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May 2021

Pomona Hope

Program Highlight: Reading Intervention Workshop and Wishing Taylor Nicholson (BSW) Farewell

We are sad to say goodbye to Taylor Nicholson, our 2020-2021 Bachelor’s in Social Work Intern, and we are so grateful for everything she has done with our students this year. Please join us in congratulating her for receiving the Outstanding Field Internship Award from the School of Social Work at Azusa Pacific University for her research project completed during her time at Pomona Hope. To read Taylor’s final work, click here.

Taylor was integral to leading a Reading Intervention Workshop at After School with Pomona Hope (ASPH) with a group of five elementary-aged students who were falling behind in English Language Arts. The workshop focused on developing reading comprehension, reading strategies, and writing mechanics. All of the students showed growth in their pre- and post-assessments and the workshop attendees developed a strong enthusiasm for their learning with Taylor. One student that Taylor is especially proud of showed improvement in reading and writing, but also in his overall learning strategies and motivation. At the beginning of the school year, he would give up quickly when working on a challenging test or worksheet. Over the course of the workshop though he has become more motivated, and even if he doesn’t know the answer, he does his best to use context clues and reading strategies to respond with a partial answer. He works hard and encourages his little brother, also in the workshop, to do the same. Taylor has established an incredible resource for our students and we look forward to seeing it continue next year with our ongoing partnership with the Bachelors in Social Work internship program at APU. Thank you, Taylor, we'll miss you!

Taylor (center) with students at a socially distanced pizza party.

Student Spotlight:
Kenya Blanco

By: Thea Barovick (Media & Development Intern)  

Kenya Blanco is a joyful and dedicated 6th grade student at ASPH. Along with her two younger siblings, Kenya and her family have been a part of the Pomona Hope community for three years. 

When asked about her earliest memories of Pomona Hope, Kenya recalls everyone working to ensure she felt safe and comfortable. “When I first entered Pomona Hope, I was nervous, but everyone was saying hi to me and my siblings,” Kenya remembered. Today, she has many friends at ASPH and is committed to her learning. She says that Pomona Hope will help her achieve her dream of being a nurse or a doctor when she grows up.

Kenya spoke very proudly about her younger siblings, Jesus (5th grade), and Leonardo (4th grade). She really enjoys being able to be at Pomona Hope with both of them. When she’s not spending time at Pomona Hope, Kenya enjoys spending time with her whole family. “We live right across from a park,” she told me, and loves “going to the park and playing there.” (cont. next column)

In-Kind Donation Needs:
(please find full list linked below)

Student store items such as: boxed games, toys, small denomination gift cards ($5-$10 for Target, XBOX, Playstation, Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, etc.)

(Student Spotlight cont.) Kenya, like everyone in our community this past year, has had to adjust to many changes due to COVID-19. “It’s been hard to deal with school and things” she said, because there are so many “things that we used to do but can’t anymore.” Luckily Kenya has started going to school in person on some days. “It’s been great,” she told me. Despite all the difficulties of the past year, when I asked if she still was having fun at Pomona Hope, Kenya responded with a big grin and a resounding “Yeah!”

Kenya is hopeful about the future and looks forward to being at Pomona Hope more often, “I think in the summer it’s gonna be better,” she said.

Online Enrichment with Pomona Hope continued until the end of the school for those unable to join in person

Prayer Requests

1) Please pray for our students as they finish up a challenging school year, that they would have peace and rest in this season

2) Pray for the upcoming Summer program and Summer interns, that God would provide guidance for the next few months of programming

3) Praise God for all the volunteers who came to us in this challenging year, we could not do it without them

Parent Spotlight: Jeni Esparza

By: Jessica Reid (Media & Development Intern) 

When asked about her favorite memory of Pomona Hope, Jeni Esparza laughed and said there were too many to count. Mother of Alahi (4th grade) and Christopher (6th grade), Jeni has been involved with Pomona Hope since her niece Monse started attending 15 years ago. The memory Jeni decided to share was watching her kids in a drama performance at the end of one summer program. Smiling fondly, she recalled her son singing as Miguel from Coco and her daughter portraying Moana.

Jeni said she is impressed every single day with the new things her kids have learned or experienced at Pomona Hope. When asked whether her children enjoy the programs, a quick laugh and a definitive yes said it all. Jeni appreciates the range of the workshops, which help students with their daily lives and also provide them with unique opportunities. She spoke of workshops teaching her kids everything from garden science to self-esteem and said she was thankful for the whole group that works behind the scenes.

Jeni sees Pomona Hope as a place where whole families are impacted along with their kids, with parents receiving food, resources, and even counseling as needed. A resident of Pomona for the past 20 years, one thing Jeni loves about Pomona Hope is the way they consider and seek to help the community as a whole. She said they think not just about the people in the program, but who those in the program are connected to.

When asked how she would describe her experience with Pomona Hope, Jeni said the first word she thought of was love. She feels very happy and loved to be a part of this community.

Thank you to our donors!
Because of you, we continue strengthening our community. Would you consider becoming a monthly donor? Select the link below to sign up!
Students celebrate the last day of programs for the 2020-2021 school year with water balloon games and fun!
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In-Kind Donation Requests

Pomona Hope gladly accepts in-kind donations! Please find a complete list of current and on-going needs on our website here.  

Access the Archive!

Discover Pomona Hope's extensive history by accessing our newsletter archive!  These hand-selected stories are just a small part of what God is doing at Pomona Hope. Check the archive out! 

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Pomona Hope · 401 N. Gibbs St. · Pomona, CA 91767 · USA