las animas elementary school bike rack decorating contest
Contributed photo

Las Animas wins countywide bike rack contest

Las Animas Elementary School earned first place in the 2023 Santa Clara County Department of Public Health Bike Rack Decorating Contest.

The judges chose Las Animas Elementary’s decorated bike rack entry out of all submissions received from elementary schools across Santa Clara County.

Las Animas Elementary will be receiving the Golden Bike Award for its win.

Gavilan graduate awarded $20K scholarship

Gavilan College graduate Josephine Torres, who will be transferring to UC Santa Cruz in the fall, has been awarded that institution’s Karl S. Pister Leadership Opportunity Scholarship for 2023. 

Torres is a biology major whose career goal is to help people by going into the medical field as a doctor.

The Pister Scholarship was established in 1993 by former UCSC chancellor Karl S. Pister to increase opportunities for community college students who want to transfer to UCSC. The scholarship recognizes students who have overcome adverse socioeconomic circumstances, who have a demonstrated commitment to assisting and improving the lives of others, and who might not otherwise be able to attend UCSC for financial reasons.

Candidates are nominated by the presidents of each of the 13 regional community colleges.  The nominations are reviewed by the Leadership Opportunity Awards Review Committee, and one student from each college is selected to receive up to $20,000 in award money ($10,000 awarded for two years).

“It wasn’t always easy balancing full-time school and part-time work, but I would not be here without my counselor Diana Gonzalez,” Torres said. “She made me feel like I could go to her for everything. Also, the STEM Center and the instructors kept me motivated, even as my classes got harder. Gav is a beautiful campus, and I was very well supported for the two years I attended. I commuted here for every single in-person STEM class, so it felt like home.” 

“We are so proud of Josephine Torres, who is a first-generation college student that had to persevere in her academic pursuits with independence,” said Gavilan Superintendent/President Pedro Avila, who nominated Torres. “Josephine has continued to contribute financially by working part-time to help her single mother with bills while enrolled full-time at Gavilan College. Josephine’s supervisor at Nike, and her chemistry professor at Gavilan College, describe her as an individual with exceptional personal and professional qualities, which include her willingness to help others, as well as her strong communication skills and work ethic. Josephine has faced adversity and obstacles and handled them with strength and integrity, and for these reasons I chose her as the Pister Scholarship recipient.”

Blood donations needed for busy summer months

​​The American Red Cross is asking people to book a time to give blood or platelets now to address a recent drop in donation appointments that could lead to fewer transfusions for patients in the weeks ahead. 

Type O blood donors are especially needed to ensure a strong blood supply. 

In Gilroy, a blood drive will be held June 8 from 10am to 4pm at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7999 Miller Ave. 

To make an appointment, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1.800.733.2767.

Those who come to give in June will receive a $10 gift card by email to a merchant of their choice. Plus, they’ll also be automatically entered for a chance to win a backyard theater package including a projector and screen, projector tripod, smokeless firepit, Adirondack chair set and a movie night snack package.

Makerspace opens at South County Annex

On May 22, the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Makerspace at the SCCOE South County Annex in Gilroy. 

The SCCOE Makerspace is a hands-on learning environment where students and educators can develop their creativity and critical thinking skills through making, designing and tinkering with various materials and technologies, according to a press release.

“It is important to bring this state-of-the-art center to the Gilroy education community,” said Sandya Lopez, director of the Inclusion Collaborative. 

Inside the Makerspace, educators can create items to enhance their project-based learning lessons using materials such as 3D printers, laser cutters, woodworking tools and a heat press. 

“Inclusion, innovation, creativity and exploration are a few of the attributes attributed to a Makerspace and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be opening this opportunity in South County,” County Superintendent of Schools Mary Ann Dewan said.

During the program recognition, Charmaine Warmenhoven, vice president of the Warmenhoven Family Foundation, was honored for her partnership with the Inclusion Collaborative and the SCCOE.

“Charmaine’s support over the past decade in enhancing the inclusion of children with and without disabilities in Santa Clara County has profoundly impacted the lives of countless individuals and families,” Dewan said.

Makerspace Training Specialist Gena Pacada was recognized for her creativity and collaboration on Makerspace resources and activity offerings.

For information, visit

Book sale returns June 10

The Friends of Gilroy Library holds a book sale every second Saturday of the month from 10am-1pm at the library, 350 West Sixth St.

The next sale is June 10.

Books will be $5 per bag for members and $8 a bag for non-members. DVDs and CDs are also on sale.

The Isabel Jewell Bookstore is open Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 1-3pm, Wednesday from 1-4pm, Thursday from 10am to 3pm and the second and fourth Saturdays of the month from 10am to 1pm.

Summer reading program begins

The Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) is inviting everyone to join the free summer reading program, “Find Your Voice.”  

Throughout the months of June and July, SCCLD libraries will host a lineup of programs for children, teens and adults. Participants can look forward to performers, arts and crafts, book clubs, speakers and more.

“According to the California State Library, summer reading programs can help children develop skills in art, science, math, technology and literacy, which helps to maintain what students learned through the school year,” County Librarian Jennifer Weeks said. “These free programs also help participants socially, as they build connections within the community, to each other and their libraries.”

A recent study by the Northwest Evaluation Association found that, on average, students in third to fifth grades lost 20% of their school year gains in reading, and 27% of their gains in math during the summer months. Younger children (Grades K-2) and those from low-income families are more disproportionately affected by the so-called “summer slide.” 

To take part in the summer reading program, library patrons can register at, and log their read books and completed activities. Participants can earn a prize for reading five books and completing an activity this summer.

Mills earns degree at Benedictine College

Rayshon Mills of Gilroy graduated from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., majoring in Master of Business Administration.

The college graduated 424 students at the end of the academic year during ceremonies on May 13.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic college.

Gilroyan graduates from Stanislaus State

Alexander Green of Gilroy graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music at Stanislaus State.

Green was among the 2,988 graduates of the university this year.

Gilbert awarded Phi Kappa Phi grant

Molly Gilbert of Gilroy was recently awarded a Study Abroad Grant worth $1,000 from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi—the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. 

Gilbert is one of 125 students nationwide to receive the award.

The grants are designed to support undergraduates, both members and nonmembers from campuses that have Phi Kappa Phi chapters, as they seek expanded knowledge and experience in their academic fields by studying abroad.

Currently majoring in the integral program of liberal arts at Saint Mary’s College of California, Gilbert will use the grant to study abroad in the United Kingdom.

The selection process for a study abroad grant is based on the applicant’s academic achievement, campus and community service, relation of travel to academic preparation and career goals, a personal statement, letters of recommendation, and acceptance into a study abroad program. Each recipient receives $1,000 to be applied toward travel abroad.

Previous articleGuest View, Zach Hilton: Biking for a vibrant city
Next articleYoung South County hooper scores big in national competition
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here