Archive for the ‘Youth’ Category

Crucial program comes to Antioch High this week

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

Antioch High School will host the vital Every 15 Minutes program on Thursday and Friday, April 26 and 27. The program challenges students to think about drinking, driving, personal safety and the responsibility of making mature decisions when lives are involved. There are 40 students participating in the event – angels, living dead and pall bearers.

About 900 juniors and seniors will see the presentation, which includes car crash victims, a variety of actual first-responders, including the Antioch Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Contra Costa Fire, paramedics and EMTs and even the county coroner.

National statistics show there is a fatality every 15 minutes due to driving under the influence; thus, the name of the national program.

Principal Louie Rocha feels strongly about what is offered in this program, which is timed to coincide right before prom and graduation are held.

The two-day event starts with “the crash” at 10 a.m. Thursday the 26th at the Contra Costa County fairgrounds. The student participants who play the “living dead” actually stay the night in Beede Auditorium with no contact with anyone outside the area. They’re reunited with their families at the assembly at 10 a.m. Friday the 27th in the AHS auditorium.

During this emotionally charged “memorial,” AHS grad Marcella Gomez will share her experience as a survivor of a major crash, which took the lives of her parents when she was just nine-years-old.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Student at Givans Taekwondo in Antioch wins silver at World Junior Taekwondo Championships

Thursday, April 12th, 2018

CJ Nickolas (left) and the other medal winners at the World Taekwondo Junior Championships on Thursday, April 12, 2018. Photo by Denise Nickolas.

HAMMAMET, Tunisia (April 12, 2018) — Team USA notched its second medal in as many days as the World Taekwondo Junior Championships continued in Tunisia. CJ Nickolas (Brentwood, Calif.) took the silver medal in the male -68kg division on Thursday, April 12, one day after Anastasija Zolotic (Largo, Fla.) won gold in the female -52kg class. Nickolas is a student at Givans Taekwondo in Antioch, California.

CJ during a previous competition. Photo courtesy of Team USA.

Nickolas breezed through his first two matches of the day with a 29-1 win over Somalia’s Abdullah Fuad Dahir and a 23-5 victory against Italy’s Andrea Riondino to reach the round of 16. He then scored a 12-3 win over Afghanistan’s Rashid Sarwari and edged Chinese Taipei’s Cheng-Chi Wei in overtime to advance to the medal round.

In his semifinal match with Serbia’s Dusan Bozanic, Nickolas broke an 8-8 tie with a scoring kick in the final 10 seconds to prevail and move on to the final. The gold-medal match against Iran’s Mohammad Mahdi Emadi saw Nickolas fall behind 5-1 after two rounds and then 13-2 early in the third. The American would rally to pull within 13-8 in the final minute but Emadi held off the charge to win by a score of 18-10 and claim the gold medal.

“I am proud of him,” said Givans Taekwondo owner Ed Givans, who is also Nickolas’ father.

CJ has a 4.0 GPA…he also plays basketball, runs track and is on a dance team at his church called Generation of Praise. His favorite book is Infantry – Born to Fight by his dad, Edward Givans. favorite TV show is American Ninja Warrior…favorite movies are Planet of the Apes, The Incredibles and Kingsmen/Secret Service…favorite singer is Stevie Wonder…favorite foods are Korean barbeque, burrito bowls from Chipotle and Sprite…favorite athlete is Derrick Rose…favorite taekwondo athlete is Alexey Denisenko…his mother is his biggest inspiration…his proudest moment in Taekwondo to date is making the Cadet National Team for a second straight year in 2015 and competing at the World Championships…favorite quote: “Practice as if you are the worst, perform as if you are the best.” – Mahatma Gandhi. CJ was awarded the 2015 Stanford TKD Athlete of the Year. View his page on the Team USA website.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Deer Valley High Virtual Enterprise team wins big at competition in March

Friday, March 30th, 2018

From the DVHS Facebook page

On March 17-18, Deer Valley High School’s Virtual Enterprise team participated in its final competition of the year where it took home prizes in three categories.

In total, there were 79-Virtual Enterprise firms and 1,112 students in attendance from not only California, but across the United States, including one team from Germany.

  • Elijah Minyard – 1st place for the One Minute Elevator pitch
  • Marc Bates, Pedro Molina, Saafir Farrell, and Dominic Smith – 3rd place for company branding and logo
  • Connor Landrum – Honorable mention (a top 10 finalists) for his video commercial

According to Kristofer Freeman, Business Technology Academy Lead at Deer Valley High School, it was their highest scoring year thus far.

Deer Valley High Robotics Team. Courtesy of AUSD.

Minyard, who serves as the class CEO, explained that they came up with the idea of Claws and Paws Paradise, a luxury resort for dogs and cats, after a fellow student shared their passion about animals with them.

Marc Bates highlighted that just by doing a lot of the work associated with this business, it opened his eyes to what its like to run a business and what options are available to him.

“The biggest thing I learned is you need to be informed about a lot of things such as the human mind because you have to know how people perceive things. Like with graphics and IT, we had to learn colors and certain positions of items on layouts because it would change people’s opinions,” explained Bates.

“For example, the blue we chose was calm and a refreshing vibe so when people leave their pets here it gives off a calm and relaxed feeling.”

Minyard added that he believed the great thing about Virtual Enterprise was how accommodating it was for everyone; it allowed people to use all their skill sets to help the business. “People have different styles and ideas of how to pursue things, because we have different interest in things, there are different departments that cater to student’s interests and skill set,” explained Minyard. “The great thing is you get to develop your communication skills as well as social skills, so you learn to have clear communication with other departments with all the other employees. It also helps you learn how to promote yourself when you go into business because your communication skills are that much better.”

In total, six AUSD students completed in the competition at the Oakland Convention Center on behalf of the roughly 30-student class.

“We got to go into the competition and represent our classroom and share how much work the class did and hopefully do well,” said Maynard. “It was thrilling.”

Freeman explained that the students scored in the top 10% of the United States for Virtual Enterprises which is an international organization. The students’ business plan also scored in the top 42 for California.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Clay class for kids at Antioch Community Center March 8 – April 5

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

Draw, shape and paint! It is so easy to create your own land or sea creature….. popular instructor Beverly Turner will show you how. Registration is open for the class now!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Tickets still available for Delta Blues Benefit Concert in Antioch this Saturday, March 3

Monday, February 26th, 2018

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Antioch High JV girl’s basketball player scores big, moved up to varsity team for playoffs

Saturday, February 24th, 2018

Brizhit “Bree” Turner with her Freshman Girls Basketball Team MVP trophy and certificate. Photos by Rossolyn Turner

By Rossolynn Turner

Antioch High School no longer has a secret.  It came out when Brizhit Turner, a JV girls’ basketball player, scored a total of 25 points, seven rebounds, two steals and two assists against the Panther’s rival school, Deer Valley High beating the crosstown Wolverines 36-26 on Thursday, February 8. Brizhit showed her skills again on February 13 scoring a double double with 26 points and 14 rebounds, plus four steals, three assists and three blocks creating a victory against their other rival school, Pittsburg High, edging the Pirates 47-45.

Turner “breezes” by an opponent on her way to the hoop.

The sophomore Brizhit, also known by her nickname Bree, is a scholar athlete currently averaging 10.2 points per game, while maintaining a 3.5 GPA.  She was MVP and captain during her freshman year and is currently the captain of her JV team.

Bree had a slow start this year, but thanks to Coach Armenta, who believed in her, he was able to get that drive going again and the old Bree started showing up from her freshman year, causing everyone’s morale to fly high and score those victories.

Bree is a great leader keeping her team motivated and has great chemistry with her players, and  was recently chosen to move up to play for the Panthers’ varsity team in time for the playoffs. She is definitely one player to keep your eyes on.

Keep up the good work, Bree and congratulations on being moved up to varsity to play in the playoffs with your new team!


Do you have a story about the accomplishments of your child or someone you know in Antioch, who you’re proud of and would like to share it with our readers? The Antioch Herald will publish it for free. That’s why we call ourselves The People’s Paper and The News Of, By and For the People. Please email your story as a Word document to us at with your name and phone number and relationship to the person about whom you’ve written. We reserve the right to verify the information, as well as edit and retain ownership of the article once submitted, without compensation to the author or photographer.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

East County black student organizations to host Youth Summit and Step Show Saturday, Feb. 10

Friday, February 9th, 2018

To celebrate Black History Month and empower tomorrow’s leaders

Join African American students throughout Eastern Contra Costa County during their 1st Annual Black Student Organizations Summit and Step Show. This free event is scheduled for Saturday, February 10, 2018 at historic Antioch High School in Antioch. The event will begin at 12 p.m. with a pre-summit kick-off.

Event organizers want to highlight important and increasing issues such as: college access rates for our African-American student population, College and career readiness and the preservation of student-led Black History Month events within our schools.


It is easier to build strong children,

than to repair broken men.

– Frederick Douglass


They believe that with the help of the NAACP, local artists, business owners, community members, fraternities, and sororities, we can light a fire and empower our students in an effort to show them that college is and can be a space where they can see themselves. Furthermore, we are committed to supporting students as they navigate leadership roles and acquire the necessary experiences to prepare them for a promising future.

This event has been primarily organized by students throughout East Contra Costa County High Schools to enhance a cohesive and united stand for equal access for all students. The pre-summit kick-off will be hosted by the East County Branch of NAACP Youth and College Division, then offer various workshops starting at 1pm and ending with a finale Step Show hosted by several African American fraternities and sororities from various colleges throughout the Bay Area. The first 100 student attendees will receive a free T-shirt, and all attendees will be entered into a drawing for two lucky students to receive a prize pack with a ticket to attend the Warrior’s vs Hawks on March 23.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Deer Valley High student advocates for organ and tissue donation, takes first prize in contest

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

Erika Villanueva with her winning artwork.

Deer Valley High School senior, Erika Villanueva, won first place in the 2017 Holiday Card Art Contest. The art competition is organized by Donor Network West, the organ and tissue recovery organization for northern California and Nevada.

Villanueva’s artwork, which displays two hands holding a red heart with a golden tree within it, was inspired by the contest’s theme, Families make miracles happen: The Gift of organ and tissue donation.

“I used the tree and the flower of life which signify human continuity through the generations,” says Erika, whose design was selected from high school student entries in Donor Network West’s service area of 40 counties.

“Our annual high school art contest is a vehicle for bringing organ and tissue donation and transplantation learning modules into the classroom, with the added benefit of sparking student-led conversations about the importance of being registered donors,” says Ayanna Anderson, Senior Community Development Liaison of Donor Network West.  “We applaud students like Erika for their imaginative designs, and their passion for our mission of saving and healing lives.”

Anderson presented the prize at the school and met principal, Kenneth Gardner, and ceramics instructor, Wendy Marchetti. The latter served as mentor to the student and encouraged her participation in the contest.

The Art Contest winners were selected through several rounds of judging by Donor Network West staff and organizational leaders. Villanueva won a $500 gift card and her winning design was featured as Donor Network West’s holiday card.

Nearly 900 people are waiting for an organ transplant in Contra Costa County. One organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people and a tissue donor can heal more than 75 others. Anyone can register as a donor at or at the DMV. For more information on the Art Contest visit:

About Donor Network West

Donor Network West saves and heals lives by facilitating organ and tissue recovery for transplantation. The organization was established in 1987, and is an official Donate Life organization accredited by the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) and the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB). Federally designated to serve 40 counties in northern California and Nevada, Donor Network West partners with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the state-authorized donor registries. For information, visit and find us on social media: @mydnwest.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter