October Newsletter

~AGS Flea Markets~

Tianxiao Guo

     Dear AGS members, what will you expect in a cold, windy, winter day? A freshly-baked donut and a cup of hot coffee will warm up you for the day! Starting from this semester, the Starbucks  across the street is going to offer AGS flea market free coffee! Stop by the AGS tent on the first Sunday of the month (Nov. 3 for this month) to get something to start your day! Don’t forget that all the money we get from flea market goes to scholarship for the members.  Volunteers at the tent will be glad to see all the familiar faces. Spread the word to your friends and family about this event! A great and fun way to spend your Sunday morning!

~Green Fest Comes but Once a Year~

Sam Thurman

Immediately greeted by smiling staff members upon our arrival, my fellow AGS members and I, still curious as to what exactly we would be doing, were given volunteer shirts and escorted to the volunteers’ lounge where we were met by even more greetings, refreshments, fruit, and salubrious snacks.  After having been given time to take in the scene, the plethora of vendors, anxious to share their products and causes, we were introduced to Brianna, the volunteer action coordinator, and assigned our duties for the day.

We were split up between a few positions that included welcoming duty, box office, and general assistance.  During this time, most of us had the additional pleasure of meeting the delightful supervising director of LA’s Green Fest, Georgia, and her wonderful service poodle.  Georgia and her team made it exceptionally easy for us to catch on to our new duties, whilst maintaining the organization of the entire festival.

       But on to the interesting part.  There were hundreds of vendors selling hundreds of things, from Avant-garde ‘save the planet’ products, to pedestrian water filters—or  “hydro-restructuring,” as the women who unabashedly admitted she had no clue what she was talking about called it—attempting to pass as green.  There was a tree lady, yes, a tree lady (see picture), wallets, purses, and jewelry made entirely from cork, and so very much more.  Ford also made a noticeable presence, giving visitors free test drives in the latest and greenest Ford Fusion, which boasted an impressive 108 mpg.  And then there was my personal favorite, the Beer & Wine Garden, which was frequented by quite a few of us at the end of our shifts.

     Social justice petitioners were present with causes ranging from denying corporations person-hood, to taxing carbon emissions.  At one stand, visitors had a number of causes to choose from (e.g. provide clean drinking water to kids in Somalia, save the trees Latvia, etc.), of which they could vote for one, and the one that received the most votes got funded; unfortunately, I can’t tell you which one won as we were not made aware of the winner, but I’d like to think it was the ‘kids in Somalia’ one.

       All in all, it was a great time for some great causes with some great people—the epitome of what AGS is all about, and why we were there to begin with.  And if you have never gone and are thinking of going next year, or have friends that might be interested, here’s a tip if you or your friends are not going as volunteers (even though going as a volunteer is better by far): bring a TAP card, you’ll get in free!

~Long Beach Marathon~

Emmeline Tjong

Being one of the fastest and most scenic runs throughout the year, the Long Beach International City Bank Marathon was held on October the 13th, 2013. Our scholars signed up for the shift that was 5 hours long, yet they persevered to help out with the marathon. The event started at 9am and ended at 2pm, and was held at the Long Beach Convention Center. Despite the long hours, it turned out to be fruitful.

The place was crowded with at least 5,000 people, runners and spectators. The runners were taking part in various events, including a full marathon, half marathon, Kids Fun Run, Bike Tour, and even attended a Health & Fitness Expo! There were 25 entertainment stations along the route, where spectators can visit attractions while cheering on the runners. It was a weekend packed with not only exercise, but also fun.

The volunteers were given tasks such as handing out goodie bags to the participants. Along with a goodie bag, each individual was given a tech shirt, even the volunteers! Also, some were assigned the duty to overlook the water stations along the route. At the finish line, the volunteers gave out medals to participants who successfully completed their respective courses.

The marathon was not merely an event centered on the runners. 2013 Long Beach International City Bank had a goal to raise $100,000 for charity. Volunteering for events like these never fail to make one smile, as the sweat and effort put in is worth the experience. Though us volunteers didn’t run in the marathon, the atmosphere at the event was spectacular!


~The General AGS Meeting Halloween~

Kristina Tevdoradze

The general meeting of the AGS was a pretty fun this Halloween! Although i expected more people to be dressed in costumes, there still were some of the people in unique costumes. I remembered one especially, The Mermaid. It certainly took a lot of work and creativity to create such a cool costume of a mermaid! The board members came up with couple games and gave out prizes. The board members also congratulated the most active members of AGS by giving them small treats. The celebration of the October Birthdays took place in the beginning of the meeting. There was a conquest of the best costume, and a girl dressed as arlequine took the prize(candies) home! (The mermaid girl didn’t participate in the challenge). The other fun game was guessing the movies by screen captures. People were divided into large groups and were trying to guess as many movies as possible. My group sadly lost.  In the end of the AGS meeting there was pleasant surprise for some of the members who were seated in the first three rows. Under the seats some of the people found the sticker with a ghost! Which meant that you won the candy! I was the lucky one to win ! Overall, the meeting was very fun event, where people socialized a lot and had a good laugh.

~Pomona Field Trip~

 Jason Le

It was a beautiful Saturday on October 19. Members of AGS’s Blood Committee were very excited and honored to be invited by the American’s Red Cross to visit their Donor Center at Pomona. It was a small gift for the time and dedication that the Committee has exerted in helping with the monthly Blood Drives at PCC. During the tour, these members had a chance to witness the whole process, from the collection of the blood to when they are shipped out. Everyone agreed that it was a valuable experience and that they were all able to learn something from this trip.

Nevertheless, above all, what made the trip most memorable to these members was the visit to the two storerooms where all of the blood, after going through a rigorous assessment process, is being kept and refrigerated. Everyone was shocked by the extremely modest size of these spaces. Visualize the size of an average classroom in PCC’s C building, cut it in half, and that should be it. Racks about 5”5’ in height are lined against the walls, and that’s where all the blood sits. It is important to note that the very limited supply of blood stored at the Pomona Center is used by Northern and Southern California, and Arizona. Moreover, a single person who unfortunately suffers from severe injuries could use up to a whole rack at once. Being able to witness firsthand this startling scene had certainly fueled the enthusiasm of the members for the coming Blood Drives!

~A Haunting We Will Go~

Shannon Zheng

      On this past cool November 1st evening a lady bug, ghost buster, and pirate enter the Lawrence L. Frank Center on   in Pasadena. Ability First’s “A Haunting We Will Go” celebrated Halloween for its adult members. A variety of costumes could be seen throughout the night, from a frightening headless horseman to a playful 1950’s blouse and poodle skirt outfit, participants were able to enjoy themselves with good company and fun Halloween-inspired activities.

       Participants were first met with a refreshment bar filled with drinks, sweet cream pastries, and Fosselman’s pumpkin ice cream with a candy corn and gummy sour worm topping. A large spider loomed menacingly above the room whilst ghouls, skeletons, and ghosts threatened guests with their fearsome presence.

       A live band produced a spirited ambiance as guests were able to dance and sing along to the upbeat music. Face painting was available in an adjacent room; many guests were able to complete their costumes with the elaborate designs from the face painting artist. The furthermost room held a familiar article from the Robert Zemeicks’ 1985 film “Back to the Future”. A detailed replica of the “Back to the Future” car, accompanied by a photographer, was set up to allow guests to pose and take pictures as a keepsake of the evening. A costume contest concluded the night’s festivities.

       Partaking in the Ability First’s “A Haunting We Will Go” event was an enjoyable and worthwhile experience as AGS volunteers were able to both support a good cause and participate in Halloween merriment.

~Social at the Getty Villa, Malibu~

Marissa Davis

AGS held their first social gathering at the Getty Villa in Malibu, CA on October 12th. It was a beautiful day spent with attending members. Members began the day by breaking bread together at a local restaurant, followed by carpooling to the event. Members experienced a tour of the museum while being accompanied by a staff member in order to explain the history behind the beautiful art.  AGS members walked throughout the museum interested and focused on each beautiful recreation. Everyone had a blast taking pictures around the outside scenery.

~October Members of the Month Interviews~

*Tina Guo*

Tina Guo is an active member of AGS. She participates in Newsletter, Flea Market, Recording, and Blood committees. She is a hard worker and is very meticulous when it comes to work on the committees. She is very dedicated to the Flea Market committee. She is driven to complete tasks and is passionate about her AGS community.

What made you want to become a member of AGS?

It is an organized club and offers various volunteer opportunities. It’s a great way to meet many interesting people.

How did you learn about the AGS community?

From my friends and mainly from the Club Week.

What are you majoring in and what is your career goal?

Hopefully I will double-major in English and History. I want to do translations for nineteenth century Christian literature and teach in a university.

What have you learned about yourself, so far, from being a member on AGS?

My capacity to serve can actually be extended in different ways: coordinating with different people, time management, etc. And friends are precious. I cannot become a well-rounded person without the help and support from other people.

*Irving Geheber Morales*

Irving Geheber Morales has been an active member of AGS for two consecutive semesters. He has been a dedicated Blood Committee recruitment manager and strives to accomplish the goals of the committee. Irving works hours beyond his shifts and tries to help out as much as possible. He has an affable personality and readily engages others in genuine and friendly conversation.

What made you want to become a member of AGS?

I’ve been in other clubs at school these past semesters, however, I decided to be in one where I can volunteer and help others while also growing my leadership skills. AGS does a lot of community service starting by volunteering for the American Red Cross, PCC’S flea market to raising money for our club’s scholarships, marathons, and even TV tapings.

How did you learn about the AGS community? 

I heard from this club by other classmates and friends at PCC but what really caught my attention was when I saw their table at Club Week last spring and decided to join. I most certainly do not regret it

What are you majoring in and what is your career goal? 

I’m majoring in International Business. My goal is to learn more languages (so far I know English, Spanish, and Italian). I still haven’t decided what to do with them, but maybe I can travel around the world while working with worldwide companies.

What have you learned about yourself, so far, from being a member on AGS? 

Since my first days at AGS, I realized how important it is to keep classmates and friends at school united and help each other succeed in life. We need to remind each other to never give up on our dreams, because we are all here for the same reason: to become something important in life. Also, I have improved my leadership skills by being one of the managers from the blood drive committee for two consecutive semesters by keeping everything organized and ready for our donors.

In the spirit of Halloween, what is your favorite scary movie or the scariest movie you have ever seen?

My favorite scary movies during the week of Halloween are from the series Children of the Corn. No matter how old these movies might be, they can still give you the chills on a dark, cold night.