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By CHELCEY ADAMI Staff Writer | 0 comments

What was initially a letter bearing bad news to an El Centro woman morphed into a beautiful gesture between a large group of Valley residents this week.

Laura Felisa Hale, 62, has lived at a home on Euclid Avenue for more than 35 years, and in October, she was surprised to receive a letter from the city of El Centro stating that she couldn't park her van on the grass.

In order to avoid a $500 fine, she would need to either put in pavers or a concrete driveway. Hale called the city and spoke to a woman who was "very nice" and gave her an extension to Nov. 22.

However, "I came to the conclusion that I'll just go to jail if I can't do it. I didn't know what to do," Hale said. "I was kind of dumbfounded because I had lived here so very long."
Having a cemented driveway was a dream of Hale's for many, many years. Her husband of 48 years suffers from dementia resulting from a car accident years ago, and as his caretaker, she struggled many times helping him over the uneven and hole-filled front yard grass.

Hale then went to Home Depot to try to get information on pavers "because they'd always been so good to me and always so courteous."

A cheerful and active woman, she said she doesn't get out as much as she used to but enjoys exploring Home Depot and talking to the workers there, even purposefully parking on the far end of the parking lot so she can make a full-round once inside "to say 'hi' to everyone,'" she said.

She showed an employee there the letter, and the employee made a copy, telling Hale she'd get back to her once she had more information about the project.

Soon, Home Depot pro desk sales associate Hector Oceguera called and, to her surprise, he said would come to the house and help.

"He told me no, we're not going to do the pavers because pavers will move over time. He said we're going to put in cement," Hale said. "Hector said he'd take care of it."

While projects like installing a concrete driveway normally cost between $5,000 and $6,000, Home Depot agreed to donate materials for the job, and Oceguera put in a call to his old teacher Jose Velasquez from Imperial Valley College, who soon promised the help of students from his construction class for the labor.

"It served as a practice so it's a win-win for everybody," Velasquez said. "It's to give back to the community. It's nice helping out. ... It's our first time and we looking forward to doing it more often."

One student, Luis Chavarin, realized he was also Hale's neighbor and offered to come by to water the concrete to help it set after the project finished on Saturday.

And after one more short phone call to Gibson & Schaefer Inc., the Heber company agreed to donate the concrete for the job.

Soon, workers were bustling with equipment in front of Hale's normally quiet home, and from inside the front living room, Hale marveled at the activity outside.

"Getting my husband in and out of the van, I always wanted it. I was just amazed that all these years inside me thinking, 'God, someday, someday,'" Hale said. "We're going to get a cement driveway, and it helps me to help him."

She made food and drinks for the workers every day of the three-day project to show her gratitude.

"We could barely work with all the goodies the last couple of days," Oceguera said while laughing.

"I had never met Hector and it's like, wow, little angels have come to help me with this project," she said.

Hale said she was particularly glad her 7-year-old grandson Daniel was able to see the kind act, and he excitedly made handprints and spelled out his name in a corner of the concrete.

"This will be forever a memory. ... This is really exciting that this is happening," she said.

For Oceguera, the decision to help was simple.

"Good things come back," he said. "If you do good deeds, they come back."

And in a special addition, some of the workers will return Monday to finish details on the driveway as well as to brighten the area with a little landscaping of soil, planters and flowers.

"I'm very thankful. I believe God gets the credit with this one," Hale said. "Besides a $500 fine, who would have known this would have turned into a good thing? It's something I've dreamed about for years."

IV Press Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The original article can be found on the IV Press website.

IMPERIAL — Yazmin Arellano Torres recently read a study that said 81 percent of young girls introduced to engineering are interested in it, but only 13 percent of those girls continue on that career path.

"An attributing factor was that many of the girls didn't know anyone personally who was an engineer," Arellano Torres said. "And many girls believe that because it is a male-dominated area, it is hard. But that's simply not the case. And that's why I'm here."
Arellano Torres, a civil engineer working for the city of Brawley, was the keynote speaker of the Young Latina Leadership Conference, which was hosted Saturday by MANA de Imperial Valley at Imperial Valley College.

The all-day conference was free and open to seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade girls from around the Imperial Valley. The conference included topics such as college, career paths, career mentors, personal development, health and social media.

"Many of the presenters come from a wealth of professional areas such as law, law enforcement, human resources, communication and engineering," said Denise Cabanilla, member of the MANA board. "Our goal is to provide young girls with encouragement and allow them to dream big and pursue their dreams. We want to let them know the people in the community that support them."

Thirteen-year-old Reyes Benavente wants to go to college and become an engineer. Neither of her parents went to college and she wants to make sure she follows the correct path to get there.

"I learned that you need good grades and not to spend too much time on social media," she said. "I have to always study and do my homework."

Like Reyes, many of the young girls attending the conference want to follow the educative course to college.

"I learned about what you need to do and what your options are," 13-year-old Savannah Contreras said.

"Also, we learned about what the qualifications are for college," Faith Felix, 13, added.

13-year-old Jennifer Gastelum agreed.

"My favorite part of the conference was the college prep part," she said.

The young women had a plethora of guidance available, including April Mazone, who came down from San Diego to partake in the conference. Cabanilla hopes to triple or even quadruple the amount of presenters and participants of the event.

"It's the first time we've done this in a long time, we definitely want to re-introduce this back," she said.

Arellano Torres hoped the young girls walked away with plenty of knowledge to pursue careers they are passionate about.

"I try to inspire young ladies to go into the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math program and explain the major discipline that goes along with it and how they can apply that to everyday life."

Original article can be found on the IV Press website.

The Winter/Spring 2015 Course Schedule Information is now online!

For those of you looking to get a head start researching the classes you'd like to take in the Winter/Spring, you can now browse the printable version of our Winter/Spring 2015 schedule. We've also gone ahead and broken down the schedule into individual sections as well to make it easier to print just the information you need!

Read more: Winter/Spring 2015 Printable Schedule Now Available!

IMPERIAL — In order to fulfill their civic duty in the upcoming November election, students at Imperial Valley College took the time between classes and lunch breaks to register to vote during a Rock the Vote event at the local community college here Tuesday afternoon.

The Fall 2014 Course Schedule Information is now online!

For those of you looking to get a head start researching the classes you'd like to take in the Fall, you can now browse the printable version of our Fall 2014 schedule. We've also gone ahead and broken down the schedule into individual sections as well to make it easier to print just the information you need!

Read more: Fall 2014 Printable Schedule Now Available

Read about changes to the following:

  • Terms and Conditions of Award
  • Pell Grant Disbursement Changes
  • Elimination of Book Vouchers
  • Awarding in advance of annual Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) evaluations
  • Work-study Process




The Summer 2014 Course Schedule Information is now online!

For those of you looking to get a head start researching the classes you'd like to take in the Summer, you can now browse the printable version of our Summer 2014 schedule. We've also gone ahead and broken down the schedule into individual sections as well to make it easier to print just the information you need!

Read more: Summer 2014 Printable Schedule Now Available

The Spring 2014 Course Schedule Information is now online!

For those of you looking to get a head start researching the classes you'd like to take in the Spring, you can now browse the printable version of our Spring 2014 schedule. We've also gone ahead and broken down the schedule into individual sections as well to make it easier to print just the information you need!

Read more: Spring 2014 Printable Schedule Now Available

We're happy to announce that you can now download the Ellucian GO mobile application to stay more connected with Imperial Valley College while on the go!

Here are the links to download the appropriate app for your device:

Download the Ellucian GO App on the Apple StoreGet the Ellucian GO App on the Google Play Store

Once you've installed the app, simply choose Imperial Valley College from the list of schools to get started.

The app allows you to login with either your G# and Password or your Blackboard Username and Password and gives you access to your Courses, Past Grades, and Current Notifications.

In addition, it allows you to quickly lookup a Faculty Member's IVC Email Address, Call Important Numbers, GIVEtoIVC, Keep up With Campus News and Events, Access the Campus Maps, View our Financial Aid TV videos and access other Important Sites and Information.

We hope everyone enjoys this new tool!

IVC Ellucian GO App Screenshot 01IVC Ellucian GO App Screenshot 02

IVC Ellucian GO App Screenshot 03IVC Ellucian GO App Screenshot 04

The Fall 2013 Course Schedule Information is now online!

For those of you looking to get a head start researching the classes you'd like to take in the Fall, you can now browse the printable version of our Fall 2013 schedule. We've also gone ahead and broken down the schedule into individual sections as well to make it easier to print just the information you need!

Click here to view the printable Fall 2013 Schedule and Student Guide

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