House of Grace offers women opportunities to rebuild families

Young women and their children, above and left, get a fresh start in life through House of Grace programs. Holiday Fund proceeds directly support the 33-person residential program.

• Mission: House of Grace offers an opportunity for addicted, abused or homeless women to rebuild their lives, without being separated from their young children. The 12- to 14-month-long residential program works to transform the lives of women, their families and communities.

• 2015 update: Holini Sema, director of House of Grace, said not much has changed in 2015, only the women they serve continue to be younger, a circumstance she attributes to the spread of the drug culture in high school.


Jeremiah's Promise continues to ease life transitions for foster youth

Courtesy of Jeremiah’s Promise
Jeremiah’s Promise offers college workshops
and coaching programs that focus on the social,
emotional and academic resources required
for higher education and
a career.

• Mission: Jeremiah’s Promise aims to love, challenge and equip former foster youth for a better future. 

• 2015 update: The nonprofit organization supports foster children poised to graduate from the system as they navigate a path to college and seek career mentorship and community support.


Music for Minors transforms children's lives through music education
Although founded in Los Altos, Music for Minors focuses its energies these days on providing music education in underserved elementary schools.

• Mission: Music for Minors nurtures in children a lifelong love of music by providing music education programs in schools.

• 2015 update: Founded in 1976 in Los Altos, Music for Minors has continued to deepen and expand its reach and now serves 23,000 Bay Area children.


Los Altos High graduate Chomko wins screenwriting competition

Elizabeth Chomko, a 1999 Los Altos High School graduate, has found success as a screenwriter, recently winning the 2015 Nicholl Fellowships competition. Courtesy of Elizabeth Chomko

Elizabeth Chomko didn’t plan on becoming a professional writer, but the former Los Altos resident has loved putting pen to paper since she was a young girl.

“I have always written for me, written because it helped me understand things, because writing made me feel alive, because I couldn’t imagine not writing,” she said.


Veteran journalist offers Rotarians the scoop on long career

Jerry Tomanek/Rotary
Club of Los Altos
Retired KTVU-TV journalist Rita
Williams entertained Los Altos
Rotarians Nov. 9 with stories from
her long career.

Award-winning TV journalist Rita Williams, who recently retired from KTVU-TV after more than three decades in the San Francisco bureau, discussed her wide-ranging career covering political and legal stories in a Nov. 9 presentation at the Rotary Club of Los Altos.

“I feel like I’m the eyes and ears of the public,” said the investigative journalist. “I want to make the public feel like I’m feeling.”


Cal Water launches rewards program

California Water Service Co. is slated to launch a three-month rewards program aimed at recognizing customers who stay within their water budgets.

For the December, January and February billing cycles, 25 customers in each Cal Water service area who meet or are under their water budgets that month will be drawn at random to receive $50 gift cards. Customers’ water consumption for each bill includes the month prior to the billing date. Customers who qualify will be automatically entered into each drawing. Those meeting budgets at multiple premises can win only once per month.


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