Meet Erika Guijarro ’08 – Physical Education Teacher and Coach in LAUSD

ErikaErika Guijarro ’08 has been a physical education teacher, department chair, varsity basketball coach and softball coach at Arleta High School for the past seven years.

Arleta High School is part of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). This past fall, she applied for the UCLA Sound Body Sound Mind fitness center grant for her high school as a means to improve the current fitness center. “My goal was to provide my students with better opportunities to succeed with their health and fitness,” says Erika.

The grant was open to all LAUSD schools and some schools outside the district. LAUSD is the nations second largest school system with over 900 schools and 187 public charter schools. Erika says, “The chances of actually being selected to receive this fitness center were minimal!” She attended a meeting with the Sound Body Sound Mind representatives to express her goals for integrating the fitness center into the physical education curriculum and to sell them on the fact that this fitness center would tremendous benefit the students, the school and the community. The UCLA Sound Body Sound Mind representatives came to visit the school and physical education classes to determine the need for the $50,000 fitness center.

ArletaHSWeightRoomindexArletaHSindexArletaHS_1indexOn Tuesday, February 16, 2016, a large truck and crew unloaded and installed the new fitness center at Artleta High School. On Friday, February 19, 2016, there was a grand opening ceremony where the school, community members, school board personnel such as Superintendent Maltez and the district advisor for Physical Education, Chad Fenwick along with the donors and UCLA Sound Body Sound Mind representatives came out to celebrate the new fitness center.

Erika says, “My experience at Hope was tremendous. I had great mentors that helped shape the type of physical education teacher I am today. Coach Karla Wolters was one of my biggest supporters and mentor while at Hope. As my softball and korfball coach, she taught me great lessons on how to manage different situations. I model my coaching after what she taught me. The entire Hope community including professors, coaches and staff made my experience great. It was a huge culture shock coming from a big city (Los Angeles) to Holland, Michigan and the people here made it feel like home and were extremely supportive. Coach Morehouse was my first coach at Hope and gave me my first job at the Dow Center, Coach Vandermeer helped me understand that badminton is one of the greatest sports to introduce to my students, Nancy Kamstra was my student teaching mentor who always gave me confidence and believed I would be a great teacher. There are so many wonderful people at Hope. When I look back at how beautiful and advanced the campus is and how great the people are, I feel blessed and privileged to have had the opportunity to go to Hope.”

Call for Courageous Action by David Paul ’10

DavidPaulMLKChapelDavid Paul will return to his alma mater to deliver this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Lecture at Hope College, presenting “Dare to Be BOLD” on Monday, January 18, at 7 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel. The public is invited. Admission is free.

David Paul is a 2010 Hope graduate who is an M.D./M.S. candidate and Academic Research Track Fellow at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He is actively engaged in several initiatives to increase the number of compassionate and culturally competent physicians from underrepresented backgrounds who are dedicated to serving in their communities. He has received national recognition as both a researcher and for his commitment to service.

In his address, he will examine King’s early life and career, focusing on King’s example in leading courageously against injustice even when his own life was threatened. Paul will additionally reflect on his own experiences in encouraging those in the audience—especially students—to discern how they can apply their own gifts in meeting needs in the world.

A native of Grand Rapids, Paul graduated from Hope with a chemistry major.  While at Hope, he served as student body president during the 2008-09 academic year. He conducted biophysics research in the laboratory of Dr. Brent P. Krueger and was awarded a Cyberinfrastructure Experiences for Graduate Students (NIH-CIEG) Fellowship to study under Dr. Ross Walker at the San Diego Supercomputer Center-University of California, San Diego.

He began his studies at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in August 2010, and matriculated into the Academic Research Track Honors Program in Neurobiology and Anatomy in 2013.

During his Academic Research Track fellowship, Paul chaired the fourth Annual Student National Medical Association pre-medical conference, which attracted more than 200 educators, clinicians and underrepresented students from area high schools, colleges and medical schools—exposing the students to careers in medicine. Using the conference as a model, he also co-founded the Minority Male Leadership Association in response to the nine-percent four-year high school graduation rate of minority students in Rochester, New York.

Paul’s academic interest is in neuroscience. More specifically, he studies how the brain heals itself after injury from strokes, traumatic brain injuries and brain tumors.

Recently, his work was featured as the cover article for the December 2014 issue of “Science,” and he has appeared on the NPR-affiliate radio show, “Connections,” as a “Notable scientist under the age of 30.”  During his research tenure, he has also helped several minority undergraduate students obtain competitive summer research funding and subsequent acceptance into medical schools across the country.

Earlier this fall, Paul received The William and Charlotte Cadbury Award from the National Medical Fellowships and Association of American Medical Colleges, presented annually to a senior medical student in recognition of outstanding academic achievement, leadership and community service. Upon graduation, he will begin his medical career as a resident physician in neurosurgery.

Paul’s presentation is sponsored by Herman Miller Inc. and the college’s Office of Multicultural Education and multicultural student organizations, and is taking place as part of the college’s annual Civil Rights Celebration week. The week, running Monday-Saturday, January 18-23, honors all persons and groups who have worked toward the advancement of civil rights and social justice, and is organized in conjunction with the national commemoration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The week will include a variety of additional activities for the campus community, including a panel discussion by leaders of multicultural student organizations on Thursday, January 21 from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm in the Maas Conference Center and “Hope Serves” on Saturday, January 23.

Meet the Rollenhagens

alumni-sept-150-emailStudies at Hope College extend far beyond the classroom. Whitney Heneveld ’10 Rollenhagen graduated with a degree in accounting and learned the value of relationships at Hope. The dedication of her professors and the relatively small size of the Department of Economics and Business are two factors that quickly helped her build meaningful connections with students and faculty.

Henveld 005It was Whitney’s relationship with Professor Marty LaBarge that led to her first job. Whitney says, “Professor LaBarge had a personal connection with a partner at Beene Garter, who had indicated that the firm was looking to hire a staff accountant. Due to the size, location and culture of the firm, Professor LaBarge referred me. I submitted my resume, completed the interview process and was offered the job. I will always be grateful to Professor LaBarge for her referral. More than that, I am grateful that she took the time to get to know me well enough to know what type of firm and position would be the right fit.”

In her public accounting career, Whitney has had the opportunity to interact with many different people including business owners, corporate controllers, prospective clients, partners within the firm and co-workers with unique backgrounds and experiences. She credits her experiences at Hope with teaching her the value of investing in, and learning from, others.

Whitney’s classmate and husband, Jake, agrees. He says, “During my sophomore year, I began to realize how invaluable the atmosphere at Hope College was and how it would play into my future career path. When I declared my accounting major, I began to develop relationships with my professors. Shortly after, I attended a meeting with the Center for Faithful Leadership (CFL) at Hope. Both of these decisions would ultimately lead me to a successful start to my career at Amway.”

Aug2008NfHCPgs10and11SteveVanderVeenNFH20080618_4490c_LWSOne of Jake’s professors shared a contact at Amway for a potential summer internship. The Career Development Center provided Jake with the necessary tools, particularly interview preparation, to help him make the most of this opportunity. That, combined with public presentation classes and experiences with CFL, landed him the internship and ultimately a full time career.

Jake reflects, “My involvement in CFL allowed me to work as a student consultant and learn from a leader in the community, Virgil Gulker. I learned how to be a self-driven leader and find solutions to problems within an organization. I specifically worked with the Allegan County Community Foundation to develop recommendations on how to more efficiently provide food for low income families. These experiences have helped me immensely in my career.”

Jake and Whitney have been in the work force for over four years and have been able to use the skills that they developed at Hope, not only through courses, but just as importantly through the experiences provided outside of the classroom.

No matter how long ago you graduated, there are Hope career resources available to you today. Make your own career connection at hope.edu/alumni/career.

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