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As a high school student, Sarena Chansombat was excited to graduate and attend college away from home, but everything changed when she took a pregnancy test at the Fresno EOC Community Health Center. She never imagined being a teen mom but with support from her family, boyfriend, and Fresno EOC Adolescent Family Life Program, Chansombat was able to overcome the challenges of her pregnancy.  “When I found out I was pregnant I felt overwhelmed with emotions,” she said. “I…

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Back-to-school season is upon us and summer routes have come to an end for the Food Express Bus. The bus provided children with an opportunity to get nutritious meals during summer break and served as a mobile Safe Place site. “It is truly inspiring to see the community come together to bring this project from an idea to a reality,” said Jon Escobar, Food Services Director. “From donors to youth artists, metal fabricators to outreach workers, everyone joined together with the…

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Fresno EOC Board Commissioner wants parents to know “Fresno EOC can help you” Zina Brown-Jenkins was first introduced to Fresno EOC Head Start 32 years ago when a staff member knocked on her door and handed her a flyer for the program. Now she is a Fresno EOC Board Commissioner on the Head Start County-Wide Policy Council and serves as an advocate for parents throughout the agency. “Head Start was the perfect opportunity,” Brown-Jenkins said. “I was a college…

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At Fresno EOC Local Conservation Corps’ onsite charter school, YouthBuild Fresno, the Sterile Processing course was added to an array of vocational training opportunities for students. The program allows young adults, 18 to 29, who have previously been left or pushed out of the traditional school system with a second chance to attend high school, through a partnership with YouthBuild Charter School of California (YCSC). Last spring, YouthBuild Fresno began offering the first Sterile…

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Since the beginning of 2018, Students at SOUL have been enjoying the healthier options at the salad bar, along with new industrial food service equipment and the opportunity to learn how to prepare meals through their Culinary Arts class. This is all thanks to feedback from students and a grant ensuring SOUL has the resources to make food on-site. “The Kitchen Equipment Assistance Grant has allowed the SOUL to improve nutritional quality, serve healthier meals, expand participation…

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Wells Fargo Foundation presented a $20,000 check to Fresno EOC at the Youth Summer Enrichment Showcase on July 25. This contribution will support Fresno Street Saints and Employment and Training programs as they continue to provide support and educational opportunities for youth. “We want to support programs like these two because we think it’s important to start teaching young people about financial stability, how to develop their skills for a career, how to be leaders in our…

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In just one year of pizza production, Fresno EOC Food Services was able to deliver 137,211 personal size pizzas to students in Fresno, Fowler and Firebaugh school districts, as well as local water parks. The project began as a partnership with a local business and created eight new positions. “By utilizing our existing resources and expertise in food and transportation services, we were able to use our capacity on a business accelerator project with a small business owner to meet a need…

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Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission (Fresno EOC) Transit Systems expanded services to Madera County in early July, through a 5-year agreement with the Madera County Board of Supervisors. Fresno EOC Transit Systems has previously only served Fresno County residents. These additional services will now provide transportation at low-cost to seniors, disabled, and low-income residents in unincorporated areas of Eastern Madera County. “Our Transit Systems with over 36 years of experience…

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Fresno EOC employee, Evelyn Gonzalez, was sworn in today as a member of the Immigrant Affairs Committee. Gonzalez is a Case Manager for Central Valley Against Human Trafficking and will be advising Fresno City Council on issues affecting the immigrant community. “This is an opportunity to do what I what I wanted to since I was little,” Gonzalez said. “At 11 years-old I was working in the fields and was speaking up against the foreman. Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to help…

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After going to a meeting at the parole office, Savannah Pastusak was introduced to Valley Apprenticeship Connections and since then her life took a positive turn. At the age of 13, Pastusak was sentenced to juvenile hall and then served a prison sentence. Once released, VAC gave Pastusak the opportunity she needed for a second chance at life. “I feel I was given an opportunity,” Pastusak said. “I feel good about myself.” Now a single mother with a 3-year-old son…

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Daisy Hernandez didn’t have the best experience at a traditional high school. When her best friend died, Hernandez felt she could no longer attend classes and wanted to drop out, until she was introduced to Fresno EOC Local Conservation Corps’ (LCC) onsite charter school, YouthBuild Charter High School of California (YCHSC). “I didn’t want to go any more, I couldn’t go because there were too many memories,” Hernandez said. “I wanted to drop out but one…

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Now a Fresno EOC employee and college graduate, Glenda Ruiz fondly remembers Head Start as the place where she got her first taste of education. “Head Start planted the seed of education in me,” Ruiz said “From early on I wanted to learn more and do more for my education. After I went to Fresno Pacific and got a job at Fresno EOC, I didn’t know I was coming back to an agency that planted that seed.” It was at Head Start where Ruiz learned how to follow a daily…

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Grandparent Meso Beta, 72, continues taking on new adventures and challenges. In 1980, Beta came to the United States from the Democratic of the Congo in hopes of finding a better life for his wife and children. His story is like many immigrants, but his hardships of providing for his family make his experience as a Foster Grandparent far more fulfilling. Beta retired in 2011 and since then has found excitement in serving his community. He assists in the classroom daily and faces every new…

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Natalie Hernandez knew she wanted to be in the medical field, but didn’t want to be a nurse. She has a history with Phlebotomists in her life, most of them were at Valley Children’s Hospital where she received treatment for her rheumatoid arthritis. The hospital staff as well as Fresno EOC Employment and Training allowed Hernandez to make a career in Phlebotomy possible. When she was 16 years old her rheumatoid arthritis worsened, forcing her to make biweekly visits to the hospital…

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