At Los Rios, Dreams Do Come True

"It's kind of fun doing the impossible." 
- Walt Disney

steve dooner meets genie

Steven Dooner is a Project Manager at Walt Disney Imagineering and an American River College alumni.

Steven credits his time at ARC for teaching him how to be creative and to look for new ways to do things. For Steven, receiving scholarships was among the proudest moments of his educational career. Now, he is overseeing the development of a $1.5 billion expansion of one of Disney’s parks.

As a supporter of Los Rios students, you get to experience the fun and joy of giving back when you give the gift of education to students like Steven. Many of our students come from difficult situations. Some experience poverty, food insecurity and homelessness. Others are re-entry students who are balancing work and families while trying to get ahead. But they all have dreams for a better future through education.

Your support helps them to overcome barriers and it gives them the encouragement they need to keep going because someone believes in them.

Steven’s advice to students is to “never ever give up” and with your partnership, we will give our students the tools and confidence to keep going and achieve “the impossible”.

Preparing the Next Generation at Los Rios

Education never stops at Los Rios! While the summer may mean some needed time off for many college students, the summer months allow us to open our campuses to our youngest future college goers through summer camps and high school bridge programs.

More than 1,000 kids, from kindergarten through high school will be on one of our campuses this summer for camps in the arts, sciences, math and athletics, interacting with our faculty and students, and most importantly, getting inspired to attend college themselves one day.

That’s just one of the things that make the colleges of Los Rios special: we are providing access to higher education to people from all walks of life and providing every generation with the opportunity to pursue their dreams through education.

-Paula Allison, President, Los Rios Foundation

Superheroes Work on their Backstroke at CRC

Superheroes at the Pool The CRC Athletics Department keeps kids engaged all summer long through Hawks Summer Camps in swimming, basketball and volleyball, all led by CRC instructors, Liz Abrams, Kari Post and Coral Sage. 

Coach Liz Abrams coordinates the CRC Summer Swim Program, offering lessons for all ages and abilities. This summer over 240 swimmers participated.  Super Hero Fun Friday was a highlight of the summer. "Instructors and swimmers were in high spirits for Super Hero Fun Friday! We celebrated the swimmers’ new skills with kicking races, wave pools, noodle water polo games and diving contests!” said Coach Liz.

Volleyball camp also wrapped last week for boys and girls from age 8 to 18. Campers worked on their setting, blocking, hitting, serving, and passing skills while having fun dressed up in neon clothing for Neon Thursday, Pajama Tuesday, and Western Gear Wednesday.

Twenty-six campers came to campus for Hawk Basketball Camp. It's the philosophy of the director of basketball, Coach Coral Sage, to make the five days of camp an enjoyable and rewarding experience for all campers and to provide them the opportunity to meet the coaching staff and other campers, while learning the fundamentals of the game of basketball, apply those skills in a game format, and have a good time while doing it! 

To learn more or enroll a future Hawk, click here

Young Artists in Residence at FLC's Harris Center

FLC Summer Arts AcademyThis summer, while the Harris Center for the Arts gears up for a fresh new season, the arts remain vibrant on the Folsom Lake College campus.

FLC’s Youth Arts Academy and Youth Chamber Orchestra continue to provide a one-of-a-kind experience to foster creativity and an appreciation for the arts in the youth of Folsom Lake College's service area (Rancho Cordova, Folsom, El Dorado Hills, Cameron Park, Shingle Springs, Placerville and surrounding communities).

Led by Professor Marisa Sayago, the Academy’s aim is to inspire art appreciation and excellence among young people and increase community awareness of and participation in visual art experiences.

For two weeks this July, children ages 8-14 gathered to enjoy classes with master teachers who are also working artists. Classes in drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, and printmaking enhanced with visits to the Harris Center Bank of America Gallery and a final "gallery" exhibition for parents and family capped each week. New to the curricula this year was a session on STEAM where students can use design thinking and makerspace tools and techniques to solve problems that blend science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

The Youth Chamber Orchestra takes center stage throughout the year, with auditions for the 2017-18 season kicking off the summer in late May. Dr. Evgeniy Sporov has served as Artistic Director/Conductor since its inception and debut concert in 2012. The audition process is competitive, and judged by highly qualified professional musicians.

The Orchestra surprises and excites audiences as one of the most captivating young artists ensembles in the greater Sacramento area. These young people, ranging from 12-20, gained recognition quickly for their expressive and imaginative performances. Their challenging repertoire includes Baroque, contemporary, classical, and jazz. This ensemble, created with highly selected soloists, is rate in the music community, where each young musician has a chance to be spotlighted and express his/her artistic abilities.

Makerspace StudentsThe champion of these programs, the Robert S. and Star Pepper Foundation, has funded nearly $150,000 since 2001 to keep youth arts programs alive. Prompted by the lack of school-based opportunities, philanthropist Star Pepper notes “Numerous studies show a strong correlation between involvement in art and music and success in math and science.   Not only does art or music offer an opportunity to explore creativity, individual talents, and new interests, but students who exhibit the discipline to do well in music and/or art tend to have the same discipline for their other academic studies.”

If you are interested in supporting the Youth Arts Academy or Youth Chamber Orchestra at FLC, please contact Sally Howard at 916-608-6643 or

Watch our video about supporting the arts at FLC!

Sac City Hosts the Freedom School

SCC Freedom SchoolOn June 30th, Sacramento City College (SCC) had the pleasure of hosting the Roberts Family Development Center Freedom School. The Freedom School is based on the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project of 1964 and four local school districts participate: Robla, Natomas, Sacramento Unified and Twin Rivers. This phenomenal program makes students part of a community that supports them through their education and invests in their well-being. All 680 K-8 students, along with 68 chaperones spent a full day at SCC participating in age appropriate activities ranging from art projects and dance lessons, to storytelling and C4 (Communication, Chemistry, Consistency and Creativity) training.  The Freedom School philosophy includes a morning activity called Harambee, a group chant.  During the Harambee, the students sang songs, chanted and cheered for each other. 

SCC College President Whitney Yamamura, had the opportunity to read a book aloud to the crowd.  Melanie Dixon (FLC), Kim McDaniel (CRC) and Michael Poindexter (SCC) all took a few minutes to personally welcome the Freedom School students. Harambee ended with the Grant High School Drum line marching the students to the quad. By visiting SCC, this experience helps motivate the students to think about their future beyond high school and be inspired to make a difference. As Whitney Houston sang “…the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way…” We hope to lead them, the children, back to SCC.

You can learn more in this Sacramento Bee article about the Freedom School in Sacramento.

ARC Names a New Integration Bee Champion

ARC Integration BeeThe American River College Math Integration Bee puts bright math students to the test in a challenging competition. Students earn the right to participate in the Bee through their their performance throughout the semester. In the Bee, students go to the whiteboard and have a set amount of time to answer tough math questions. See what talent rises to the top during this tough competition in this short video.

Last year's reigning champion, as well as several new competitor's for this year's top spot were scholarship recipients from the Los Rios Foundation. These top performing students are attending UC Berkeley and Standford, and we couldn't be prouder of their achievements!

To watch a short video of this suspense filled, action packed compeititon, you can visit ARC's YouTube Channel.

Read Past News Stories

Celebrating Los Rios Veterans

Los Rios Foundation Elects Odell, Taylor

Los Rios Foundation Elects Fowler, Taghavian