1.7 Mentor Meeting - Individual
1.14 Academic Skills Workshop on Test-Taking
2.11 Mentor Meeting - Large Group
2.25 Academic Skills Workshop
3.11 Mentor Meeting - Individual
3.25 Mentor Meeting - Large Group
4.6-4.10 Spring Break
  Freshmen and Sophomores Volunteer Opportunity
  Senior and Junior College Visits with Parents and Mentor
4.7 College Visit to Chapman University
4.15 Panel of Professionals
5.13 Mentor Meeting (Finals Study Session)
5.27 Year-End Celebration
6.13 Exit Interviews
6.17 Cultural Outing - Motown at Segerstrom Hall

A Night of Celebration and Inspiration

Thank you all so much for attending our 5th Anniversary Celebration and Fundraising Banquet on Saturday, November 8th! With over 170 guests in attendance, we celebrated our student and program accomplishments over the past five years. The evening was a spectacular time of celebration, gratitude and inspiration, and it would not have been possible without our loyal supporters such as yourselves. Thank you!

We had a wide range of beautiful moments
and special highlights throughout the night. Kicking us off was Laura Carvelli, academic counselor at El Dorado High School who shared her early experiences with JOYA and how the organization has had a positive influence on her school. Co-founder Kevin Doi shared about JOYA's journey, how and why the organization started, student accomplishments, and hopes for the near future. Special recognition was given to  
Valeria Sosa , our very first university graduate, who was presented with a gift surrounded by mentor Bethany Anderson and former program directors Bianca Pena and Emily Martinson. Valeria received her BA in Political Science from Chapman University last Spring and is currently applying to law school. Our keynote speaker was Dr. Roberta Espinoza, sociology professor at Pitzer College, provided powerful testimony by sharing her own story of defying odds as a minority student from a working class family to become a published scholar with the help of key educators along the way. Her subsequent research suggests that student relationships with key educators such as teachers, administrators, and other academic mentors leads to the kind of pivotal moments that can change the educational trajectory of a student's life on their path to higher education. Dr. Espinoza's commendation of JOYA Scholars in that very work was a wonderful validation to us.   

Thanks again to all who could attend for making the banquet an unforgettable evening!

We raised $18,000 of our $25,000 goal at our banquet!  A huge THANK YOU to all of our guests for becoming generous partners and investors in our programs and students!

We would like to invite our entire JOYA family to help us raise the additional $7,000 by December 31, 2014.

Reaching our $25K goal will allow us to begin the search process for our first executive director! The position is key to lifting JOYA to the next level: Serving more students in the Garnet Neighborhood, embarking on a K-12 academy, and expansion to a new neighborhood.

As you contemplate holiday and year-end gifts to your favorite organizations, please consider a generous monetary gift to JOYA Scholars knowing you will make a significant difference in the life of a student.

Start of Something New - JOYA Parent Academy

In April, JOYA Scholars began the first ever "Parent Academy" for the families in the Garnet community. Through a generous grant from the Opus Community Foundation, JOYA has been able to provide the materials, instruction, and resources of "The 10 Educational Commandments" curriculum. This participation in the Parent Academy speaks to the growing interest and desire for the parents in the Garnet community to be involved in the education of their children. As more families are starting the conversation of supporting their children and their pursuit of higher education, we are seeing the positive effects throughout the community. We are honored to partner with these families as their children express interest and take the necessary steps to pursue a college education and make a difference for their family, their community, and their future.
Pictured Above:  
The parents who have been actively participating in JOYA's Parent Academy, along with Tam Nguyen and Linda Vasquez, co-facilitators and coordinators of the 9-week program.

JOYA Receives 2 Grants

8/17/13 - We are excited to announce that JOYA Scholars' grant from the American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) Children in Poverty Grant has been renewed and increased from $3000 to $4500.  The grant will be used to support our College Readiness Program which is designed to inspire and prepare high school students from the Garnet Neighborhood for a college education. Students in the program benefit from services and opportunities such as mentoring, tutoring, academic advising, and college tours. Receiving the Children in Poverty grant is significant and exciting to JOYA. We are deeply grateful for the ABHMS's support of our program and commitment to supporting children living in poverty in the United States.

JOYA has also received a $3000 grant from the Angels' Foundation to help support our Jr. High Mentoring Program for this coming school year.

Making Big Decisions


We are excited to announce that our seniors, Gerardo and Solomon, will be attending college in the Fall! Both students have challenged themselves throughout High School, taking AP courses, being involved in extracurricular activities, and remaining committed to their involvement in JOYA Scholars. Thank you for supporting students like Gerardo and Solomon in their journey to pursue higher education!

Solomon made the decision to attend University of California Irvine (UCI) as an Electrical Engineering major! Solomon was a dedicated member of the El Dorado orchestra, and volunteered in his community, serving in areas such as the after school program at Topaz Elementary.


Gerardo has decided to attend Cal State Fullerton (CSUF) and will study Mechanical Engineering! During High School, Gerardo was an active student athlete, playing on both the football and soccer teams at El Dorado. He also volunteered in a community youth soccer league, teaching young athletes the value of being on a sports team.

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