Monthly Archives: August 2010

A New Year


School year that is! Like many organizations we operate on certain calendars, cultural, fiscal, or traditional. For the Center we follow the school year. Most of our programming begin and end with the start and completion of each semester, since the fall of 1999. Our program managers have a semester before each of their programs to prepare and the other ‘trimester’,  if you will, to continue work on Consensus Organizing projects in the community along with grant writing and developing relationships.

 Today, I attended the SDSU all campus 2010-2011 Convocation. This event was like many others I have been to, however, this 2010-2011 President Weber’s is serving his 15th and final year at SDSU. He gave the most moving and gracious speech, and it was at one moment that I realized, President Weber is all I have ever known at my time at SDSU. He was there for my bachelor’s degree (all five years), my year with the Price Community Builder Program in City Heights, and also as I progressed through my masters program (another 2 years) in the School of Social Work. I have been at SDSU for a little over 9% of its existence, just a few years shy of President Weber’s 13%.

 He did give a bit of advice for the incoming President, whomever he or she may be, that we should get to know them and let them hear our history with the school. It actually made me excited to find out who our next leader will be. That is when I confirmed that Stephen Weber had successfully started to pass the torch. All of the staff, students, and faculty were not dwelling on his final year or the thought of loosing him but how great is was going to be to talk to the 8th President of San Diego State University.

All school convocation


College Night Inc.The Step-Up Program has solidified a main sponsor for their first annual College Night Event on October 16th, 2010. This event will be held in south Orange County at the Casta del Sol Golf Course from 5:00pm-9:00pm. It will be an evening filled with live music, dinner, and a silent auction. Tickets are $25 and proceeds will support first generation college students achieve post secondary education. For more information feel free to post a comment or contact Jen at Looking forward to a great night!

How did we get here?


Many of you might be wondering about how we are able to evolve or what that even means?  Where are we evolving from? Our programming, much like the communities that we work with are constantly changing; Issues that we once major concerns have fizzled out or have been solved. The idea that we are always abreast of the current issue has taken time and also many honest relationships. So when we say that we have evolved, it means that we have been able to create new relationships, solid partnerships (built on mutual self interest), and streamlining our programming. Stay tuned to see how other programming and relationships evolve- we will keep you posted as always!

We are evolving!

If there ever was a time where it was ideal to be critical about your programming and streamline, it is now! Every week staff meets to brainstorm about our programs including evaluation, strategies, and the Consensus Organizing Model. We are fortunate enough to be in an environment where our ideas are supported and every year our programming and services continue to improve. Our most recent example of this support is A.I.M for Law.

California Western School of Law is now officially sponsoring A.I.M. for Law. This program is the evolution of Legal Path with worked with high school students. A.I.M. for Law helps Diverse SDSU Sophomores Prepare for Law School.

Here’s the description:
Have you ever considered going to law school? Are you concerned about how to get in or how to pay for it? If you answered “yes,” then the A.I.M. for Law program may be for you. The mission of A.I.M. for Law, sponsored by California Western School of Law in downtown San Diego, is to prepare diverse San Diego State University (SDSU) sophomores for the law school application process and the rigors of law school.

As part of this highly-selective program, practicing attorneys and current law students teach SDSU sophomores everything they need to know about getting into, paying for, and succeeding in law school. Students meet once a week throughout the semester to study for the Law School Admissions Test, brief legal cases, and learn how to make written and oral arguments. Students who successfully complete the program may also be eligible for internships, future law school prep programs, and other benefits. For more information, contact Program Manager Drew Lautemann, Esq. at, or (619) 204-4678.

I have never been more honest, when I say that our conversations, relationships, and ideas in brainstorming lead to great things and A.I.M for Law is just another example.

Defining the Issue

Near an apartment complex

We find the Center being contacted by other organizations, nonprofits, businesses, and schools to engage, support, facilitate participation by communities who are  ‘perceived’ not to care. This perception creates animosity and an us versus them mentality. Consensus Organizers try to tap into the understanding of why things are the way they are by having honest conversations with residents in that community. One example that we looked at was the idea of illegal dumping. The initial reaction of surrounding businesses was that the residents don’t care. But what if they do not have transportation? what if the bus does not service their neighborhood? The issue then is not that they do not care, but accessibility. They do not have access to make their life up to its greatest potential.