“It’s a family affair.” Veronica, our fearless softball captain and El Centro de la Raza’s Property Manager says about El Centro de la Raza’s softball team. El Centro de la Raza has been participating in a softball league organized by Urban League for three years now since 2018. In 2020 we did not have a season due to COVID-19, and the teams are very grateful to be playing again. The league is full of teams working in human services and cultural organizations working exceptionally hard throughout the pandemic. The other teams are United Indians of All Tribes, Urban League Metropolitan Seattle, and International Community Health Services.
The softball league is a welcome return and an essential outlet for individuals and organizations. It is also a joyful way to network and get to know the other organizations, creating multi-cultural unity and connections that allow us to get to know the faces of the organizations we are working with. Veronica mentions that it has helped El Centro de la Raza vaccine clinic outreach immensely. Our El Centro de la Raza team includes some of our current employees, past employees, and families. It’s a way to keep in touch and continue to build our community. At the end of July, we were excited to beat the undefeated United Indians of All Tribes team! Veronica says we keep a competitive spirit, but it’s all about camaraderie and getting to know each other.
Sixty nine students graduate from the José Martí Child Development Center!
We are proud to announce that a total of sixty nine children successfully completed their final year of preschool and graduated from the José Martí Child Development Center (JMCDC)! This was an especially challenging year with the pandemic. Still, the students worked hard all year long and made outstanding progress in all areas of development (social/emotional, physical, cognitive, and language). We are so proud of all of the students, and they are now ready for their next adventure: kindergarten!
Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, we were unable to hold a community graduation celebration as we have done in the past, so the teachers planned safe and creative events for each classroom to honor their graduates. At JMCDC on Beacon Hill, we celebrated our sixty three graduates with walk-up or “drive-through” events where the students received a certificate and gift; and parents could stop to take pictures with their graduates. JMCDC at Hirabayashi Place is decorated with their six graduates’ pictures and artwork and celebrated in their classrooms.
We are so thankful to all of our students and families for your support in helping to keep our program running, and safe and healthy for our students. And mil gracias to ECEAP and Seattle Preschool Program for making it possible for many of our students to attend preschool, as well as the DCYF and City of Seattle subsidy program that provided discounts throughout the year to further support our families. Last but not least, a BIG congratulations to our graduates for a great year — we will miss you all and wish you the best of luck in kindergarten!
Robotics – Bahlam Bots Program
Competition Ready for 2021-2022 Leagues!
Normally the Bahlam Bots Robotic program spends the year preparing and then competing in either the First — Lego League or First — Robotics Competition. With this year’s changes to the league, our program shifted to prepare scholars to be competition-ready for the following year. This break from competition allowed scholars to take their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) preparation in a new direction. Which ultimately created a much-needed community. Scholars participated in a number of at-home challenges that focused on mechanical and logical thinking but also worked to strengthen soft skills such as presenting/giving a presentation and public speaking. For all their hard work, scholars earned a laptop as a means of investment for their future. These future robotics professionals are not only ready to compete next year but are ready for bright careers!
Summer Learning 2021- Federal Way & Seattle, Zoomies meet during first field trip!
Participants in our afterschool program and newly enrolled scholars entering middle school began this year’s Summer Learning Program on July 2. Fondly name the Zoomies, our scholars have made the best of participating remotely. However, the excitement of getting to go, together on a field trip was physical! Energy and laughter filled long empty halls of El Centro de la Raza, as scholars participated in a scavenger hunt that led them all over the building to learn the story of the over 100-year-old historic building.
Scholars also had a chance to participate in art projects and had a chance to try on archeological hats in exploring minerals and rocks. This became a theme, symbolic of the foundation our scholars exhibited for the rest of the summer.
Although academic classes will continue via Zoom, scholars will have a chance to participate in three more field trips that will ultimately help combat summer learning loss.
Job Readiness Training
Our students, Juana Mas, Dallanary Santos, Andy Castro, and Alessia Manay enrolled in the job training program at El Centro de la Raza’s Business Opportunity Center, have finished their internships with Launch 206! The focus of the program was teaching the participants how to be on-the-water and general seamanship skills. The focus of the program was to help in preparing the students with the skills necessary for careers in the maritime industry. Students gained real-life experience through field trips, guest speakers, and information sessions. In addition, each student received a stipend of $1,000! Check out some highlights of their work here!
Seattle Public Schools is currently transitioning the portal for this year’s Youth Maritime Accelerator program. If you are interested in learning more about the upcoming project please call Danna Villar Cardenas YJRT (Youth Job Readiness Training temp coordinator) Phone number: (206) 887-3574 or email: email@example.com.
Tomando Control De Su Salud
Kathlene, a participant in our Tomando control de su salud (Taking Control of Your Health) program, gave us a wonderful testimony of her time with us. She said, “I’ve applied all that I have learned from these classes. The biggest thing I took away from the course was the vital information regarding my health. Along with the information, I also shared my experiences with those around me daily. I was consistently recognized for my progress within the course. I am currently trying to apply all that I have learned in this course and in my routine to improve my quality of life. For this, I give thanks to the people who have formulated this wonderful course and to El Centro de la Raza for all their help.”
Launch and Grow Your Business
Jeanett Quintanilla is a licensed lawyer from Peru and is fascinated with the law and her community. Her passion for serving others continued once she moved to the United States and volunteered at the Latino/a Bar Association of Washington legal clinic. She then became a certified bilingual paralegal in Washington state. Jeanett participated in the entrepreneurship course Launch and Grow Your Business through the Business Opportunity Center (BOC). After graduating from the course, she was given one-on-one business advising through BOC on permits and advertisement online. Now, Jeanett is the owner of Manu Group LLC – a professional services company that offers paralegal, Spanish translation, and empowerment workshop services to the community. To learn more about her business and services, please contact Jeanett at Jeanett@manu-group.com or (206) 778-6407.
Youth Job Readiness Training
Finding a job can be a challenge for youth. They must determine what careers are available, their interests, and what skills they need to develop. Another problem among youth is the lack of skills, experience, and education that make them eligible for the workforce. The Youth Job Readiness Training Program is tackling these two problems with a solution: training youth about competent job training, financial literacy, internship placement, and academic support for future education. The program runs through the Business Opportunity Center and recruits 15 to 20-year-old high school students to attend a year-long training course. In addition to technical courses, the program teaches students networking skills, presentation skills, and project development.
This year has been a success despite the pandemic—We learned how to be together in a virtual setting. Every Wednesday, we had the opportunity to share not only knowledge but also emotional support. In addition, students also receive field training at partner organizations. As part of their training, one group this year will be building a boat with the Center of Wooden Boats through Launch 206. One student has already finished her internship with the Port of Seattle for a consecutive year, and another one is working with Seattle Goodwill. Also, a group of students is doing their internship at the Consulate of Guatemala and another one with El Centro de la Raza. Some organizations are providing stipends and school credit for internship completion.
So far, the program has succeeded very well in one of its goals: to help youth find employment. Most of our graduates now have jobs or are attending college, a remarkable achievement for our program. Graduates have found jobs in a variety of fields, from construction to customer service. We are happy to see our students enjoy the knowledge and assistance that we provide and how much we can learn from them. As the number of students willing to explore the employment experience grows, we will continue to have more success stories that show the importance of this program in helping to build the Beloved Community.
Plaza Roberto Maestas After School Program & Federal Way Totem After School Program, 8th Grade Promotions!
Since the beginning of 2021, families of the Totem After School Program and Plaza Roberto Maestas After School Program have been participating in the ‘Padres Preparados’ workshops series. The workshops provide an opportunity for interaction among different households to create a support system while navigating the middle school years. Understanding that the success of our students is reliant on intergenerational support, the workshop models also build family members’ skillsets such as joining Zoom meetings and understanding the cultural capital they instill in their youth. Workshops are offered twice a month, with the second workshop, titled “Si Se Puede: Roadmap to College” offers caregivers a deep exploration of the pathway towards college. At the end of the series, participants will earn a certificate of completion for their dedication.
The Workforce Program and the Youth Maritime Accelerator Program
Isabella*, who is of Purépecha descent, has always been interested in the history of maritime. Working on boats has always piqued her interest. Through El Centro de la Raza’s Workforce program, Isabella is part of the Youth Maritime Accelerator Program, which the Youth Maritime Collaborative offers. Isabella, whose parents emigrated to the US from Mexico, says the program has given her opportunities to go outdoors and have hands-on learning within the maritime industry while understanding the professional side of maritime and giving her the chance to improve her technical and marketing skills. She wants to be a role model for other girls and women in her community. Isabella hopes to encourage them to pursue higher education or find opportunities that they may think are unavailable. She plans to go off to college herself to pursue a degree in architecture this fall. Isabella is very appreciative of the opportunity to participate in the Youth Maritime Accelerator Program and hopes that these opportunities continue to be available to youth in our community. She believes El Centro does everything possible to ensure that all people can fully participate regardless of language limitations.
*Name has been changed for privacy
Our System Navigators Supports Family Through the Record-breaking Heat
Janice* and her family of 6 live in the Renton area, they were without AC or a fan during the hottest day on record, Monday, July 28th, 2021. Through El Centro de la Raza and our System Navigators, we were able to provide them a $200 Visa Card to cover basic necessities and buy a fan. Our navigators continue in contact with the family to provide them guidance on various programs and assist with meeting their basic necessities.
*Name has been changed for privacy
High School Scholars & Their Diplomas!
Despite this past year being full of challenges, our scholars at Truman Campus stayed focused on their goals towards graduation. We saw tremendous growth in our scholars as they navigated through this school year; their hard work and perseverance paid off. It was an honor for our team to support scholars along this journey and help prepare graduates for a successful new chapter as they transition into higher education. Congratulations to the class of 2021. We hope success will keep following you in everything that you do!
Youth Job Readiness Training
Finding a job can be a challenge for youth. They must determine what careers are available, their interests, and their skills or need to develop. Another problem among youth is the lack of skills, experience, and education that make them eligible for the workforce. The Youth Job Readiness Program is tackling these two problems with a solution: training youth about competent job training, financial literacy, internship placement, and academic support for future education. The program runs through the Business Opportunity Center and recruits 15- to 20-year-old high school students to attend a year training course. In addition to technical courses, the program teaches students networking and presentation skills and project development.
This year has been a success. Despite the pandemic, we learned how to be together in a virtual setting. Every Wednesday, we had the opportunity to share not only knowledge but also emotional support. In addition to that, students also receive field training at partner organizations. As part of their training, one group this year will be building a boat with the Center of Wooden Boats through Launch 206. One student has already finished her internship with the Port of Seattle for a consecutive year, and another one is working with Seattle Goodwill. Also, a group of students is doing their internship with the Consulate of Guatemala and a different one with El Centro de la Raza. Thanks to these internships, some organizations are providing them stipends for its completion and school credits.
So far, the program has succeeded very well in one of its goals: to help youth find employment. Most of our graduates now have jobs or are attending college, a remarkable achievement for our program. Graduates have found jobs in a variety of fields, from construction to customer service. We are happy to see our students enjoy the knowledge and assistance that we provide and how much we can learn from them. As the number of students willing to explore the employment experience grows, the program will support the community. We will continue to have more success stories that show the importance of this program and the help to our beloved community.
A Message of Success from our Youth Marijuana Prevention and Education Program
Hello everyone, this is Ileana with Youth Marijuana Prevention and Education Program, also known as; (YMPEP) for El Centro de la Raza. This is our Success story.
“Our Culture and our Familias”.
El Centro worked with a mini Grant from the KC YMPEP where we had an opportunity to work on an educational project on Marijuana/Cannabis prevention. We worked with Liz and her team Karla and Mimi and had a wonderful turnout. The young scholars are from the Totem Federal Way after School Program & Plaza Roberto Maestas after School Program students– Combined Programming.
“Food is sacred for our familias. Recipes are often passed down from generation to generation without thought, it becomes an unspoken tradition. Just as important as the meal, is the conversations held around those meals. For many of our familias, the pandemic has created food insecurities. Many of the meals families once enjoyed have been modified to adapt to what is available within budgets or even from food secured through food banks. To help nourish our families and continue traditions, El Centro De La Raza’s middle school programs in collaboration with Marijuana/Vape Youth Prevention programming will host a week-long cooking session for scholars to learn, cook and converse with their own familias. As part of the unit, youth will first learn about the dangers of marijuana consumption and the challenges that substances have on their development. Through these first sessions, youth will gain talking points to share with their family and reinforce their own understanding. Scholars will then plan a menu for their families based on a curated option from program leaders. Through creating their menu, scholars will practice soft skills of learning steps in following a recipe and learning units of measuring. Scholars will also receive a drop off of ingredients and food staples to create the meal together at the end of the week.”
Scholars have cooked their meals, invited their families to enjoy the meal, and discussed information learned at the beginning of the week. They were very proud. Through this project: the young Scholars were able to support food insecurities, practice soft skills, and learn about marijuana and vape prevention.
Tomando Control de su Salud
Alejandro* recently completed the Tomando Control de Su Salud offered through our Senior Program. He says that the class taught him the difference between good and bad cholesterol and how to control his body. He tells us that the program has helped him change his eating habits and portion control. He thanks the program coordinator Flor for her hard work and the interesting books she provided.
A speech on Child Tax Credits by our José Martí Child Development Center Director HildaMagana
Good Morning, my name is Hilda Magaña. I am the program Director for the José Martí Child Development Center at El Centro de la Raza.
We are here today to spread the good news about this important benefit for our Children and Families. The American Resource Plan Expands the Child Tax Credit to Provide Support to more families during the 2021 Tax year. Families could get up to Three-thousand Six Hundred dollars per child under six years old and three-thousand dollars for Children up to 17 years of age.
This benefit will reach about thirty-nine million households by making the credit fully refundable. Nearly 90% of all the American children will now benefit from the Child Care Tax Credit.
Our champion representative Suzan DelBene was working hard to make the Child Care Tax Credit a reality. She is fighting to make this expansion permanent. This long-term goal is estimated to cut childhood poverty in half. El Centro de la Raza since our founding has always been committed to helping our families and children fight poverty.
Representative DelBene, El Centro de la Raza is committed to Support the financial benefits to our families and children. We support families with tax prep support in conjunction with the United Way of King County every Tuesday this summer here at El Centro de la Raza.
Our families who will not want to receive the 2021 child tax credit in advance can opt out through the IRS.
The IRS created two websites to allow non-filers to sign up and receive the monthly payments. Including the households that did not file in 2020-2019.
Thank you so much.
A note from our Tobacco & Marijuana Prevention & Cessation Program for NATIONAL PARENTS’ DAY – July 25, 2021
DÍA NACIONAL DE LOS PADRES – 25 de julio de 2021 | Nacional hoy , se celebra para apreciar a los padres, reconocer su trabajo en equipo en la crianza de los hijos, y simplemente bañarlos de amor y afecto. Recuerda que incluso si la persona o las personas que te criaron con amor no están biológicamente relacionadas contigo, han estado allí durante los buenos y malos momentos. ¡Honrémoslos a todos!
Muchos jóvenes y adultos jóvenes en nuestra comunidad LatinX están en medio de una epidemia de tabaco y vapeo. A nivel nacional, el consumo de tabaco sigue siendo la principal causa prevenible de enfermedad y muerte. ¡Nuestros hijos son un reflejo de nosotros! Todas nuestras peculiaridades y manierismos son reflejados por nuestros hijos; promovamos una generación libre de humo/vapeo. Obtenga ayuda para dejar de fumar :: Washington State Department of Health
NATIONAL PARENTS’ DAY – July 25, 2021 | National Today, is celebrated to appreciate parents, recognize their teamwork in raising children, and just shower them with love and affection. Remember that even if the person or people who raised you with love aren’t biologically-related to you, they have been there during good times and bad. Let us honor them all!
Many youth and young adults in our LatinX community are in the midst of a tobacco and vaping epidemic. Nationally, tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of disease and death. Our children are a reflection of us! All our quirks and mannerisms are mirrored by our children; let’s promote a smoke/vape-free generation. Getting Help to Quit Tobacco :: Washington State Department of Health
We have continued to host vaccine clinics at both our Beacon Hill and Federal Way locations. In partnership with International Community Health Services, Seattle Children’s Hospital, the University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle Fire Department, CHI Franciscan Health (Virginia Mason), Adiós Covid, UW Medical Center, and Sea Mar we have given over 1200 vaccinations. We were excited to receive a Certificate of Appreciation from Public Health – Seattle & King County, Director Patty Hayes, Health Officer Jeff Duchin.
It is vital for our community that we all do our part and get vaccinated. Below you will find a quick sheet sharing Myths vs. Facts about vaccinations and a quick sheet on your vaccination rights
El Centro de la Raza believes that making our community heard is vital to our future. Although voting is often an uphill battle for communities of color, we know that voting can be one of the most powerful things that one can do to create change. In 2021 El Centro de la Raza reached out to thousands of individuals with bilingual resources to support our community by breaking down knowledge barriers and promoting access.
Since the beginning of 2021, families of the Totem After School Program and Plaza Roberto Maestas After School Program have been participating in the ‘Padres Preparados’ workshops series. The workshops provide an opportunity for interaction among different households to create a support system while navigating the middle school years. Understanding that the success of our students is reliant on intergenerational support, the workshop models also build family members skillsets such as joining Zoom meetings and understanding the cultural capital they instill in their youth. Workshops are offered twice a monthly, with the second workshop, titled “Si Se Puede: Roadmap to College” offers caregivers a deep exploration on the pathway towards college. At the end of the series, participants will earn a certificate of completion for their dedication.
El Toreo Tienda y Carniceria
Francisca Pineda, dueña de El Toreo Tienda y Carnicería, asistió una sesión informativa que facilito El Centro de la Raza sobre la beca Working Washington Ronda -4. El 10 de mayo, ella fue aprobada por una beca empresaria de $12,000 por el Departamento de Comercio del Estado de Washington. La beca la ha ayudado a continuar su negocio.
“El Toreo Tienda y Carnicería le da las gracias a El Centro de La Raza por el favor de apoyarnos en la aplicación. El dinero fue depositado en la cuenta de la tienda y nos esta sirviendo para pagar la luz y renta.”
Francisca Pineda, the owner of El Toreo Tienda y Carniceria, assisted the information session facilitated for the Working Washington – Round 4. On May 10, she was approved for a $12,000 grant for her business from the Washington State Department of Commerce. This grant has helped her business stay afloat – as she is using the funds for business debts and operational costs.
“El ToreoTienda y Carniceria gives thanks to El Centro de la Raza for their help with the application process. The funds were deposited in our business account and it helps us to pay for our business utilities and rent.”
Open Doors Youth Case Management Program
Our Federal Way Open Doors Youth Case Management Program has continuously addressed participants’ growing needs. With the ongoing pandemic leaving more students and families in need of assistance, staff have provided students with educational support and addressing their basic needs. This month staff focused on personal hygiene and delivered kits to 10 scholars’ homes—kits including body wash, deodorant, lip balm, socks, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. Good hygiene is an important part of student’s health, wellness, and self-esteem. Providing these basic essentials for scholars helps them start their day off right. Our goal is also to relieve the stress of having to purchase these necessary items. Scholars are already looking forward to the next supply delivery.
SEA/FW After School Programs
Each month, scholars enrolled in our two middle school after-school programs (The Plaza Roberto Maestas After School Program or the Totem Federal Way After School Program) receive a doorstep delivery with supplies, snacks, and educational material. In our last delivery, 50 scholars received snacks and material for April activities, including our Trade Camps & Model UN: Latin American Conference Project. Students love delivery day because they receive their favorite snacks, and it serves as an opportunity to connect with staff members. Each month, youth have a chance to suggest favorite snacks and create a wish list of items they would like to receive. Scholars receive a small but thoughtful gift for those with birthdays in the month. One participant could not be more excited to have received a skateboard. The text message screenshot above demonstrates her excitement and the similar excitement of our young scholars.
Updated vendor schedule for la Plaza Roberto Maestas!
ECDLR’s Tobacco & Marijuana Prevention & Cessation Program
As our current legislative session ends, El Centro de la Raza’s Tobacco & Marijuana prevention & cessation program would like to thank everyone in WA for their dedicated, hard work in fighting for tobacco laws that need to be changed. Our prevention efforts focus on educating our youth, young adults and members of our LatinX community about the health effects associated with the use of tobacco, vape and e-cigarettes. We continue to promote the prevention of nicotine dependence and provide the educational resources to do so successfully. Our hope is that our work will empower and encourage individuals in our Latino/LatinX communities to stop smoking/vaping by offering services/cessation tools that may be beneficial in helping them quit successfully.
One of our strongest collaboration efforts has been reflected in our teamwork with the Tobacco, Marijuana, and Other Drugs Coalition. We worked together in addressing our support to several bills that we believe will help make a change in our fight for a smoke & vape free WA. We testified via zoom during live hearings as well as provided written testimony supporting the following bills, which affect Vape and PUP bills:
HB 1345 – 2021-22: Concerning the regulation of products sold to adults age 21 and over
HB 1550 – 2021-22: Concerning methods to prevent nicotine addiction
SB 5129 – 2021-22: Concerning the possession of vapor, vapor products, tobacco, and tobacco products by minors.
We were happy to have learned that on April 29, 2021, the FDA announced a federal action to end the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars from gaining new generations of smokers. We have recently learned that US Rep. Marilyn Strickland (WA-10) is also in support of this federal ban on menthol.
We as Washingtonians can do our part in having our voice heard that we want this change too! We want to give a HUGE Thank you to everyone in WA fighting to make this possible. We plan to continue to spread our message for tobacco cessation within our LatinX community via virtual/interactive means; COVID-19 will not stop us!
Aunque la última sesión legislativa acaba de terminar, el programa de prevención y cesación de tabaco y marihuana de El Centro de la Raza desea agradecer a todos en Wa por su dedicado y arduo trabajo en la lucha por las leyes del tabaco que necesitan ser cambiadas. Nuestros esfuerzos de prevención se centran en educar a nuestros jóvenes, adultos jóvenes y miembros de nuestra comunidad latina sobre los efectos en la salud asociados con el uso de tabaco, vapeo y cigarrillos electrónicos. Continuamos nuestro trabajo en prevención contra la dependencia de nicotina y proporcionando los recursos educativos necesarios para hacerlo con éxito. Nuestra esperanza es que nuestro trabajo empoderará y alentará a las personas de nuestras comunidades latinas/latinasX a dejar de fumar/vapear ofreciendo servicios/herramientas de cese que pueden ser beneficiosas para ayudarlos a dejar de fumar con éxito.
Uno de nuestros esfuerzos de colaboración más fuertes se ha reflejado en nuestro trabajo en equipo con la Coalición Tobacco, Marijuana, and Other Drugs. Trabajamos juntos para abordar nuestro apoyo a varios proyectos de ley que creemos que ayudarán a hacer un cambio en nuestra lucha por un WA libre de humo y vapeo. Testificamos a través de zoom durante las audiencias en vivo, así como proporcionamos testimonios escritos que respaldan los siguientes proyectos de ley, que afectan las facturas de Vapeo y PUP (Posesión, Uso, Compra):
HB 1345 – 2021-22: Relativo a la regulación de los productos vendidos a adultos mayores de 21 años
HB 1550 – 2021-22: Relativo a los métodos para prevenir la adicción a la nicotina
SB 5129 – 2021-22: Relativo a la posesión de vapor, productos de vapor, tabaco y productos de tabaco por menores de edad.
Nos alegró saber que el 29 de abril de 2021, la FDA anunció una acción federal para poner fin a la venta de cigarrillos mentolados y cigarros aromatizados de ganar nuevas generaciones de fumadores. Recientemente nos hemos enterado de que la representante estadounidense Marilyn Strickland (WA-10) también apoya esta prohibición federal del mentol.
¡Nosotros como washingtonianos podemos hacer nuestra parte para que nuestra voz sea escuchada que también queremos este cambio! Queremos dar un enorme agradecimiento a todos en WA luchando para hacer esto posible. Planeamos continuar difundiendo nuestro mensaje para el cese del tabaco dentro de nuestra comunidad Latina a través de medios virtuales/interactivos; COVID-19 no nos detendrá!
Each year at our Building the Beloved Community Gala, we celebrate two individuals in the community who exemplify Building the Beloved spirit through multi-racial unity and work to eliminate poverty, racism, and social inequity, with a Felipe Maestas Legacy Award. We will celebrate our 2021 awardees with a humble $1,000 gift in their name to an organization of their choice and recognize each awardee at our 2021 Building the Beloved Gala on October 2nd.