AmeriCorps Member Service Opportunity Full-Time Position

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AmeriCorps Member Service Opportunity Full-Time Position
1700 hours in 10 months

The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation (JCNI) and Local Initiatives Support Corporation are seeking a full-time AmeriCorps member to serve as a Community Assessment Specialist. The candidate will ideally begin service on October 1, 2016 and serve a minimum of 1700 hours though the end of his/her term on July 31, 2017.

JCNI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, created by the Jacobs Family Foundation in 1995. JCNI works in partnership with the community to revitalize San Diego neighborhoods recovering from decades of disinvestment, concentrated poverty, high unemployment, economic challenges, and blight. Our mission is to foster a thriving community envisioned and realized by its residents. We know that no single community-based organization can achieve social and economic development alone. To be successful, we must engage broader partnerships in various sectors including government, physical development, education, arts, health, and safety.

JCNI acts as the backbone for efforts towards community improvement and neighborhood revitalization. JCNI is proud to be an Implementing Partner for the recently designated San Diego Promise Zone, which includes much of our service area. We anticipate that this Federal designation will accelerate our work and provide new and exciting collaborative project opportunities to revitalize some of San Diego’s most impoverished and underserved communities. AmeriCorps members are needed to help us take full advantage of this designation and build capacity for area nonprofit and community organizations.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is dedicated to helping community residents transform distressed neighborhoods into healthy and sustainable communities of choice and opportunity — good places to work, do business and raise children. LISC combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help community-based organizations revitalize underserved neighborhoods. This strategy extends to the LISC AmeriCorps program where we support placing AmeriCorps Members with local non-profit partners. Members assist in efforts to revitalize underserved neighborhoods across America and create vibrant places for people to live, work, and play.

Assists Impact and Redevelopment team in collecting, analyzing and aggregating extant and primary research data. This will be an integral member of the JCNI team, working under the Executive Vice President and partnering with UC San Diego data scientist that advises the organization on tracking overall community development metrics and working with area nonprofits to build their capacity in measurement & evaluation.

  • Collects qualitative and quantitative community data through a combination of canvassing, outreach to community organizations, digital outreach, faith-based outreach, and other community groups
  • Collects, analyzes and creates reports using extant data to create baseline metrics for community development.
  • Serves as liaison with community groups, providing and receiving data.
  • Ensures continual communication with community partners who are collaborating on collective impact measurement and evaluation.
  • Leads/Assists in completing initial assessments of community nonprofits capacity in measurement & evaluation.
  • Serves in training or advisory capacity for organizations on how to use data to track and measure program delivery and effectiveness.
  • Leads/Assists in developing and disseminating data to various stakeholders, using data visualization techniques, presentations, and other forms of communicating data.
  • Interfaces with internal JCNI staff, UCSD data scientist, community groups and other stakeholders.

Members perform day to day service at JCNI and are expected to attend and participate in all LISC AmeriCorps sponsored activities including but not limited to:

  • Attending a national leadership conference tentatively scheduled for March 2017;
  • Attending all locally sponsored monthly meetings;
  • Participating in nationally sponsored webinars;
  • Actively participating in at least two locally identified and team coordinated service projects (one for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service and one for National AmeriCorps Week); and,
  • Engaging in any other LISC events as determined by the local LISC office.This is an AmeriCorps position. As such neither LISC nor JCNI will allow the member to engage in activities that are considered prohibited under the terms of the grant while serving as a LISC AmeriCorps member.


  • Desire and ability to work with a diverse group of people, particularly those living in low-income distressed neighborhoods
  • Experience with data collection and analysis preferred
  • Attention to detail
  • Computer skills
  • Bilingual English/Spanish preferred
  • Ability to work independently and in a team environment
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule (some nights and weekends may be required)
  • Commitment to personal learning and growth
  • Strong organizational skills
  • People- and service-oriented disposition

To be eligible to participate as a LISC AmeriCorps member the candidate must meet all eligibility requirements to serve as a National Service participant including but not limited to:

  • Be eligible to earn 100% of a full-time education award
  • Be eligible to perform a term of national service
  • Possess a high school degree, GED certificate or agree to achieve GED during the term of service
  • Be at least 17 years of age (note there is no upper age limit)
  • Have proof of status as a US citizen or possess permanent resident status and be able to provide documentation as determined by CNCS
  • Be available to serve for a full 10 month period of time
  • Be able to complete at least 1700 hours of service within the 10 months of service

If a candidate has a criminal record, it does not necessarily make a candidate ineligible for service. Only candidates who are subject to registry on the National Sex Offender Public Website or have been convicted of First Degree Murder may not participate as an AmeriCorps member. Only candidates being offered and then accepting the position must consent to a search of the National Sex Offender Public Website, a State Level Criminal History Search and an FBI search. Consent is provided via the LISC AmeriCorps application.

Upon successful completion of the term of service, the member will be eligible for a $5,775 education award to pay off existing, eligible student loans or return to school. The position pays a total stipend of $15,000. The stipend is taxable and paid in 20 equal checks twice a month from LISC. Direct deposit is highly encouraged. A health care benefit is available for the participant only (dependents are not eligible). For members with children under the age of 13, there is a child care subsidy benefit available which is dependent on the participant meeting all eligibility requirements (This benefit is administered by a contracted provider via the Corporation for National and Community Service).

Resumes should be sent to:

JCNI Human Resources Department at, Attention: Charmy Doshi.

We promote equal opportunity in selecting AmeriCorps members. We are committed to diversity and inclusion in the selection process.


The Jacobs Center Welcomes Chula Vista Private Security


Bert Gines, Owner, Chula Vista Private Security

“Give the troublemakers what no one else will give them: love. Give them understanding.”
— Bert Gines, owner of Chula Vista Private Security

Those are unusual words coming from the head of a successful security firm. But Bert Gines, owner of Chula Vista Private Security, and a Southeastern San Diego native, doesn’t do things the usual way.

Hired by the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation in May of 2016 to watch and protect Market Creek Plaza and other Jacobs Center properties, Bert has a unique philosophy about what it means to run a security company. And it all started with a chance encounter nearly two decades ago.

In 1998, as a customer in a local 7-11, Bert met the man who would change his life: Capt. David Stone, owner of Shield Security. Capt. Stone was impressed with Bert’s friendly, respectful manner toward everyone in the store, and took the young man aside.

“He said, hey I like your attitude,” Bert recalls. “And I’d like you to come work for us.”

Capt. Stone paid for Bert’s guard card and gave him extensive training. Within the first year, Bert was awarded Security Officer of the Year and a $1000 bonus. Three years later, when Capt. Stone retired, Bert took his place as head of the firm.

After a few years working for Shield and other security services, Bert was ready to start his own company. But he didn’t want it to be business as usual.

“Here’s what people need to know about most security companies,” he says. “A lot of them are in it for a quick buck. They could care less about what happens to their officers out there. There’s no training on how to deal with suspects. They’re thrown out there like sheep to the wolves.”

The Chula Vista Private Security Team. From left to right - Frederick Scott, Carlos Fuentes, Carlos Fuentes Jr., Bert Gines, Clarence Courtney III, Hector Sala, Jorge Sanmaniego.

The Chula Vista Private Security Team. From left to right – Frederick Scott, Carlos Fuentes, Carlos Fuentes Jr., Bert Gines, Clarence Courtney III, Hector Sala, Jorge Sanmaniego.

For Chula Vista Private Security, that means a profound change in mindset for every officer on Bert’s team – from the moment they’re hired to every day on the job.

“We have to evolve,” Bert says. “We can get to a lot more people than law enforcement can. A lot more hearts and minds than law enforcement can. That’s our calling. This is what we do.”

Beyond his security officers’ spotless, professional uniforms, lies Bert’s unique, highly-effective way of keeping the peace and promoting understanding.

“No matter what a person (may be) doing, we have to keep in mind that although they want to be wonderful and smile like us, they come from a home where there’s a lot of negativity. And our uniforms, somehow, someway…because of the mindset at home and all the negativity, they think it’s a secondary battle outside the home,” Bert explains.

His response? “Give them the total opposite of what they expect. Tell them they’re nice people. Let them know, we are not here to give you a physical battle. But we will give you a spiritual one.” He adds, “They shake our hands and move on.”

In addition to on-the job-training and daily feedback, Bert constantly reminds his officers to “keep in mind that people are watching, they’re listening…and because of the way we look in these uniforms, I’m holding you to the highest standards of professionalism.”

He says his duties go beyond a single interaction in a shopping center or business park. He’s committed to being a changemaker for the community in which he was raised. In addition to the Chula Vista Private Security business card, shoppers and suspects alike are given another special card: for Bert’s website at www. That’s where he inspires people with the power of positive thinking in a world too often dominated by negativity.

“Your words are creating your outcome,” he says. “The more positive people we have, the more powerful a community becomes. You have to be able to open up your heart to all people, good and bad.”

Bert Gines visits with a resident and shopper at Market Creek Plaza.

Bert Gines visits with a resident and shopper at Market Creek Plaza.

Bert’s open heart has helped countless people in the Diamond Neighborhoods. One young man, a gang member, refused to even talk with Bert when he first met him – but took the card about Bert’s website. Two weeks later, the young man returned – to give Bert a hug and tell him about his new life out of the gang.

The overall response from residents has been tremendous. “Many shoppers have asked me to set up a program and teach the power of positivity,” he says.

Bert has one more piece of advice he’d like to share with Diamond Neighborhood residents. “Come down to the Jacobs Center,” he advises. “Take a step through these doors. Be around intelligent, positive people who are accomplishing things. Listen to what we have to say and I guarantee your life will change.”

As he firmly believes, “The more positive people we have, the more powerful a community becomes. But it has to start with you.”

You can find out more about Bert and how his passion for positive thinking is helping our Diamond Neighborhoods at


YES Student Guest Blog – Canvassing with the YES Program

Miguel Molina canvasses with fellow YES Student Rikayah Salmond.

Miguel Molina canvasses with fellow YES Student Rikayah Salmond.

By Miguel Angel Molina, Kearny High School

At the orientation for the Jacobs Center’s Youth Engaging Southeastern San Diego (YES) program, the coordinators introduced the program and explained what we would have to do if we got hired. That day, I was excited and confident. It was the first time I had ever attended a job orientation.

As the coordinators were explaining the duties, they mentioned there would be canvassing opportunities. At the time I was very timid and unsure of how to talk to strangers. So I was convinced: I was not going to go canvassing. After the orientation and interview, I received an email saying that I was hired for the position. I was very excited but still worried.

Most of my peers had canvassed with their team already; they mentioned that it was fairly easy, and they did not encounter any problems. We also had a guest speaker who said that we should not be disappointed if someone said no to us. He also gave us techniques, which motivated me.

Miguel Molina colors in the YES student's survey chart as they get closer to reaching their collective goal of obtaining 1,000 surveys.

Miguel Molina colors in the YES student’s survey chart as they get closer to reaching their collective goal of obtaining 1,000 surveys.

I used to be very timid. However, knowing that I would be canvassing in a group gave me some comfort. When we got to the site, we separated into groups of two. My partner did not speak Spanish, so we decided that I would speak to the Spanish speakers and she would speak to the English speakers.

While canvassing out in the community, we explained to the people what the Jacobs Center’s Town Center Master Plan was and asked if they wanted to give their input on the type of developments they would like to see in their community. Most of the people accepted and took the survey, but there were a few who did not. When people said no to me, it did not bring me down. In fact, it motivated me to knock on more doors.

This experience has helped me improve as a person. Before, I was hesitant to approach people, but now I am able to talk to anyone with ease all thanks to my YES program supervisors and peers who provided such an amazing work experience.





YES Student Guest Blog – Making a Community to Be Proud Of

Sahara Estrada Hernandez is all smiles as she works on her résumé during a guest workshop by San Diego Workforce Partnership's CONNECT2Careers program.

Sahara Estrada Hernandez is all smiles as she works on her résumé during a guest workshop by San Diego Workforce Partnership’s CONNECT2Careers program.

By Sahara Estrada Hernandez, Mesa Community College

Growing up in Southeastern San Diego has allowed me to experience the world much differently than other people my age. In the past I feared seeking out other people who wanted to create change in this underrepresented part of our city.

Despite having people who I admire and consider my role models in striving for change, such as my middle school counselor Mr. Chaves, Malala Yousafzai, and even my own parents, sometimes I have moments when I believe that even with the support of these people I can’t make a change in my life or in the lives of others in my community. I stay determined by looking at the back of my favorite shirt with Malala Yousafzai’s quote that reads, “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”

As a result, I joined the Youth Engaging Southeastern San Diego (YES) program to pay it forward to the countless people in my life who have motivated me to seek a path that can nurture the potential my community has to offer and make my community shine above the negative images the media has portrayed it with for years.

YES Students participated in skills building activities in leadership, effective communication, community engagement, and workforce readiness during weekly check-ins.

YES Students participated in skills building activities in leadership, effective communication, community engagement, and workforce readiness during weekly check-ins.

My purpose is not to make a community I can be proud of saying I’m from, but instead create a place where others who are growing up today can be proud to be from. I want the next generation to recognize the effort everyone has put into creating a welcoming home, something that once was thought impossible but no longer is thanks to the dedication and input of its inhabitants who helped with something as simple as filling out a survey on the change they wanted to see. I can be the voice for people who, because of fear or even the inability to make themselves heard as the result of the challenges they’ve faced in their lives, couldn’t communicate their ideals and abilities and contribute to making their community shine.

Where I’m from, here in the Diamond Neighborhoods, there is change waiting to happen. There are people just like you and me who want to make this community we call home into a stronghold of opportunity for our families and future generations.


YES Student Guest Blog – Being the Change through the YES Program

By Jaylin White, Morse High School

Students and parents/guardians attend the first information session for the YES Program, which included group interviews.

Students and parents/guardians attend the first information session for the YES Program, which included group interviews.

My experience with the Jacobs Center’s Youth Engaging Southeastern San Diego (YES) program is one I will never forget. When I first received information on the program, I thought it was something interesting, and I wanted to learn more.

I started learning and getting useful information from the very first meeting, starting with the interview. I was nervous when I found out I had to interview for the position, but it taught me to be confident in myself and to overcome my fears of speaking in front of people. Little did I know then, but that was a lesson that was going to help me while canvassing neighborhoods and getting people in the community to provide their input on the Town Center Master Plan through surveys.

When I started canvassing and getting the surveys completed, I first started with family and friends, because of course I thought they were going to be the easiest people to get to take the survey. I found some of my friends didn’t really want to complete the survey until I explained to them that this is our chance to have a voice in what we wanted to see developed in our community.

Taryell Simmons of San Diego Workforce Partnership's CONNECT2Careers program works with Jaylin White on his elevator pitch.

Taryell Simmons of San Diego Workforce Partnership’s CONNECT2Careers program works with Jaylin White on his elevator pitch.

A lot of times we complain about what we have or don’t have, but that is all we do—just complain. Completing the survey is our time to actually do something. To make our opinion known. To have a say in bettering our community. Most people agreed to fill out the survey once I explained it in those terms. Of course not everyone I asked agreed to fill out a survey, and that was fine. It still gave me the opportunity to talk to people who I would not have talked to under different circumstances.

Being a part of the YES program gave me the opportunity to do something positive in my community. Today, the media and outsiders would like you to believe that young men from Southeastern San Diego are always doing negative things. I am here to tell you that a lot of us care about our community and want to see it change for the better. I am willing to do something to help make it a better community. The YES program gave me the opportunity to be the change, not just complain about it. Thank you Ms. Alex, Ms. Venus, and everyone involved in the YES program for giving me an experience that I will never forget.





Trolley Park Terrace is Hiring for a Maintenance Tech

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Trolley Park Terrace is Hiring! 

Hyder Property Management Professionals is seeking a full-time maintenance tech to oversee the 52-units of this affordable housing community. Excellent salary & benefits.


Must have 2 to 3 years of relevant experience in mechanical maintenance and repair techniques.
Must have current driver’s license and auto insurance.

• Respond to resident requests for maintenance and service by taking appropriate action to repair and/or restore service within the quality and time standards established by the organization.

• Maintain the overall appearance and cleanliness of the community

• Report all deficiencies and/or risk management safety issues immediately.

• Ensure that apartments are ready for occupancy by performing needed electrical, HVAC, plumbing, carpentry, appliance repair, and other miscellaneous equipment maintenance and repairs, as well as carpet cleaning, painting, and overall apartment cleaning or other activities as directed.

• Maintain tools, equipment, and workspace and ensure they are organized and in proper working order, request replacements as necessary, and assist in stocking the inventory.

• Provide superior customer service to internal and external customers.

High School Diploma or equivalent.



Students Show Why More Should Say YES to Southeastern San Diego

YES-seal_400wideLast month, students in Southeastern San Diego collected over 1,000 surveys filled with residents’ thoughts and ideas on the types of new developments they would like to see in their community. The students’ efforts were part of the Jacobs Center’s innovative YES program (Youth Engaging Southeastern San Diego), which teaches local high school-age youth essential skills that will enhance their chances for success later in life.

Despite the positive stories unfolding every day, like the YES program, Southeastern San Diego hasn’t managed to shake its bad reputation. “Low income,” “high crime,” “poor education,” and “low quality of life” are terms often associated with the area and media coverage is more likely to include a stabbing or shooting. This despite the fact that residents spend nearly a billion dollars outside of their district annually; the property crime rate in the area’s Diamond Neighborhoods is 14% lower than the average rate for San Diego County; and approximately 80 area high-school students who graduated from Lincoln High School, Gompers Preparatory Academy, and The Preuss School were named University of California, San Diego Chancellor’s Scholars at the end of the 2015 school year.


YES students prepare to go canvass door-to-door in Valencia Park neighborhood.

While finding a solution for Southeastern San Diego is complicated, reducing the negative perception of the community is a start. Through the YES program’s Master Plan survey initiative, students contributed to the revitalization of their community and learned valuable workforce and life skills in the process. For this first initiative, the Jacobs Center hired 20 high-achieving students in Southeastern San Diego, ages 16–18, to conduct surveys on its Town Center Master Plan. This community outreach effort combined youth employment with leadership development, community engagement, public speaking training, and team building. It also gave students a chance to learn about development options for their community and the importance of including resident voices in the process.

As part of the five-week Master Plan sruvey initiative, students were paid $10.50 an hour and allowed to set their own schedules, working as little or as much as they liked, as long as they didn’t go over 15 hours per week. Students who collected 25 and 50 completed surveys were eligible to earn bonus pay. If they worked the maximum number of hours each week and achieved both bonuses, students were able to earn little more than $1,000. Together, the YES students achieved their collective goal of obtaining 1,000 completed surveys by reaching out to family, friends, and neighbors. Once or twice a week the students also participated in supervised canvassing sessions where they went door-to-door and met with residents in different District 4 neighborhoods to gather their input.

YES students hear from former District 4 Councilmember and  RISE San Diego President & Co-founder Tony Young on what it takes to be a good leader.

YES students hear from former District 4 Councilmember and RISE San Diego President & Co-founder Tony Young on what it takes to be a good leader.

For many students, this was their first job. While the initiative was aimed at collecting community input, it is also provided students with soft skills training in interviewing, time management, goal setting, and effective communication with supervisors. Additionally, several students joined the program without bank accounts or an understanding of how to deposit or cash their paychecks. As a result, the program added a workshop on financial literacy, which more than half of the students attended.

Each week the students checked-in as a group with the program supervisors to discuss challenges they encountered, turn in their completed surveys, and submit their timecards. Opportunities for skills building were incorporated into these check-ins. Students heard from guest speakers on leadership, effective communication, community engagement, workforce readiness, and résumé building, as well as participated in interactive activities. The students met with the Jacobs Center’s Board of Directors and executive leadership, former District 4 Councilmember and current RISE San Diego President and Co-founder Tony Young, United African American Ministerial Action Council Executive Director Reverend Gerald Brown, LISC AmeriCorps San Diego Program Officer Jason Jarvinen, training specialists from San Diego Workforce Partnerships’ CONNECT2Careers program, and a business development representative from Wells Fargo.

YES students jump for joy after reaching their collective goal of obtaining 1,000 completed surveys!

YES students jump for joy after reaching their collective goal of obtaining 1,000 completed surveys!

During introductions with each guest speaker, the students shared why they wanted to join the YES program. The overwhelming response was always their desire to change the perception of their community. Instead of waiting for others to create positive change, these students actively contributed to transforming their community into a place where they want to stay, work, and one day raise their own families. For a community that has heard “no” for too long, these students are a shining example of the greater success Southeastern San Diego can achieve if more people started saying “yes.”

Beyond the Master Plan survey initiative, the Jacobs Center’s YES program plans to offer more opportunities for Southeastern San Diego’s students to engage with residents and serve as youth advocates for their community. Stay tuned for guest blogs by some of these inspiring students on their experience participating in the Master Plan survey initiative.




La Feria de Nayarit en California – Domingo 21 de Agosto



FREE EVENT: San Diego Opera’s Opera on Track – September 10






Faces Forward: Celebrating the community leaders, past and present, who have made the Diamond Neighborhoods a better place.

The Diamond Neighborhoods are filled with inspiring stories from the people who call this community home. It’s one of the many reasons why the ?#?DiamondShines?!

In 2002, the Community Faces murals in Market Creek Plaza featured residents of Southeastern San Diego’s Diamond Neighborhoods who had made a difference in their community. Among them was community leader and retired educator, Shirley Jackson who spent decades volunteering and engaging residents in voting and social justice issues. Fourteen years later, Aja Project worked with local high school students in the Jacobs Center’s Full STE[+a]M Ahead program to create new murals as part of a digital photography project that provided hands on STEAM learning. In February 2015, the students’ murals replaced the original Community Faces murals in Market Creek Plaza establishing them as the future leaders in their community. One of the students represented in the new murals is Nikayla Jackson, Shirley’s Great Granddaughter. This video celebrates this family and all of the community leaders who have contributed to making the Diamond Neighborhoods a better place.



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