Community Outreach Ministry recognized for its mentoring services

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Andrew Silva, principal of Aspire Community Day School, third from left, accepts a certificate of recognition for Community Outreach Ministries’ service as mentors from Opal Hellweg, legislative assistant for 3rd District Supervisor Chuck Washington, second from left, with mentors and volunteers from Community Outreach Ministries, including science teacher Martha Switzer, left; Carolina Hernandez, marriage family therapist, center; Mona Davies, mentor and co-founder of Community Outreach Ministries, center right; Laverne Williams Schoonover, mentor and Aspire counselor, second from right; Marc Ang, mentor, right, and Bob Davies, STEM instructor and co-founder of Community Outreach Ministries, back row. Valley News/Community Outreach Ministry photo

WILDOMAR – In recognition of their service as mentors to local youth, Mona Davies and her husband Bob were awarded a certificate of recognition in December from Supervisor Chuck Washington of Riverside County’s 3rd District.

The Davies are founders of Community Outreach Ministry, a nonprofit organization that has helped thousands of at-risk children since 2000. The organization provides positive social, safety, educational and vocational opportunities to children impacted by parental incarceration and high-risk youth. The Davies wrote “Children’s Liberation from Incarceration Breaking Cycles New Beginnings.”

The certificate honored the mentoring services the Davies offered youth for a recent “Gearing Up For STEM” Mentor Protégé Workshop.

In addition to the Davies, a team of mentors was also honored for their mentoring services. Laverne Williams-Schoonover, a guidance counselor at Aspire Community Day School received a Certificate of Recognition from Washington. His legislative assistant Opal Hellweg presented the certificate to Williams-Schoonover and the student body.

Aspire Principal Andrew Silva, students and staff were also present at the Dec. 12 event. The middle and high school students who participated in the STEM workshop came prepared to the presentation, assembling Green Science robot kits with their mentors and peers. Students who finished their robots first were promoted to junior mentors. Students collaborated with their peers and protégés to fully assemble each robot. The workshops serve to develop valuable, hands-on STEM skills, teamwork and good sportsmanship.

The Community Outreach Ministry mentoring team included Bob Davies, a retired aerospace engineer; Marc Ang, founder and president of Asian Industry B2B Orange County; Marilyn Brown and her grandson Jacori Neal, a student at Temescal Canyon High School in Lake Elsinore. Neal talked about his progression from robot kit assembly to his newest venture: programming robots to talk, sing, walk and dance. Neal is self-taught in both robotics and engineering and is also an accomplished singer and musician. Neal volunteers at many of the programs and events held by the nonprofit organization.

More than 20 students at the community day school participated in the workshop. Students worked together in small groups with mentors and peers. Students used tool kits, screwdrivers, wire cutters and batteries to complete assembly of an ECO-Engineering TINCAN Edge Detector science kit. TINCAN is a smart robot that is built with sensors so that it can glide across tables without falling off.

Marc Ang, one of the adult mentors said that the STEM workshops administered by Community Outreach Ministry are “quick, impactful and transformational.” He also said that he has “watched at-risk students derive confidence, tangible and practical skills and a collaboration mindset from this powerful activity and service.”

Community Outreach Ministry can be reached at (951) 698-7650 or www.communityoutreachministry.org. Donations, including kits for future STEM workshops, are always welcome.

Submitted by Community Outreach Ministry.