Speaking Up to Create Change

As an incoming freshman, I knew that Civitas, the political science academy at my high school, was going to be a rigorous but rewarding program. Though at the time I could barely explain the difference between the House and the Senate, I looked forward to learning deeply about politics, policy, and theory over five semesters […]

Read More

Secondary School Principal of the Year Reflects on the Importance of Civic Learning

As educational leaders, our plate is full. Priority is given to areas measured on the California School Dashboard. Unfortunately, one area that can get lost in the maelstrom of our professional lives is the need to place an emphasis and value on civic learning. Civic learning helps students access the world around them According to […]

Read More

Civic Learning Award at Camarillo High School: Impressions of a Presiding Justice

Recently I presented the Civic Learning Award to Camarillo High School, my second time to participate in the special program established by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. I have been told that a visit from a judge is part of the prize for the school. But from my perspective, I […]

Read More

Lessons from learning and serving at my local court

As the child of Mexican immigrants, I thought that assisting members of the Latino community who came into a Los Angeles County Superior court self-help center would feel entirely familiar. I had always helped my Spanish-speaking parents, neighbors, and family friends translate documents and interpret conversations, and I felt that joining JusticeCorps—an AmeriCorps program that offers […]

Read More

Civic Learning and Engagement Saves Lives

As a medical doctor and executive at California’s biggest health foundation, I often get the question – what do we need to do to improve California’s health? My answer surprises many: empower people. When I was the director and public health officer for Alameda County, I did a study that looked at the average number […]

Read More