Archive for the ‘Youth’ Category

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.

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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.

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Nominations now open for annual community awards at Antioch Chamber of Commerce Inaugural Gala March 9

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

The Antioch Chamber of Commerce annually celebrates the best of Antioch for their contributions in developing the social and economic well-being of our community.

Friday, March 9, 2018

6:00 PM Hors d’Oeurvres

Silent Auction

7:00 PM Dinner

7:45 Program Begins

Lone Tree Golf Course & Event Center

4800 Golf Course Road, Antioch CA 94531

Cost Per Person: $75 per Person or

Cost Per Table: $700 for a table of eight.

Dress: Cocktail Attire

The Chamber is pleased to open nominations for 2017 in the following categories:

Youth of the Year Download Youth of the Year Nomination Form

Non-profit of the Year Download Non-profit of the Year Nomination Form

Citizen of the Year – Most Impact Download Citizen of the Year – Most Impact – Nomination Form

Citizen of the Year – Lifetime Achievement Download Citizen of the Year – Lifetime Achievement – Nomination Form

Small Business of the Year Download Small Business of the Year Nomination Form

Large Business of the Year Download Large Business of the Year Nomination Form

Green Business of the Year – this will be the first year for this award, and the winner will be selected and presented by Delta Diablo Sanitation District Download Green Business of the Year Nomination Form Nomination forms must be completed and received by the Antioch Chamber of Commerce no later than Friday, January 26, 2018. Please complete these forms and fax to 925.757.5286.  You can also send by email to

Or mail it to:

The Antioch Chamber of Commerce, 101 H Street, Unit 4, Antioch CA 94509


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Analysis: Deer Valley and Antioch boys’ soccer season starts tonight

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

By Jesus Cano

Deer Valley Wolverines

Deer Valley is expected to be a top team again this season, as they have been for the past two seasons. The only problem is, they didn’t live up to their talent.

Main reason, coaching. Juan Tannus based his players playing time on discipline, which doesn’t it work out when you are trying to compete against star studded teams Freedom and Pittsburg. Some of the best players on the team rode the bench because Tannus didn’t like them.

I’ve been saying this for years. Deer Valley will see a fortune change when they got a new head coach.

Deer Valley acquired John Delaney, who has been part of the program for four years, to take over the helm. Now, Deer Valley has posted a record of 6-3-1 which is the best record in the BVAL heading into league play. Look at it however you want, the numbers don’t lie.

The Wolverines are a well-balanced team. Starting from the back, goalkeeper Matt Wilmes has the make saves in the league with 65. The defense consisting of Esteban Sandoval,Ryan Eng and Christopher Hackney has come up clutch like a third pedal. In Deer Valley’s six wins, they haven’t allowed more than one goal.

In the midfield, they have another group of players that manage the ball really well in Armando Fajardo and Diego Ruiz. They also have Rudy Saucedo, who is the best player in the BVAL, controlling the midfield.

Isaiah Moreira and Edgard Morazan have been able to finish the ball a lot in season, both scoring a total of nine combined goals.

The tools are there for the Wolverines. If they play the way they have in non-league action, they will win league. But if they get scored on when facing top dogs like Freedom and Pittsburg, they are going to float around the third and fourth place area.

Antioch Panthers

Before Pittsburg won its seven straight BVAL titles, Antioch was on a run of its own, winning two in a row. Even up until 2013, the Panthers had a strong program, but that was it. They’ve been only winning about two or three games a season.

The same is expected this season. They come into the league with a 2-7-2 record.

The biggest challenge they face is the fact the Antioch High School area has a majority of low-income families. It correlates with the fact many of those students do not possess sufficient funds to play club soccer, which is why they’ve struggled so much.

Lucky for them, the head coach Conrad Diaz is a club coach at Delta Youth Soccer. When took over the program midway through last season, the Panther’s improved. They did not finish last in the table, while not losing the Antioch Mayor’s Cup game.

That doesn’t change the fact Antioch has talented players. Keys to the team are Josue Lopez and Liam Gammond. Lopez got hot in scoring when it came to BVAL play and came in fourth place in scoring, while Gammond can also score too, but works well in the midfield to distribute the ball.

A new comer that is going to make an impact is goalkeeper Melvin Morales. He and many of his teammates gave him the nickname “Spider-Man”, and he earns it. He saves Antioch a lot and can fly to make big time stop.

Also look for Ian Scheringer to step up. He has four goals in his young career.

Deer Valley faces the Liberty Lions in their season opener tonight, while Antioch will take on the Heritage High Patriots.

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Support youth through golf at The First Tee Wine Tasting Fundraiser at Lone Tree Jan 27

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

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Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Paradise Skate Roller Rink

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

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Antioch School Board Trustee Ruehlig compliments school concerts, music programs

Friday, December 15th, 2017

Deer Valley High School recently held its Jazz Ensemble during which members of their instrumental music groups performed. Photo by AUSD – See more photos of the various school concerts on the district’s Facebook page.

Dear Editor:

This holiday season brings the usual cheer, but adds a personal festive exclamation point with the local bounty of school concerts.  I was personally privileged to attend the Black Diamond Middle, Antioch and Deer Valley High Schools and Dozier Libbey Medical School combined concert and the Park Middle Schools performance. We had heard about the overflowing 1,300 students at elementary schools taking band but now we tasted the fruit of that pipeline.

We’re in our third year with music alive and well in the AUSD and are reaping benefits in more ways than one.  As might be expected, motivation took a hit when the heart and sound that can soften the daily grind was taken from the schools to save dollars and allow doubling down on core subjects. Granted, reading and math remain fundamental, but face it, for many kids, music or sports are the sole connection and engagement keeping them from truancy.

Aside, though, from increased attendance and GPA, we’ve noticed that, in and of itself, music is aiding academics as a sort of super brain food, bringing a plethora of values.  No surprise to us music lovers as poll any group of physicians or engineers and you will find that an amazing number of these hi-achievers had studied music in their formative years.

You see, in one sense music is pure math. Understanding beat, rhythm and scales helps children learn how to divide, create fractions and recognize patterns.  It sharpens special, temporal skills associated with math comprehension.   Essentially, then, music is a sort of hard wiring for all kinds of basic and advanced math.

Studying music also instills short and long-term memory aides by using mnemonic devices.  It also physically develops the left side of the brain, the part involved in language acquisition.

Music employs multiple skill sets, exercising eyes and ears and both larger and smaller muscle sets. Certain instruments, like percussion, develop timing, coordination, motor skills and ambidexterity. Call it sports in a chair.

Good news moms and dad; a 2007 study by Christopher Johnson at the University of Texas showed students in elementary schools having superior musical programs scored 22% higher on standardized English tests.

So-called soft skills, cited by employers as invaluable workplace skills, also mature. Musical student attendance is cumulatively higher and discipline rates less. Poise under pressure and accepting and giving constructive criticism also benefit. The habits of discipline, perseverance and the ability to demonstrate deferred gratification also develop.

Musical students learn teamwork and collaboration in group performance, and how to patiently wait their turn and respectfully listen to others.  They also broaden horizons as they are introduced to various genres, styles and cultures.

We might ask, how, then, does our child pick a chosen instrument?  Treat it like a petting zoo and let your child explore for the right sound, feel and temperamental fit. Make sure the challenge is appropriate, the price affordable, and that you, the parent, can live for endless hours without going crazy over home practice of that instrument. Drums, after all, may not fit us all.

Thankfully, with School Board support, and LCAP funding, we have welcomed back the spiritual soundtrack of our lives.  The enrichment surely can’t hurt our kids and our collective humanity. It’s an opportunity to celebrate as we affirm Frederick Nietzsche’s charge that “without music, life would be a mistake.”

Walter Ruehlig, Trustee, Antioch School Board

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Registration for Antioch Little League continues on Saturday

Friday, December 15th, 2017

At Mountain Mike’s Pizza in the Raley’s shopping center.

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