Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Letter from California College Systems to President-Elect Trump - about DACA

November 29, 2016  President-Elect Donald J. Trump  Trump Tower

725 5th Avenue

New York, New York 10022

Dear President-Elect Trump:

College and university leaders across the country, and here in California, are concerned about reports regarding potential actions you might be considering, including ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. On behalf of DACA students currently pursuing their dream of higher education in the United States, we urge you to continue this important program and allow these young people to continue to pursue a college education and contribute to their communities and the nation.

DACA is rooted in the fundamental premise that no one should be punished for the actions of others. In order to be eligible for DACA, an individual must have been brought to this country as a minor, stayed out of trouble, and continued to pursue an education. These sons and daughters of undocumented immigrants are as American as any other child across the nation, in all but in the letter of the law. Some never even spoke the language of their native land. They do not represent a public safety threat. In fact, they represent some of the best our nation has to offer. They voluntarily came forward, out of the shadows, to participate in the DACA program.

The University of California, California State University, and the California Community College systems each have thousands of DACA students studying at our institutions. They are constructive and contributing members of our communities. They should be able to pursue their dream of higher education without fear of being arrested, deported, or rounded up for just trying to learn.

There will be time for a vigorous debate and dialogue around immigration reform in the days ahead, and we look forward to engaging with you in a healthy and constructive conversation on this important issue. But now, as you continue to
build your new Administration and appoint members of your Cabinet, on behalf of these Dreamers, we implore you to let them know they are valued members of our communities and that they will be allowed to continue to pursue the American dream.

Yours very truly, Janet Napolitano
University of California
Timothy P. White
California State University
Eloy Ortiz Oakley
California Community Colleges
California Community College
University of California
California State University

Monday, November 28, 2016

Teacher Bruce Speaks Up for Immigrants

On November 21, 2016, SMAS Teachers Union CFT Local 4681 President Bruce Neuburger went to the San Mateo City Council meeting to express concerns about discrimination and deportation under the new Trump administration in January of 2017.

Here is what he said at the meeting:

To the mayor, City Council and community members:

I’m from the San Mateo Adult School Federation of Teachers.
The election of Donald Trump has created fear, anxiety and anger across this country, and in our schools right here in San Mateo.
As a child of holocaust survivors I grew up with the stories of the horror that befell Germany and beyond, and heard the confessions of my parents and other relatives who believed it could not happen there. 
The Nazis came to power through the electoral process and used their constitutional authority to begin repressing and dividing people along religious and racial lines, and trashing civil liberties.
Pastor Niemoehler said famously that he didn’t act in time to defend others and was left defenseless when his time came.  He also said, that the horror could have been stopped if people had acted decisively early on. 
We can not afford to wait to see if Trump will live up to his words and the words of  those he has surrounded himself with. We need to act now. If Trump is able to initiate mass deportations, register Muslims, criminalize abortion, unleash repression against Black Lives Matters, these would be crushing blows against any and all who stand for a society where the rights of all are respected and where open expression is upheld, and could create paralyzing fear. 
We can’t let that happen. 
We have to create a broad resistance so that none of that can happen. 
We need to state resolutely as students, school leaders, city councils, mayors, civil rights organizations, church groups, colleges and universities, even theater groups have, that we will defend the rights of all and take measures to shield those under threat. 
I call on you as well to act, take a stand. Trustee Friedman of the San Mateo school board has submitted a resolution to that body to make San Mateo schools a sanctuary where all can attend and learn without fear. 
Please do not let it be said that the city of San Mateo did not act decisively when the danger against its most vulnerable community members loomed. 
Lonely courage is admirable, but collective courage is powerful and contagious.  

Cristina's Story about the AAACE Conference

Cristina as Vice President
Day Student Council
Cristina Munoz Ulrich, along with Marina Kravtsova and Lupita Segura presented a workshop about Student Council at the AAACE - American Association of Adult and Continuing Education - National Conference in New Mexico.   Cristina worked very hard to raise funds for the trip and plan and organize the presentation.

You can read all about their workshop and the conference here.

And here, in her own words, is Cristina's story about attending the conference:

I like to thank SMAS for gave us the opportunity to go to the conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

First, we had the opportunity to make hear our voices outside of California.

Second, we were the only ESL students who attended there and we made the difference because we were promoting that Adult Education Matters.

Third, we enjoyed participating in each conference we attended because we learned how important is continuing learning about adult education.

In conclusion, we learned that when we work as a team we can make a lot of things possible. For us having the opportunity to go outside of California was the first step to make our voices heard and continue learning about Adult Education.

P.S.   I feel very thankful for the support of the student council, teachers association, garden club, for their generosity of money because with their help we could make it possible. Also, teachers Cynthia and Lisa for their support. Especially I would like to thank Denise for her incredible support she offered us all the time. I  believe Marina and Lupita think the same.

Thank you to Cristina, Lupita, Marina, and Denise for all the work they put into making this happen and sharing the message that Student Council and Adult Education Matters!

Lupita's Story about the AAACE Conference

Lupita Segura, along with Cristina Munoz Ulrich and Marina Kravtsova, presented a workshop about Student Council at the AAACE - American Association of Adult and Continuing Education - National Conference in New Mexico.   At the conference, Lupita was an ambassador for our school, introducing herself to many people and telling them about our school and our many wonderful programs.

You can read all about their workshop and the conference here.

And here, in her own words, is Lupita's story about attending the conference:

I would like to thank everyone who gave me the opportunity and support to attend the conference. I feel so proud to be a part of this school and represent San Mateo Adult school in New Mexico. It was a very valuable experience and it was so important that I was able to participate and hear all the different topics regarding Adult education. It was a great chance to meet all the people who are involved in the education system. I'm now connected to all the people that I met and their message that we should never stop, so that we can always continue our education.

Lupita presenting the AAACE president with a red "Adult Education Matters" t-shirt.

You can read Cristina's story here.

Thank you to Cristina, Lupita, Marina, and Denise for all the work they put into making this happen and sharing the message that Student Council and Adult Education Matters!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

SMAS Student Leadership Team Presents at National AAACE Conference

San Mateo Adult School Student Leadership Team Denise Carrasco, Cristina Munoz Ulrich, Lupita Segura and Marina Kravtsova applied, were accepted to, prepared for, and presented at the AAACE 2016 National Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

AAACE is the American Association of Adult and Continuing Education.  At their conferences, people come from all over the United States to talk and discuss and learn about Adult Education.

Denise Carrasco was Day Student Council President in 2015-16.
Cristina Munoz Ulrich was Day Student Council Vice President in 2015-16.
Lupita Segura is this year's Day Student Council President.
Marina Kravtsova is a former Student Leader at our school.  Now she is our English Learner Specialist. She works in the SMART Center, registering students and helping them find resources.

Lupita, Cristina, Denise, Marina
It was a lot of work to go to the Conference.  Cristina, Denise, and Marina had to write a proposal and apply.  After their proposal was accepted, they had to raise the money to attend the conference.  The Student Council gave them 2000 dollars.  The Teachers Union gave them 600.  The Garden Club gave them 300 dollars.  They raised money selling pizza meals sold at lunch and evening break time. 

Denise, Marina, Cristina

Add caption

The title of their workshop was, "Student Council: Organizing for School, Local and State Success."

The team put in many hours discussing their ideas, how to present them, and planning their workshop.

Denise used her professional skills to create an amazing Presi powerpoint (not available here).

You can see a short version of their powerpoint here:

Student Council Organizing for School, Local and State Success

When Denise was not able to attend, Lupita stepped up and volunteered to take her place. 

Everyone worked hard to prepare for the workshop, conference, and financing the trip.

At the Conference, Cristina, Lupita, and Marina had many obstacles.  They had tech problems.  They asked for help from the President of AAACE.  Denise supported them on the phone.  They persevered and they succeeded.  They gave a great presentation.

Top:   Cristina, Lupita, and Marina
Bottom right:  Cristina, Marina, Lupita, and AAACE President Steven Frye

Lupita gave an Adult Education Matters t-shirt to the President of AAACE

They also made new friends and met many people.  They attended workshops and learned about Adult Education in other places in the USA. 

Lupita was a kind of ambassador for our school, introducing herself to many people and telling them about us.

San Mateo Adult School was the only Adult School at the Conference. 

SMAS representatives brought the power of Student Council, Student Leadership and Adult School Grassroots Energy to the Conference. 

We owe Cristina, Denise, Lupita, and Marina a huge, heartfelt thank you for carrying the message that Student Council Matters! to a national audience.

Thank you! 

To read Lupita's story click here.

To read Cristina's story click here.