Archive for October, 2009

Senator hopes his book dispels misconceptions about Latinos

Read any good books lately?

Came across this from Juan Castillo’s blog Somos, on

According to Elizabeth Llorente, who wrote in The Record, Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey,  still encounters people who were surprised he could speak English well, despite his high-profile leadership in Congress.

As he rose to prominence, the New York-born Democrat encountered people who were surprised he could speak English well, that he was not Mexican and that he could speak masterfully about topics other than immigration, welfare and Hispanics.

And so Menendez decided to heed the advice friends and colleagues have given him over many years and write a book, “Growing American Roots: Why Our Nation Will Thrive As Our Largest Minority Flourishes,” that aims to clear misconceptions.

Menendez says the book aims to clear misconceptions.

“I wrote the book not as a memoir; that may come later,” Menendez says. “ I look at the Glenn Becks and Lou Dobbses of the world, and how they and others would have the nation believe that we Latinos all just crossed the border yesterday. There are people who want to make Latinos scapegoats, such as what happened with the Irish when you had signs saying the Irish need not apply for certain jobs, and the terrible names that Italians were called.”

He was also asked;

“Q. In your book you say Latinos must bear responsibility in chipping away at the misunderstanding of their population, and dealing with the community’s challenges.

A. We’re partly to blame for the misunderstandings. We frown on boasting, on pointing out our accomplishments. If we don’t provide understanding and insight into our community, others will characterize us andfill that void. We also have a high dropout rate. Latinos also must go to PTA meetings, get to know the teachers, contribute, but also make demands when schools aren’t performing well. And Latinos who have succeeded need to mentor, to be role models, and reinvest in their communities.”

Sounds like an interesting read to me.

October 30, 2009 at 9:37 am Leave a comment

Fore the Kids Golf Classic, 2009


We held our Fore the Kids Golf Classic FUNDRAISER
Monday, October 19, 2009, Grey Rock Golf Club.

It was organized by Southwest Key Programs and benefited the East Austin College Prep Academy, Austin Toros, and A Glimmer of Hope Foundation.

Austin-area golfers were out in full swing to support this great cause. great golfing, fabulous goodie bags, gourmet barbeque dinner, cocktails and a spectacular live auction followed at 6:00 pm.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the East Austin College Prep Academy, a charter middle school on the east side that successfully prepares all students regardless of economic background, for a rigorous high school curriculum, graduation, and ultimately success in college and career.

Here’s a short video and few more pictures below from the day, more can be found here on our Flickr site.

A huge thank you to all of our sponsors, Grey Rock golf club and all the golfers and staff who ensured a great day was had by all in support of education in East Austin!Sponsors For Slide

golf carts at the readyGoodie bags to go

October 22, 2009 at 3:47 pm Leave a comment

New Kitchen helps Culinary & Life Skills

We wanted to share these pictures with you as in August, one of our programs Casita Del Valle, moved to a new home and are lucky enough to have multiple kitchens, one of which is used to offer the children in the shelter cooking classes.

The children follow a 6 week curriculum that teaches them everything from hygiene in food preparation, nutrition, and, of course, the preparation of different meals. The final project for the class will be for them to prepare a big meal for the clients and staff.  They love using the kitchen, and we’re happy that we are able to spark a new interest and perhaps passion with food, that may lead to bigger and better things in life.

Here’s a few of pictures with the kids hard at work, and enjoying themselves learning new skills in the kitchen. Thanks for looking!

Adriana Saenz,

Program Director, LCCA

Southwest Key Program – Casita Del Valle

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(Please note, as minors, faces have been blurred to protect their identity.)

October 20, 2009 at 3:04 pm Leave a comment

Southwest Key Awarded Workforce Delivery Contract in Cameron County!

Congratulations go out to the Southwest Key Workforce, LLC and our SWK Rio Grande familia.

Southwest Key recently received a contract from Workforce Solutions Cameron to become the operator of the workforce delivery system in Cameron County, Texas.  Southwest Key Workforce will operate all three (3) major components of the Workforce Center Systems Management including the: 1) Workforce Centers, 2) Youth Services, and the 3) Business Services Unit.

SWK Workforce will incorporate a variety of innovative workforce development activities to support Cameron County job seekers, employers, and business.

Special thanks to everyone who participated in the preparation of this extensive proposal. This was definitely an agency-wide team effort!

October 16, 2009 at 12:18 pm Leave a comment

Vote Early at Southwest Key Community Center, Oct 22

Early Voting at Southwest Key

October 22 @ 9am-6pm
Southwest Key’s Centro de Familia
6002 Jain Lane, 512.462.2181

Southwest Key will be a mobile voting site for the November elections on October 22 from 9am – 6pm.  Any Travis County resident may vote at Southwest Key that day, regardless of where you live. Hosted by Southwest Key’s East Austin VOTA! Campaign.

October 15, 2009 at 4:41 pm Leave a comment

Top Performing Students Earn Special Trip

15 of the top performing students here at Southwest Key Programs East Austin College Prep Academy, earned the right to go and meet one of their favorite recording artists, Pitbull, in Austin Texas. These 6th graders, who attend Southwest Key Programs East Austin College Prep Academy, were picked up in style by a stretch Hummer and taken to the meet him one-on-one.

pitbull meets EACPA kids

They had the opportunity to ask him questions and learn a little bit about his world and the challenges he has had to face in life. He was an inspiration to the kids and he shared a powerful message about the importance of staying in school and earning a good education.

Special thanks to The Recording Academy for setting this special day up!  We also made a short video to capture the excitement when the kids were picked up at the Academy.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Top Performing Students Earn Speical …“, posted with vodpod

October 14, 2009 at 12:21 pm Leave a comment

Gus Garcia, Mayor of Austin 2001-2003 on Southern Shift TV

Mayor Gus Garcia is the only person of color who has ever served Austin, Texas, as Mayor. Even today, only one Black and one Latino person are allowed on the 7-member Austin City Council. Find out why. Mayor Garcia breaks down the history of racial politics in Austin. In just a few minutes, you can become an expert in Austin’s racial political history.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Gus Garcia, Mayor of Austin 2001-2003…“, posted with vodpod

October 14, 2009 at 11:50 am Leave a comment

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