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In the News: October 2013

BY Thuy Nguyen Kumar
Thuy Nguyen Kumar
As Communications Project Manager, Thuy provides project support for a broad ran
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| Nov 01, 2013

Teaching Lessons

BY Aaron Pick
Aaron Pick
As Senior Program Officer of the Youth program, Aaron is responsible for develop
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| Oct 24, 2013

Teaching runs in my blood. My parents were elementary teachers, my sister currently teaches, and I’m a former high school math teacher. Together, we taught for over 50 years. Of all my jobs, teaching is the one that helped me most in being able to read an audience, adjust a plan midstream, and motivate others on a daily basis. It had a huge impact on my life. But a recent visit to a high school had me thinking about the power of learning to teach as a tool for young people and the many ways in which it can prepare them for success in college, career and life.

Enter Arroyo Valley High School in San Bernardino City Unified School District. Arroyo Valley serves over 2,000 high school students, mostly from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. About 150 of these students attend the Teaching Academy, which is just one example of a Linked Learning pathway set within one of California’s high-demand industry sectors that combines rigorous academics with career-based learning. Linked Learning integrates these real-world professions with rigorous academics in a way that makes school relevant and engaging. Students at Arroyo Valley serve as teaching interns at local schools and receive a course of study that prepares them for both college and the teaching profession.

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Refining our Work on California Democracy

BY Amy Dominguez-Arms
Amy Dominguez-Arms
As Director of the California Democracy program, Amy leads strategies aimed at i
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| Oct 21, 2013 1

Improving the health of California's democracy is both an exciting challenge and a formidable task. What's exciting is the possibility of transforming how important public decisions are made, so as to benefit all Californians. Our goal is for California to have a representative electorate, with policymaking bodies incentivized to consider the long term, and public decisions made based on good data about effective solutions.

Also exciting about working in this field is the diverse set of highly capable, committed and strategic organizations here in California that are building alliances across sectors and geographies to change how we make decisions and plan for our future. We are honored to be working in partnership with many of them.

But a challenge we face is that with many aspects of our democracy that could be improved, how do we best approach grantmaking in this arena?

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From the President: A Region Vital to our Future

BY Jim Canales
Jim Canales
Jim Canales served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The James Irvine
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| Oct 16, 2013

Dear Friends,

One of the opportunities afforded to institutions such as the Irvine Foundation is the ability to take a long-term view. As a perpetual institution dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of California, the Irvine Foundation needs to look at not only today’s challenges, but also must understand the trends and forces that will shape the California of the future.

For the past decade, our work has been informed by the realization that the inland parts of California — particularly the San Joaquin Valley along with Riverside and San Bernardino counties — are increasingly vital to the future of our state. The population of those regions continues to grow at rates far beyond California’s overall growth. In fact, between 2010 and 2030, it is projected that fully 46% of the state’s total population growth will occur in those regions alone.

It is this reality that led us to hold our quarterly board meeting in October in Riverside and San Bernardino, to provide our board members with an opportunity to hear directly from leaders and residents of the region regarding the assets and opportunities in their two counties. (We conducted a similar board visit to the Fresno region in 2010). There is simply no substitute for such visits; they provide the opportunity to listen and to learn and to have our strategies informed and shaped by the authentic experience of people who live there.

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Four Minutes With... Don Howard

BY Jim Canales
Jim Canales
Jim Canales served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The James Irvine
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| Oct 15, 2013 1
Four Minutes With… provides a chance to get to know Irvine board and staff members, as well as partners in our work to expand opportunity for the people of California.

In this episode of Four Minutes With…we profile Don Howard, Executive Vice President at Irvine. Don joined the Foundation in November 2012 after serving as a partner and head of the San Francisco office for The Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit strategy consulting firm helping other nonprofits and philanthropists achieve breakthrough results. We’ve asked him to talk a little bit about this transition to philanthropy over the past year and his role at Irvine.


 

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Irvine Board Approves $6.89 Million in Grants

BY Thuy Nguyen Kumar
Thuy Nguyen Kumar
As Communications Project Manager, Thuy provides project support for a broad ran
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| Oct 11, 2013

Our Board of Directors approved $6.89 million in grants at its quarterly meeting this week. Of the 11 approved grants, five were within California Democracy five in our Youth program and one in Special Initiatives. The meeting was held in Riverside where Irvine staff and board engaged with a number of leaders from both Riverside and San Bernardino counties and visited a Linked Learning school site in San Bernardino.

Here are some highlights of the new grants:

Future of California Elections — Our California Democracy program made grants to organizations engaged in the Future of California Elections (FOCE) project. Center for Civic Design is receiving $230,000 to improve voter participation in California by conducting and disseminating research on how voters obtain information about elections. Together, these grants are designed to modernize California’s election system and increase voter participation.

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In the News: September 2013

BY Thuy Nguyen Kumar
Thuy Nguyen Kumar
As Communications Project Manager, Thuy provides project support for a broad ran
User is currently offline
| Oct 01, 2013

Four Minutes With… Kenji Treanor

BY Jim Canales
Jim Canales
Jim Canales served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The James Irvine
User is currently offline
| Sep 20, 2013
We are inaugurating a new feature on our website in order to bring to life the people who animate the Irvine Foundation's work. Four Minutes With… provides a chance to get to know Irvine board and staff members, as well as partners in our work to expand opportunity for the people of California. These short videos are intended to humanize the work that we do and that we support across the state. We welcome your feedback and suggestions about future profiles.

In this first episode of Four Minutes With… we profile Kenji Treanor, who recently left Irvine having served in three different roles during his nine-year tenure with the Foundation. One of my many joys of leading the Irvine Foundation is working with these talented and dedicated colleagues. Inevitably, they will develop skills and experience at Irvine which position them well for their next professional opportunity beyond the Foundation. Kenji has been a wonderful colleague to all of us, and we will miss him very much. At the same time, we are excited about his new opportunity with the Sobrato Family Foundation. We’ve asked him to talk a little bit about his experience with us and his future.


 

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Transforming High Schools: Linking Academics and Real Life

BY Jim Canales
Jim Canales
Jim Canales served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The James Irvine
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| Sep 18, 2013
Editor’s Note: The following post by Irvine Foundation President and CEO Jim Canales originally ran in the Huffington Post on September 16, 2013, and is reprinted here.

My first job out of college was as a high school English teacher in San Francisco. As a result, every fall brings with it hope and excitement, a combination of anticipation and aspiration. Sadly, today, for far too many high schools students in my state of California, such hope is not to be found. Too many of our young people's dreams go unrealized, and that has enormous consequences.

Put simply, our education system is not working for many students. Across California, nearly a quarter of students don't graduate from high school on time or at all. Graduation rates for Latinos and African Americans are even lower. And barely a third of the state's students who do graduate high school actually complete all of the courses needed for admission to a University of California or Cal State school. We're failing our students by not giving them the education they need.

The implications are clear: the economy suffers when our workers are not prepared. Unemployment among these youth is at a level not seen since the 1950s. Tens of billions of dollars are lost in wages and productivity as a result of dropouts, and our state's workers are not prepared for the jobs we do have and need filled.

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Guest Post: Election Recommendations for a Presidential Commission

BY Doug Chapin
Doug Chapin
Doug Chapin directs the Future of California Elections project. Chapin has been
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| Sep 12, 2013

By Doug Chapin – Director, Future of California Elections

For nearly two years, a collection of election officials, civil rights advocates and reform groups have come together as part of an initiative known as the Future of California Elections (FOCE) to work on making the state’s voting process more effective and expand voter participation across all of California’s communities. The collaboration has helped lead to numerous legal and procedural reforms, including greater opportunities for voter registration and improvements to the state voter guide.

Last month, FOCE members shared their experiences with members of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, a bipartisan body appointed by President Barack Obama to study election practices across the nation and make recommendations on how election administration could improve. The day-long “listening session” in San Francisco was an opportunity for FOCE members to describe their work in California and to help the Commissioners put that work into a national context.

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Aaron Pick
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"As Senior Program Officer of the Youth program, Aa..."
Alex Barnum
57 post(s)
"Alex Barnum was a Communications Officer at The Ja..."
Amy Dominguez-Arms
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"As Director of the California Democracy program, A..."
Angela Glover Blackwell
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Anne Stanton
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Anne Vally
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Catherine Hazelton
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Don Howard
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Doug Chapin
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Thuy Nguyen Kumar
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