Community Briefs - Week of Nov. 21

Hidden Villa offers free access Friday

Hidden Villa has scheduled a free access day Friday, with trails and picnic areas open to all for a post-Thanksgiving outing.

Visitors to the organic farm and nature preserve can participate in a photo contest by snapping shots of their favorite Hidden Villa moments. Participants can visit its Instagram (@hiddenvilla) or Facebook ( pages for contest regulations and details on weekly rewards. The Town Crier is participating in the contest judging. Photographers whose shots are selected as weekly winners will win their choice of Hidden Villa’s honey or olive oil, both locally grown.

Downtown College Prep: Preparing first-generation students for 4-year colleges

Photos and information from
Armando Cervantes, above in white cap, is pictured with Downtown College Prep’s first graduating class in 2004. Cervantes went on to attend San Jose State University and is now pursuing a career in medicine. 

• Mission: Downtown College Prep prepares students who will be the first in their families to attend college and equips them to thrive at four-year universities.

Downtown College Prep runs two charter high schools and two middle schools. The singular goal for all students is that graduates are accepted to and enroll in four-year colleges. The Downtown College Prep community has created a learning environment that helps students and their families chart a course for college beginning in fifth grade.

Veterans Resource Center: Empowering former veterans to succeed as college students

Town Crier File Photo
Foothill College officials, representatives of the Rotary Club of Los Altos and other local leaders, above, attend a July 25 ribbon cutting for the new Los Altos Rotary Veterans Plaza, adjacent to the school’s Veterans Resource Center.

• Mission: The Foothill College Veterans Resource Center aims to ensure that student veterans and military service members have access to quality services and opportunities for academic success, professional growth and meaningful employment.

• 2018 update: The Rotary Club of Los Altos donated to the Veterans Resource Center to help fund construction of Veterans Plaza on the Foothill campus and creation of the Veterans Mural commemorating those who have served.

Sky's the Limit Fund: Serving youth in crisis through wilderness therapy

Courtesy of Sky’s The Limit Fund
Wilderness camp is an effective form of therapy for troubled youth. Sky’s the Limit Fund provides scholarships to help families send their kids to camps.

• Mission: Sky’s the Limit Fund transforms the lives of youth in crisis with financial need through funding for wilderness therapy programs, provides coaching services to guide families during the transition home from wilderness therapy and hosts outreach programs to educate the community on the benefits of wilderness therapy.

According to Sky’s the Limit Fund representatives, the crisis of today’s youth has reached epidemic proportions, with problems that do not discriminate based on ethnicity, religion or socioeconomic status. Wilderness therapy programs provide effective and personalized therapeutic care, achieving high-impact and long-lasting improvement.

Agent, publisher put 'Trust' in local author Wang

Courtesy of Kathy Wang
Kathy Wang of Los Altos has released her debut novel, “Family Trust,” about how wealth can complicate family values in the time of death.

Los Altos resident Kathy Wang’s new book, “Family Trust,” is a Silicon Valley story of how wealth can complicate family values in the time of death. The dramatic novel uses humor to tackle the subjects of gender, race, family and wealth relations.

Released Oct. 30 by HarperCollins Publishers, the book isn’t based on true events, but it’s influenced by the world Wang has lived in.

Reading and leading: Morning Forum speaker highlights presidential literacy


When President John F. Kennedy faced a potentially disastrous standoff with the Soviets over nuclear missiles in Cuba, he received urgent and determined advice to bomb from his military and political staff. But Kennedy thought of an example from ancient history he had read and did not bomb, saving the world from a catastrophe.

From the earliest part of American history, leaders who were well versed in literature used their exposure to books to guide their world-shaking decisions. That was the focus of a Nov. 6 Morning Forum of Los Altos presentation by Joseph Luzzi, Ph.D., professor of comparative literature at Bard College, who spoke on “The Presidential Library: Books That Shaped Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Other Commanders-in-Chief.”

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