Archive for the ‘Youth’ Category

Antioch High to introduce Puente Project next school year

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Antioch and Pittsburg High School students and staff work together to present the Puente program. Top left to right: Stephon Cartwright, Ivana Zelda , Danni Le, Andrea Zárate, Jennifer Swatzell and Violeta Orozco. Bottom: Daniel Villafan and Jesus Cano.

To offer students a bridge to college, community service

By Jesus Cano

Established in 1981 at Chabot College in Hayward, according to their website, “the Puente Project is a national award-winning program that…has improved the college-going rate of tens of thousands of California’s educationally underrepresented students. Its mission is to increase the number of educationally disadvantaged students who enroll in four-year colleges and universities, earn college degrees and return to the community as mentors and leaders to future generations. The program is interdisciplinary in approach, with writing, counseling and mentoring components.”

The program’s headquarters are located at the University of California, Berkeley but expand all over the Golden State as north as Woodland all the way the way down south to Coachella Valley.

Some of Puente’s statistics include having 800 students in Northern California, but the number that left the families in the room most impressed, was a 79 percent, four-year university acceptance rate amongst program members.

The word puente in Spanish means bridge, and the program helps provide a bridge for students to college and community service.

“Bringing Puente to Antioch High is one of my biggest successes,” Antioch Vice Principal Stephon Cartwright said. “The immediate goal is to build up a Puente Family.”

Since Antioch will inaugurate their first year of Puente, they will be receiving a lot of assistance from eight year Pittsburg High School Puente counselor Danni Le and her staff. In fact, Le brought four of her elite Puente students to speak at the meeting in order to provide personal experience about the program.

“The biggest advantage about being in Puente is having a family bond with your fellow Puentistas,” Le said.

In order to be accepted into Puente, you must complete a summer session, where members interact with each other in order to have that early family aspect. Le states that the summer session is one of the most pivotal moments in the program’s duration.

Antioch High is currently recruiting 8th graders that will be attending the school in the fall. The process will consist of submitting an application, then following an interview. However, not all students will be admitted.

Principal Louie Rocha made an appearance and introduced the Puente staff who will include Violeta Orozco – Puente Counselor, Stephon Cartwright – Puente Vice Principal and Jennifer Swatzell – Puente English Teacher

Personally, I am part of the Puente program at Pittsburg High School and it is a very beneficial program to be in. It heavily improved my writing and opened my eyes about college and my future. If you are a parent wanting to enroll your child in this program, do not hesitate. This is a positive life changing program that any student must take advantage of.

To apply contact Mrs. Orozco at or call (925)729-7550 ext. 40230.

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Etiquette classes teach students life skills

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Students in the etiquette class learn how to properly set a table.

Antioch class begins June 26

By John Crowder

Monday, May 8, marked the beginning of National Etiquette Week.  More than just a list of manners, proper etiquette allows people to know how to handle themselves in life’s important interactions.  How should you conduct yourself at a job interview?  How about at a formal dinner?  Do you know how to make a good first impression?  Are you able to make a public presentation?

These are just a few of the questions that are answered in classes taught by Mrs. Tina Hayes, author of Getting Ahead with Etiquette and the owner and founder of the School of Etiquette and Decorum.

Etiquette class students learn to properly greet each other.

For the last few weeks, Hayes has been teaching a class on ‘Etiquette for Success’ to the students of Freedom High School in Oakley.  Once a week, Freedom students meet after school and are taught the soft skills that are so valuable to success in school and in work, but that many no longer learn while growing up.  As Hayes explains, “There was a time when these skills were taught in the home, when families still came together regularly for the evening meal.  These days, that’s often not the case.  Yet, we all know how valuable these skills are for students who want to successfully navigate their high school and college years, and especially when they enter the world of work.”

Hayes has been offering etiquette classes throughout the Bay Area and beyond over the last decade.  Over the years, her classes have helped hundreds of people, both young and old, learn to be more confident and courteous, and to exhibit social graces.  The training sessions conducted by Hayes and her staff cover more than 80 topics, and can be presented as workshops, seminars, or even in personal coaching sessions.

According to Hayes, “Our training gives individuals that ‘edge’ that will help them succeed throughout life and make for a better, and brighter, future.”

Her students, and their parents, agree.  My son, Eddy Crowder, an 8th grader at Paideia Academy, has attended four etiquette classes during his Junior High years.

“These classes have really helped me be more confident at formal dinners, and when I speak with adults,” he said.  “Mrs. Hayes is a great teacher.”

Wanda Ransom, the mother of a college-bound son who participated in the College Preparedness Training Workshop said, “Thank you so much for polishing his skills.”

This summer, from June 26 through 30, the School of Etiquette and Decorum will be offering a Summer Etiquette Day Camp from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Lone Tree Golf and Event Center. Two sessions will run concurrently, one for children (ages 6 – 12) and the other for teens (ages 13 – 17).  To learn more about these classes, or other offerings, contact Mrs. Tina Hayes at 925-519-0354 or visit the website at

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Contra Costa County Fair opens May 18 – May 21, 2017

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Contra Costa County Fair opening day is Thursday, May 18th – Sunday, May 21st at the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds in Antioch.


The Contra Costa County Fair is the perfect place to enjoy live entertainment, exciting free shows, delicious food, carnival rides, animals, and hundreds of exhibits – all in a community-friendly environment and at affordable prices!

For PG&E Pavilion Stage entertainment, the Fair’s 2017 concert series features: 60’s Summer Love and Nathan Owen’s Motown & Soul on Thursday May 18th, Jackson Michael and Bobby Zoppi & the Courduroys performing on Friday May 19th, Jett Benatar ~ A Salute to Joan Jett & Pat Benatar, and Spazmatics on Saturday May 20th, and Live Hispanic Musical Celebration Sunday May 21st with entertainment all day long. All concerts are FREE with admission to the Fair.

While visiting the Fair, enjoy other highlights such as the Xtreme Sports Zone, Jennifer’s All Creatures Petting Zoo, Clown & Balloon Artist, Jugglers, Harmonics Steel Drum Band, Powerhouse-Percussive Dance, Ag Venture Land, BC Characters, Cowboys Ken’s Train, Art Pavilion, Agriculture Pavilion, Auto Racing, RC Car Races, Roller Derby much more!

Visit for more information including promos and discount. The Contra Costa County Fairgrounds are located at 1201 West 10th Street in Antioch.



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Antioch’s All Sports Training Center trains amazing 6th grade athlete

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

Will Stallings, Jr. in his football uniform.

By Ed Givans

All Sports Training Center, located in Antioch, California has an amazing 6th grade athlete, Will Stallings, Jr. He plays football for the Pittsburg Junior Pirates’ Junior Varsity team. He also runs track for the elite track team All Sports Outlaws. Since training at All Sports Training Center, his speed, agility, vertical jump and all around athletic abilities are equal to those of a high school athlete.

All of Stallings’ hard work and dedication has landed him on the 6th grade Football University (FBU) team, which he helped lead to the championship in Naples, Florida. It was the first time a Bay Area FBU team made it to the FBU championship.

With his outstanding play in Naples, he was scouted and invited to the Diamond All-American game in Los Angeles, California where he was the starting slot receiver and cornerback. With an all-star performance in Los Angeles, he was scouted for the Grid Iron Kings National Youth Showcase All-Star Game presented by DMAXX Sports in Dallas, Texas.

His Trainer, who is also the owner of All Sports Training Center, says that Will is one of the hardest working 6th graders that he has ever come across. Expect big things to come from Stallings, Jr.

He’s not just a superstar athlete, he is also a superstar student maintaining a 3.2 GPA. Stallings lives by the quote, “hard work beats talent when talent is hardly working” and says that he receives his motivation from his loving and supportive family.

He currently has an upcoming invite from New York City depending on his performance in Dallas. In a short off-season, this 6th grade superstar athlete has competed and shined in all national games across the country.

Congratulations to Will Stallings, Jr. and All Sports Training Center of Antioch for putting out such a humble athlete.

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Antioch women’s group to send middle school girls to STEM Camp, fund college scholarships

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

By Terrilynn Hammond

The Delta Contra Costa branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) has raised enough funds this past year to send four, local seventh-grade girls to a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Camp. The S.T.E.M. Camp is a two-week course at Stanford University, this summer.

The girls will be selected by submitting essays on “Women in science, math or technology” and being interviewed on Saturday, April 1st.

The Antioch-based AAUW group holds fundraisers to send local seventh-grade girls to the camp, and to provide scholarships for local women to use towards a college educational.  The most recent fundraisers were during the month of December, wrapping gifts for the community and the Antioch Barnes & Noble book store. The gift wrapping was offered for free and we gladly received donations.  It was a great success for our organization and community.  The funds raised money is enabling our AAUW branch to send the girls to the S.T.E.M. Camp, at $900 per student, plus provide two, $2,000 college scholarships.

We will follow up this story in a few months, after the participants come back from the S.T.E.M. Camp, announcing the winners and essays from the girls, about their experience at the camp.  As always, donations of any amount are greatly appreciated.

Just like most groups across our nation, there is a real need for people to join, volunteer time and skills, and support the local fundraisers. Your local, Delta Contra Costa AAUW branch is part of an international organization, and in need of participation at any level. For more information please visit the AAUW International website at or contact Patty Chan at (925) 683-3972.

Look for the winner’s names and essays in a future article. Thank you, Antioch for your support in this effort.

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Register now for Antioch kids’ Spring Break Skate Camp, April 10-14

Monday, March 20th, 2017

How about some sidewalk surfing and learning some gnar moves, this year, bro? Do an ollie and maybe catch some air, even.

Spend your spring break learning the basic and advanced fundamentals of skateboarding by attending the Spring Break Skate Camp in Antioch. In this one-week camp, kids of all skill sets (beginner to advanced) learn the essentials needed to progress in a fun, safe and friendly environment. Kids will learn tricks, fundamentals, safety, and more from instructors with years of experience. Girls are encouraged to attend.

You must provide your own skateboard and helmet. Rentals are available but must be requested before class starts. Campers must be ages 7-14 in order to register for this camp.

The camp goes from 10:00 am-12:00 pm Monday through Friday from April 10th-14th at the Antioch Skate Park, located behind the Antioch Water Park, 4701 Lone Tree Way, Antioch.  For more information call the Antioch Recreation Department at 925-776-3050. Join in. You’ll be so stoked.

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Antioch teen earns highest honor from American Heritage Girls

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Deirdre Ferrari at her Stars & Stripes Board of Review day. Photo courtesy of Jeanne Brickey

Antioch 18-year-old, Deirdre Ferrari has earned the highest recognition the American Heritage Girls (AHG) offers, the Stars & Stripes Award.  In addition to living out the AHG Creed and Oath, award recipients have completed a number of requirements to achieve this honor, including:

.  Earning a total of 16 Merit Badges

.  Earning the Religious Recognition associated with their denomination

.  Having held a leadership position in their troop for a minimum of six months

.  Planning, developing, and providing leadership to others in a 100+ hour service project

.  Writing a Life Ambition/Spiritual Walk Essay and mini-resume

.  Receiving at least 3 Letters of Reference

.  Passing a Board of Review   

Ferrari chose to serve the Salvation Army Antioch Corps by building a community garden to help promote healthy eating and to teach others in the community about gardening. 

She has served as the troop Skipper and has also received the Dolly Madison and God & Life Awards.

A member of American Heritage Girls Troop CA1334, Ferrari is just the 286th girl, nationally to earn the prestigious Stars & Stripes Award in AHG’s 21 year history. She will be recognized in a Court of Honor Ceremony on Saturday March 18th, 2017, 1:30 pm at the Salvation Army Antioch Corps on E. Tregallas Road.

Ferrari is a member of Golden Hills Community Church and is active at her church serving in Awana, Vacation Bible School, and playing guitar on the High School Worship Team.  She attends Visions in Education Charter School, where she is a senior.

She is the daughter of France Harrison of Antioch and John Ferrari of Tracy.  She is also the granddaughter of Frank and Jeanne Brickey of Antioch, CA.

American Heritage Girls, Inc., is the premier national character development organization for young women, ages 5-18, that embraces Christian values and encourages family involvement.  For more information on American Heritage Girls, visit

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Antioch Chamber to present Citizens, Businesses of the Year, other annual awards at annual Gala Friday night

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

The Antioch Chamber of Commerce has announced the winners for the 2016 community awards:

•Citizen of the Year – Most Impact – Sal Sbranti

•Citizen of the Year – Lifetime Achievement – Leo Fontana

•Small Business of the Year – Rich McDaniel, McDaniel Financial Services

•Large Business of the Year – PG&E

•Non-Profit of the Year – Delta  Veterans Group

•Youth of the Year – Jocelyn Villalobos and Jacqueline Villalobos

The awards will be presented at the Chamber’s annual Gala on Friday, March 10, 2017.

Special recognition will be given to Antioch Unified School District for their continued efforts and successes. Posthumous recognition will be given to Karl Dietzel, and Ed Antrim in recognition of their commitment and betterment of the Antioch community.

Please see photos and details about the winners in the April issue of the Herald and on our website.

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