Success Measures Surveys – Oxnard, CA

18 09 2011

Oxnard, CAAbove is a  photograph of Villa Caesar Chavez, one of CEDC’s affordable housing properties in Oxnard, CA. For the past two days, I have been on-site collecting surveys from various communities in the the Cypress neighbor in Oxnard. The project has been interesting thus far since the responses from residents of different neighborhoods are so diverse. Our team was led by Bryan Poole; who deserves recognition for organizing the project, scoping out the neighborhoods beforehand, recruiting volunteers, and coordinating training. Here he is in Oxnard with two CSUCI volunteers! Thanks for the help girls!

Last night we surveyed residents of a community consisting primarily of homeowners, and today we surveyed residents of a trailer park – some of who were facing eviction. It is amazing how such drastically different communities are so close in proximity. It is even more amazing that some of the most wealthiest people in America live roughly an hour away from such poor living conditions.

Overall, today was awesome – filled with energy, purpose, and teamwork!


Embracing Social Media for Business

8 09 2011

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Simi ValleyHere I am standing in front of a piece of the Berlin Wall at the Ronald Reagan Memorial Library in Simi Valley. I am holding the centerpiece of our table, which is now a wonderfully scented decorative piece sitting on my desk. Jennifer and I went to Simi early this morning for the Corporate Leader’s Breakfast to learn about social media for corporate use.

This event, hosted by CLU, allowed us to gain insight from three tech-savvy professionals regarding the use of social media platforms: Jody DeVere, founder of; Beth Mansfield of CKE Restaurants; and Shawn Mulchay of SocialmashMedia. The panelists were engaging, the food was delicious, and Simi Valley is beautiful! A big thanks to CLU and the panelists for guiding Jennifer and I as we prepare for CEDC to go social!

CEDC – Week 2

31 08 2011

I am midway through my second week at CEDC. So far, my experience here has been great. I have been exposed to new ideas, and I have had the pleasure of meeting people who are so passionate about their work. My fellow VISTAs and I spoke with Rodney Fernandez today, the CEO and founder responsible for driving such a successful movement working toward social justice.

Rodney gave us some pointers for getting as much out of our experience as VISTA volunteers at Cabrillo. He instructed us to seek out mentors, attend as much as possible within CEDC, and connect with former VISTAs to gain insight.

Speaking with Rodney was an integral part of my introduction into the culture of CEDC, and I intend to use his wisdom to guide me through my experience. I am grateful to be a part of something where I am able to contribute to a higher cause. I am glad to be an agent of change, and to work with like-minded people who are passionate about helping others achieve the common goal of living a happy and productive life.

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