What's Happening at Project Access

National Youth Science Day with 4-H and Project Access

Posted on Thu, Oct 9, 2014 @ 02:25 PM

Check out a video montage of our Project Access youth across the entire state of California working on a science project where they launched their own rockets and learned about rocket science and aerospace engineering. Thank you to 4-H for collaborating with us on this project, as we know STEM education is important to the future of our youth!

For more information on the project, please visit: http://www.4-h.org/4-h-national-youth-science-day/ 

Partnership Highlight - 18 Reasons

Posted on Fri, Sep 19, 2014 @ 02:02 PM


We just need one reason to love 18 Reasons!

18 Reasons shares their culinary skills and creativity with our Bay Area communities through “Cooking Matters,” a program offering free, six-week-long series of cooking and nutrition classes. The instructors come prepared with all the ingredients and recipes they need to whip up healthy and delicious foods to cook during class, and enough for the residents to take home to recreate their culinary masterpieces for their families!

Aside from being a fun cooking class, the residents learn about important topics such as what a healthy plate consists of, what healthy fats are, facts and myths of the nutrition world, and what nutrients can be found in the foods they eat and what that means for your health.

The class appeals to all ages and ethnic groups in the community. Annabelle Sibthorpe, the Service Coordinator at our Oakland sites, loves to see so many different people who wouldn’t normally interact, working together towards a common goal.

Everyone loves the classes at our sites in Oakland! Ms. Georgia, one of the seniors at Keller Plaza, lost 27 pounds since attending the classes! She learned the importance of eating breakfast and starting the day off right at the classes and has a better understanding of what a healthy plate looks like. Ms. Georgia will be amongst the graduating class after the 6 week course is done. Each graduate receives a cook book, cutting board, chef’s hat, and certificate.

Bon Appétit!

To learn more about 18 Reasons, visit their website at: https://18reasons.org/cooking-matters

Topics: Project Access, Affordable Housing, Capacity Building for Adults, partnership highlight, Health, Success Story

Staff Spotlight - Maribel Najera

Posted on Wed, Sep 3, 2014 @ 11:36 AM

maribelName: Maribel Najera

Nickname (if any): Mary

What do you do for Project Access: Service Coordinator for Harbor Village in Harbor City

What are you most looking forward to at your new position?: I am looking forward to getting creative with the children in terms of the activities and crafts we will be doing in our After School Program!  I love to see the children's faces when they are amazed at how our world works through difference science projects/experiments.

What do you do for yourself? (for fun/hobbies/side business/etc): I love to play tennis, badminton, and ping-pong.  I am an outdoors person and I enjoy hiking and camping in Idyllwild, Big Bear, Palm Springs, and Zion.  I also enjoy spending time playing with my 4 year old Blue Pitbull, Bruce.

If you had to only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would that meal be? A Turkey and havarti sandwich.

Describe your perfect day: Hiking and camping in the mountains.

Who is your celebrity crush?: Steven Tyler :)

Topics: Project Access, Staff Spotlight, Q&A

Project Access Staff Retreat - The Innovation Games

Posted on Fri, Aug 29, 2014 @ 10:35 AM

On Friday, August 18, tributes from Districts all over SoCal, Arizona, and Colorado assembled at the The Outlets at Orange for the Annual Staff Retreat titled The Innovation Games. Our hosts from the Capitol, Reggie Managé (Regional Manager, James Le) and Humana Resoursa (Human Resources, Allison Stanley) rode in to greet the troops in style.



The Districts were handed a packet of instructions, an envelope of money, and a set of rules to guide them through their journey in the arena. And they were off, racing against the other Districts in the hopes of being crowned the winners of the Innovation Games! Unlike the Hunger Games, no one was killed in the process, but lots of fun was to be had! Tributes were challenged to a scavenger hunt with tasks such as rock climbing, eating large amounts of cotton candy, finding hidden items, forming human pretzels while eating pretzels, and much more.

Once the time was up, the Districts turned in their packets to Reggie Managé and brainstormed how we could be more innovative at Project Access. Our staff being as amazing as they are, came up with a lot of ideas on how to work better as an organization, be more connected together as staff, and even make our processes more efficient.

Then we all came together for lunch at Dave and Busters…which of course turned into an impromptu Karaoke party! Even our CEO & President, Kristin Byrnes, serenaded us with her angelic voice! And no party is complete without the Cupid Shuffle! (Sorry, photos of these were lost in the process!)

If you can believe it, we played even MORE games still! Staff were given D&B cards with points to try to earn as many tickets as they can at the arcade. Each 100 tickets earned was redeemable for 1 raffle ticket for raffle prizes!

You must be dying to know who won the Innovation Games, so were we!!! Here are the results:

Coming in at 3rd place….


Second best…


And the winners of the Innovation Games…


Lastly, staff who had been with the company for 5+ years were recognized for all of their hard work and dedication to Project Access.

It was a fabulous day! We laughed, we danced, we sang, and we bonded! We all forged new friendships with staff who had been with the company for 10 years, all the way to staff who had just started 3 days prior. And that’s what makes us such a great team!

Happy Innovation Games, and May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor!

Topics: Project Access, Staff Spotlight, Summer, Staff Development, Staff Retreat

Annual Project Access Teen Conference at PBS SoCaL Studios

Posted on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 @ 12:14 PM

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More than 40 Orange and Los Angeles County teens living in low-income housing communities will be on set this Friday, Aug. 15 at the PBS SoCaL studios in Costa Mesa to participate in the 8th Annual Project Access Teen Conference. 

Among the activities planned for them at the “Road Trip to Your Passion” event, teens will learn about working in a television studio and about careers in broadcast and media.

Later they will have an opportunity to speak with professionals in a variety of other fields, including representatives from Athletes First, Taco Bell and Western Digital, to learn how they began their careers.

Also participating are make-up artist Tiffany Shibazaki and law firm Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, represented by Project Access board member Mark Skaist, who is a partner and Co-Chair of its Corporate and Securities Practice.

In addition to question and answer sessions, the teens will be using electronic tablets to facilitate the learning experience.

Additionally, the teens will be videotaped for inclusion in two public television initiatives highlighting Project Access and its programs. The PBS SoCaL Community Champions project recognizes individuals and/or organizations that make an extraordinary impact on the lives of others through their everyday efforts, within the diverse Southern California communities.   

The American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen project is a long-term public media commitment supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to help communities implement solutions to the high school dropout crisis.

The teen conference is a component of the Education for Youth initiative of nonprofit Project Access, which strives to be the leading provider of vital health, education and employment services for families, children and seniors living in low-income housing communities.  Its goal is to help keep family members employed, children in school and seniors active.

Other event sponsors include Boomers, Bruxie, Chick-fil-A, K1 Speed and Knott’s Berry Farm.

“We are pleased to provide this important educational program for the teens living in low-income housing communities with Project Access Resource Centers in Orange and Los Angeles County” said CEO Kristin Byrnes. “It’s our goal to help them prepare to succeed as young adults.”

Project Access serves nearly 11,000 individuals at over 50 properties in California and Colorado and is expanding to multiple cities throughout the western region, including sites in Arizona.

More information is available at www.project-access.org

Topics: Project Access, Education for Youth, Youth, PBS, PBS SoCal, Teens, Career Exploration, Teen Conference

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