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2014 April

Are You Right For Me?

Many believe that participating in mentoring programs will automatically introduce them to someone who can help advance them in life. Thinking this way is valid, however, more goes into choosing a mentor than just the benefits they offer. If you are only looking to connect with a person who can help advance your career than I suggest go to a networking event. If you want someone to help guide you, listen to your issues, and influence decisions, than you are on the right path to finding a mentor.

First, I must acknowledge having multiple mentors is not harmful. Most think only one mentor is necessary while others would rather have multiple mentors to talk about varying issues. Personally, I grew up with multiple mentors who had different views. The different views helped me to see an issue from different perspectives. I made sure I was well informed by all my mentors before making a potential life changing decision. Obviously, deciding the adequate number of mentors is a personal decision and can only be made through self-reflection.

Mentoring programs are great at introducing members to mentors who have signed up to give back to the community. If one goes to introductory events through these programs, knowing what to look for is important. Even if you choose a mentor outside of these programs it is of great importance to know what qualities/traits you admire. Making sure your values and those of your mentors align is the only way the partnership will be effective. Again, know what qualities/traits you value will only be learned through self-reflection.

Having a mentor is a necessity. A mentor is someone who can help you fight through the tough moments in life. Or, a mentor is someone to give advice on any issue one will be faced with. Mentoring programs are a great source to introduce mentors/mentorees; they should not be used to find an individual to help in career/college advancement. Once the qualities/traits admired have been defined, the processes to find a mentor will be easier and more effective.

The Only Way is to Write

Writing is the most important tool many people do not posses in their figurative tool shed. I have wrote about college and career readiness before, what I did not address is properly constructing a sentence is the most important skill one could have. In every field of study and line of work writing will be involved; be it an intense research project or sending an email to a coworker or boss. If one does not know how to accurately express them through use of written word, than college and career readiness will elude them.

People are not just born being a great writer—granted, writing comes easier to some than others—people have work daily to become an effective writer. Writing should be considered how one would consider a sport. To become a good basketball player practice is required at least four times a week. Writing should also be practiced, if not everyday, at least write three times a week. I have found it helpful to keep a journal that details my day.

Another great way to improve writing skills is by reading. I understand in high school that there is tons of homework and extra curricular activities that take priority, however, reading a chapter a day of a book that interests you is not impossible. Seeing new words and writing styles will only improve one’s own writing abilities.

Creating a strong, effective email is not an easy task. It is a skill that needs to be mastered to find success in the workforce. Emails should not show off your grandiose knowledge of vocabulary or your limited knowledge of when to use the correct punctuation. Emails should be short, sweet, and get the point clearly across. If one can write a strong email they will be looked at more highly than the rest of the filed.

The most important tool for college and career readiness is writing. Having the ability to write clearly and concisely is a huge advantage. Practicing at least three times a week and reading at least for ten minutes a day is the only way to sharpen ones skills.

Relationship Classes for Adults


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.


Time: 8 hours

Cost: $0 Age requirement: Adults

Date/Time: Apr. 2 – 24, 2014

Session 1: Monday, April 28 – 10:30 am – 12:30 pm Wednesday, April 29- 9:30 am – 12:30 pm Thursday, May 1- 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Session 2: Monday, May 12- 10:30 am – 12:30 pm Wednesday, May 14- 9:30 am – 12:30 pm Thursday, May 15- 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Location: Teri G. Muse Family Service Center, 14305 Morgan Street, Baldwin Park, CA 91706

5-Week College Prep Program


Learn what it takes to get ready for a four-year college and life.  Do students think getting accepted to college is about getting good grades, volunteering to gain community service hours, or joining certain clubs?  There’s much more than you think. With the percentage of low-income, minority students not finishing college, take this prep series and learn what you need to get ready for college while you are in high school – academically, mentally, emotionally, and physically.


1) Money Issues: Financial Aid and Scholarship, and more
2) Finding the right college for 4 you
3) Being equipped for success in college and life — the secret to avoid dropping out!
4) Preparing to go to College – the MAPS way
5) The 5 “C-crets” to maximizing your entire life

6) Going to College? The realities of testing: ACT, SAT, and no test.

Bonus: Find out how to polish your UC application with an UC application reader.  Receive up to 30-minute personal evaluation and tips to improve your application.

Session 1: Mondays 3 – 5 pm, June 2 – 30, 2014

Session 2: Mondays 6 – 8 pm, June 2 – 30, 2014

Cost: $75

Location: Teri G. Muse Family Service Center, 14305 Morgan Street, Baldwin Park, CA 91706

(Minimum of 5 people must register per session)

* Note: Take any of our relationship classes and receive up to 75% off; you must complete the relationship classes in its entirety.  Low-income Baldwin Park residents who qualify may be subsidized for some or most of the program cost. 


Register with the City of Baldwin Park

Esther Snyder Community Center

4100 Baldwin Park Blvd.

Baldwin Park, CA 91706

(626) 813-5245

Hours of Operation: M- Th., 8 am – 8 pm; Fri, 8 am – 6 pm

Registration opens soon

First come first serve.  Baldwin Park residents may be subsidized.


Find the Right Fit

To find a college is a not a hard decision once you have discovered who you are as a person and what you want to achieve. I am not talking about knowing the exact field of study to go into, however, knowing if a college can help take you to where you want to go is important. Each school has somewhat of a reputation, and usually those reputations are correct.

Treat a college like you would treat choosing which friends to hang out with. If a person does not share your same views or value what you value, then there would be no reason to be friends with this person—no common grounds. It is the same as a college, if a schools views do no align with your school then don’t go there. There will be no success by subjugating oneself to a school that does not support your values and vice versa.

Finding the right fit takes hours and hours of research. Visiting every college that you apply for should be a priority. Books and the Internet can only give factual information about a school. When choosing a college you want to go beyond the facts. Seeing for yourself how students interact with each other on campus, how classes are conducted, and the accessibility to professors is important—and this only comes from campus tours.

A schools reputation is important to take into account, its more important for you to decide if that reputation is correct. A school the represents your views and offers exactly what you are looking for is the right choice. Success will only happen if you feel comfortable with the school of your choice. The right fit means the student body fits your personality, are the academics rigorous or relaxed (do you want to be challenged academically), and the political views of the school align with yours.


Love U2: Relationship Smarts PLUS

Love U2: Relationship Smarts PLUS to guide youth in building healthy relationships and making wise choices. Topics include: maturity, values clarification and peer pressure, attractions and infatuation, building blocks for positive relationships, identify and future orientation, how to gauge relationship health, the low-risk relationship strategy, principles of smart relationships, the nature of true intimacy and a realistic concept of love, and breaking up.  Also features cutting edge date violence prevention material.

9 hours

Cost: $0

Age requirement: 15 years – 18 years

Dates: Tuesdays, May 6 – 27

Time: 6:00 – 8:15 pm

Location: Teri G. Muse Family Service Center, 14305 Morgan Street, Baldwin Park, CA 91706


Note: Complete this course and receive 25% off in the 5-week College Preparation program classes.  Students must complete a minimum of 8 hours by coming to the workshop on time and leaving when the workshop is finished.



Connections: Dating and Emotions

Connections: Dating and EmotionsThis innovative, research-based curriculum helps teens understand the challenges that arise in early relationships, develop healthy dating practices, self-regulate intense emotions and cultivate life skills.  Engaging, interactive, ready-to-teach lessons show teens:  how positive relationships develop, effective ways to communicate, how to spot destructive patterns, to deal with emotions, and other essential healthy interpersonal skills. Content also integrates material from the highly-respected PREP® program. This 17-lesson course helps teens understand early relationships – and helps establish a strong foundation for later life.

8.5 hours

Cost: $0

Age requirement: 15 years – 18 years

Dates: Wednesdays, May 14 – 28

Time: 6:00 – 8:30 pm

Location: Teri G. Muse Family Service Center, 14305 Morgan Street, Baldwin Park, CA 91706


Note: Complete this course and receive 25% off in the 5-week College Preparation program classes.  Students must complete a minimum of 8 hours by coming to the workshop on time and leaving when the workshop is finished. 


Healthy Choices and Healthy Relationships

Learn why students get together and break up, why couples argue and fight, and why things happen in relationships. This workshop teaches high school students to make informed choices about their relationships, their goals, and the way they live their lives. Examine how peers, family, and media influence expectations about love and life.  They discuss appropriate friendship and dating behaviors, identify and prepare for potential problems, explore the nature of mature interpersonal behavior, practice decision-making and problem solving, and learn other life skills necessary for overall wellness.

8.5 hours

Cost: $0

Age requirement: 15 years – 18 years

Dates: Mondays, May 12 – 26

Time: 6:00 – 8:30 pm

Location: Teri G. Muse Family Service Center, 14305 Morgan Street, Baldwin Park, CA 91706


Note: Complete this course and receive 25% off in the MAPS 4 College’s  5-week College Preparation program classes.  Students must complete a minimum of 8 hours by coming to the workshop on time and leaving when the workshop is finished.


The Other Option

Yesterday I wrote about why go to college? The answer was simple: go to be challenged, grow as a person, and learn new perspectives about the world. These are intangibles everyone should strive for. However, I know that going to college is not for everyone. Many people go to school, drop out and have wasted money they could have used on finding a career that gives them joy. The problem is not many alternatives to a four-year college are advertised at high schools. Some schools still offer counseling for alternative paths along with trade classes (woodshop, auto shop, metal shop, etc.). Unfortunately, with budget cuts to high schools trade programs have slowly been wiped away as classes to take. Therefore, more students are left with no way of knowing if this is something that they will enjoy.

Even though trade classes in high schools are disappearing, there are still many trade school colleges open that want students. Trade schools are a viable option for recent high school graduates who do not go on to college. A great benefit of these schools on not only you have been set up with a career, but they help to position their graduates in the respective fields.

Society tends to look down on trade schools and feel like they are for those that are not smart enough to go to school. That is an absurd assumption. Great careers can be had from going to trade schools. In high school, discover which trade interests you and where you can go with. There are different test one can take to see which field they will thrive in. What should not happen is to let graduation come and go and not have taken active steps to ensure a solid foundation for the future.


Why go to College?

In high school the only option presented to students after graduation is college. Teachers, parents, and society tell students that college is necessary to be successful—degrees are needed to obtain a job once you are twenty-two. However, it goes unrealized that college is not for every student; there are other options other than going to a four-year institution. This blog is not going to address the other options, that will be save for tomorrows blog, the question: “Why go to college?” is what will be answered.

College is a place for expanding knowledge and understanding different cultures and concepts that were not available in high school. College is for the passionate who want to develop their brain into a weapon of knowledge, to one day benefit the community around them. One should go to college because they want to be challenged to think in new perspectives and understand how different schools of learning are intertwined. A student should not go to college because they are told you. There will only be success in college is there is a burning desire in the student to devout themselves to hours of reading, writing, attending class, and discussing issues that would not be presented at home.

Why go to college? If you are truly devoted to paying a hefty price (there are ways to make school affordable) for an unbelievable, academic challenge, then go to college. One does not have to know right away what their major will be, or who their lifelong friends will be, or even an idea of a career. One just needs to posses the burning want for the ability to view perspectives from different eyes.