Joy, Peace and Love – Happy Holidays from ACLAMO Family Centers

Joy, Peace and Love – Happy Holidays from ACLAMO Family Centers

Libby Lannon celebrates with three of her many ACLAMO friends at a holiday party held on the Ursinus College campus.  Libby graduates in May of 2017 and for three years has coordinated the Ursinus ACLAMO volunteers as a part of the Bonner Leader Program.

Community Enagement Award

Each December, the Norristown Men of Excellence in partnership with community sponsors hosts an annual awards banquet.

This year, the group honore
d ACLAMO Executive Director Nelly Jimenez-Arevalo with the Community Engagement Award in recognition of her commitment to excellence and her service to the Norristown community.

Too Much Income To Qualify

Tour guide Chris and Nelly stand with carpentry student Luis, whose senior project is the construction of a staircase which will be totally self supporting.  Luis designed the staircase using only photographs of a famous staircase found in a church in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Did you know that the Philadelphia area boasts a college whose alumni make too much money for their children to attend? This college does not charge for tuition or room and board. However, only young men with a high school degree or GED and families with low income are accepted.

After three years of rigorous discipline, a student will graduate from Williamson College of the Trades with an Associate Degree in Specialized Technology and advanced skills in both leadership and one of several areas: carpentry, masonry, machine tooling, horticulture, paint and coatings, or power plant. The success record of Williamson graduates is so stellar that the school cannot accommodate all the employers applying to participate in its job fair for graduating students.

ACLAMO Executive Director Nelly Jimenez was invited to visit Williamson in December to speak with President Michael Rounds about opportunities for Latino students at Williamson.

After a campus tour and speaking with students, Nelly ate lunch with the President, Dean of Admissions
Merillat and Vice President Snyder to discuss the best ways to develop a partnership with ACLAMO.

From Diapers to “Snow”

Led by Episcopal Academy science teacher Leslie Trimble, ACLAMO After School Program students watched with fascination as a polymer similar to the one used in disposable diapers absorbed an amazing amount of water, expanded and formed itself into “snow”.

Students then used the “snow” to make a winter diorama in a cup — complete with a cold climate animal like the penguin in the picture.

Leslie Trimble’s Episcopal student assistant was Scott Patterson (whose older brother was also an ACLAMO volunteer!)

Mexican Modernism

ADELANTE Program students were amazed by the Mexican Modernism Exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Complementary tickets were made available by the Museum through contacts by board member Jose Aguirre from PECO.

ACLAMO volunteer Robert Pace and staff members enjoyed the exhibit as much as the students.

Wedding Bells Got His Attention

Hakim Jones

It takes something special to pull Hakim Jones’ attention away from the people of Norristown. He might focus on the Philadelphia Eagles for a time or enjoy getting behind the wheel for a road trip. However, his commitment to Norristown is deep and goes back to his birth and his growing up on Stanbridge Street.

Even meeting his future wife Latinya, a resident of South Philly, hasn’t shaken Hakim’s loyalty to Norristown. The two will be married this December 17 and have purchased a home in Norristown’s 4th District.

Hakim has always enjoyed relating to people with different interests and backgrounds. His childhood was spent with culturally diverse friends on Stanbridge Street and he enjoyed people with a wide variety of interests as he played the string bass in the high school orchestra and competed as a running back on the football team. He further cultivated this interest in diversity by attending West Virginia University, where he majored in journalism with an additional concentration in French. While in West Virginia, he broadened his perspectives by doing research for the Library of Congress, traveling throughout the state to interview veterans of color who had served in the armed forces during World War II.

Today, Hakim works in the Home and School Department of the Norristown Area School District and represents Norristown’s 4th District on Borough Council.

“ACLAMO is the home base for Latinos in Norristown and Pottstown,” Hakim affirms. “I am always ready to help Nelly Jimenez and ACLAMO whenever I am able.”

Nelly is greatly appreciative of Hakim. “Hakim Jones is always available to speak with me,” she recounts, “and he has a solid grasp of the issues faced by the Latino community. We at ACLAMO congratulate Hakim and Latinya on their marriage and look forward to continuing to work with Hakim.”

Nelly Jimenez and chefs welcomed guests at Culinary Celebration I held in May of 2016.

What Will You Be Doing on April 30, 2017?

We hope you will mark your calendar and plan to join us that Sunday afternoon to enjoy ACLAMO’s Culinary Celebration II.