Two Victor Valley College students became the lucky winners of laptops through a successful Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt event held Thursday.
Cindy Blanco and Timia McDaniel
were the first students to solve all the clues set up by the Associated Student
Body Council, making them the recipients of two HP laptops.
Blanco, 32, said the scavenger hunt
was very challenging, “especially with a kid,” since she took her son along for
Students were challenged with clues
ranging from trivia about campus locations, such as the “United We Stand”
monument adjacent to the library, to solving math problems.
“There were a whole bunch of people
going in the library, so I knew there was a clue nearby,” said McDaniel, who is
a student worker in the library.
McDaniel, 20, said winning a new
laptop will have a significant impact on her since she’s transferring to a
four-year college after she graduates from VVC this spring.
“I have an old laptop, and it’s
very slow, so this is great,” McDaniel said. “I’m feeling happy because this
sort of thing doesn’t happen a lot.”
Blanco said she was celebrating
when she saw that she’d won because she didn’t have a computer.
“I’m always in the library because
I don’t have one at home,” Blanco said. “It’s gonna be perfect if I want to
take online classes or need to do a book report.”
Along with the scavenger hunt, a
traditional Easter egg hunt was taking place, with 1,000 eggs hidden all over
campus, all containing various prizes. Most contained candy treats, while
others awarded gift cards.
ASB Public Relations Senator Amber
Scott said the events went great, with students coming in hour after hour to
participate in the scavenger hunt.
“It was really well
received by the students. Everyone was having so much fun,” Scott said.
“Everybody has a little kid inside of them so it brought that out.”
More than 1,500 dogs will be on the lower campus field of Victor Valley College this weekend for the annual Apple Valley Kennel Club Dog Shows.
Owners and professional dog handlers will be on site showing off their canines — big, small, cuddly, protective — as judging panels review them.
The Apple Valley Kennel Club is licensed by the American Kennel Club (AKC), a registry of purebred dog pedigrees in the U.S. which promotes events for purebred dogs. More than 150 AKC breeds will be represented at VVC on Saturday and Sunday.
Among the breeds there, attendees will see Akitas, Beagles, Boxers, Canaans, Doberman Pinschers, French Bulldogs, Great Danes, Labrador Retrievers, Pharaoh Hounds, Poodles, Rottweilers, Samoyeds, Scottish Terriers, Weimaraners, and Whippets.
Tour guides are available and there will be plenty of vendors and food booths for visitors to enjoy. The AVKC will offer a tour for anyone who would like to learn more about dog shows at 10 a.m. Saturday. Those interested may meet at the catalog sales table.
The show will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Judging starts at 8:30 a.m. each day and continues until early afternoon, culminating with Best in Show.
It will be held on the lower campus, at 18422 Bear Valley Road, Victorville.
Victorville — In two short years, Victor Valley College students interested in Aviation careers can become certified Avionics Technicians for remotely piloted aircraft. The best part, they get paid during training that will provide them with an opportunity to gain experience and develop a skillset. Thanks to a $692,000 grant awarded to Victor Valley College from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office and a partnership with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), the ETAP (Electronics Technician Apprenticeship Program) will provide valuable career training and skills required for employment opportunities in an in-demand and fast growing industry sector.
collaboration with our valued partner General Atomics, we are proud
of our role in meeting the evolving needs of our high desert economy,” VVC
Superintendent/President Dr. Daniel Walden said. “We will continue to increase
opportunities for our students to upgrade their skills and improve their
prospects for rewarding careers through such programs.”
many other employers in the High Desert, relocating and retaining talent has
always been a challenge for GA-ASI and will only get tougher as global and
national job opportunities increase and supply cannot meet demand for talented
professionals. To help solve their needs, the company reached out to Victor Valley
College for help and the timing was right.
decided the best way to retain talent was to grow our own talent pipeline.
Forecasts show the needs for aviation maintenance technicians will exceed the
supply of trained personnel beginning in 2021,” said Steve Muir, Director of
Field Avionics, GA-ASI. “The California Apprenticeship Initiative (CAI) grant
was exactly what we needed to offer local residents a skill they can take with
in the program are paid full-time competitive wages and offered a comprehensive
benefits package. In addition, they will earn 20 college credits and two
certificates through Victor Valley College. In order to qualify for the
program, candidates must also be able to obtain a Department of Defense security
Those who are interested can apply through the High Desert America’s Job Center (760) 552-6550 and need to ask to be scheduled for the CASAS Assessment for the GA-ASI ETAP
VICTORVILLE — The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians recently granted $98,194 to the Victor Valley College Foundation to help enhance and increase capacity for the Fire Technology program provided at the Victor Valley College Regional Public Safety Training Center.
Thanks to San Manuel’s generous grant to the A.C.T.S project, funding will allow the Fire Technology department to purchase 25 new SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) packs as well as physical fitness agility training equipment. Both will provide students the opportunity to be trained on industry standard equipment. Implementation of the A.C.T.S. project will enhance student safety, strengthen career preparation, and support occupational skills and certificate attainment leading to program completion.
Victor Valley College’s Regional Public Safety Training Center is the only institution in San Bernardino, Riverside, and San Diego Counties authorized to administer the “Biddle PAT” assessment and has certified more than 2000 candidates. The Biddle PAT is the physical fitness preparedness assessment utilized by more than 41 local Fire departments and agencies.
“While administering the test, we examine a student’s strength, stamina, and physical agility while performing the same functions and tasks of an on-duty fire-fighter. Being in good health is vital to extending your career in the firefighter service,” said Victor Valley College Program Director Heath Cohen. “The tribe’s generosity in helping us to purchase physical fitness equipment for the Biddle PAT, continues to enrich the professional preparedness of our emergency responder students. Furthermore, their investment advances the effectiveness of student’s training and greatly enhances workplace knowledge for those who are currently working or eventually seeking employment.”
Additional funds will be used to purchase 25 SCBA packs. The new packs will replace obsolete equipment, ensuring students are training and have access to the highest quality and most industry-relevant safety gear. The SCBA pack is a life-saving component of the “turnout gear” worn by firefighters. It provides breathable and cool air which makes the firefighter more comfortable during a hot fire fight and emergency situations.
“Through this gift, San Manuel is investing in advanced training for our first responders to more effectively safeguard lives in San Bernardino County, which is more important than ever now that California’s “new normal” is a year-round fire season,” said San Manuel Chairwoman Lynn Valbuena. “As a Native Serrano people whose aboriginal lands include the High Desert, we are pleased to work with Victor Valley College to benefit multiple communities throughout these lands we hold as sacred.”
Victor Valley College Regional Public Safety Training Center is a $31.5 million, state-of-the-art training complex specifically designed to support students in the Administration of Justice, Fire Technology, Emergency Medical Services and Correction programs. It provides students a unique and far reaching training opportunity for cooperative emergency scenario cross-training exercises experienced by first responders every day in the normal course of the job.
For more information about Victor Valley College and the programs available at the Regional Public Safety Training Center, visit www.vvc.edu. To learn about the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, visit www.sanmanuel-nsn.gov.
With students ranging from ages 18 to 74, the Apple Valley Adult Education program is proving that education has no age limit. The program exists to provide individualized instruction of high school diploma and GED testing, as well as tutoring, computer literacy classes, and assistance with the transition to postsecondary education and the workforce.
“We graduate families,” said program coordinator Adele McClain. “Mother’s and fathers, daughters, and sons, grandparents and grandchildren. They attend high school together and go onto college then elevate and motivate each other in this process.”
McClain explained that many students not only want to better understand the steps to enroll in postsecondary education and subsequent career pathways for themselves, but want to understand this transition for their children as well. It is for this reason the program recently established “open-house” style support each Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at which students and families members over the age of 18 can receive assistance and information helpful for applying to college or the workforce. Friday participants can meet with a Victor Valley College bilingual counselor and receive assistance applying for CALJobs or Transitional Assistance benefits.
Melina Bezada is one example of generations learning and growing together. As a single mother to two school-aged students, Bezada graduated from the Apple Valley Adult Education and enrolled at VVC, where she now works as a student worker to bridge partnerships between the college and adult education programs and volunteers with the Transitional Assistance Office and CalWorks.
“ It was really scary coming back to school after being out of the classroom for so long, but I knew I had to do this to make more opportunities for myself,” said Bezada. “I knew I had to be an example for my children. I can’t expect them to want the best for themselves if I wasn’t a good example. I love that I can help other parents like myself overcome their own anxieties about school and help them seize more opportunities for themselves and their children.
“We want people to feel like family here,” McClain said. “Students don’t usually get to Adult Ed because life was easy for them. That’s why we’re set up like a cafe. I know many have a negative view of how school was for them and I want that view to be completely different when they step through these doors.”
The program has expanded from approximately 75 students in 2012-2013, to serve an estimated 600 students in 2018-2019. The program typically has a waiting list but will offer immediate placement for former AVUSD students or students with a referral from a Parent Center or Transitional Assistance program. For more information on enrollment, contact Apple Valley Adult Education at 760-247-1505.
Apple Valley Adult Education is a member of the Victor Valley Adult Education Regional Consortium, which consists of Apple Valley Adult School, Hesperia Adult School, Snowline Adult School, Victor Valley Adult School, and Lucerne Valley Adult School.
VICTORVILLE — The Victor Valley College Board of Trustees discussed a proposal to renovate the college’s football field and build an adjacent multi-purpose conference center during their meeting on March 12.
Director of Facilities, Construction, and Contracts Steve Garcia presented trustees with conceptual plans and renderings of the project, which is estimated to cost $20 million.
According to the plans, new stadium seating would fit 5,000 people — 3,500 on the home side and 1,500 on the visiting side. Plans also include the re-crowning of the field and the installation of a synthetic track, new sod turf, stadium lighting, and a sound system.
The conference center would be built overlooking the field and could be used to hold 500 to 600 people for various college and community events.
Trustees Brandon Wood and Joseph W. Brady both commented that they’d like to “go big” and plan everything carefully to best meet the needs of the local community.
“If we’re going to do it, let’s do it in a way that is lasting, that is going to be functional for many, many years, and that is bigger than what we need it to be today,” Wood said. “I think it would be nice to see a full parking lot and have sold out football games and half the people in the stands are High Desert residents who are just coming to have a good time.”
Brady said the addition of a new conference center “would bring the whole valley together.”
“Let’s be sure we really take everything into account — that there are enough bathrooms and things like that — because we will have enough events here that we want to be sure it’s user-friendly and people want to come back,” Brady said. “I think we have a duty to our students … and we want to keep them here and we want to have events here.”
Wood also pointed out that he previously stated he would not support the construction of a new stadium and conference center until the college moved forward with a “One Stop” building, which VVC broke ground on in June 2018. The “One Stop,” which will consolidate student services (including admissions, counseling, and financial aid) in one building, is scheduled to open in Fall.
Garcia said construction of the stadium and conference center could begin within three years. He also noted that the stadium is not only for athletic events, calling it “an outdoor classroom.”
“It will be used continuously, and it’s all about student success,” Garcia said. “It’s about the image of the college. It’s a complete campus component.”
WASHINGTON D.C. — Sixteen Victor Valley College students spent six days attending a national leadership conference and discussing critical community college issues with public officials in the nation’s capital earlier this month.
the American Student Association for Community Colleges (ASACC) conference,
held March 9 to 12, the students heard from speakers David Baime, senior vice
president for government relations and research for the American Association of
Community Colleges; Jee Hang Lee, vice president for public policy and external
relations for the Association of Community College Trustees; and Ralph Nader,
an American political activist, author, and attorney.
students also participate in professional advancement workshops, including one
created and taught by VVC Associated Student Body (ASB) Public Relations
Senator Amber Scott.
presented “You Can Do It All: Dreams vs. Reality = Balance,” which discussed
the difficulties student leaders face and how their goals can be achieved
through careful planning and dedication. This presentation was one of the most
well-attended at the conference, with more than 75 seats filled and additional
students standing in the back to hear Scott speak on what she’s learned about
balancing responsibilities with mental and physical health.
was exuberating for me to get to help make sure that all students feel
empowered,” Scott said. “I know that if I can do it, everyone else can too, so
I’m all about building people up.”
In addition to attending the ASACC workshops, the VVC students met with public officials, including a legislative aide from Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office and an educational aide from Senator Kamala Harris’s office, Legislative Fellow Dr. Kendrick Davis.
listened to the students talk about the importance of the Pell Grant and the
reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, which involves the Deferred Action
for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, the Development, Relief and Education for
Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, and funding for Federal Work-Study programs.
Secretary Kimberly Aguilar said that they “connected really well” with Davis
during the meeting, noting that both Davis and the majority of the students
were in tears while sharing their personal stories.
was so much raw emotion, so much honesty — it touched with him personally,”
Aguilar said. “(I talked about how) going to college meant a lot to me because
of what my mom went through immigrating to the U.S. (from Mexico) … She worked
so hard for me and my brother to get an education.”
group also had the opportunity to meet with Congressman Paul Cook and several
of his office staff members for dinner.
a former college professor, I really enjoyed getting to spend time with these
bright students who had so much to share,” Cook said. “I was able to share and
discuss with them how things currently stand for many of the issues that they
care about. I was also intrigued listening to their desired career trajectories
and feel very enthusiastic about their futures.”
Sciences Senator Alize Young said meeting with Cook, who he said was “very
relatable,” was his favorite part of the entire trip.
made it clear that they care and that they’re willing to make changes if we
fight for it,” Young said. “He told us, ‘leadership chooses you; you don’t
choose it.’ That stuck with me.”
tenacity exhibited by the students while meeting with elected officials was
balanced by their humble service demonstrated during a volunteer activity
cleaning up litter addressing the area between the Lincoln Memorial and the
World War II Memorial.
Additionally, the group participated in a somber wreath-laying ceremony for Victor Valley College at Arlington Cemetery, during which four ASB council members presented a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where all those that are “known but to God” are ceremoniously grieved for and honored as members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Fox, ASB’s Foundation representative and one of the four ceremony presenters,
said the honor was one that she will never forget.
“I now understand more than ever why the soldiers that patrol before the Tomb of the Unknown will march through hurricanes for their unknown brethren. It is out of a respect and loyalty that I can never hope to know the depth of,” Fox said. “Though it was for only a fraction of the time that these soldiers stand for, the weight of the responsibility sat heavy upon my heart.”
VICTORVILLE — On Wednesday, March 6th, the Victor Valley College Construction Technology department hosted its third annual building competition between local high school teams.
The Construction and Manufacturing Technology program prepares
students for various positions in the construction field, including the
opportunity to become self-employed.
The goals of the high school-level building competition were to
spread awareness of the opportunities available at VVC and to show how much fun
it can be for students who are striving to work in the field of construction,
according to Construction Technology Department Chair Anthony Bonato.
“We included some of the alternative schools this year as well,
(such as Alta Vista Innovation and Chaparral high schools). A lot of kids in
the area are not aware of the programs we offer,” Bonato said. “The goal for us
is to be a launching pad between high school and career.”
About 65 students participated from high schools across the High
Desert for a total of 18 teams. All were enrolled in Career Technical Education
(CTE) courses in their high schools. The competition required each team to be
creative and work together to build a sturdy dog house.
During the competition, held in the Construction Technology building, the sounds of nails being hammered and power tools cutting through wood took over VVC’s lower campus. The students wore clear safety glasses and tool belts, displaying determination as they worked to build with both speed and accuracy.
The students demonstrated teamwork throughout the competition. For
instance, one team member would hold a piece of plywood down while another
would hammer it into place.
“They’re applying what they have been learning in class,” said
Barstow Unified School District CTE Coordinator Carrie O’Neil. “They’re
practicing great career skills that they can take with them.”
After several busy hours filled with sawdust, the teams had
created 20 dog houses.
Sultana High School came out on top, winning first place for their
exemplar dog house. Two teams from Apple Valley High School took second and
third place. The prizes given to the winning schools included tools, a nailing
apron, tape measures, and more.
“It’s about getting the kids exposure to the construction side of
things and making that link between high school and college,” Sultana CTE
teacher Kurt Chapman said. “They get to see how they teach at the college
Despite the pouring rain that Wednesday, a barbeque was held after
the competition to commemorate the coming together of local high schools and
VVC for the third annual year.
just 36 hours, eight Victor Valley College students went from their normal
urban environment to having monkeys climbing all over them while aboard a float
on the Panama canal.
students left for a trip to Central America on January 18 and spent 16 days in
the countries of Panama and Costa Rica. The expedition, led by VVC biology
professor Dr. Hinrich Kaiser, was made possible through the college’s Tropical
The students traveling were all enrolled in one of VVC’s biology courses, “Comparative Natural History,” and given the opportunity to explore new environments while being exposed to local wildlife and new cultures.
began their journey in Panama, where they participated in exotic experiences
from the get-go. On their first full day there, they took a float ride on the
Panama canal, passing small islands with isolated animal populations, including
one inhabited by monkeys.
you come with some fruits and bananas, they come down and they climb all over
you,” Kaiser said. “It was a quick change (for the students). They really got
thrown in there … For some, it was an amazing experience. They said it brought
them to tears.”
One of the students attending the trip is on the autism spectrum and has been an instrumental member of the team, according to Kaiser. This student came up with the group’s slogan for the year: “Adventure forward!” Since he spontaneously exclaimed it while exploring, they’ve adopted it as their theme.
The group continued their adventures in the Boca del Toro Province, a group of islands, and later crossed the border on foot into Costa Rica. They explored beaches, caves and rainforests, all home to various wild animals such as bats, dolphins and poisonous frogs.
got a more personal experience with a few animals thanks to a nonprofit animal
rescue owned by German Sibaja, called the Mesoamerican Rescue Center. Sibaja
allowed the students to help him with animals in his care. They were tasked
with weighing a baby three-toed sloth and releasing snakes and an anteater back
into the wild.
was a bonus to participate in this wildlife preservation,” Kaiser said.
were also exposed to a new way of living during their trip.
stayed at an indigenous reserve … in a very non-touristy kind of place. We had
to walk up for about a half hour from the main roads and through the jungle to
get there,” Kaiser said. “There’s no phone signal [and] no power. These things
were very unusual for our students. You are not connected.”
previous trips, Kaiser has led student groups who are responsible for
discovering multiple new species of life in foreign countries. While scientific
research plays a major role, Kaiser sees other benefits the trips can provide
emphasis here is focused on giving more experiences than the experiences of the
research. I’m trying to serve a broader clientele,” he said.
humanities major Heather Macias, who attended the recent trip, can vouch.
students who hear about a trip like this that are in my shoes may be
interested, but turned off because they may think taking this class won’t
benefit them,” Macias said. “It was intimidating to be the only humanities
major, but was also so rewarding. This (trip) may be a good influencer for
those non-declared majors as well.”
The group has plans for future trips and how to achieve enough funding to support their goals. Kaiser said he would like to take students to Madagascar next year, which will require additional fundraising.
Associated Student Body) has been a great support for every one of these
trips,” Kaiser said, explaining that ASB has traditionally donated $10,000 to
the Tropical Research Initiative each year. “That’s very useful for how the
students are able to afford this, but one of the challenges is still money.”
and the students who attended the recent trip are working on producing an
18-month calendar with some of the wildlife photos they took. The calendar will
be a gift for those who make financial contributions to the research
initiative. Their hope is to raise an additional $10,000 toward the next trip.
to participants, the experience of the trip is challenging, educational and
“We (spent) at least 18 hours a day for 16 days together, encountering different attitudes, likes and dislikes, tiredness, hungriness, fears and anxieties,” Macias said. “It was an amazing learning experience. It challenged me to face many fears and discomforts. I experienced and gained an abundant amount of love and knowledge for nature.”
CONTACT: Robert A. Sewell, Director of Marketing and Public Relations | Victor Valley College
“Victor Valley College will host “An Evening of Comedy and Magic,” a crowd favorite show featuring world famous performers on March 2. The event will start at 7:30 p.m. in the VVC Performing Arts Center (Building 54).
This family-friendly show, which is sponsored by the
Associated Student Body, will include entertainment from comedy magicians
Chipper Lowell and Nick Paul and illusionist Mark Bennick.
With an unusual blend of stand-up, improvisation and twisted
visual magic, Chipper Lowell has twice been honored with “Comedy Magician of
the Year” by the International Magicians Society and named one of the “Top
Funniest Magicians” performing today by Magic Magazine.
Chipper will host the show, accompanied by Nick Paul, an
award-winning corporate magician, and Mark Bennick, who won “Las Vegas Has
Talent” and has performed astonishing illusions around the world.
This show has sold out for the past 10 years and tickets are
Regular admission for the show is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for children. Tickets are available online at www.vvc.edu/tix.
VVC is located at 18422 Bear Valley Road in Victorville.
For VVC employees only:
College employees may purchase one general ticket, at regular price, and receive additional tickets for their entire (immediate) family – FOR FREE (while supplies last). To access this special, call (760) 245-4271 ext. 2395 or visit the Auxiliary Services Office in Building 44 to prepay and reserve your tickets or purchase your ticket online at www.vvc.edu/tix.