Monthly Archives: October 2015

St. Margaret’s Honor Committee Donates to Breakthrough SJC

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We are pleased to share that St. Margaret’s Honor Committee has made a generous donation to Breakthrough SJC. Each year, the Honor Committee collects money that is found and turned in by students and donates it to an organization. Breakthrough SJC was one of two programs selected to receive this year’s donation. Alain Kassarjian, a member of the Honor Committee, states the reason they chose to donate to our program is that Breakthrough SJC “is a local organization and is well known by the students [at St. Margaret’s]. It makes [the] students feel better that the money they turned in is going to a good cause.”

The Honor Committee is advised by Ryan Dahlem, Upper School Assistant Principal, and includes ten students driven by integrity. According to Mr. Dahlem, “The Honor Committee promotes honorable conduct and making good decisions. This money came about by students making good decisions and turning in lost money. It is appropriate that the Honor Committee chose to give the money to an organization that also promotes making positive choices, like Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano.” Thank you to Michael Bauer, Kevin Cox, Sarah Grace Engel, Freddy Hudoff, Alain Kassarjian, Veronika Laird, Derek Lindquist, Charlie Smith, Jack Westhead, Ryan Wilson, and Cooper Zediker for the generous donation.

Breakthrough SJC Celebrates AmeriCorps VISTA’s 50th Anniversary

This year marks the 50th anniversary of AmeriCorps VISTA! The Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) idea was introduced to Congress by President Kennedy in 1963 and founded in 1965 with the goal of bringing citizens together to fight poverty. Every year, AmeriCorps VISTA employs 7,000 Americans to serve in communities throughout the country. Members of AmeriCorps VISTA make a one-year commitment and live at the poverty line to better understand the experience of those they serve.

This year, new AmeriCorps VISTA Jessica Jaramillo joins Breakthrough staff as Community Coordinator while returning AmeriCorps VISTA member Diana Barriga serves her second term as Volunteer Coordinator. Jessica joined AmeriCorps after working with underserved students at Mar Vista Elementary during her field service at CSU Channel Islands and realizing the need for equity in education. Diana is a native of San Juan Capistrano and returns to Breakthrough this year to continue her hard work and achievements. She graduated from Connecticut College with a degree in economics and sociology and is very dedicated to Breakthrough’s mission. She joined Breakthrough to give back to her community and has served as a teaching fellow, dean of students, and AmeriCorps VISTA. This is the third year in which AmeriCorps VISTAs have served with Breakthrough SJC.

Thank you AmeriCorps VISTA for generously providing us with two members to work with Breakthrough SJC and thank you to all the men and women who serve America in the VISTA program.

Read more about AmeriCorps VISTA here.