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News Contact:
Nicole Cruz
Office of Communications and Community Relations

Student Success Speaker Series

KENTFIELD, CA—August 22, 2014—This fall the College of Marin is pleased to present the first Student Success Speaker Series with seminars beginning in September. Students, faculty, staff, and community members are invited to learn about a variety of services, resources, and educational opportunities available to help individuals develop the life skills that are essential in taking the next step in their academic, professional, and personal lives. These free presentations are open to the public and take place at noon in the Student Services Building, Deedy Staff Lounge, Kentfield Campus. Associated Students College of Marin (ASCOM) will provide refreshments. Contact Single Stop Coordinator Tara Arenas at (415) 457-8811 ext. 7761 for more information.

Upcoming Sessions

All sessions take place at noon in the Student Services Building, Deedy Staff Lounge

September 17
Employment Transitions…From where you are to where you want to be!
Presented by Jake Costa, Veterans Employment Representative, EDD Workforce Services

Jake Costa is a Veteran Employment Representative for Marin County. He works for the State of California and with partners at Marin Employment Connection, an America’s Job Center located in San Rafael. Jake is a Certified Franklin Covey Coach specializing in job and career coaching, and has an extensive corporate, sales, insurance and teaching career background. He graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island, and is a proud father of three daughters who all attended and benefited from community colleges and then earned bachelor degrees from California public universities. Jake’s current interests include live music in the North Bay, from Arias to Zydeco, and organizer of Music! Live! North Bay! Meetup group; founded in 2013. His latest project is working with Bread and Roses, a Bay Area organization that brings hope and healing through music.

September 24
Applying to jobs but not hearing back? Gain the skills you need to get that position!
Presented by Sheila Reilly, College of Marin ESL Instructor

Sheila Reilly, M.A. is an English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor at College of Marin.  She has taught English, ESL and Vocational ESL at community colleges in the Bay Area for 32 years.  She is currently teaching a job hunting skills class for ESL students at College of Marin.  By the end of the class, the students have an excellent resume, templates for and practice with writing cover letters and thank you letters, extensive practice with job interview questions and scenarios and researching available jobs on internet sites.  All students should have this help available to them and luckily there are resources in Marin County and online that can offer all COM students this vital assistance.  

October 1
Entrepreneurs! Legal Tips for Starting Your Own Business
Presented by Miya Chen, Staff Attorney, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area

Miya Saika Chen leads the Community Empowerment and Economic Justice Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. She directs Legal Services for Entrepreneurs, which provides free legal assistance to low-income individuals who are starting businesses and “mom and pop shops” in areas where gentrification is a force for displacement. Previously, she was a senior advisor in the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders where she developed the Obama Administration’s national community engagement strategy to increase AAPI community access to programs across 23 federal agencies and led a series of summits on entrepreneurship and small business growth. Miya serves on the Board of Directors of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus.  She received her J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law and is an Oakland, CA native.

October 8
No Money for Groceries? Learn how to get it!

Presented by Alexandra Danino, CalFresh Coordinator, SF-Marin Food Bank

Alexandra Danino has worked in the non-profit sector serving families in need for the past 10 years in Marin County.  Currently she coordinates the CalFresh Program for the SF Marin Food Bank for the Marin site. She supports  access  to the program through outreach and application assistance. She also supports local non-profits assisting with applications through the Assister Incentive Program . Alexandra has a close relationship with the community and hears many of the barriers to the programs. This leads into advocacy and building partnerships countywide . She works closely with the HHS County Administration to support CalFresh access with the CalFresh Working Team.  She is a council member for the  Marin Food Policy Council to address issues on access. Recently, she joined the Health and Human Services Public Advisory Committee in addressing concerns in accessing Public Benefits.  Please feel free to contact her with any questions or concerns at (415)717-7220.

October 15
Get Creative: Cooking and Buying Food on a Budget
Presented by Oscar Guardado, Community Bilingual Health Educator, Marin County Health and Human Services
and Katherine Kielich, Senior Nutritionist, Marin County Health and Human Services

Oscar Guardado has been working in Health Education and Public Health in Marin County for more than 10 years. He was the former director of the Marin Community Clinics Health Education Department. Currently he is working as a community bilingual health educator for the NEOP (Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention) initiative in the Nutrition Wellness Program, Marin County Health and Human Services Department. He delivers direct and indirect nutrition/physical activity education to the community in English and Spanish. Oscar is also the director of the Health Education Department at LIFT-Levantate, a Marin County non-profit organization where he focuses on diabetes and chronic disease prevention working in close collaboration with Marin Community Clinics.

Katherine Kielich, Senior Nutritionist - Nutrition Wellness Program, Marin County Health & Human Services.  Katherine Kielich is a Registered Dietitian passionate about improving the health and wellness of the community.  Through a NEOP (Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention) grant she provides education and support to increase the consumption of healthy foods and beverages and to increase physical activity.  In addition, she works as an outpatient dietitian with Kaiser Permanente, providing health education classes on diabetes and chronic disease management as well as working individually with patients needing nutritional counseling.  In her spare time, she loves to cook and enjoy Marin’s open space with her family.  

October 22
Living paycheck to paycheck? Learn how to take control of your finances.

Presented by Sarah Wotherspoon MS, CFP® Principal of Private Ocean

Sarah helps clients make smart financial decisions - decisions that connect their dollars and cents with what’s most important to them personally. Her work includes assessing clients’ long-term financial paths and managing portfolios to support their goals (preparing for retirement or the next chapter, funding children’s/grandchildren’s educations, creating legacies for their families and philanthropic organizations, etc.). Sarah is passionate about partnering with clients to offer objective and thoughtful advice about all areas of their finances so they have confidence in and ease with their financial lives. Before joining Private Ocean, Sarah was a partner in a wealth management firm in Minneapolis that was also dedicated to serving high net worth families. She worked in the worlds of advertising and recruiting prior to that. Sarah is a member of the Financial Planning Association and active in promoting financial literacy in the community.

October 29
Boost your Study Skills though Technology on Campus
Presented by Matthew Dimopoulos, COM Assistive Tech Specialist, Student Accessibility Services

Matthew’s previous experience includes various Fortune 500 technology companies like Apple and HP. After going back to University, he advocated for student rights and services as part of the student government as well as working as a volunteer tutor. Currently, he is using his expertise in technology and his passion for student services to assist students in achieving their educational goals through accessible technology.

November 5
Need Health Insurance? Check out Covered California 101!
Presented by Thomas Li, Covered California

November 12
Renter's Rights: Uncover your Rights as a Tenant
Presented by Araceli Ontiveros-Venegas, Staff Attorney, Legal Aid of Marin

Araceli received a BA in Political Science and Philosophy, and a Minor in French, from UC Santa Barbara. During the summer of 2007, she interned at Marin Mediation Services, which solidified her interest in becoming a public interest lawyer. Araceli graduated from the University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in May 2011. During law school, she served as Managing Editor and Staff Writer for the Pacific McGeorge Business and Development Law Journal. She was also an active member of the Latino Law Students Association and served as Vice-President of the organization. As a law student, Araceli interned with the California Attorney General’s Office – Appeals, Writs, and Trials, Criminal Division – where she drafted briefs in felony appeals on behalf of the People of California. She also participated in the Pacific McGeorge Immigration Law Clinic as a Certified Law student, where she assisted clients with adjustment of status, U-Visas, and family petitions. Prior to joining Legal Aid of Marin, Araceli volunteered her time at the office as a law clerk and assisted with unlawful detainers, employment cases, and family law cases.

November 19
Desserts from Around the World
In conjunction with International Education Week, the next presentation of the speaker series continues with a sampling of desserts from around the world. Come get a taste of what other cultures indulge in. This presentation is co-sponsored by the Office of International Education and ASCOM.

Special Evening Presentation
Overview and updates on AB 540, Dream Act, and DACA
Jose Arreola, Educators for Fair Consideration
Student Services Building, Kentfield Campus, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.

December 3
Stressed Out? Learn to Reduce Stress and Relax
Presented by Kathy Page, Mental Health Coordinator, Canal Alliance

Students seeking special assistance to accomodate a disability may call the Student Affairs Office at 415.485.9376.

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