COMMUNITY PARTNERS ... Dozens of nonprofits across San Mateo County got an early Christmas gift from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which announced this year's CZI Community Fund recipients. A total of $6 million has been split between 63 organizations to support their work in housing, education and health care, among other areas, according to a Nov. 17 press release. Each recipient is getting two-year grants that total up to $200,000. "Local community driven-solutions are the key to building a healthier, more equitable partner in San Mateo County," Andrea Jones, CZI's director of Bay Area giving, said in the release. Hope Horizon East Palo Alto (previously Bayshore Christian Ministries), which teaches life skills to youth, is also among the recipients. "This vote of confidence in the work we have been doing in East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park since 1984 is a great encouragement to our community of students, families, churches, volunteers, donors and prayer warriors," Executive Director Tiffany Hong said in a statement. Nine other granteess are also based in East Palo Alto: East Palo Alto Center for Community Media, East Palo Alto Community Archive, East Palo Alto Kids Foundation, East Palo Alto Senior Center, EPACenter, Foundation for a College Education, New Creation Home Ministries, Retraining the Village and StreetCode Academy. While just past the county border, two Palo Alto-based organizations were among the grantees: Ronald McDonald House Charities Bay Area and United through Education. Since debuting in 2017, the fund has provided $26 million across more than 170 local organizations.
FINISHING OUT STRONG ... Local officials came out in full force to honor outgoing Ravenswood school district trustee Ana Maria Pulido, after 12 years on the governing board. During the Nov. 17 school board meeting. State Sen. Josh Becker, East Palo Alto City Council member Antonio Lopez and others spoke of Pulido's dedication to the district. Pulido said over the summer that she wants to explore other opportunities, personally and professionally, outside of the board. Pulido described how the expectation when she joined the board was that there was little that could be done to improve the district but she "refused to accept that status quo that our students didn't deserve just as good as neighboring districts like Menlo Park and Palo Alto," she said. The board presented Pulido with a trophy and passed a resolution honoring her. The resolution noted that Pulido also helped launch the district's comprehensive middle school, Cesar Chavez Ravenswood Middle School, makerspaces and more. Board President Mele Latu thanked Pulido for giving the board her youth and making Ravenswood better than when she came. Board Vice President Tamara Sobomehin said although she and Pulido butted heads, she appreciated Pulido's "strength and fire." Pulido said she endorsed incoming trustee Laura Nu?ez for the board because she wanted a resident who is native to East Palo Alto on the board who knows the community. Nu?ez, along with Latu and Sobomehin (who were up for reelection) will assume their seats at a Dec. 13 meeting.
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