Lauren Mendez, a former foster youth from Modesto, took part in a Capitol Hill event highlighting the system.
She was the guest of Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, at the annual Foster Youth Shadow Day on Wednesday, May 23. Young people from around the nation shared their experiences with their members of Congress.
“Lauren’s story is a testament to her drive and will to succeed,” Denham said in a news release. “Not only has she risen above adversity, she’s now helping others through her work to make the foster care system function better in Stanislaus County and across the state.”
Mendez, 21, is chairwoman of the Stanislaus County chapter of California Youth Connection and senior ambassador with the Youth Engagement Project. She hopes to eventually become a dependency attorney.
Denham has co-sponsored a bill that would allow foster youth to apply for housing assistance when they turn 16, rather than 18, to ease their transition to adulthood.
Stan State grads hear from leaders
The latest graduates from California State University, Stanislaus, heard from a mayor, a local entertainment leader and a fellow student who has shined:
- Maggie White of Modesto, who just completed her master's in public administration, spoke at Thursday's ceremony for students receiving advanced degrees and credentials. She was president of the California State Student Association, representing about 480,000 students in the CSU system.
Lynn Dickerson, CEO of the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto, spoke Thursday to the College of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of Education, Kinesiology and Social Work. She has been publisher and president of The Modesto Bee and vice president of operations for The McClatchy Co., parent company of The Bee.
Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs spoke Friday at the ceremony for the College of Business Administration and the College of Science. At 27, he is the youngest mayor ever of an American city with more than 100,000 people.
Seven companies excel on wastewater
The Modesto City Council honored seven businesses for their efforts in 2017 to keep wastewater clean. They are part of the Industrial Pretreatment Program, which requires that harmful substances be contained before reaching the sewage treatment plant.
The winners "went above and beyond" the requirements, a news release said.:
- G-3 Enterprises wine closure division
- Georgia Pacific packaging plant
- International Paper packaging plant
- Modesto Plating & Powder Coating, which applies finishes to metal surfaces
- Seneca Foods fruit cannery, which has since closed
- Squab Producers of California, which processes young pigeons for fine chefs
- Seven-Up Bottling Co., producer of various beverages.
And finally ...
Chaunte Mitchell, a standout pole vaulter at Stan State more than a decade ago, will be inducted into the NCAA Division II Athlete Hall of Fame at the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Mitchell was the first Division II woman to win back-to-back titles in outdoor vaulting, which she did in 2004 and 2005. Her winning leap of 13 feet, 1 inch in 2005 was a record at the time for the division outdoor championship. The induction is part of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Charlotte, N.C.
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