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By Henrietta J. Burroughs                 Follow East Palo Alto Today on
East Palo Alto Today                            Facebook    Twitter         Blog              
May 15, 2018                                      EPA Today Facebook page Follow epatoday on Twitter EPA Today Blog Icon



 Mayor Ruben Abrica   Project WeHOPE van     
East Palo Alto Mayor             Project WeHOPE's Mobile Hygiene Unit
Ruben Abrica

For the past 33 years, JobTrain has held an annual breakfast to recognize one individual and one organization from the East Palo Alto community for making a positive impact in the community.

The annual event is called the Breakfast of Champions and this year at its May 18, 2018 breakfast, JobTrain will present East Palo Alto Mayor Ruben Abrica with it’s Role Model Award and Project WeHOPE with its Community Champion Award.

To select this year’s awardees, the JobTrain awards committee reached out to its board of directors, its strategic advisory committee and the JobTrain staff for award nominations. “After receiving many amazing nominations of worthy individuals and organizations alike,” Sierra Bott, JobTrain’s Marketing and event’s specialist, said, “We met internally for an informal selections process to ask who stood out among the crowd and why?

“After deliberation, Ruben Abrica and Project WeHOPE were our 2018 winners!” Bott said.

According to JobTrain’s selection criteria, the Role Model Award identifies and honors an individual for their professional accomplishments, personal attributes, and community commitment.  This person should also be someone who is inspiring to students and someone who might have overcome barriers of their own.

The Community Champion Award goes to an organization that works tirelessly to serve the East Palo Alto community and fosters community well-being. The organization’s work also inspires others “to dream bigger and achieve more.”

Bott said that “Ruben Abrica has been a huge supporter of the East Palo Alto community for decades. He contributes his time, energy and wisdom to community organizations (such as the Boys and Girls Club, Herban Health, and JobTrain), advocates for 'Creating a Safe and Healthy Community,' and takes an active role in shaping the minds of youth in the community, as an instructor at De Anza Community College and through various volunteer work.”
She went on to say, "Project WeHOPE, which stands for Project We Help Other People Excel, offers a wide array of services that touches the lives of many. They specialize in helping the unhoused, homeless and at-risk adults in the community.”

Bott listed Project WeHOPE’s training and employment services as another factor in the organization’s selection for the award and added, “Project WeHOPE also has an amazing Mobile Hygiene Unit called Dignity on Wheels, which gives free access to laundry units and showers. The great work of Project WeHOPE has recently been featured in Alicia Garcia’s novel, Overcoming Obstacles.”

Garcia will present Project WeHOPE’s founder, Pastor Paul Bains, with the agency's award during this year’s Breakfast of Champions. 

The breakfast program's organizing committee hopes additional offerings on the program will heighten the event's excitement for it's attendees. During the program, one JobTrain alumni will be honored, the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir will perform, and a current JobTrain student will be announced as the winner of JobTrain’s travel contest to go anywhere in the United States.