Tag Archives: NaTesha Kindred

Time Flies When You’re at BC!

Can you believe it’s already July? Where does the time go?

Good morning, it is Saturday, July 1, 2017 and such a wonderful day to be a Renegade

Jury Duty

As we approach Independence Day, the right to a trial by jury is one of the primary factors contributing to America’s decision to fight for independence. Jury rights were written into Article III of the US Constitution and the Sixth Amendment, which guarantees all Americans “the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed”. In contrast to the magistrate process popular in 18th Century Europe, where the judges lead the prosecution, the US legal system forces each side to conduct its own investigation, present evidence and argue its side in open court.

As it happens, I spent much of my time last week on Jury Duty and was reminded daily of two things. First, how much I love the community of Delano and second, how thankful I am to live in a society that gives every citizen a voice and a way to serve and contribute.

McNamara and Horace MitchellThe Judge who did the orientation in Bakersfield was Judge McNamara, a previous faculty at CSUB. I found this CSUB blog post which shared photos and the story of when Judge McNamara was appointed. Both he and the Judge Tafoya in Delano had significant respect for veterans.

I enjoyed the short drive from Bakersfield to Delano daily. Dr. Oliver Rosales mentioned in an article last year that the 99 has been “dubbed the most dangerous road in America” but that he, too, enjoys his drives to Delano. In the article, he mentions the fields surrounding the city and cleverly says BC Delano is surrounded by “fields of dreams.”

After spending three days in Jury Duty, I wanted to learn more about the Delano Court. The California Courts website says,

The Superior Court of Kern County operates two facilities in northern Kern County: the Shafter/Wasco Branch in Shafter, and the Delano/McFarland Branch Courthouse, also known as the North Kern Regional Court, in Delano. The Delano facility serves the communities of Delano, Elmo, Famoso, McFarland, Pond, Richgrove, Vineland, and other outlying rural areas. This court also handles cases from two neighboring prisons: Kern Valley State Prison and North Kern State Prison.

It’s incredible to think of the large area that Delano services.

Robert Tafoya MArch 28 2015 from TBCMy week of service reframed my thinking on Jury Duty.   Jury duty is not only a good thing to do, but also one of the most important ways we can be responsible citizens. It is an opportunity to make use of our mind and voice… while making it count on matters that are life changing and profound. Jurors have a tremendous responsibility and what an honor it is to be trusted as a collective of regular citizens. A guilty or not guilty verdict will and can change a life forever.

Also, it was a real treat watching Judge Robert Tafoya in action.  He is one of the most authentic individuals I know.  Thank you Judge Tafoya for all that you do for our communities of Bakersfield and Delano. Check out this piece on Robert Tafoya, March 28, 2014, in the Bakersfield Life Magazine of The Bakersfield Californian titled What I am Reading.

Photo: Rod Thornburg of TBC

http://www.bakersfield.com/bakersfield_life/what-i-m-reading-judge-robert-tafoya/article_c218bd28-cdf2-5fe4-aa53-9ec272b3e8b6.html

Student Success Retreat

On Monday, we held a student success retreat which focused on understanding real student data, beginning the process of taking action through the Completion Coaching Communities Structure, identifying students who are off the path in some way, and helping them get back on path to completing their educational goals.

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Discipline faculty, counselors, educational advisors, and the entire management team gathered in groups organized by our ten Learning and Career Pathways.  Each team of Completion Coaches reviewed the schedules of the students in their Learning and Career Pathway.  Using the “Completion Coach Student Evaluation” (photo attached), Completion Coaches manually reviewed and discussed their individual students’ schedules to ensure they are on path toward their educational goals.  While this work is time intensive, it’s critical in ensuring each of our Renegades are equipped with the information and tools necessary for their success.

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Craig HaywardCraig Hayward, our Institutional Researcher, led the Completion Coaches in a discussion to identify the key themes present among the data.  The Coaches identified issues related to the first three pillars of the guided pathways model:

  1.      Goal Clarity: Lack of clarity in the pathways and educational maps
  2.      Enrollment Roadblocks: Onboarding to the wrong path through registration
  3.      Lane Assist: Need for tracking to ensure students stay on path toward their educational goals

Thank you Lesley Bonds for the photos.

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Summer Bridge Video and Registration Rocks

I received this video from Jordan Rude.  You can see why Summer Bridge is so important and successful.  Navigating the road of college isn’t easy, especially if you’re right out of high school. BC’s Summer Bridge is here to help!

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FsummerbridgeBC%2Fvideos%2F1919455238277482%2F&width=450&show_text=false&height=252&appId

Check out the work of John Farrand and Francis Mayer for July 11th — Registration Rocks

I will cover this event more in next week’s blog.

The Air Force Concert Band is off to the Hollywood Bowl

Beautiful garrison flag welcoming our guests Wed night

Photo by MJ Pasek

What a lovely evening it was last Wednesday for a live concert!  We were so lucky to have the U.S. Air Force Concert Band give a free concert at the outdoor theatre.  The USAF Band of the Golden West, on their way to play at the Hollywood Bowl, played so many of the great songs that are familiar in a creative, inventive way.  They played selections from Aaron Copland, Pat Methany, a Medley of Gershwin classic, the lively jazz piece from 1955 called “Malaguena” (by Ernesto Lecuona).  Giving us a little bit of history from each of their selections, they told us the story of “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” Check out this brief video of Yankee Doodle from the Air Force Band

Most people don’t know about the history of the song, but it’s really quite humorous.  British soldiers of the revolutionary war made up the words (the melody itself had been around for a long time already) to make fun of the rough-around-the-edges [in appearance and organization] American Colonials.  British soldiers liked to laugh at the unkempt Americans who would think they were high-class if they were to stick a feather in their dirty hat.

USAF Band-8

Veteran's Center mobile unit did a brisk business all evening

Photo by MJ Pasek

Not ones to sit around and be mocked, American soldiers started singing the song as a sign of defiance.  Even changing a few verses to mock the Britons and hail George Washington.  So what was originally meant to mock the Americans had the tables turned on it to become something proudly sung throughout the army.

Mary Jo Pasek always has fantastic pictures of every event at BC! More photos to come next week!

https://twitter.com/BandGoldenWest/status/880243635823951872

I also loved seeing this picture at the concert posted later on Facebook with Art Professor, Diego Monterrubio and History Professor, Paul Beckworth.

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The concert started with a rendition of Hoedown

Check out Fascinating Rhythm.

Here is a short video of their last song honoring each branch of the Military to Caissons Go Rolling Along

 

It was a treat to see the community out enjoying incredible music, supporting our veterans and being a part of the Bakersfield College community.

Thank you Dick Taylor for bringing the Air Force Band of the Golden West to Bakersfield and to Bakersfield College.

Here is an excerpt describing the band from their website

The United States Air Force Band of the Golden West is stationed in the San Francisco Bay area at Travis Air Force Base, California. The only active duty Air Force band west of the Rockies, the Band of the Golden West is comprised of about 60 talented and versatile Airmen-musicians under the command of Captain Rafael F. Toro-Quiñones. In addition to performing for civilian communities throughout the states of California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah, the band supports 13 Air Force Bases, 8 Air Force Reserve Wings, and 6 recruiting squadrons in over 250 annual performances for 1.5 million listeners.

And thank you Mary Jo Pasek, for all that you did to make this happen.  Here is a picture that SGA Vice President Lawrence Salcido snapped when the Band Conductor invited Mary Jo to come up and be recognized.  Mary Jo then invited me to come along.  She did all the work, and I get to share the credit with her.  You see why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever.

Mary jo receiving a recognition June 29 2017

Here is a screen capture of Dick Taylor’s Facebook post recognizing the amazing work done by Mary Jo.

Dick Taylor recognizing Mary Jo Pasek on Facebook

Most of the photos are from our own William Velasquez, from the BC IT department. Thank you William for the photos!

 

Celebrating our Fire Grads!

In last weeks blog, I mentioned our Firefighter Graduation, but this week Tim Capehart, our Fire Technology Director, sent me some great photos and information so I thought I’d revisit that incredible celebration. Tim said, “The F/F 1 Academy is over 524 hrs. long. It meets three times a week in the evenings and all day Sat. and Sun. so students can maintain a day job and still complete the academy. The Academy that just finished meets the new curriculum requirements for F/F 1 IFSAC and Pro Board accreditation. This means our students can apply for jobs anywhere in the United States. We graduated thirty two students who all passed the State skills and written exams.”

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Furthermore, Tim added that all thirty two students held full time jobs along with studying, training, and continuous testing throughout the six month journey. In this year’s graduating class, we had dedicated husbands, parents, marines, an airborne ranger, Cal State Berkeley football player, ferrier, Alabama volleyball player, CSUB swimmer, and a division one baseball athlete. The young men and women represent the many different and diverse groups of future firefighters. We are BC!

 

Chris McCraw and E. Kika De La Garza  Fellows Program

BC Ag Professor, Chris McCraw participated in the E. Kika De La Garza Fellows Program.

The official brochure says,

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Office of Advocacy and Outreach (OAO), Hispanic-Serving Institutions National Program (HSINP) E. Kika De La Garza Fellowship Program offers faculty and staff from Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) the opportunity to work collaboratively with USDA to gain insight and understanding of the Federal Government. Through the fellowship, participants learn about opportunities that are available with USDA and other Federal Agencies for their respective institutions and their students. Fellows share their experience with students at their respective HSIs, motivating them to pursue careers in agriculture, science, research, technology, and other related fields of study. Furthermore, the fellowship strengthens and expands USDA’s partnerships with HSIs and the communities they serve.

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The Chris McCraw and E. Kika De La Garza  Fellows

 

Working together across KCCD to implement better systems

Students across KCCD June 2017

Lisa Couch, Jason Andrews, Terri Goldstein

On Monday and Tuesday, the student conduct officers from all three KCCD institutions came together at Bakersfield College to learn the our new student conduct case management system, Maxient. Lead by Dr. Nicky Damania, the group spent two intense days learning the system while implementing processes that would not only increase positive experiences within student conduct process, but also bring efficiency to their workflow when processing case paperwork. The new process will convert the student conduct process completely online thus being able to effectively communicate with students in a timely manner.

 

Student Leaders across KCCD June 2017

Val Garcia, Jason Andrews

National Camera Day

Kris Stallworth from The Rip.jpg

The Bakersfield Californian featured our Art Department Chair, Kristopher Stallworth’s photos and a brief blurb on Thursday for National Camera Day. Check it out on Bakersfield.com.

Stallworth has been taking photos for 25 years. His first camera was a 110 film point and shoot camera, and his first serious camera was a Canon AE-1 that was his father’s.

Community Events

BC at Bakersfield Wing Festival June 25 2017.jpg

John Kelly, Tina Mendoza, Sandra Beckworth, Paul Beckworth, Terri Goldstein, Nicky Damania

 

natesha-sonya-karen-nov-4-2016-kern-housisng-authority-galaBC employees always support our local community organizations and partners. Sunday June 25 at the Kern County Fair Grounds was the second annual Bakersfield Wing Fest where several Renegades supported our community partner, NaTesha Kindred Johnson’s group, Upside Productions.  NaTesha is a great friend of BC and did a lot of work on Measure J.  Thank you NaTesha!  Here is a picture of NaTesha that I found in my blog library.  We were at an event organized by Norma Rojas Mora.  Here is NaTesha with Karen Goh and me.

Bakersfield Wing Festival June 25 2017

Paul Beckworth, John Kelly, Tina Mendoza, Sandra Beckworth, Terri Goldstein, Nicky Damania

The event brought the community together to not only enjoy delicious wings from around Bakersfield, but also raise awareness and funds for the Alzheimer’s Disease Association for Kern County and Grandma Whoople Enterprise (a non-profit anti bullying campaign). This year Happy Hour won the wing competition but we all won a great taste of community pride!

Superheroes Behind the Scenes

Have I told you lately that I’m the happiest and luckiest college president in the world? One reason is because of the fantastic faculty and staff at Bakersfield College, and one example is Kristina Whitmore in the department of Student Success and Equity. Above and beyond her work at BC, volunteering is an important part of her life. She said,

Helping others is an essential part of who am I, If I am not helping others I am not helping myself. I do not feel whole as a person when I am not advocating and doing for others. I find joy and hope in helping our students at BC, here I know each student will go on to accomplish great things. I find light in a dark place when I am in Prison helping. These men have made bad choice that have found them behind bars, but they are not to be forgotten!

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Kristina Whitmore

The specific program Kristina mentions is called Pawsitive Change Prison Program by Marley’s Mutts. The website says,

Pawsitive Change is a progressive and intensive rehabilitation program which matches Death Row dogs with inmates inside California State Prisons.  Our goal is to reduce inmate recidivism by providing them a viable skill, while at the same time saving dogs lives.  The program is guided by four of our experienced trainers over 14 weeks, during which the inmates work toward vocational accreditation and the dogs towards their Canine Good Citizen Certification.  Both man and mutt will use the skills gained in this program to better their lives and stay out of prisons and/or shelters, respectively.

Marleys Mutts Program (3)

On the homepage, there is a testimony that stood out to me and shows how lifechanging and “pawsitive” is.

“We live inside a place where we can’t show our emotion — it’s considered a weakness.  But with this program, we can feel, give, and receive affection.  We become cold in here, much more cold than when we entered.  But these dogs give us a chance to be human.” -Inmate Participant, Cyclell

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Thank you Kristina and thank you Marley’s Mutts for all that you do.  This is an inspirational program.

Marleys Mutts Program (4)

Neo

Speaking of puppies, on Wednesday Neo had his third visit to the vet (by the way, a great supporter of Marley’s Mutts…). Two vaccines — Bordetella Bronchiseptica and Canine Distemper.  The first picture was taken on June 2nd (his second visit to the Vet when he weighed 19 lbs) and the second picture on June 28th (this third visit to the Vet at 30 lbs)

I must say this time the drive to the vet was much more pleasant than three weeks ago, he was calm, self-assured, and not the distressed puppy in a car moving fast!

Here he is making a reckless uncontrolled dash for the ball.

Renegade Passings of Joyce Teague and Rich Wise

joyceteagueOn Tuesday morning, I received a notice from Jerry Ludeke that we’ve had another passing in the Renegade family. The email from BC Archives said, “We are very sad to report that Joyce Teague (Kite) passed away last evening. Joyce began working for Bakersfield College in 1983 and retired on August 17, 2013. She loved her job in the M&O Department, where she was the go-to woman! She was also known for her outgoing and fun personality. You could say that she was a “character!” Later in her career, she moved to the Fine Arts Department. She will be deeply missed.”  I remember Joyce very well from my time as faculty at BC.  She ran a tight operation and was fearless in telling folks, including new department chair, what to do 🙂

4419330Last week, news also spread that Richard Wise passed away. Dr. Wise was devoted to his students and Bakersfield College and always encouraged students reach their goals and gain knowledge to  be successful. His students and colleagues admired his diligence and tenacity while teaching and doing battle with his illness.  He will be missed dearly and Liz Rozell said in an email, “I can tell you that he always was friendly with his colleagues and pleasant to work alongside. When I was Rich’s supervisor, he participated in a committee and communicated good insight with critical issues. I always enjoyed passing him in the hall because I knew he would smile at me and give me a friendly greeting. That means a lot in a work environment.”  It’s special people like Rich Wise who make BC so special.

East Hills Mall

I shared with you back in January in my blog that big plans were announced for the East Hills Mall and this week, The Bakersfield Californian shared an update with all the various stores that have been requested for the space. Check it out at The Bakersfield Californian website. None are guaranteed yet, but they would make great additions to the neighborhood.

Fun Photos

Thank you Corny Rodriguez for sending me photos of our new M&O building going up.  Here is the latest from June 30, 2017

June 30 2017 M&O Building

Came across this photo of Nicole Parra in action with Norma Rojas Mora and Bill Thomas when we were in the middle of the Measure J campaign.  Thank you Nicole for saying yes to BC or was it yes to BT 🙂

Nicole Parra Norma Rojas Mora Bill Thomas

Nicole Parra, Norma Rojas Mora, Bill Thomas

A few summer bridge photos from Kimberly Bligh

And this one is from Francis Mayer.  He titled it “Mega phone Matt” 🙂

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Sonya Christian

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Thank you Bakersfield, for a great 2016!

2016 — a year of great friendships, great love, great partnerships, great collaboration. 

Thank you Bakersfield, thank you Kern County for a great 2016! My blog post from January 2, 2016 (https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/01/02/2016-the-force-awakens/) ends with

Warm wishes to each and every one of you in this amazing community from all faculty, staff and students of Bakersfield College.  Here’s to a glorious 2016!

And what a year it has been. A year when the force was definitely with BC.

A year when BC:

  • produced an increase in student numbers that far exceeds the statewide trends
  • improved student success outcomes
  • created efficiencies that save both time and money for students and taxpayers
  • broadened outreach to Kern county residents, particularly in rural Kern
  • engaged throughout the community, connecting with business and industry leaders, other educational sectors, and community organizations
  • positioned the college for even more opportunities in grant funding.

And thank you for passing Measure J!

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Bruce our campaign dog

The campus is closed during the week between Christmas and New Year BC.  So things have been relatively quiet on the work front with faculty, staff and students spending time with friends, family and loved ones.  A few of us have been periodically connecting on grant applications that are due in early February.  Most meetings have been via 7:30 a.m. conference calls or meetings at Panera Bread, since offices are not heated to conserve energy during this week.

I published my last blog as I was on a plane from LAX to Toronto.  The few days in Toronto with Eisha were perfect — walks, talks, netflix, friends, and good food.  The buildings are so well insulated and heated that you can practically walk around inside in a t-shirt, and Eisha taught me how to dress for the cold during our walks.  She let me use her ear muffs, which worked wonders in keeping me warm.  I did not take many photos this week (I am regretting it now), but here are a few.

What a difference in attire….July 2016 in Canada and Dec 2016 in Canada

Mom was with us last Christmas and joined us in Toronto when we visited in July, but she did not want to face Toronto in December. Here is a picture of three generations on Christmas 2015 which popped up on Facebook.

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Kwanzaa Celebration Dec 28, 2016

It was a lot of fun attending the Kwanzaa celebration for the second year in a row.  I found myself being inspired by the music and the storytelling.  I walked away with much joy and a renewed commitment to spend time with loved ones.  Met up with my friends Karen Goh and NaTesha Kindred at the event.  Here are a few pictures from both of them.

It was fun talking to the group from the Cain Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church Young People’s Department.  David Sandles  standing to my left in the photo, is a Freshman at Bakersfield College and a Biochemistry major.  So cool!

Photo on the left: NaTesha Kindred Johnson, Karen Goh, Sonya Christian

Photo on the right: The Kwanzaa 2016 organizer Bakari Sanyu.

 

Cathy Abernathy Nov 19 2015

Cathy Abernathy, Rotary, Nov 19 2015

On December 29th I had a series of meetings and joined Cathy Abernathy who was hosting the Ralph Bailey show, and had invited me to be a guest and talk about the happenings at BC.  Of course I said yes.  It is truly an honor to share the wonderful things happening at BC and also wonderful to hang out with Cathy.

We talked about the work BC is doing with KHSD, about the Career Technical Education programs, the new Bachelor of Science in Industrial Automation etc. We ended with the spectacular event of having an outdoor ice rink in the magnificent Memorial Stadium– 2016 Winterfest!  If you have not purchased your tickets yet, you should!  January 6th is the celebrity game with Wayne Gretzky(!), and January 7th the Condors play.

I wish I had taken a picture when I was in the studio with Cathy,  but I did not do much of that this week.  Maybe it is because I am so irritated with myself for having dropped my iphone yet again and widened the crack on the glass…

December 30th, a group of us watched the Bakersfield College Basketball team win yet another game under the leadership of the fabulous coach Paula Dahl. Our students are such a treat and Coach Dahl rocks.  It was great to meet Paula’s brother David and his wife who came in from Utah to spend New Years.  The young women you see behind David Dahl are students from Stockdale High School, who I am hoping will be future Renegades, and here’s a picture of Sandi Taylor, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and me having a great time at the game.

I also connected with Christy Haycock at an exercise class session and Wayne Cooper at CALM’s Holiday Lights.

Here is the LA Times article about the Holiday Lights at CALM.

http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-christmas-lights-20161218-story.html

Bakersfield Life today:

Saw this great piece on our Dean of Allied Health, Cindy Collier

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bakersfield-life-2-dec-31-2016

 

I spent much of this morning reading previous blog posts and enjoying thinking about all that happened at Bakersfield College and in our community.  Here are a few in case you have time to click through:

March 25, 2016 post: The State of Kern County is Strong

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/03/25/the-state-of-kern-county-is-strong/

 

April 2, 2016: Life at BC is about living life fully.

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/04/02/life-at-bc-is-all-about-living-life-fully/

 

April 9, 2016: BC and the community — relationships run deep

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/04/09/bc-and-the-community-relationship-runs-deep/

Calla Lily June 4 2016

 

June 4, 2016: A community together

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/06/04/a-community-together/

An excerpt from the post

So here is a calla lily for you, my community, for all that you do on a daily basis to support each other and support the students at BC.

Thank you Fred Misono for making my visit to Bakersfield West Rotary so memorable.

And let’s remember Tharrell Ming — a community leader.

 

June 9, 2016: We are Bakersfield….We are BC

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/06/19/we-are-bakersfield-and-we-are-bc/

This blog covers two presentations on the bond measure during the educational phase of the campaign to the Hispanic Chamber and Kerntax.  A quick note here on Donna Carpenter — we miss you!

 

July 16, 2016: Building a Better BC

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/07/16/building-a-better-bc/

This blog covers the July 14th board meeting when the trustees voted to put Measure J on the ballot.

Let’s remember Mayor Harvey Hall’s words on Measure J. Thank you Mayor Hall for all that you have done for BC and for Bakersfield.

TBC_HarveyHall_7.15.2016

 

August 26, 2016: Launching Fall 2016 to Build a Better BC

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/08/20/launching-fall-2016-to-build-a-better-bc/

This post is about BC’s Fall Opening Day.  I typically do my State of the College address once a year during Fall Opening.  Here is an excerpt:

We live in an era of viral soundbites and tweets rather than one of comprehensive and detailed discussion. But let us not be reluctant to tell our story, openly and honestly; boldly in all its detail; and in all its glory.

Let’s joyfully shout out the BC story from the roof tops for the next 82 days and beyond.

Let us use Twitter….Facebook… Instagram and Snapchat.

Can we get 82 pieces of writing in the community voices section of the Californian? Every day from now until November 8th. We are BC and we are a Jewel of Kern County.

 We will continue to balance bold new directions with elegance and poise. We will continue to encourage punctual completion with gentle compassion and strong support. We see the face, heart, and brilliant mind of each individual student in the crowd of thousands and our mission is as important as it’s ever been.

I’m proud to say the state of Bakersfield College has never been stronger

Just like in 1913 – Just like in the 50s –

Now, in 2016, we stand together to write the next chapter of BC’s story….

Together, let’s build…A Better BC

WE are BC!

 

September 24, 2016: Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future; Faith is the courage to dance to it today.

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/09/24/hope-is-the-ability-to-hear-the-music-of-the-future-faith-is-the-courage-to-dance-to-it-today/

 

October 8, 2016: So many reasons to celebrate. We are BC!

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/10/08/so-many-reasons-to-celebrate-we-are-bc/

This is a great one.  A must watch.  Many video of community leaders talking about BC.  This includes Mayor Harvey Hall, Congressman Bill Thomas, Mike Turnipseed, Wayne Kress, David Torres, Fred Prince …..

 

 

Wishing all of you a wonderful 2017.  Another year of great friendships, great love, great partnerships and great collaborations.

Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future;
Faith is the courage to dance to it today.

 

sonya-dec-25-2016

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever