June 2006

Chris Davis/Marjorie Wass (805) 687-3322

Peoples’ Self-Help Housing Resident Selected to
Receive School Spirit Award

June 12, 2006 Carpinteria, CA—Kimberly Perez, a resident of the Carpinteria Camper Park, owned and managed by Peoples’ Self-Help Housing, has received a Spirit Award for 2006. Kimberly, a 5th grader at Carpinteria’s Canalino School, was selected by her teacher, Ms. Vickie Walton, who said that, “in her own quiet, way, Kimberly is without a doubt, the little engine that could!”

Walton said that she chose Perez because, at the beginning of the school year, she asked her class to write essays on their life goals and Kimberly, at the ripe age of 10, stated very clearly that she wanted to be a lawyer. Walton is amazed by Kimberly’s persistent attitude and the high standards she sets for herself. She attributes Kimberly’s high standards to the influence of Carmen Lozano, Kimberly’s after school educator and the Education Enhancement Program Supervisor for Peoples’ Self-Help Housing. According to Walton, “Carmen has been a wonderful role model for Kimberly because Carmen is an educated woman who sets high standards for herself and for her students and helps them achieve nothing less than their best.”

To determine recipients of the Spirit Award, teachers, principals and school counselors are asked to select one exceptional student who has demonstrated great courage, perseverance, and dedication to education, often in the face of adversity or serious life challenges. One child from each school is chosen; for 2006, over 60 students received Spirit Awards. Students received their Award from the person who nominated them in a special ceremony in the North and South Santa Barbara Counties. Kimberly Perez received her award on June 7th, here in Santa Barbara.

Kimberly Perez is a participant in Peoples’ Self-Help Housing’s Educational Enhancement Program (EEP). EEP is a year round program, conducted at Learning Centers at Peoples’ rental complexes, that was set up in response to requests from residents at Peoples’ Self-Help Housing’s various developments who saw their children failing in schools and wanted to improve their children’s grades. Working closely with local school districts, the goal of EEP is to increase the academic performance of children, kindergarten through 12th grade, and includes the collaboration between families, the public schools, and PSHH after school educators. The program is currently conducted at 5 Peoples’ Learning Centers within Santa Barbara County, with a 6th Center to open in Paso Robles in Fall 2006.

Peoples' Self-Help Housing is an award winning non-profit organization with 35 years of experience developing affordable housing and community facilities for low-income and special needs households. With over 1000 self-help homes completed and over 1200 affordable rental units developed, Peoples' Self-Help Housing continues to strengthen its reputation and leadership position as the premiere affordable housing and community developer on the Central Coast. Peoples' Self-Help Housing is committed to developing vibrant neighborhoods, building attractive, high quality housing and providing innovative community services so their residents have every possible opportunity to succeed in life. The Peoples’ Self-Help Housing website is at www.pshhc.org.