Community Echoes

RRHS teacher elected to AASC Executive Board

Local Student Named National Geographic GeoBee Arizona State Competition Semifinalist

Local Student Named National Geographic GeoBee Arizona State Competition Semifinalist


Joseph Scott, Rio Rico High School (RRHS) math teacher and Student Council (StuCo) Advisor has been elected to the Arizona Association of Student Council (AASC) Executive Board. Mr. Scott is one of only five elected advisors to sit on the state board, bringing a booming voice from Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District No. 35 (SCV35) and southern AZ. 

Mr. Joseph “Jo Jo” Scott is a first year teacher in the SCV35 District, hired by RRHS high school principal Hector Estrada for the 2019-2020 school year. “I am so thankful to Mr. Estrada for such a great opportunity to come to Rio Rico.  He has believed in me 100% of the way,” said Scott.

Scott, who recently moved to Arizona from Arkansas, did so partly because he admired the work of the AASC.  “Arizona stood out to me as one of the top five states based on size, growth, sustained success, student/advisor testimonies and the content they were able to provide and show from their events,” said Scott.  He had set his sights on advising a student council ever since he attended high school. “I knew I could help make a difference in children's lives.  I also knew I wanted a seat on the Executive Board; because I know I will do everything in my power to make the association the best it can be for students as well as advisors, to better serve their kids!  I moved out here to become a key part of the AASC, and becoming an Executive Board member is just my first step.”

As for his vision for student council at RRHS, “It is to become the organization on campus that directly, and indirectly, creates a climate on campus.  Long story short, we want to be responsible for the little moments of high school that students remember. We also want to be the connection of our district to the Rio Rico community.  We are THE high school of the community, and we want to have programs and events that make the high school more of a hub for the community instead of the "last stop" for education.”  

When asked to put into words what a Student Council is and what it represents, Mr. Scott said, “StuCo is the heart and soul of a campus.  If it is thriving and producing great programs, then students feel excited to come to school.  StuCo is the yearbook, because we create the moments on campus students want to remember. Most importantly, StuCo is the voice of students.  We make sure that if a student has an idea, it is heard and that we work hard to make it possible.”

Over the next few years, Mr. Scott hopes to make big contributions to the board that will impact students all over the state.  “I hope to bring a new and fresh perspective of how some of our events can be tweaked to better cater to our students.  The methods that AASC use are "tried and true", but some of them just need to be freshened up to meet the desire of the ever changing world we live in.”

For more information regarding the AASC, please visit 

Local Student Named National Geographic GeoBee Arizona State Competition Semifinalist

Local Student Named National Geographic GeoBee Arizona State Competition Semifinalist

Local Student Named National Geographic GeoBee Arizona State Competition Semifinalist


The results are in! The National Geographic Society named Manuel Lopez, an 8th grader at Coatimundi Middle School in Rio Rico, as one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2020 National Geographic GeoBee State Competition. The contest will be held at the Arizona State University Polytechnic Campus in Mesa, Arizona on Friday, March 27, 2020.

This is the second level of the National Geographic GeoBee competition, which is now in its 32nd year. To determine each school champion, GeoBee competitions were held in schools throughout the state with students in the fourth through eighth grades. This year, an estimated 2.4 million students competed in the GeoBee, with 8,661 students becoming school champions. School champions also took an online qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. Up to 100 of the top-scoring students in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools and U.S. territories were invited to compete in the State GeoBees.

State champions will receive a medal, $1,000 in cash, and other prizes, as well as a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent their state in the National Championship where they will compete for additional cash, awards and college scholarships. The second- and third-place State GeoBee winners will receive cash awards of $300 and $100, respectively. 

The 2020 National Championship will take place May 18-21, 2020, at National Geographic headquarters. The National Champion will receive a $25,000 college scholarship, $1,000 in cash, a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society and an all-expenses-paid Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the National Geographic Endeavour ll. The second-place finisher will receive a $10,000 college scholarship and $1,000 in cash; the student finishing in third place will receive a $5,000 college scholarship and $1,000 in cash; and seven runners-up will each receive $1,000 in cash. Visit for more information on the National Geographic GeoBee.

Follow the national competition at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., May 18-21, 2020, at

NFD Dedicated to Service

Local Student Named National Geographic GeoBee Arizona State Competition Semifinalist

Santa Cruz County Pets get a new Smart ID

Everyday Heroes

The Nogales Fire Department is dedicated to the public safety and welfare of the residents of

Ambos Nogales. It was first incorporated 1914, in the State of Arizona and the Article of

incorporation recorded in the Office of the Santa Cruz County Recorder. According to historical 

documents from Ralph Woodhouse in the year 1882, there was in place a fire fighting

organization or bucket brigade in Nogales. By 1895, The Territorial Legislature passed an act

providing for the organization of volunteer fire departments in cities and towns of Arizona. 

The NFD responds to all 911 calls related to fire, medical, hazardous materials, electrical, water, 

all public assistance and/or non-emergency calls 24 hrs. a day, 365 days a year. It serves 

approximately over 3,000 calls combining medical and fire while serving a population of 

approximately 20,837.

The fire department currently has forty (40) shift personnel & four (4) administration (Fire Chief,

Assistant. Chief, Division Chief and Administrative Secretary) with a total of forty four (44) 


The role of the fire Chief is the director overall responsible for the department’s wellbeing of the

personnel and for its budget. The Assistant Chief acts as the Fire Chief in his absence, takes 

over command in major incidents, responsible for all personal protective equipment (fire) and

administration duties.  Division Chief oversees all the medical division example, equipment,

supplies, permits, certification of personnel. Captains supervises their crew, takes command 

and is the decision maker on 911 emergencies. In charge of the crew training, reports to the 

Division Chief, Assistant Chief in large incidents. The Administrative Secretary greets all 

persons walking or calling the fire station, keeps all the fiscal budget in order, submits all 

paperwork for payroll, is the go to person for the troops when concerns arise in any payroll 


The engineer is responsible for the fire apparatus, making sure it is ready to respond 

to emergencies, transports all fire personnel safely, calculates the proper pressure for water flow 

to extinguish the fire at hand may act as the Captain in their absence. Paramedic higher level in

the medical field, is responsible for treating the patients, makes decisions on how to transport 

the patient and to what facility for a better outcome, reports to the Captain and may act in the 

position of Captain in their absences. Firefighter does all the groundwork on the fire & ems calls, 

set up ground ladders, fights interior fires, operates rescue tools to extricate patients from 

damaged vehicles, assist paramedics in treatment of patient, drives the ambulances, may act as 

the engineers in their absence, they are the overall workforce.

NFD is branch of the City of Nogales and a fiscal budget is allocated to the department as other 

departments are funded within the City of Nogales through a general fund.

According to Fire Chief Jeffrey Sargent the department is funded through a general fund via the

city sale tax collection, there is a portion of the sales tax that is collected for public safety (fire & 

police), all billable medical calls collected go directly to the general fund approximately 1 million 

dollars more or less a year.

The NFD would like to encourage the community to call 911 in all emergencies, and make sure

to move to the right lane when an approaching ambulance and/or fire truck are responding with 

lights and sirens, especially allowing the fire trucks the right a way in red lights intersections. 

Throughout the year the NFD participates in a variety of local events  like the City of Nogales 

Night Out event, the Jump Back 2 School, and parades.They do the Toys for Tots drive every 

year in the months of November. NFD gives out all the toys it collects on December 24th to 

children in need. For further information on how to support our local fire department please stop 

by the station at 777 N. Grand Ave. or call 520-287-6548.

Santa Cruz County Pets get a new Smart ID

Creating Opportunities Santa Cruz Workforce

Santa Cruz County Pets get a new Smart ID


 Santa Cruz County Animal Care and Control has teamed up with PetHub to offer a new smart ID tag for pets. This new tag provides an extra layer of protection for pets. Anyone can create a free online Pethub account which contains the owners contact information.   If a pet is found wearing this tag, the finder can use a smartphone's camera to scan the QR code, view the contact info on the online profile, and immediately contact you or someone on your trusted list in order to reunite owners with lost animals. Pethub accounts are safe and secure because the user controls what information is shared.
If the finder does not have a smartphone or does not know how to scan a QR code, there are two other ways. First, the finder can call the phone numbers printed on the tag. After the finder provides the license number, they will be connected to the finder. Second, the finder can go to PetHub’s website (also printed on the tag), enter the license number, and view your contact info.

With each tag, you have access to PetHub’s FREE Basic Membership . . .

  *   Online Storage of Your Information – Enter your contact information and your pet’s information into your PetHub account and link your account to your pet’s license number
  *   Lost Pet Call Center – PetHub's Pet Hotline is staffed 24-hours-a-day/7-days-a-week by humans, not an automated computer
  *   Lost Pet Poster – Ability to create a lost-pet poster for printing and sharing
  *   Pet Resource – PetHub’s website offers over 500 searchable articles to help you raise and nurture your pet
Or, upgrade to PetHub’s Premium Membership and receive additional benefits . . .
  *   Community Alerts – When you report your pet as “missing” on PetHub’s website, PetHub will send a virtual “Lost Pet” notification to local shelters, rescue groups, vet offices, pet professionals, and the PetHub community
  *   Tag Scan Notification – If someone finds your pet and scans the QR code on the tag, you’ll be notified with text and/or email alerts
  *   Social Sharing – Have your lost-pet poster shared on social media to spread the word even faster
  *   Discounts – Receive special offers from PetHub’s partners
 “I believe this new tag will decrease our stray animal impounds and reunite lost animals with their owners.  In 2018, 927 animals ended up at our shelter and in 2019, we housed 832 animals.   These numbers should decrease year after year as the tags help reunite pets with their owners, hopefully without being brought to the shelter. “-Lt. Jose Pena, Animal Control Supervisor
For more information
Visit: or call Animal Control at (520) 375-7860
Call: (520) 375-7860
Stop by: 1368 N Hohokam Dr., Nogales AZ 

Providing Opportunities

Creating Opportunities Santa Cruz Workforce

Creating Opportunities Santa Cruz Workforce


The Santa Cruz Training Programs are dedicated to serving children and adults with disabilities in Santa Cruz County for 50 years. Last year in November, they celebrated their 50th anniversary. The training program was founded by Ana Maria Coppola. An advocate for children with disabilities who started to get other parents involved in starting a program to meet the needs of children with disabilities. It started as a pilot program during the summer of 1968. It was being offered to children with disabilities who were not attending elementary schools within Santa Cruz County. Later the pilot program developed into a year-round schooling program for children with disabilities.   

The program receives direct funding from the state. The number of funds they receive throughout the year depends primarily on the number of members. Donations and grants also help to support the program. Personal donations, as well as big business donations, are accepted, to help keep the program in our community.

Marina Galhouse is the director of the program She is one of 94 employees who work in assisting 78 children and adults with disabilities. The program serves children from birth through adulthood. The training program also provides transportation and many other services to help meet the needs of its members. 

“Our training program is centered on providing quality care to our members. We go out of the way to help our members receive the best vocational and rehabilitation services in Santa Cruz County. Our members are our top priority they are like family to us,” said  Mrs. Galhouse.

One of the services the training program offers is employment to adults with disabilities.  Another part of their programs consists of helping 23 members develop social skills and learn hands-on a specific trade of choice. The training program has a kitchen as well as a Café where members learn to cook, bake, sell, serve, and waitressing skills. The program also has a nursery where adults with disabilities learn about gardening. Members learn about planting seeds, and caring for plants and cultivating vegetables, which are later sold at the Farmer’s Market. 

Groundskeeping is another trade members learn at the training program. The program consists of having members do contract work within the community, such as Unisource, Liberty Waters, and for private contractors.

Another program the SCTP offers is the rehabilitation and recreational with 28 members. This program helps members learn soft skills such as how to communicate and interact with the public. The members participate in a variety of social activities like bowling, going to the movies, visit the Santa Fe Ranch and Nogales Infantil.

These activities are therapeutic helping the members socialize and stay active. La Española DTTA  is a program that provides specialized sensory-motor, cognitive, communicative, social interaction, and behavioral training. The Santa Cruz Training Program has 2 group homes, which includes 24/7 staff who care for our members.

The program for children is different from the adult services they provide. The services they provide to children with disabilities are done at the convenience of their home.  These are basically respite care and rehabilitation services. Children learn occupational skills and personal care. All these types of services are available to families in Santa Cruz County. Not every child or family has the same needs. The services offered to them are dependant on eligibility. 

“All our staff members are dedicated individuals who work the extra mile to provide quality care to members. We work hard to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our members,” said Marina Gallahouse.

The Santa Cruz Training program has grown into a successful vocational training program for individuals with disabilities providing them with an opportunity to live healthy productive lives. For anyone interested in having a loved one with disabilities enroll in our program please contact us at: (520) 287-2043.

Creating Opportunities Santa Cruz Workforce

Creating Opportunities Santa Cruz Workforce

Creating Opportunities Santa Cruz Workforce


Santa Cruz Workforce hosted their 6th Annual Santa Cruz Job Fair and Community Expo at the Nogales High School Ray Molera Gymnasium on Friday, October 18th from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Every year Santa Cruz Workforce hosts this annual event to help dislocated workers, and new career job seekers connect with local employers in Santa Cruz, Cochise, and Pima County. This year a total of 522 people participated in the job fair with more than 100 employers were in attendance. The job fair had a variety of vendors participate from healthcare, education, non-profit, government, retail, transportation, and manufacturing industries. 

“We were extremely happy with the outcome of this event. It is our goal to help connect job seekers to local employers. We want to help our members succeed in their career goals. The event is held during the month of October to help local employers find the workforce they need for their peak season. This was an opportunity for potential employees to meet with employers and learn a bit more about the local businesses in the area,” said Maritza Cervantes, WIOA Director. 

According to the Department of Economic Security, approximately 2,124 people filed for jobless benefits during the month of September. Santa Cruz County’s unemployment rate dropped from 12% to 10.6%.  Although, Santa Cruz County remains the second-highest county among Arizona with the highest unemployment rate. This continues to be a big challenge for our local government. The local government is responsible for bringing in new businesses to the area. Arizona@ Work in Santa Cruz County works closely with local businesses and government organizations in Santa Cruz County to help meet their workforce needs.  

The Santa Cruz Workforce not only hosts this annual event but also provides an array of services to the community. For more information on how the Santa Cruz Workforce can help you please contact the office at their local office at:  (520) 375-7670 or visit their site at: 610 N. Morley Avenue, Nogales, AZ.

A Special thanks to:

Santa Cruz County ARIZONA@WORK Staff

Santa Cruz County Manager Jennifer St. John

Santa Cruz County Finance Director Mauricio Chavez

Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors: Manny Ruiz, Bruce Bracker, and Rudy Molera

Santa Cruz County Maintenance Department

Nogales High School Administration & Staff

And to all exhibitors who contributed with donations as follows:

South 32

Beacon Group

Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona

Gariola Coffee House & Deli

Panaderia La Catedral

Pizza Hut

Quality Hotel Americana


Santa Cruz County School Superintendent’s Office

Starbucks Coffee

Villa’s Market

Pepsi Co.

Dorado Personnel

Santa Cruz County IT Director Juan Balderas  

Meet Your Arizona State Representative, LD2 Rosanna Gabaldόn

Meet Your Arizona State Representative, LD2 Rosanna Gabaldόn

Meet Your Arizona State Representative, LD2 Rosanna Gabaldόn


State Representative Gabaldόn serves as our LD 2 State Representative, a position that she has held since first elected in 2012.  She is a Ranking Democrat on the Natural Resources, Energy, and Water Committee, and also serves as a member of the Transportation Committee.  While serving at the legislature, she has been fortunate to be selected to participate in several special interim committees that have impacted Santa Cruz County.  State Representative Gabaldόn served on the Sahuarita Town Council from 2009-2012 and accepted leadership roles on several not-for-profit boards.
Representative Gabaldόn was the prime sponsor of HB 2532: critical health information; emergency responders, which was signed into law by Governor Ducey and took effect on August 27, 2019.  The State House first read HB2532 on February 4. In addition to the votes, there were several presentations and outreach to stakeholders throughout the process.  
State Representative Gabaldόn introduced and sponsored several bills related to public safety, the environment, and public education

She supported and advocated for bills that were important for Santa Cruz County and worked on a variety of legislation with her colleagues.  State Representative Gabaldόn advocacy resulted in bringing attention to the funding of repairs needed to the Nogales IOI and Wash.
For the past eight years, Rosanna Gabaldόn has been an adopted daughter of Santa Cruz County. “I feel the family connection that is familiar to me.  Through my volunteer efforts, I have worked with countless people who are an inspiration to me for their dedication and willingness to do so much, and so many times without enough resources.  We do what we can with what we got.  It has been my honor and pleasure to be a voice for Santa Cruz County at the State Legislature,” said State Representative Gabaldόn.
Investment in the economic development of Southern Arizona benefits everyone.  Representative Gabaldόn will continue to address the funding needs for the roads and infrastructure of Santa Cruz County.

State Representative Gabaldόn will encourage the legislature to take advantage of the opportunity to capitalize on the improvements invested in the infrastructure of the State Route 189, Mariposa Road.  “We must find revenue for much-needed road infrastructure, especially in rural communities,” said Representative Gabaldόn.
Her priorities include funding for public education, infrastructure, and working toward obtaining sustainable water supplies.  
According to State Representative Gabaldόn, “We must make sure that the gains we have made for our public schools are expanded and secured for the long haul.  There is a fundamental need to improve our infrastructure, including rehabilitation of our roads and highways.   We must all come together – Republicans and Democrats – and find a long-term solution to Arizona’s water needs.  We have a great history of making smart, bi-partisan water policy, and our future depends on it.”  

The State of Arizona is changing, and in the 2020 election, we may see the Arizona State Legislature change in leadership to include more democratic control.  We must prepare for this change now and make our plans that will make the transition effective.  We can begin by building better relationships with individuals of both political parties.  We won’t get anywhere if we don’t start listening to each other.  Together we must continue to address the funding needs for the Nogales IOI and Wash and keep the attention going for its continual rehabilitation.  Also, let's take advantage of the opportunity to capitalize on the improvements invested in the infrastructure of the State Route 189 Mariposa Rd.

Many organizations have supported  State Representative Gabaldόn throughout the past decade of service to the legislative district.  Most important are the individuals who have helped me by bringing attention to the issues that matter to the citizens of Santa Cruz County.  My appreciation to Chicanos Por La Causa, the Salvation Army, and the local health organizations that have kept me informed of the needs of the area.  I give my wholehearted thanks to the many unsung heroes, individuals who go to work every day, and through their efforts make our community better and better, including service organizations, our business community, and our elected leaders.  It is my pleasure to work with those who provide support and love for our more vulnerable in Santa Cruz County.  

State Representative Gabaldόn was born in Bermuda, from a military family.  Through military life, I have lived in Japan, Michigan, Texas, Panama, and Tucson.  Always moving has taught me to appreciate what I have.  My husband Arturo and I have made Southern Arizona our home, we live in Sahuarita, and our son Andrés works in Tucson.   Her father and mother both come from the State of Chihuahua, Mexico, and her father served over 20 years in the Air Force.  She is the youngest of three daughters, and they have each made Southern Arizona their home.  “I am proud of receiving a high school diploma and my diligence in learning about issues.  I express my passion through service to our community.  It has been my privilege to participate in a variety of boards that have a profound impact on our lives and in our community.  I am proud of my time working with children and the organizations that help develop them, it was an honor to work with First Things First from 2008-2012, and today I serve on the board of the Guadalupana Lab Schools working with early childhood development students,” said Rosanna Gabaldόn. 

Bahá'ís Faith of Santa Cruz County

Meet Your Arizona State Representative, LD2 Rosanna Gabaldόn

Meet Your Arizona State Representative, LD2 Rosanna Gabaldόn


On Saturday, October 26th from 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. the Bahá'ís Faith of Santa Cruz County celebrated the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of the Báb, one of the Twin Founders of the Bahá'í Faith at the Rio Rico Community Center.
The Baha’i Faith is the youngest of the world’s religions.  It is based on the teachings of two Divine Educators, the Bab and Baha’u’ llah.  Both lived during the mid-1800s in Persia and shared revolutionary concepts about the oneness of humanity.  This month the Baha’i community celebrates the birthdays of both the Bab and Baha’u’llah.  This year is significant because it is the 200th anniversary of the Birth of the Bab.
Baha’is believe that there is one God who, out of love for humanity, reveals Himself and His Will through Divine Educators – the Founders of the world’s religions.  Some of these Educators are Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, Krishna, and most recently, the Bab and Baha’u’llah. The Baha’i teachings tell us that we can know God through studying the lives, scriptures, and guidance of these Holy Messengers.
The Bab (meaning “the Gate”) encouraged everyone to seek spiritual truth with independent hearts and to let go of superstition and dependence on clergy.  He was put to death for His teachings after a turbulent ministry of only 6 years, but His primary objective was fulfilled - to prepare humanity for the coming of Baha’u’llah, who envisioned a future where all of humanity operates as one loving family.
The Baha’i Faith is organized without priests or clergy. Each person is responsible for his or her own search for truth and a relationship with God.  Our purpose in life, according to Baha’u’llah, is to draw closer to God by offering selfless service to others.  Together, we are all citizens and caretakers of one planet.  Baha’u’llah calls upon each individual to actively root out our prejudices and systemic inequalities that divide people of different ethnic backgrounds, national origins, genders, and social classes.

Baha’is believe that lasting social change starts in the family and at the neighborhood level when we build relationships based on love and mutual respect. Baha’is gather in homes and community centers, offering opportunities for all age groups to worship, learn, and serve their communities together. Anyone (regardless of their religion) can participate and even host core community activities, which include:

  • Classes for children that help them discover and strengthen their inherent spiritual qualities like kindness and patience, through stories, songs, prayers, and art.
  • Groups of pre-teens and teens develop wisdom, compassion, decision-making skills and a mindset of service to others.
  • Study circles where adults learn together about the spiritual nature of life and initiate service projects relevant to their communities.
  • Prayer gatherings to nourish souls and inspire meaningful friendships among neighbors.

For more information about the Baha’i Faith go to  For information about local core activities, please contact Jill Moritz at 520-455-7151 or by email at

Making Difficult Decisions

Meet Your Arizona State Representative, LD2 Rosanna Gabaldόn

Santa Cruz County Embraces the "Choose Love Movement"


With more than 50 years of law enforcement experience, Sheriff Tony Estrada knows first hand that Nogales, Arizona is one of the most secure areas along the Mexican border. “The crime rate along our border town is extremely low, people are safe walking our streets at night, we take great pride in knowing our community is a safe place for our citizens,” said Estrada.   

On January 1, 1993, Sheriff Tony Estrada was first sworn into office. He was born in Nogales, Sonora Mexico before his family immigrated to Nogales, Arizona when he was just an infant. He comes from a family of humble beginnings who always encouraged him to work hard. Estrada first started his career in law enforcement working as a dispatcher for the Nogales Police Department. He worked his way through the ranks before he retired as a captain for the department in 1991.

Sheriff Tony Estrada is currently serving his seventh-consecutive term as sheriff in Santa Cruz County. At the age of 76-years-old, Sheriff Tony Estrada is debating now whether or not he should retire. “I  have a difficult decision to make this new election season. My family feels I have done and accomplished enough that they feel it might be time for me to retire. I feel extremely healthy and capable to continue in this role but the decision, if I should retire, will be dependent on my family, friends, and work-family. Family comes first they have always supported me and they will support whatever decision I make but I also have to think about them,” said Sheriff Estrada.

According to the County Elections Office, five candidates have filed official paperwork to run for Santa Cruz County sheriff in 2020. “I am aware of the candidates running for this office have started early in their election campaign. It looks like it will be an extremely competitive race. One of the things that are unfortunate about politics and campaigning is it brings out the worst out of some people. People that you consider friends or acquaintances turn their back on you, and then you have those that are nasty or vicious. It is harmful and hurtful to the family because they never want to hear anything negative about your husband, your father or grandfather so having gone through 7 administrations they have been more than supportive but also the support of the community,” stated Estrada.

“Since I took office the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office has grown into an exceptional law enforcement agency in Southern Arizona. As sheriff, I have tailored law enforcement and policies to meet the needs of our county. It is important for our residents to feel safe and I have an obligation to ensure their public safety,” said Estrada.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve my constituents. I am thankful for having the opportunity to work with such a great team of law enforcement people. They are key to many of my successes, they have worked by my side for years, we are a family. I would have never dreamed that someone with my background would have the opportunity to serve such an office,” said Sheriff Tony Estrada. 

Santa Cruz County Embraces the "Choose Love Movement"

Santa Cruz County Embraces the "Choose Love Movement"

Santa Cruz County Embraces the "Choose Love Movement"


On Wednesday, September 18th at 5:30 p.m., Santa Cruz County Embraced the “Choose Love Movement.” Little Red School held a free community event promoting the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement. The event was hosted by CHARM, Superintendent Kathy Romero, and the Santa Cruz County Superintendent's Office. The event was well attended by the public and community leaders. An empowering evening event with Scarlett Lewis, the Founder of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement!

The “ Choose Love” movement was introduced to the community by a local nonprofit organization called CHARM (Child Health and Resilience Mastery). The nonprofit organization was founded by two local residents Nisa Talavera and Heidi Pottinger. Their mission is to empower children and families to strengthen their resilience in health-promoting ways.

The “Choose Love” global movement started after Scarlett's 6-year-old son Jesse was murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary. Scarlett Lewis is nationally recognized for her global movement teaching "Nurturing, Healing, Love" to help create safer schools and communities. This global movement is in all 50 states and in DC, as well as 80 plus countries worldwide.

“This was my first visit to Santa Cruz County and aside from being extremely beautiful and peaceful, I would say Santa Cruz County is filled with courageous leadership. Those in positions of power that speak up and out about what is in the best interests of our children. I experienced the warmest welcome from the community during our dinner at the Little Red Schoolhouse in Nogales. Educators, administrations, parents, and business people were stepping up to be a part of the Choose Love Movement and committing to making their schools, homes, and communities safer, more peaceful and loving place - it was an incredible experience,” said Scarlett Lewis.
The event included a dinner catered by Rancho Grande with live entertainment by the Nogales High School Mariachi Apache. For more information on this movement please contact Dr. Heidi Pottinger the Founder and Executive Director and Ms. Nisa Stover Talavera the Founding Vice-Chair of CHARM at:

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