Learn more about what’s going on in your community this July by reading the Diamond Snapshot e-newsletter, highlighting COVID-19 vaccine sites, a local food distribution, a FREE youth community carnival and more! You can subscribe to the monthly e-newsletter today and learn more resources for you and community updates – click below for more information!
Applicants Must Live, Work in or Demonstrate Engagement with the Southeastern San Diego Community
The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation has announced a call for board member applications for its 2022 term. Jacobs Center board members have an opportunity to give back through advocacy, leading a committee or project, supporting community events and more. To apply, candidates must live, work or demonstrate engagement within Southeastern San Diego.
The Jacobs Center is seeking local, invested community members for the volunteer leadership position to support the organization’s mission to build communities and lift lives, especially through real estate development, economic and workforce development and community engagement.
Board members are actively engaged and work alongside staff and partners, advocating for the community and supporting its vision: to be a part of a caring community where all cultures are embraced.
“As we begin to expand the board and share the responsibilities of governance with community leaders, I am more and more confident in the future of the Jacobs Center and its role in Southeastern San Diego,” said Andrew Hapke, board member. “The expertise, capabilities and commitment we have on the board are the foundation for an exciting future – one where my family’s involvement begins to subside, and community leaders chart our path forward.”
New board members will serve alongside Jacobs family members and continuing members including:
- Juan Carlos Hernandez, a 30-year veteran of the banking industry who gives back in many ways through local board service, including as former Chairman of the Board for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and as former treasurer for MANA de San Diego.
- Louie Nguyen, a longtime skilled investor involved in Southeastern San Diego’s business community, leading him to serve on the CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center Advocacy Council and help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
- Paul Robinson, a Southeastern San Diego native and information technology entrepreneur, whose focus is on education to careers and local economy initiatives that offer accessible pathways to success for the community.
“I have been participating in the Southeastern San Diego community for several years, primarily assisting small business owners access affordable working capital for their businesses,” said Board Member Juan Carlos Hernandez. “I saw the work that Jacobs Center was doing in this realm and felt the need to join their mission in serving the community.”
To be considered, applicants must be involved or have been involved in a Jacobs Center project, activity, committee or have a recommendation from someone involved. Ideal candidates will have expertise in community engagement, real estate development, finance, law, fundraising, economic development and/or government relations. Applications are due July 31, and the new board member will be selected in September.
To apply please visit bit.ly/JCBoardApp21.
About Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation
Founded in 1995, the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation is focused on building communities and lifting lives. As a creative catalyst and incubator, the Jacobs Center works with the community to revitalize Southeastern San Diego’s Diamond Neighborhoods. This means transforming nearly 60 acres into sustainable developments that provide residents with greater access to resources and amenities that improve their quality of life. Additionally, the Jacobs Center works with community organizations and partners to increase residents’ economic opportunities, leadership skills and educational success.
Learn more at www.jacobscenter.org and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.
Learn more about what’s going on in your community this June by reading the Diamond Snapshot e-newsletter, highlighting the Jacobs Center COVID-19 vaccine site, free meals program, job opportunities and more! You can subscribe to the monthly e-newsletter today and learn more resources for you and community updates – click below for more information!
Market Creek Plaza is thrilled to welcome its newest businesses, NY Pizzeria. It’s a local, family owned restaurant open for dine-in, take-out and delivery.
Located between Castaneda’s and the Pop-Up Art Gallery, NY Pizzeria will serve you a slice, or make a pie for the family! The restaurant offers free Wi-Fi to guests and a 5% military discount.
Enjoy a slice today! Check out the menu at bit.ly/OrderNYPizzeria.
342 Euclid Avenue, Suite 404
San Diego, CA 92114
Sunday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
San Diego County has opened its newest COVID-19 FREE vaccine site in Southeastern San Diego at the Joe & Vi Jacobs Center at 404 Euclid Avenue. The site will be open for appointments and limited drop-ins from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. There will be appointment assistance for anyone who is there and can’t get vaccinated upon arrival.
Anyone ages 12 and above can receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine with parental consent. Minors must show photo ID, proof of age or have the parent, guardian or caregiver accompanying them verify their age and identity when receiving a vaccination. Parents, legal guardians and caregivers who can’t accompany their children to the vaccination site need to schedule an appointment on my myturn.ca.gov to provide consent in advance. Learn more about what’s needed for your child’s vaccine appointment here.
Book your COVID-19 vaccine appointment here or call 211 to book it over the phone!
Adelante with Safe Hybrid Learning: KIPP SoCal Middle School Welcomes Families for In-Person Learning
By: Rachelle Minix, School Leader
Seeing the joy on parents and students’ faces back on campus has been heartfelt! It’s been an incredible month since we launched our Hybrid Learning, where we opened the doors to our relocated, permanent campus and welcomed back our first cohorts of students to attend in-person learning, while continuing to provide a comprehensive distance learning program.
It’s beautiful to see — our students are engaged, and excited to be back in their learning community, and the teachers and team have really created a learning environment that not only keeps our students healthy and safe, but that’s also welcoming and inspiring — whether in-person or distance learning.
KIPP Adelante Preparatory Academy (KAPA), a tuition-free, college preparatory charter public middle school in Southeastern San Diego, is a school where every child is deeply cared for — as a learner and as a person.
In Spanish, “Adelante” means “to progress” and it is what we will continue to do during this COVID-19 pandemic, safely and together! What continues to inspire that drive comes from some of my early experiences in school — as a former student attending San Diego Unified School District schools, I was fortunate enough to have some amazing teachers who brought the magic of learning alive. What’s more, they made me feel loved and included in the warmth of their classrooms.
And, for the past 18 years, we have and continue to educate students from the Southeastern neighborhoods of San Diego and help them graduate college at a rate 3x higher than the national average for systemically under-resourced communities.
Q: What are some of the key ways in which you have returned to a safe learning environment for your students and families?
A: KIPP Adelante takes the Health & Safety of our community very seriously. In preparation for our students’ return, our Operations team worked closely with our regional KIPP SoCal Public Schools Operation team to learn more about the San Diego County Health & Safety guidelines to ensure that we implemented them at our school. Our students are placed 6 feet apart, and if at a shared table 4 feet apart with a plexi shield. Our students were each provided with their own individual supplies, laptops, backpacks, water bottles, and face masks. Each day our team conducts a health screening, and temperature check, as well as ensures students wash their hands before entering school. At the end of each day, our cleaning team sanitizes all the rooms and surfaces to ensure each space is clean and disinfected for next day use. And, as an additional layer of protection, our students and team members have the ability to participate in a weekly COVID Test Screening.
COMMUNITY/ NEW CAMPUS
Q: As a San Diegan for over 18 years, what are some of your community goals?
A: With KIPP Adelante being a part of the Southeastern San Diego community we want to become not only another great school option for students and parents, but a school that can also provide and connect our community to the resources that are needed to every household.
For instance, our Hybrid Learning model is helping to change the way we think about education and break down barriers that have traditionally existed in the education system ranging from technology access and support, community education resources to meal distribution and mental health services.
Q: Founded in 2003 and formerly located in downtown San Diego, what do you want families to know about KAPA’s new, permanent home in Southeastern San Diego?
A: KIPP Adelante has a beautiful campus located at 426 Euclid Avenue in San Diego, but it isn’t just the campus that makes it beautiful, it is the students, families, and team. We want our students to feel connected to their community, as well as have access to what all students should have access to: a healthy life and a great education. Our goal is to bring as many resources, programs, and learning opportunities to our students and families! Part of our responsibility is to listen to what our students and families want and need so that we tailor our resources to meet the actual, not perceived, needs of our community.
Q: As a School Leader, what motivates you every day?
A: All children deserve to have an educational experience that sparks their curiosity, fosters their achievement, and makes them know that they belong. I am motivated to create a school that does that for all our children.
Ultimately, I am motivated by the belief that excellence in education is a tool of social justice and part of our fight for liberation. If done well, a child’s educational experience will equip them in mind, body and spirit to advocate for themselves, our communities and for justice, equity and positive change in our world.
Q: In 10 years from now, what do you hope you will have been able to accomplish at KIPP Adelante?
A: I hope that we have become known as a place where students, families and community members experience reliable excellence, personalized care, and deep partnership. I hope that we are a model of innovation, community, advocacy, and achievement. I hope that we are a school where young people form strong identities, skills, opinions and voices, and that they remain curious, equity-minded, community-centered, loving and fiercely determined to pursue a free, choice-filled life.
Q: What do you think is unique about a KIPP SoCal education vs. either where you came from or other schools you’ve worked at?
A: KIPP Adelante Preparatory Academy is a unique school because we operate as a team intent on doing everything we can to create the best experiences and opportunities for our students and families. We are consistently examining our practice and evolving as educators as we work to define and live out the vision for a truly liberatory education — that includes, but not limited to the following:
- attending to the holistic wellness of our children and families (physical and mental health as well as relationships are prioritized),
- ensuring academic rigor and achievement for all students (intentionally including our students with learning differences and who are learning English as a second language),
- emphasizing character development (we are anchored by our values of ganas, reflection, excellence, advocacy and love), and
- providing authentic opportunities for our children to explore their interests and identities in the arts, sciences, sports, and many other enrichments.
At KIPP Adelante, as we celebrate a safe return to school, we stay focused on igniting the hearts and minds of our students and empowering them to be advocates for themselves, their community and in the world through our rigorous academics, comprehensive enrichments, and character-focused environment. The path to and through college begins here! Join our family; we are now enrolling for the 2021-22 school year and have openings for 5th and 6th graders. Learn more at kippsocal.org/adelante.
Learn more about what’s going on in your community this May by reading the Diamond Snapshot e-newsletter, highlighting COVID-19 vaccine sites, how to access free Wi-Fi in San Diego, where to get FREE children’s activities for AAPI Heritage Month and more! You can subscribe to the monthly e-newsletter today and learn more resources for you and community updates – click below for more information!
May is Mental Health Month and I wanted to check in on you as we all are still reeling from our last year.
Our community has many resources to encourage you to strengthen your mental health – whether it’s getting professional help or getting outside and taking in the fresh air.
Consider a walk around the beautiful Chollas Creek Park. We are proud of this outdoor linear park and the way it creates a peaceful pathway from Market Street and Euclid Avenue. If you haven’t been yet, take a walk through and check out the public art … you never know, you may find a 10-foot barrel cactus sculpture!
I also want to highlight Open Heart Leaders, an African American female-led organization providing full mental health and education services. This organization was a Southeastern San Diego COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund recipient, and they have added to their services through virtual events to provide safe spaces for people to talk about the issues they face daily. Check out their programs, open to all, including interactive discussions, mentoring and counseling.
Reginald Jones, President, CEO, Jacobs Center Neighborhood Innovation
If you need a mindful break, look into Moon Garden Meditation, a business that went through CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center’s business accelerator program. From live guided meditations on social media to simple tips, you can learn about creating calm moments in your daily routine.
Wishing you all a safe and healthy month.
The Blue Heart Foundation began in 2013 to provide young African American males in San Diego mentoring, personal and professional development opportunities.
In 2021, The Blue Heart Foundation launched a new program focused on mental and emotional health, called The Mindful Heart. The program addresses issues that are normally taboo in the Black community, including anxiety, depression and emotional stability. The goal is to equip youth with the tools to implement a mindfulness practice that supports their emotional development and growth by surrounding them with a village built on the pillars of love, empathy, and grace.
“I learned mindfulness was a purposeful act and I will use some of the breathing techniques I learned in the workshop,” said Josiah J., a program participant. “I’m excited to start meditating…30 minutes a day. Just me and my thoughts.”
The 45 boys in the program also participate in mindfulness cooking classes and connect with an assigned mentor who checks in on each young man’s well-being, during Mental Health Month and beyond.
For Mental Health Month, they wanted to share mindfulness tips for your teen including:
To do this, focus your attention on your food. It doesn’t matter if it’s a meal, snack, or chewing gum. With your eyes open or closed, simply notice how your food feels in your mouth or in your hand. Does it have a smell? A particular taste? Chew slowly and notice how you feel after each bite.
For this practice, you’ll focus on how it feels to inhale and exhale. Breathing normally, can you feel the air entering your nostrils or your mouth? When you inhale, visualize how the air fills your lungs and notice that silent relief you feel when you exhale.
Whether you’re on a walk, at the gym, or working out at home, you can cultivate mindfulness in exercise. Start in slow motion and take a moment to acknowledge how your body moves as a cohesive unit and how this exercise impacts your arms, chest, legs, and feet differently.
When speaking mindfully, take time to choose your words. What words seem calm or soothing to you? Say them silently and with intention in your mind. Now, try saying them out loud. Notice how your voice sounds, in your head and out loud.
Learn more about how The Blue Heart Foundation in investing in these young adults’ lives. Click here to learn more about The Blue Heart Foundation and for more mindfulness tips in its blog called “Try Mindfulness if your Teen is Feeling Overwhelmed.”
Join the La Jolla Playhouse virtually on Saturday, May 1 at 11 a.m. PT for the launch of its latest world-premiere Digital Without Walls (WOW) piece, “Towards Belonging.” The dance film was produced in association with the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation’s Arts Park @ Chollas Creek.
The La Jolla Playhouse and the Jacobs Center are especially excited to launch the piece – featuring a team of all Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) artists – on the first day of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month. Hosted by former Playhouse Leadership Council Chair Bennett Peji and his daughter Viviana, this special virtual event will feature a Q&A with “Towards Belonging” creators choreographer Anjanette Maraya-Ramey and videographer Eboni “Eb” Harvey.
Tune in for a lively discussion of the film’s themes, such as intersectionality of identity, being “othered,” self-affirmation and dismantling stereotypes, especially around the film’s setting in Southeast San Diego. The event will also touch on the filmmaking process and how the artists’ powerful personal stories influenced the movement and music. Learn more in The San Diego Union-Tribune’s recent story.
Learn more about La Jolla Playhouse Digital Without Walls (WOW) Projects on our blog post.
Jacobs Center’s work is deeply rooted in community engagement. We collaborate with residents, local leaders, cultural and other area organizations for everything we do, from neighborhood development to Diamond District events and programs.
The Jacobs Center would love to partner with you for a future program or event! For more information or to get started, please contact Selina Hudgins Castillo at email@example.com. To learn more about our wide range of outdoor and spacious indoor venues, visit our new venues website page at www.jacobscenter.org/venues. For general venue booking, please contact Alvenesia Sims at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, together with the San Diego Architectural Foundation and as part of Open House San Diego, hosted “Design Your Future: Careers that Change Communities” virtually on March 5, 2021.
The panel featured a diverse group of architecture, engineering and construction professionals who talked about their work and their career paths including:
- BNBuilders Construction Executive Carmen D. Vann
- Rick Engineering Company Principal Edgar Camerino
- Sadfie Rabines Architects Associate Principal Alfonso Barragan
- Woodbury University Architecture Student Kayleigh Cornejo
Moderated by Eric Henson, policy advisor for City Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe’s office, this panel was an opportunity for middle and high school students to hear from and ask questions of professionals working on projects throughout San Diego and in neighborhoods like Southeastern San Diego and Barrio Logan. It is Jacobs Center and San Diego Architectural Foundation’s hope that conversations like these will provide new pathways and access points for young people to explore careers that provide professional growth opportunities and the power to positively shape communities physically, socially, and economically.
To watch the panel click here.
City of San Diego: This is a 10-week remote mentorship opportunity for youth ages 16 to 24. The interns will be collaborating with staff in the deployment of 5G wireless infrastructure in addition to other related utility projects. The deadline to apply is May 1.
San Diego Mesa Alliance: Kindergarten through college students will receive assistance to help them succeed in math and science studies. Participants will be given access to scholarships, tutoring, academic advising and STEM accelerator programs. Applications open May 10 and close June 6.
The San Diego American Planning Association: The Young Planners Group provides aspiring city planners with an awareness of scholarships, career and internship opportunities, in addition to networking and social opportunities relative to planning in San Diego. Contact email@example.com if you want to be a part of this opportunity.
May 25, 2020 – the day of George Floyd’s death – ignited heightened fear, hurt, sadness and anger as a grave act of injustice and tragedy. Its impact was heavy all over the country; we felt it greatly in San Diego.
Our country has rules for justice. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was tried under those rules and found guilty of murdering George Floyd. May this be a critical moment in our country’s history when justice and accountability take root and are applied equally to everyone.
As acts of violence and hate toward people of color continue at alarming rates, we must work toward ending systemic racism – learning from our diverse community, examining our own biases and uplifting each other. It is ours to achieve, together.
-Reginald Jones, President and CEO, Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation
The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation and CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center send our condolences to the loved ones and victims targeted and killed in Georgia. We are saddened and hurt by the fear the Asian and Pacific Islander community is experiencing, including an uptick in violence and hate crimes in the past year.
We stand in solidarity with the AAPI community, and we will do our part to share and amplify our community partners who are providing resources for the local Asian community. We call on all San Diegans to learn more and act against all forms of hate, racism and xenophobia to protect our neighbors and make our community welcoming to all.
If you have any resources or organizations you’d like us to add to the list below for us to share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources for AAPI Community:
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice: Report abuse
- Asian Mental Health Collective
- National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association
Support San Diego AAPI Organizations:
- Asian Business Association of San Diego
- Asian Pacific American Coalition
- Pacific Arts Movement (Presenter of San Diego Asian Film Festival)
- PASCAT Philippine Performing Arts Company
- San Diego Alliance for Asian Pacific Islander Americans
- San Diego API Coalition
- San Diego Asian Americans for Equality
- Union of Pan Asian Communities San Diego
- Asian American’s Advancing Justice: Bystander Intervention to stop anti-Asian/American and xenophobic harassment
- Anti-Asian Violence Resources to help individuals take action and educate themselves
- Learning for Justice: How to respond to coronavirus racism
Learn more about what’s going on in your community this March by reading the Diamond Snapshot e-newsletter, highlighting a COVID-19 vaccine site locator, an architecture career panel, various financial resources and more! You can subscribe to the monthly e-newsletter today and learn more resources for you and community updates – click below for more information!
New Community Board Member, Staff with Proven Dedication to Southeastern San Diego Join Nonprofit
SAN DIEGO (March 1, 2021) – Southeastern San Diego has much to offer – its passionate residents, businesses and organizations, community spirit and culture. Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation remains dedicated to this vibrant community and growing partnerships, projects and resources in 2021.
To strengthen these efforts, Jacobs Center has announced new board member Louie Nguyen, CFA, who is dedicated to economic development in Southeastern San Diego; promotion of Christie Marcella to executive director to build on Jacobs Center’s critical work; and new director of development operations and institutional advancement Selina Castillo Hudgins to bring attention to philanthropic support needed for neighborhood projects.
“Our mission has always been about a thriving community envisioned and realized by its residents. These key team members have a proven passion for this mission and have already made an impact in Southeastern San Diego,” said Reginald Jones, president and CEO of the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation. “In partnership with others, we continue to prioritize the entire community through physical development, economic opportunities, neighborhood resources and cultural arts. Our approach is simple and grounded in equity and social justice.”
Louie Nguyen, CFA, is the Jacobs Center’s newest community board member. He joins the board’s two additional community members, Paul Robinson and Juan Carlos Hernandez, as important voices at the organization’s board level to lead and advise. Nguyen’s commitment to Southeastern San Diego is clear in his current role as Chief Investment Officer at Mission Driven Finance, a private impact investment boutique that provides opportunities to easily invest in the community to solve social pain points.
Through Mission Driven Finance, he recently played a key role in bringing Access Youth Academy, a nonprofit organization that helps train youth to be first-generation college students through the sport of squash – all at no cost to the area. The campus will also offer recreation spaces and meeting rooms for the general community to use for free and is set to open this summer.
Nguyen is also excited to bring his nearly 25 years as a skilled investor to the CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center Advocacy Council, helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses and jobs within San Diego through the region’s first low-to-moderate income and diversity-focused business accelerator program. The program recently held its third Union Bank Start-Up Pitch Competition, awarding $15,000 in business grants to three diverse women-owned businesses.
Christie Marcella has been promoted to executive director of the organization. In her previous position as community and economic development officer, Marcella spent much of her focus on building and strengthening partnerships with local organizations on their home turf, intuitively fostering a collaborative environment of shared resources, including the Jacobs Center’s meeting spaces, communications expertise, and regional relationships. She is often heard asking, “How can we do something now that will help our organizations 10 years from now?”
Attentive and responsive to supporting residents directly impacted by COVID-19, Marcella worked to establish the Southeastern San Diego COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund with The San Diego Foundation, which supported 33 nonprofits to directly help the community during the pandemic, and set up multiple and weekly food drive-thru events in the Joe & Vi Jacobs Center parking lot. She also serves as co-chair of the Economic Activities Working Group for the San Diego Promise Zone and serves on Mayor Todd Gloria’s BackToWorkSD workforce development group.
Selina Castillo Hudgins is the Jacobs Center’s new director of development operations and institutional advancement. Hudgins’ passion for the mission is finding ways to increase philanthropic support for Southeastern San Diego that benefits the community for the long-term. Hired for her proven fund development experience, she has a successful background in determining organization needs, developing partner programs for community growth and strengthening fundraising efforts.
In this newly created position, Hudgins will collaborate to grow key programs like the Business Resource Center, cultural arts partnerships, community engagement opportunities and general operations support. She will also be leading Jacobs Center’s communications to continue interacting and updating the general community, partners and donors.
To learn more about how the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation supports community development and partnerships in Southeastern San Diego, visit jacobscenter.org. For sponsorship and program support opportunities, please contact Hudgins at email@example.com.
About Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation
Founded in 1995, the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation is focused on building communities and lifting lives. As a creative catalyst and incubator, the Jacobs Center works with the community to revitalize Southeastern San Diego’s Diamond Neighborhoods. This means transforming nearly 60 acres into sustainable developments that provide residents with greater access to resources and amenities that improve their quality of life. Additionally, the Jacobs Center works with community organizations and partners to increase residents’ economic opportunities, leadership skills and educational success. Learn more at jacobscenter.org and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.
Learn more about what’s going on in your community this February by reading the Diamond Snapshot e-newsletter, highlighting free flu shot clinics, emergency rental assistance and various medical and financial resources and more! You can subscribe to the monthly e-newsletter today and learn more resources for you and community updates – click below for more information!
San Diego Union-Tribune: Through cancer and injustice, activist continues fight for San Diego’s Black residents
Longtime community advocate Robert Tambuzi works to increase access to healthy foods and shape policies to improve the lives of those living in Southeastern San Diego. He continues to contribute to local organizations that fight on behalf of San Diego’s under resourced communities.
We’d like to thank Tambuzi and his years of continued activism in our community and wish him well on his health journey. Read The San Diego Union Tribune’s article to learn more and check out Tambuzi’s GoFundMe to help his family and friends pay his medical bills.