Introducing 2017 DCYS Recipients!!!

This year we received some incredible applicants for the Donna Coffee Youth Scholarship that we AGAIN awarded TWO students scholarships! We’d like to introduce you to Avery Crivello and Angel Mendoza our 2017 recipients. Please give them a warm welcome to our CTEBVI blogosphere!  Below are the essays both Avery and Angel submitted as part of of their application process.

 

Pictured: Avery Crivello, 2017 Donna Coffee Youth Scholarship recipient -- Photography by Mike Steelman

Pictured: Avery Crivello, 2017 Donna Coffee Youth Scholarship recipient — Photography by Mike Steelman

My name is Avery Hope Crivello and I want to be an artist when I grow up.  I would also like to open an art studio.  The school I go to is Hollister Prep and I’m in first grade, almost second grade.  My braille teacher is Ms. Sonja (Biggs), she is very fun.  My orientation and mobility teacher is Ms. Madi (Sipe).  I like to do martial arts.  I have an amazing family which is my mom, her name is Nora and my dad, his name is James.  And my wonderful, awesome, sweet brother is Michael.  He is in second grade.  I am learning braille but it’s really hard.  My nickname is Avery Braavery.

If I were to win the scholarship, I would use the money to create art and start an art studio.  Some of my art would be made from braille so that I can teach my friends about braille using art.  I would do paintings, sketches, coloring and some crafts.  My mom said I could do an art showing at our house and invite everyone over.  My dad would make pizza in our pizza oven and my brother would serve the pizza like he usually does.

I want to do this project because I love art and want to be an artist when I grow up.  Anyone can be an artist, even if they are blind because anything is possible.  I learned about Jeff Hanson who is a really, really, really great artist and he is also blind.  I adore his artwork and I think it’s fantastic.

The scholarship would go to buying art supplies such as paper, crafts, paints, paintbrushes and frames.  this would allow me to create my first gallery and put on an art show.

I want to win the scholarship because I can do this project and teach people about visual impairments.  I want them to know that it doesn’t mean I have to live a different life.

 

Thank you!

Avery Hope Crivello


Pictured: Angel Mendoza, 2017 Donna Coffee Youth Scholarship recipient -- Photo courtesy of: Angel Mendoza

Pictured: Angel Mendoza, 2017 Donna Coffee Youth Scholarship recipient — Photo courtesy of: Angel Mendoza

Hi, my name is Angel Mendoza.  I would really like to be considered for the Donna Coffee Youth Scholarship.  I am 11 years old, and I’m in the 5th grade at Mountain View School in Fresno, Ca.  I like Minecraft, pizza, legos, and wrestling.  This year I asked if I could go out for wrestling.  Some people thought I could not do it, but by the end of the season I proved that I could.  By the end of the season I had 3 certificates, a medal, and a plaque.

If I get this scholarship I would use it for private wrestling lessons so I can get better and better.  I also want to bowl with my dad and his team.  I like to stay active because I would like to stay fit and healthy.  I also think it helps me be more disciplined in school.

Thank you for considering me for this scholarship.

Sincerely,

Angel Mendoza

Exit Interview – Mario Chitwood

As the 2016 Donna Coffee Youth Scholarship blogs comes to an end, we thought we’d find out what the experience has been like for our recipients so we asked Chris & Mario to share their thoughts in this fun CTEBVI “exit interview”!

Watch Mario Chitwood’s fun Exit Interview video as he reflects on his time as the 2016 co-DCYS recipient! #CTEBVI17

 

 

Update From Heaven

Pictured: 2015 Donna Coffee Youth Scholarship recipient, Heaven Vallejos -- Photo courtesy of: Heaven Vallejos

Pictured: 2015 Donna Coffee Youth Scholarship recipient, Heaven Vallejos — Photo courtesy of: Heaven Vallejos

 

Hi, I’m back. Haha! 7th grade is crazy insane. Just kidding, it’s really fun. You never know what will happen in Drama, but that’s why I like it. We play different characters and do monologues and the teacher and class are always funny. Going to different classes has gotten easier since August and now it feels normal. I got an award for High Honor Roll for first semester which was a big accomplishment. I’m still running and my dad is going to guide me for a duathlon (running and cycling) next Sunday. It will be the first time for him. I’m being a tough coach. I won’t let him slack off! I’m liking duathlons better because I don’t have to swim. I like swimming for fun, but not so much for competition. I’m looking forward to spring break because we might go to New Mexico. We went there last year and it was great!

Until next time,
Heaven

Exit Interview – Chris Serrano

As the 2016 Donna Coffee Youth Scholarship blogs comes to an end, we thought we’d find out what the experience has been like for our recipients so we asked Chris & Mario to share their thoughts in this fun CTEBVI “exit interview”! 

Are you excited to find out who our 2017 recipient(s) are?!  Check back here or on any of our social media sites when we make our announcement on Sunday, March 12!

Chris Serrano – Exit Interview

Pictured: Chris Serrano with his bass clarinet -- Photo courtesy of: Chris Serrano

Pictured: Chris Serrano with his bass clarinet — Photo courtesy of: Chris Serrano

How did you feel when you won the scholarship?
When I won the scholarship, I was super excited! I immediately began planning how I would go about getting my new instrument and could hardly wait to begin shopping.

What did you use the scholarship money for this year?
I used the scholarship money to buy myself a bass clarinet.

What did you learn and why was it important?
Purchasing the clarinet was important to me because I had been wanting one for a long time but could not scrape together enough money to buy it. So when I won the scholarship, I finally had enough to begin looking around.

How do you feel now that your year as the DCYS recipient is over?
I can hardly believe that the year is almost over! It feels like just a couple months ago when I won the scholarship. How time flies when you’re having fun.

What are three words you can use to describe this experience?
Amazing, grateful, and life-changing

What was your highlight about this year?
The highlight of this year was when I received the package in the mail. I felt so good opening the box and finding a brand new bass clarinet with my name on it.

What did you learn about yourself since receiving the scholarship?
I learned that being a musician allowed me to apply different techniques to all new instruments and have equally good results.

What advice would you give to future DCYS recipients?
Make the most out of your money and enjoy it as much as you can.

What will you miss the most about the blog?
I will miss reflecting on the past months, sharing my latest events, and reading about the awesome adventures that Mario posts.

What do you want people to know about you?
I want people to know that even though I’m blind, I do not let this prevent me from achieving my goals.

Anything else you would like to share?
Thank you again to the DCYS for being so awesome

You have so many fans who want to know what you’re doing and what you’re up to. We would love to contact you from time to time to update us and we’ll post it to our social media accounts. Is this ok?
Yes!

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

Pictured: Chris with tour guide -- Photo courtesy of Chris Serrano

Pictured: Chris with tour guide — Photo courtesy of Chris Serrano

2017 is proving to be a great year! I was recently able to get the Sonar CakeTalking studio software for my computer and I will be working with the program in the after-school Sound  Recording class. When I get the audio interface and mixer, I will be able to record external instruments and add them to any projects I am currently working on. I am looking forward to learning how to efficiently and independently compose, produce, and mix my own songs using the software.

Pictured: Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan Macy's niche which reads: "Helen Keller and her lifelong companion Anne Sullivan Macy are interred in the columbarium behind this chapel" both in print and in braille -- Photo by: Chris Serrano

Pictured: Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan Macy’s niche which reads: “Helen Keller and her lifelong companion Anne Sullivan Macy are interred in the columbarium behind this chapel” both in print and in braille — Photo by: Chris Serrano

I still haven’t gotten over my trip to the Capital. People are still asking me questions about what I did! I visited all the monuments and memorials located on the Capital Mall, including the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Capital Building itself. In addition, I also got my own personal, hands-on tour of the National Cathedral where I visited Helen Keller’s final resting place; her gravestone was in braille which was awesome because I could read it. At Arlington National Cemetery, I visited three presidential tombs and got to witness the changing of the guard over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We also toured a few museums and we attended the women’s march to the White House the day after going to the Inauguration ceremony. The flight back home was insane; our plane had to fly through the storm over LA to land which turned out to be quite exciting.
I had a hotel room all to myself. This included a kingsize bed, 60-inch flat screen TV, mini bar, and a huge bathtub. The room was also equipped with a microwave and fridge that I used often for late night snacks. The thing I miss the most about that room was having my bed magically remade for me every day.

When I got back from Washington, I learned in my jazz band that the music department will be working together with the theater department to put on a show that is supposed to be based on the history of Culver City. The jazz ensemble has volunteered to provide background music. We are currently learning a lot of music that was made famous in movies filmed at MGM and Sonny studios.

I can hardly believe that the year is almost up. How the time flies. Thank you to the Donna Coffee foundation for allowing me to buy my bass clarinet.

Chris