 youth and young adults and more than 36 classes throughout Los Angeles, Orange, and Santa Clara Counties.

 

 

HRC Award


The Alumni Factor

College mentoring programs can be extremely beneficial for an undergraduate who is trying to research potential careers. I know in many colleges different organizations have their own network of alumni that reach out to current students. At my respective university, Gustavus Adolphus College, alumni mentoring programs are sponsored a couple times a semester. These events are a good way for undergraduate students to connect with people in different industries.

There are numerous benefits by being involved in college mentoring programs; the biggest benefit is the easy access to establishing connections in your respective field. Alumni love to help current students find jobs, or internships, so they can gain the experience that is required to succeed in their respective careers. If the student is involved in the same organization the alumni was (fraternity, sports team, student government, etc.) the alumni will be more willing to help.

Another positive about joining organizations to be apart of the mentoring programs is it teaches how to effectively network. It can’t be stressed enough how important networking with the right people is. Effectively networking comes by periodically communicating with those in a position higher than yourself who can help advance your career. If you are reluctant to network know this, if your resume is up against someone’s who has the same credentials as you, you will most likely get the job because you have connected with a person in that industry who vouched for you.

As a student it is hard to think about future career possibilities. Students feel that college will last forever, unfortunately, four years goes by fast. What a responsible student should be doing in these four years is networking through the college mentoring programs. Alumni are some of the best resources to find a job after college, get to know one.