Veteran Services Center opens in Modesto

A 38,000 square foot, one-stop facility housing various agencies and organizations has recently opened up in Modesto. The facility, located in the Sylvan Square shopping center at Coffee Road and Sylvan Avenue, will house the Veterans Service Office, Area Agency on Aging, Link2Care In-Home Supportive Service (IHSS), Adult Protective Services and MOVE. The center, which opened on Monday, April 3, is intended to serve all veterans in the county, and offers a banquet and meeting rooms, as well as access to the services listed above.

A grand opening celebration will be held on Tuesday, April 21, from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Entertainment by local band Home Grown. Refreshments will be provided.

More information: (209) 573-3025 (Veterans Foundation of Stanislaus County), (209) 343-6292 (Veterans Foundation), or (209) 525-6333 (Patricia Hill Thomas, Chief Operations Officer / Assistant Executive Director, Stanislaus County Chief Executive Office.

Internship available in Washington, D.C.

Applications are currently being accepted for an internship available through the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute. Benefits include travel stipend, airfare and housing. Interns and fellows are placed in a congressional office for half the semester, and a corporate office for the second half. In addition, participants are enrolled for a semester at George Washington University, where students will earn academic credit upon satisfactory completion of the program, which runs in the fall and spring semesters, concurrently with the academic year. Applicants must be US citizens residing in the continental United States, Puerto Rico, Alaska or Hawaii. Must be college junior, senior or within one calendar year post-graduation date. Must have vested interest in the Hispanic and Portuguese communities and policy issues. Must have GPA of 3.0 or higher to be considered. Applications due April 28. Internship dates August 21 – December 8. For more information contact Ethan Starkey (

Venture Academy presents third annual Mock Trial Academy

Students can learn what it takes to be on a Mock Trial team at the Venture Academy Family of Schools (VAFS) Mock Trial Academy. Students who attend the two-day academy will learn courtroom procedures, write questions and arguments, make and argue objections in trial, perform as trial attorneys, and testify as witnesses on the stand. Students will also gain confidence as public speakers.

This year’s case is a twist on the childhood story “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” Students work together in teams of five to seven to write the trial, either on the side of the prosecution or the defense.

The Mock Trial Academy is being offered twice during the first full week of June to students who are currently enrolled in grades 6-8. Any student in San Joaquin County or nearby counties may attend. Cost for the academy is $60 per student and includes breakfast, lunch, snacks and a Mock Trial T-shirt. An awards ceremony will conclude the event.

When: June 6 and 7 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

June 8 and 9, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Who: Students currently enrolled in grades 6-8 in San Joaquin and surrounding counties.

Where: Venture Academy Family of Schools 2857 Transworld Drive Stockton, CA 95206.

To register, or for more information, contact Spencer Wright at (209) 938-8826 or at, or visit

Commute Connection relaunches as Dibs

The Commute Connection program of the San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced County transportation planning agencies recently announced that Commute Connection, a program to encourage people to find new ways to travel or commute to work, has relaunched as Dibs. The program’s goal is to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality in the three-county area.

“Our term for alternative transportation is “Smart Travel”, said Kari McNickle, Program Specialist for Dibs. “We need more people to consider getting to work or getting around in vanpools, carpools, transit, trains, buses, biking and walking. Thousands of people in our three-county area are already using Smart Travel. We’d like to see this number increase dramatically and see more people claim ‘dibs’ on their Smart Travel options.”

Through, members of Dibs enjoy benefits such as a trip planning tool showing a variety of options for getting from one place to another, vanpool programs, carpool matching, Bike to Work Month activities, and even emergency rides home. Prizes and other incentives are available to Dibs members who record their trips and miles through the Dibs website or mobile app. “Our goal is to make Smart Travel easy for everyone,” McNickle said.

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