Scripps National Spelling Bee Integrates Kindle Technology Into Development Of Study Materials

by Ricardo Castillo


PRNEWSFOTO/THE E.W. SCRIPPS COMPANY

PRNEWSFOTO/THE E.W. SCRIPPS COMPANY

CINCINNATI -- For the 2016-2017 program, the Scripps National Spelling Bee is fully integrating book titles and technology from its presenting sponsor, Kindle, into the creation of the school-level study lists to be distributed to the nearly 11 million participating students. Study materials include hundreds of words selected exclusively from books available on Kindle e-readers. 
    The study list includes both spelling words and book titles for grade levels 1–8 including books like “Nate the Great” by Marjorie Weinman Sharma for first grade, “Matilda” by Roald Dahl for fifth grade and “The Terrifying Tales” by Edgar Allan Poe for eighth grade.  The complete list of books is available to schools that enroll in the Scripps National Spelling Bee program.  
    Enrollment is open for the 2016-2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee program.  School enrollment takes place at spellingbee.com. Students, parents and schools can use the search function to see if a school is enrolled. • 


Increasing Your Reach to Spanish-speaking Populations Workshop

by Ricardo Castillo


PHOTO COURTESY OF THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION

CHICAGO -- ALA Editions has announced an exciting new workshop, Increasing Your Reach to Spanish-speaking Populations with Loida Garcia-Febo. This workshop will last 90 minutes and take place at 2:30 p.m. Eastern/1:30 p.m. Central/12:30 p.m. Mountain/11:30 a.m. Pacific on Thursday, November 17.
The workshop will focus on how to identify demographics within a community and use that data to build a customized plan to serve the Spanish-speaking patrons of that community.  It will also offer tips on how to develop collections, programs and services to serve these populations.  In addition, international librarian, educator and consultant Garcia-Febo will share models from libraries in the U.S. and other countries in the Latin American region.  Garcia-Febo has taught in 20 countries and has spoken at United Nations’ events and others coordinated by the U.S. Embassy in Spain, Mexico and Tokyo. 
Group and individual registration for this ALA Editions Workshop is available on the ALA Store. •


Orange County Hispanic Education Endowment Fund Announces 23rd Anniversary Celebration Dinner

by Ricardo Castillo


PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ORANGE COUNTY HISPANIC EDUCATION ENDOWMENT FUND’S FACEBOOK PAGE

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ORANGE COUNTY HISPANIC EDUCATION ENDOWMENT FUND’S FACEBOOK PAGE

NEWPORT BEACH -- The Orange County Hispanic Education Endowment Fund (HEEF) is pleased to announce its 23rd Anniversary Celebration Dinner on Thursday, November 10.  
In addition to announcing the 2016 student scholarship recipients, this year’s HEEF Anniversary Celebration will include a memorial tribute to Dr. Juan Francisco Lara who was a founding member of HEEF, and an advocate for underserved Hispanic students seeking higher education.  HEEF will inaugurate the Dr. Juan Francisco Lara Visionary Leadership Award, as well as acknowledge these honorees:
•    Apple of Gold for Excellence in Education:  Nancy Dervis, Santa Ana Unified School District Educator for 35 years, Retired
•    HEEF Scholar Alumnus Award:  S. Oliver López Nájera, Ph.D. Biostatistics, Chapman University
•    Corporate Partner Award:  Peter Villegas, Vice President, Latin Affairs, The Coca Cola Company
•    The Inaugural Dr. Juan Francisco Lara Visionary Leadership Award: Dr. Silas H. Abrego, CSU Board of Trustees, formerly serving in national capacities advocating for Latinos •


Boys & Girls Clubs of America and The New York Life Foundation Extend Partnership With $3 Million Grant To Provide Grief & Bereavement Support For Kids And Teens

by Ricardo Castillo


PRNEWSFOTO/BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF AMERICA

PRNEWSFOTO/BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF AMERICA

ATLANTA -- The New York Life Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) have announced an expansion of their national partnership.  Through the Foundation’s $3 million grant, BGCA will increase member access to youth and grief resources by expanding “Be There: A National Grief and Bereavement Initiative” to 90 Clubs over the next four years. 
Be There is a comprehensive initiative that targets four key groups connected to Clubs: youth, staff, family and community. The curriculum model, created by the National Alliance for Grieving Children, teaches Club staff strategies on how to address grief and how to respond to more common social and emotional challenges, including betrayal of a friend and transitioning between grade levels. 
Be There also helps connect families with local outside resources and professionals to assist with additional care. This initiative is especially critical for at-risk youth who often live in communities with limited grief counseling resources. •


MORGAN STANLEY’S JAMES COTTO Offers His Roadmap to a Successful Life and Career

by Ricardo Castillo


Story by Mary Ann Cooper

I do give a lot of speeches, and people ask me how do you define success. I take it from Winston Churchill. I really believe it’s going from one failure to the next with enthusiasm. To me it’s the realization that hard work pays off.
— James Cotto
James cotto hispanic outlook-12 magazine

There are some basic elements that contribute to lifelong success. You can come from a supportive family and obtain a great education but fall short of their personal and career aspirations. So what is the secret sauce that makes the difference – especially for Hispanic professionals? One way to crack the code is to ask a successful Latino what it takes to stand out in a crowded field of talented individuals. One such individual who would make any honor roll of highly successful Latinos is James Cotto, Senior Vice President - Wealth Advisor for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. For him the roadmap for success begins with a thirst for knowledge. 
“Life is a never-ending learning process,” Cotto recently told OutlooK-12.  “You realize that every day you can learn something new to make your life better. When I was younger, I thought I knew more. I thought I knew it all when I was 17. I realized when I was 25 I didn’t know it all. When I was 40, I was willing to listen. Now at 53, I really don’t know as much as I thought I knew, and I am willing to learn.”
Cotto’s roadmap started in the Bronx where he was born. His father was a postal worker by day and owned a bottle club in the west village. His parents then decided to move to a New Jersey locality where everyone was white and Italian. Unlike young James, his parents were well aware of the possibility that a Puerto Rican family might not be warmly received in that neighborhood. 
“My parents were very supportive of me; they told me you can be anything you want. You can be a doctor. You can be a lawyer. And I really believed in that,” Cotto explained. “But they also told me something every time I left the house. Don’t tell anyone you’re Puerto Rican. I asked why, and they said it was better not to. So I went to school, and all this time I kept it on the down low until one night I was hanging with my friends, and we were watching ‘West Side Story,’ and they were singing ‘we’re the Jets all the way,’ and they said ‘why aren’t you singing?’ And I said, ‘because I’m a Shark.’ That’s when I realized that I needed to stop hiding. I had to accept and embrace [my ethnicity].” 
From that time forward Cotto’s focused on personal and professional success, as well as serving as a mentor and advocate for Hispanic professionals.
Cotto began his career as a financial advisor in 1988 at First Albany Corporation before joining Merrill Lynch in 1991. In 2001, he decided to move his practice and joined Wachovia Securities as a Managing Director, Investment Officer. In April 2009, he joined Morgan Stanley. From 1995 to 2004, he assisted the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (“OMRDD”), the nonprofit corporation servicing this state agency and families of children with disabilities. As a result of his efforts, Cotto was formally appointed by Merrill Lynch as the spokesperson for their “Families of Children with Disabilities” program. In 2009, Barron’s Magazine recognized Cotto as one of the top 1,000 advisors in the nation and ranked him in the top 65 financial advisors for the state of New York. 
Cotto is a big advocate of networking. He feels that once Hispanics achieve success and get a seat on the corporate board, they should enthusiastically lobby for fellow Hispanics to join them and give full-throated endorsements of individuals at every opportunity. “Every time I meet incredible, successful people from my business relationships, I always try to promote them to be on the board because I am a great believer that we don’t have enough sponsors. If we don’t promote each other internally and externally, we don’t create our own sponsors. Otherwise, we are never going to break that ceiling and get to the next level.”
Networking is a great way to gain new knowledge, but Cotto finds that his clients provide him with insights that excite him. “Being a wealth advisor and being able to meet successful people allows me to get an education while I am providing my expertise to them. There are so many different and interesting things going on, and I just find it incredibly interesting to hear how people provide for their family around this country. I am a sponge for that knowledge.” But you have to listen with no preconceived notions. “I think people need to clean the slate of what they think they know and be very open-minded. And I think a young American Latino looking to get into the business world or start his own business has to realize that every meeting is a possibility to learn something.” 

When people say what really works in our business, they believe phone calling, networking, doing events, maybe giving seminars. I don’t believe that those things work individually but cumula­tively. I believe the effort you put into what you’re committed to is the key.
— James Cotto
James cotto hispanic outlook-12 magazine

Being intellectually curious is only one aspect of Cotto’s formula for success. You also have to put in the time and effort to stay the course. 
“I do give a lot of speeches, and people ask me how do you define success. I take it from Winston Churchill. I really believe it’s going from one failure to the next with enthusiasm. To me it’s the realization that hard work pays off. When people say what really works in our business, they believe phone calling, networking, doing events, maybe giving seminars. I don’t believe that those things work individually but cumulatively. I believe the effort you put into what you’re committed to is the key.  If I do everything all the time in a disciplined and organized fashion and relentlessly, I will be able to provide for my family,” Cotto explains. “I had this realization because I had a successful moment with a wonderful opportunity on a Friday at 3 p.m. when usually Friday at 3 p.m. people are reorganizing their desk to leave at 5 p.m. I think it’s activity level. It came to me that my most important thing to me is my activity level. I think that transcends everything from parenting to being a good spouse to having a successful career. Creating an activity that you’re comfortable with and that you can maintain and doesn’t burn you out is what is going to make you a successful individual in all facets of your life.” •


Read Any GOOD BOOKS Lately November 07, 2016

by Ricardo Castillo


Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen didn’t set out to create books.  As motivational speakers, they would hear inspirational stories from audience members and sometimes used some of those stories in their talks.  After a while, however, they noticed an interesting trend: time and time again their audiences asked if the stories they had talked about had been published anywhere.  Inspired by this pattern and their grandmothers’ cooking, they called their collection of soothing, comforting stories “Chicken Soup for the Soul” and published their first book in 1993.  The book went on to sell 11 million copies around the world, and soon Canfield and Hansen were not only creating more volumes but also compiling stories into themes.  Although any of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books can be beneficial, we at OutlooK-12 are dedicating this month’s School Library to the “Chicken Soup” titles written especially for children, preteens and teenagers. 

CHICKEN SOUP FOR  hispanic outlook-12 magazine

“CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE CHILD'S SOUL: CHARACTER-BUILDING STORIES TO READ WITH KIDS AGES 5-8”
Publisher: HCI
ISBN-13: 978-0757305894

Through this collection of heartfelt true stories about family ties, helping neighbors and lasting friendships, children will see how kids like them have learned valuable lessons from the choices they’ve made.  Most of all, they will realize that they are not alone in dealing with some of the difficult issues in their lives, such as the loss of a loved one, accepting and respecting others, taking responsibility for their actions, coping with fitting in, and learning to make friends.  These stories can be used as a way to start conversations with children about a variety of issues that they face.


CHICKEN SOUP FOR  hispanic outlook-12 magazine

“CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE KID'S SOUL: 101 STORIES OF COURAGE, HOPE AND LAUGHTER FOR KIDS AGES 8-12” 
Publisher: Backlist, LLC
ISBN-13: 978-1623610609

With all the challenges adults handle in their lives, it’s easy to forget that kids need some inspiration too!  After all, they face the same issues as adults—making the right choices, overcoming challenges, managing their relationships with friends and family members, learning to like themselves—and they are also starting to navigate their own way through school, sports, church and their hobbies.  This collection of stories provides support, provokes thought and acts as a portable support group for kids.  In addition, this book also offers encouragement and advice for older children who are entering their preteen years.  


CHICKEN SOUP FOR  hispanic outlook-12 magazine

“CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE GIRL'S SOUL: REAL STORIES BY REAL GIRLS ABOUT REAL STUFF”
Publisher: Backlist, LLC
ISBN-13: 978-1623610319

From Barbies to the first bra, from holding a teddy bear to slow dancing with a first boyfriend, from knowing everyone in elementary school to making new friends in middle school…preteen life is full of changes that can at times can be challenging for young girls.  This collection of stories from girls for girls, however, can be an invaluable survival guide during these essential years!  Topics covered include tough subjects such as peer pressure, bullying, cliques, divorce, cancer, loss and learning how to move on, as well as changing friendships, crushes, embarrassing moments and the ups and downs of puberty.


CHICKEN SOUP FOR  hispanic outlook-12 magazine

“CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: THINK POSITIVE FOR KIDS: 101 STORIES ABOUT GOOD DECISIONS, SELF-ESTEEM, AND POSITIVE THINKING”
Publisher: Chicken Soup for the Soul
ISBN-13: 978-1611599275

Starting a conversation with a child can be difficult depending on the topic—but it’s essential!  Sharing stories, however, can help break the ice, and this collection of stories cover such areas as being responsible, trying something new, making real friends, doing the right thing, developing self-esteem, handling bullies and cliques, appreciating your family, making good choices and being grateful.  Whether it’s educators, guidance councilors or parents, getting children to open up in a conversation is a great way to learn what is important to them, and stories such as these can help children learn from the example of others. 


CHICKEN SOUP FOR  hispanic outlook-12 magazine

“CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE: INSPIRING TRUE STORIES ABOUT GOALS & VALUES FOR KIDS & PRETEENS” 
Publisher: CSS Boniuk
ISBN-13: 978-1942649007

Reaching one’s full potential is a lifelong process and getting into the right mindset early on can have a huge impact down the road.  In this collection of stories, children and preteens can read about goals and hard work, compassion and tolerance, values and good choices.  Chapter topics include making your best effort, doing the right thing, accepting differences, appreciating your family, handling bullies, having confidence in yourself, being generous, making true friends, accepting responsibility, being kind, being grateful and getting though tough times.  Plus, these personal stories are from role models chosen specifically to offer guidance to today’s youth. 


CHICKEN SOUP FOR  hispanic outlook-12 magazine

“CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE PRETEEN SOUL: STORIES OF CHANGES, CHOICES AND GROWING UP FOR KIDS AGES 9-13”
Publisher: Backlist, LLC
ISBN-13: 978-1623610944

Often the teenage years are focused on as a time filled with growing pains, but being a preteen is more difficult than it might seem.  The preteen is in a time of transition where school is suddenly harder, friends and parents seem different, peer pressure and the “mean girl” bully become more common, and puberty begins bringing with it first crushes that can be crushing.  During these changes it’s more important than ever for preteens to remember that they are not alone.  These true stories written by kids for kids offer a way to deal with preteen ups and downs.


CHICKEN SOUP FOR  hispanic outlook-12 magazine

“CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE TEENAGE SOUL: STORIES OF LIFE, LOVE AND LEARNING”
Publisher: Backlist, LLC
ISBN-13: 978-1623610463

A universal truth is being a teenager is hard—but that doesn’t mean that teenagers have to go through their teen years alone.  This book is filled with stories designed to make the reader laugh and cry.  It’s meant to motivate teens while reassuring them that other teenagers have been through the same ups and downs and have come out okay.  In addition, the stories are perfect for reading over and over, so as new challenges face its readers, new pearls of wisdom are available to remind them that lots of other teens have the same issues and problems. 


CHICKEN SOUP FOR  hispanic outlook-12 magazine

“CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE TEENAGE SOUL ON TOUGH STUFF: STORIES OF TOUGH TIMES AND LESSONS LEARNED”
Publisher: Westland
ISBN-13: 978-8187671312

Growing up can be difficult at times even under the best conditions.  When bad things happen, the challenges can be overwhelming—but tough times can be turned into great times.  In this book, teens can read about how others their age dealt with self-destructive behavior, family upheavals, medical problems, losing friends and other obstacles and challenges.  Chapter topics delve into difficult and even sensitive subjects such as self-acceptance, drugs, alcohol, suicide, abuse, eating disorders and depression, giving concerned adults a tool to help the young people in their lives start an honest discussion, confront negative emotions and begin to heal.


CHICKEN SOUP FOR  hispanic outlook-12 magazine

“CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: TEENS TALK MIDDLE SCHOOL: 101 STORIES OF LIFE, LOVE, AND LEARNING FOR YOUNGER TEENS”
Publisher: Chicken Soup for the Soul
ISBN-13: 978-1935096269

For most kids, middle school can at times be overwhelming because many of the norms in their lives are in flux.  Their classes are suddenly tougher than they ever were in elementary school.  The friends that they have known for years are changing in sometimes surprising and not always positive ways.  Even their own bodies are going through physical and emotional changes that while normal can be confusing, unpleasant and embarrassing.  This book’s collection of stories, however, tackles all of these topics and more, including friendship, bullying, young love, family issues, doing what is right and being happy with oneself.


CHICKEN SOUP FOR  hispanic outlook-12 magazine

“CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: TEENS TALK HIGH SCHOOL: 101 STORIES OF LIFE, LOVE, AND LEARNING FOR OLDER TEENS” 
Publisher: Chicken Soup for the Soul
ISBN-13: 978-1935096252

From movies to television shows, there is a reason why high school is the setting for so many dramas aimed at teenagers.  Whether this book’s reader is in their freshman, sophomore, junior or senior year, they will find stories to guide and help them with such things as dating, love going bad, handling embarrassing moments, following dreams and passions, doing the right thing and dealing with the consequences, and learning to be happy with oneself.  In addition, this book is designed to offer support when dealing with the “tough stuff” including death, pregnancy, eating disorders, illness and substance abuse.


Life After High School

by Ricardo Castillo


For many high school students, deciding what to do after graduation is overwhelming.  Even those who choose to go onto a form of higher education still have to figure out which schools to apply to, and for students in low-income households, picking not only the right school but also an affordable one can feel impossible.  With this in mind, we at OutlooK-12 have created a new section called Life After High School where we will offer information and resources that will hopefully help make this decision a little easier.  

For our first installment, we are focusing on a tool available through the Department of Education—the College Scorecard.  Available at https://collegescorecard.ed.gov this online search engine allows students to find schools based on programs/degrees, location, size and name as well as by advanced search parameters like whether or not the school is public or private, has a religious affiliation, is for men or women only or is a Hispanic-serving institution.  The site also offers information on financial aid available (including a way to calculate it online) and the benefits of GI Bills.  At the time of publication, the College Scorecard’s website listed the following as the top ranking schools based on financial considerations and student outcomes.

The conclusions and projections offered in the text accompanying the charts are solely those of the Department of Education.

Find a Community College in Your State with High Salaries

These public, two-year (community) colleges have the highest earnings of any community college in the state. Note that earnings might vary significantly depending on the program you study – for instance, some of these schools offer a large number of technical or health programs that tend to be higher-earning majors. Students who transfer to a four-year college and graduate with a bachelor’s degree may also earn more after college. Ask the colleges you are considering attending for more information.

Note: These data include only public institutions identified as less-than-four-year schools in IPEDS. In addition, calculations exclude: 
Institutions that do not appear on the College Scorecard consumer website (e.g., institutions that do not award associate or bachelor’s degrees).

Institutions that are campuses sharing their earnings data with a four-year college campus (i.e., institutions that share a six-digit OPE ID). 

Institutions with fewer than 500 degree/certificate seeking undergraduates.

The list is constructed of the remaining institutions in each state with the highest median earnings. Typical earnings reflect the median earnings of federal financial aid recipients 10 years after they first enrolled at the institution. Net price reflects the sticker price, less any grant or scholarship aid, for all federal financial aid recipients at the school. There are two institutions represented for the state of Massachusetts because two different institutions had the same median earnings in that state, which are the highest among the comparison institutions. 

Affordable Four-year Schools with Good Outcomes

These four-year public colleges offer their students an affordable higher education, with relatively high salaries. As students weigh the costs and benefits of higher education, it’s especially important to find schools that can offer them the best possible outcomes. For students looking for a high return on investment, these institutions may offer good opportunities.

the hispanic outlook 12 magazine

Note: These data include only public institutions identified as predominantly four-year institutions by the College Scorecard. In addition, calculations exclude institutions with fewer than 500 undergraduate degree-seeking students enrolled. The list is constructed of the remaining public four-year institutions that fall in the top 25 percent of all predominantly four-year institutions for median earnings 10 years after beginning enrollment and for low net price. Typical earnings reflect the median earnings of federal financial aid recipients 10 years after they first enrolled at the institution. Net price reflects the sticker price, less any grant or scholarship aid, for all federal financial aid recipients at the school. Percentile calculations are derived using institutions’ Unitid as the unit of analysis. List includes only institutions also featured in College Navigator and excludes institutions that are not main campus locations.

26 Four-year Public and Private Colleges with Low Costs and High Salaries

These four-year public and private nonprofit colleges enroll more than 40 percent low-income students at the school and have good outcomes for those students. All of them boast above-average Pell enrollment, an affordable net price and good graduation rates for their students (including their low-income students). That’s important, because graduating from college has been shown to lead to higher earnings, lower unemployment and a lower likelihood of defaulting on their loans.

The Department of Education highlighted these schools in its recent report, Fulfilling the Promise, Serving the Need, which identified institutions that were doing well in enrolling and graduating low-income students.

the hispanic outlook magazine

Typical earnings reflect the median earnings of federal financial aid recipients 10 years after they first enrolled at the institution. Net price reflects the sticker price, less any grant or scholarship aid. Graduation rate reflects the share of first-time, full-time students at the school who completed within six years. For schools where Education Trust was able to collect data, we also used the graduation rates of first-time, full-time Pell Grant recipients at the school to identify the institutions. While the share of undergraduate students who received Pell Grants in a given year is a measure of the access an institution provides to low-income students, it may not capture all low-income students. Students who are undocumented immigrants or foreign nationals are not eligible to receive Pell Grants, and some low-income students may not have completed the FAFSA to receive federal aid, but those students may have similar financial circumstances to Pell recipients, or may be just on the other side of Pell eligibility, creating a cliff effect. Additionally, in some states (such as California), state financial aid may be sufficient to cover costs at community colleges, in particular; so those students may not seek or receive a Pell Grant. More information is available in Appendix A of the Department of Education report.

25 Community Colleges that Advance Opportunities for Low-income Students

These public, two-year (community) colleges enroll more than 40 percent low-income students at the school and have relatively high outcomes for those students. In total, low-income students at these schools averaged at least $30,000 in earnings 10 years after they first enrolled at the school. In addition, more than 70 percent of all borrowers at these schools were successfully repaying their loans three years after they left school. It’s important to know that both the college you select and the program you enroll in can have an impact on your post-college earnings – schools that offer more technical or health programs, or where a lot of students transfer to a four-year college, often have higher earnings. Ask the colleges you are considering attending for more information.

the hispanic outlook magazine

Note: These data include only public institutions identified as less-than-four-year schools in IPEDS. In addition, calculations exclude:

Institutions that do not appear on the College Scorecard consumer website (e.g., institutions that do not award associate or bachelor’s degrees).

Institutions where fewer than 40 percent of students are Pell Grant recipients.

Institutions with fewer than 250 undergraduate degree-seeking students enrolled.

Institutions with missing data or small n-sizes on repayment, earnings or graduation rate.

The list is constructed of the remaining community colleges that have a repayment rate of at least 70 percent and average earnings of at least $30,000 for students in the lowest income category (tercile). Average earnings reflect the average earnings of federal financial aid recipients 10 years after they first enrolled at the institution for the lowest income category. Repayment rate reflects the share of undergraduate student borrowers who had paid down at least $1 of their principal balance at three years after entering repayment. Net price reflects the sticker price, less any grant or scholarship aid, for all federal financial aid recipients at the school. Share of low-income students enrolled reflects the share of undergraduate students at the school who received Pell Grants. While the share of undergraduate students who received Pell Grants in a given year is a measure of the access an institution provides to low-income students, it may not capture all low-income students. Students who are undocumented immigrants or foreign nationals are not eligible to receive Pell Grants, and some low-income students may not have completed the FAFSA to receive federal aid, but those students may have similar financial circumstances to Pell recipients, or may be just on the other side of Pell eligibility, creating a cliff effect. Additionally, in some states (such as California), state financial aid may be sufficient to cover costs at community colleges, in particular; so those students may not seek or receive a Pell Grant.

 

Mario Lopez Helps Raise Funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

by Ricardo Castillo


The hispanic outlook 12 magazine mario lopez hot dog

The company Hot Dog on a Stick turned 70 years old, and to celebrate its platinum anniversary earlier this year, it aimed to “Stomp Out Cancer” by raising $70,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).  It kicked off its fundraising efforts with a celebrity lemonade Stomp-A-Thon featuring Mario Lopez.  At the event, Lopez learned to stomp lemonade with LLS’ honored patient heroes including three-year-old Kylie who was diagnosed with Leukemia just two days before her second birthday.  Leukemia is the most common form of childhood cancer, but thanks to the cutting-edge research funded by LLS, there continues to be hope.  Kylie was put into a clinical trial for her particular type of Leukemia, and she has fought cancer with a smile.  She has been in remission since November 2015 but will continue maintenance chemotherapy treatment over the next several years.
Hot Dog on a Stick’s Stomp-A-Thon for LLS was held at its Muscle Beach location in Santa Monica, California, and raised more than $15,000.  Another highlight of the day was Lopez working in the famous beach stand making Hot Dog on a Stick’s famous stick items and serving customers.
“Kylie is an amazing little fighter and one great lemonade stomper too!” said Katie Hiller, mother of LLS Honored Hero, Kylie.  “Hot Dog on a Stick’s Stomp-A-Thon was an inspirational and uplifting event, and their fundraising efforts will help children like Kylie stomp out cancer for years to come.” •


Mario Lopez Adds Two Children’s Books to His Creative Resume

by Ricardo Castillo


Mario Lopez’s upbringing was immortalized in a children’s book he authored entitled, “Mud Tacos.”  Published in 2009, it gives readers insight into his childhood memories growing up in Chula Vista, California.  Would you eat a wormy, squirmy mud taco?  The book answers this question and is the story of Marissa, a young girl who loves her big brother, Mario.  He always comes up with fun ideas.  When playing in their nana’s backyard, they decide to make some wormy, squirmy mud tacos.  That gives Mario an idea; how about some real tacos for lunch!  Before long, it is off to the store with Nana, but first they must pick up their cousins Rosie and Chico.  When Chico starts acting like a hotshot to prove that he is a big kid, can his cousins, with the help of a few mud tacos, show him how to have some real fun?  The book was co-authored by Mario Lopez and his sister Marissa Lopez Wong with Maryn Roos as the book’s illustrator. 
His second book, “Mario and Baby Gia,” was published in 2011 as a touching tribute to his fatherhood experience as dad to Gia who was born in 2010.  He reprises the autobiographical characters in his first book with Mario having a hard time finding someone to play with since all of his usual playmates are busy. His sister, Marissa, is playing with Cousin Rosie, and his cousin Chico is off to baseball practice.  When Nana asks Mario to babysit his cousin Gia while she bakes, he finds that babies can be a handful.  But even when he feels that he has reached the end of his rope, it is baby Gia who reminds Mario that a family is built on love and caring.  It was written by Lopez and once again illustrated by Maryn Roos. •

mario lopez mario and baby cia hispanic outlook 12 magazine
mario lopez hispanic outlook 12 magazine

MARIO LOPEZ “Do the right thing, and the right thing will happen for you.”

by Ricardo Castillo


The first time I stepped foot in our local Boys Club I felt at home, the sense of belonging was almost instantaneous, even at seven years old I could see that the Boys Club was not just a place where busy parents sent their kids (like me) to keep them off the streets, but it was also a haven for children who had no parents to speak of.
— Mario Lopez

Story compiled by Mary Ann Cooper

mario lopez hispanic outlook 12 magazine

Mario Lopez is Chula Vista, California’s, favorite son.  Born and raised in this American city bordering Mexico, he began to pursue an entertainment career as a young teen, landing his first acting role in the television series “AKA Pablo.”  However, it was his role as high school athlete and heartthrob A.C. Slater on the NBC sitcom “Saved by the Bell” that gave him his first taste of fame.  Since then as an actor and a producer, he’s been attached to film projects such as “Outta Time” and “The Courier.”  Lopez has also hosted several television shows, including “Pet Star,” “America’s Most Talented Kid” and the talk show “The Other Half.”  He’s currently a host for the award-winning entertainment news TV magazine “Extra.”  Concurrently, Lopez is the host of the nationwide iHeartMedia radio shows “On with Mario Lopez” and “iHeartRadio Countdown with Mario Lopez.”  In 2014, Courtney Lopez joined her husband Mario as co-host of his Premiere Networks’ syndicated radio show “ON with Mario Lopez.”
However, before making a name for himself in entertainment, Mario Lopez was a wrestler at the Chula Vista chapter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), earning Club-wide and state championships.  In fact, if truth be told, despite all the success he has had and continues to have, his BGCA experience seems to have had the greatest impact on his daily life, and it drives him to be a positive Hispanic role model.  
Lopez does not shy away from being an advocate for the Latino community.  As he told FOX News Latino, “I embrace it because I am proud of my community and my culture, and I want to represent it the best way I can and provide some motivation for other young people out there like me.  So it’s something I am proud of.  I encourage them to find what they love and are passionate about, work hard and stay focused.  Do the right thing, and the right thing will happen for you.”

Mario lopez hispanic outlook magazine

Growing up in Chula Vista, a border town maintaining both American and Mexican cultural identities, enhanced Lopez’s appreciation of Hispanic culture, as he details in his memoir, “Just Between Us,” published in 2014. “Chula vista was my home, the world that raised me and a part of my DNA.  I loved it all – and still do.  We were little more than three miles from the border with Mexico, just across from Tijuana.  People would call my hometown ‘Chula Juana,’ because it’s practically in Mexico.  We didn’t cross the border; the border crossed us.  As a result, living in Chula Vista – a predominantly Hispanic community – was a lot like living in Mexico.  Even the signs were written in Spanish.  There were taco stands and mariscos and bodegas on every block.  Car radios driving through the center of Chula pumped mariachi music and the latest love songs sung by Mexican pop stars.  And everybody spoke Spanish.”
Lopez says he was a good student, but his mother, Elvia, wanted to take extra steps to make sure her outgoing and affable son didn’t get himself in trouble while she and her husband Mario Alberto were off to work.  In “Just Between Us” he explains, “Mom had a master plan for keeping me busy and out of trouble, such as when she signed me up to spend my afternoons at the local Boys Club. Though I had no choice in this matter, I understood that it was a plan to keep me safe and off the streets.  It wouldn’t take long for me to throw myself in all they had to offer, especially wrestling. Today, the organization is called the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Back then it was the Boys Club of America.  No girls allowed.  Wrestling was a godsend; just what Mom had been hoping to find for me, and so too was the Boys Club. 
“The first time I stepped foot in our local Boys Club I felt at home, the sense of belonging was almost instantaneous, even at seven years old I could see that the Boys Club was not just a place where busy parents sent their kids (like me) to keep them off the streets, but it was also a haven for children who had no parents to speak of.  The adults leading the program were former inner-city kids who knew all too well of the pitfalls for anyone growing up in the barrio.”
The experience has a lasting impact on him, and years later, he found himself working with BGCA on a regular basis and becoming one of their ambassadors.  He told FOX News Latino, “I grew up going to a Boys & Girls Club in my hometown of Chula Vista.  It’s a wonderful organization that I am happy to be a part of.  I am one of the spokespeople and the fitness ambassador for all the clubs, and I am trying to keep kids healthy and living a more fit life style.”

Courtney Lopez, Mario's wife and on-air colleague. 

Courtney Lopez, Mario's wife and on-air colleague. 

At age 10, Lopez’s life in the barrio changed dramatically when talent agent Christine Guerrero saw his high school dance recital and took him on as a client.  That’s when he began to see how the outside world – particularly the entertainment industry – viewed diversity. 
As he explains in “Just Between Us,” “Most of the calls I went on at this point in LA were for commercials.  I didn’t go on a ton of auditions, though, because in this period the sponsors were trying to be more specific about the type and look they wanted, and somehow I fell through the cracks.  Either I wasn’t ethnic enough, or I wasn’t American enough.  And I didn’t get a lot of the jobs that I auditioned for – more than I could count. ‘Mario, have you considered changing your name? Perhaps to something less ethnic’ was a suggestion I started hearing during this time.  Agents and manager types wanted me to make the change to widen my appeal.  My dad wouldn’t even consider it.  He said, ‘Mario Lopez is your name.  That’s what I named you.  You should be proud of it.’  Arguments for the name change continued from others.  After all, they argued, the respected Mexican actor Anthony Quinn had changed his name from Antonio Rodolfo Quinn Oaxaca.  I had a friend Miquel Gil De Montes who changed his name to Mark Roberts.  The list went on and on.  But dad was right: Mario Lopez was my name.”  It was a decision he never came to regret. 
Over the ensuing years, Lopez amassed an impressive resume, but he never left Chula Vista in the rear view mirror.  In 2013, the National Hispanic Media Coalitions Impact Awards honored Mario Lopez who received their Media Entrepreneur Award.  He talked about not just his own work, but the place of Latinos in the Hollywood society, urging the community to tell “universal stories with Latino faces.”  He also referenced Chula Vista and addressed his role as someone who strives to impact young Latinos. 
“The important thing I realized is you have to have an impact on someone to make a difference,” he told the audience at the awards gala. “When I started working with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, I realized that’s what it’s all about; giving back and really having an impact on young lives, so other Latinos can say, ‘hey, man, he came from a neighborhood like mine.  If he can do it, why not me.’ And that’s what I really want to do.” •