Saturday, June 28, 2014

The 7th Annual Matt Garcia Softball Tournament is August 9th & 10th! Sign Up Today!

Step Up To The Plate And Help Strengthen Our Community!


4 Games Guaranteed / 15 Players Per Roster
Home Run Derby

Contact Information

(Team Registrations) Dave Diaz - Cell # (707) 249-9747 / Email:

(Sponsorship Inquiries) Scott Siordia -


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Join Us For Our Monthly Community Clean Up This Saturday!

When: Saturday, Jun 28, 2014
Where: Starbucks Downtown Fairfield 700 Jefferson St Corner of Jefferson & Texas (map)
Description: We meet every last Saturday of each month (weather permitting). We clean up different locations and neighborhoods. Please join us. All are welcome
At the Matt Garcia Foundation we don’t want to complain about this, we want to create solutions to problems. It is with this spirit that we began our Monthly Community Clean Ups.

On the last Saturday of every month, volunteers get together and clean up a neighborhood in Fairfield. We pick up trash, work on landscaping paint windows, fix fences – all in an effort to improve our community. This is another example of community coming together to help make a difference.

The Matt Garcia Foundation Dream Team, is all about stepping up and stepping out of ourselves to serve others and our communities to be a part of the solution. Matt would say ” if you see a piece of garbage on the ground, please just pick it up” How simple is that! So, that is what we do.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Eight Ways to Prevent Youth Violence

A single approach to preventing youth violence is not sufficient. A youth is affected many things in his/her environment and prevention must address those multiple factors.

Reducing Exposure to Violence. As a society, we are much better at protecting partners from a violent significant other today than 30 years ago.

We must now move ahead and protect children from the devastating effects of exposure to domestic violence (DV). DV traumatizes young people and sends them the wrong message about how to engage in interpersonal relationships. Every DV case that comes to the Courts should have a caseworker assigned to assess the well-being of the children in the family.

Excessive use of violent games and movies desensitizes our most vulnerable youth to the horror of violence, making it easier to commit violence. We should limit youth exposure to violent media just a surely as we limit their access to alcohol and tobacco. Community efforts to reduce neighborhood violence, such as neighborhood watch, can be very effective, as well.

School Success. We all need to experience success. A youth's main job is school and he needs to feel successful there. Programs such as Positive Behavioral Incentive System (PBIS), school based mental health, involvement in positive school activities, IEP's, and additional services for learning problems have proven that they can improve many children and teens feelings of accomplishment in school, thus reducing the likelihood that school frustration can contribute to future acts of violence by students.

Skill Building. Many "at risk" youth need help to build the coping skills they need to resist the "pull" of gangs and engage in healthy activities. (When is the last time you engaged in healthy exercise or eating without encouragement?) Youth need mentors that will help them with problem solving, anger management and dealing with the neighborhood bully. Many of us can take 5 or 6 hours out of our week to include a youth in our activities. Additionally, there are many skill building programs that can be used after and during school to teach skills and values and respect for others.

Trauma Therapy. Many youth who are at risk for violent behaviors have been traumatized at some time in their lives. They repeat the trauma they have experienced, sometimes violently, until they resolve it emotionally and cognitively. This can be done more effectively in therapy without the risk that a youth will act out his aggression on others.

Family Supports. Most parents want to be good parents. However, some lack skills and strengths they need to be effective parents. Some are willing to learn new skills, give up addictions, get treatment for a mental illness, get treatment for anger management or domestic violence, go to parenting classes, or enter family therapy for the sake of their children. When parents are willing to do these things, we must provide the supports necessary for them to be successful.

Reduce Bullying. Schools need to have a zero tolerance for bullying. They should to be teaching respect instead of accepting bullying as a normal thing kids do. There are anti-bullying programs that can be used school-wide. Programs like Olweus, "Character Counts," and "Don't Laugh at Me" have materials that can be used throughout a school to build an atmosphere of respect for others.

Put Your Best Foot Forward. In order to be successful, youth need to feel competent and confident. They need to hear praise for what they do well every day. What you pay attention to, will increase. Catch them being good and praise them to the rooftops. Show the goal, the way to go, and praise every step in the right direction. Youth can change their behavior, but they need encouragement to do so.

These are just a few ideas. There are many more. Think about what made you feel good about yourself as a child. These are the experiences that all youth need, especially "at risk/promise" young people. Each of us can play a part. It takes a community to stop violence.

Dr. Kathryn Seifert is a psychotherapist with over 30 years experience in mental health, addictions, and criminal justice work. Dr. Seifert has authored the CARE 2 and "How Children Become Violent, Professional Version." The parent version of How Children Become Violent will be released this fall. She speaks nationally on mental health related topics and youth violence. She is an expert witness in the areas of youth and adult violence and sexual offending.
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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ruth Chang: How to make hard choices

Here's a talk that could literally change your life. Which career should I pursue? Should I break up - or get married?! Where should I live? Big decisions like these can be agonizingly difficult. But that's because we think about them the wrong way, says philosopher Ruth Chang. She offers a powerful new framework for shaping who we truly are.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Friday, June 13, 2014

How Do You Live With Compassion?

Compassion is more than just the occasional feeling of mercy. It's all about deep love and care, usually without expecting anything in return. It's all about going beyond yourself.

Here are some ways on how to uphold the value of compassion:

1. Learn how to forgive. One of the biggest forms of compassion is forgiveness. Not a lot of people are aware of the fact that it's completely liberating. It often washes away the pain, the hurt, the guilt, and the shame. Though people may never forget about the past, it doesn't affect them anymore.

Forgiving isn't a very simple process, especially if it's you who gets hurt. Nevertheless, at some point, you have to do it as a way of freeing yourself from the anger and hate.

2. Think more of others. Being compassionate doesn't mean you have to completely reject yourself. However, you now have to think of others more seriously. Before you do something, ask yourself the question: What good will it do for humankind? By then you'll discover that some decisions are merely self-serving.

3. Find time to be with others. Compassion is more than emotions or feelings. Most of all, it's all about action. That's why you have to see to it that you can spare a portion of your time for others.

Many have the notion that the only time when you can be compassionate is when you volunteer in organizations. Though that it's true, you don't have to do it all the time. A very simple act such as listening or holding other people's hand in times of their sorrow and pain is already a type of compassionate act.

4. Don't expect any reward. Compassion comes at the deeper part of your soul. You do it because it makes you feel satisfied. You feel and give compassion because other people deserve it. It doesn't expect anything in return. Otherwise, what you're doing is a task, no different from performing a job at an office.

5. Remind yourself to always be compassionate. With the way the world goes, it's not surprising if you think of your own interests first before those of others. After all, we are born and trained to really survive. In the process you place compassion in the back burner.

You have to learn how to remind yourself to offer compassion as often as you can. Subliminal messages may help you with that.

When you're losing your interests on others and giving more attention to yourself, just think of the following affirmations:

There's more to this world than me.
The world doesn't revolve around me.
I am capable of loving and caring for others.
I am of greater value by being of service to others.

6. Meditate. What's the significance of meditation? Meditation relieves yourself of the worries that are causing you stress, anxiety, and depression. It removes the build-up of clutter or negative thoughts, and it makes you more aware of the present. Moreover, you can use it to detach yourself from material possessions so you'll have more space and attention on important matters, such as the needs of others.

Nelson Berry is the Pioneer of Subliminal Messages Videos and Subliminal MP3s Audio Subliminal Messages Online. Click for 4 Free Subliminal Video Messages Downloads (valued at $160).
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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Daniel Goleman: Why Arent We All Good Samaritans?

Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, asks why we aren't more compassionate more of the time.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Matt Garcia Graduates Realize Longtime Dream

4 matt garcia grad 1
Sierra Nita, left, and Catherine Park enter Willow Hall during the Matt Garcia Learning Center graduation ceremony at the Fairfield Community Center, Tuesday. 25 students graduated at the ceremony. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)


FAIRFIELD — Jocelyn Huff and Kyle McNeal expressed the same feeling in two ways.

“I feel like I’ve been waiting a lifetime,” Huff said.

“I feel like I lost 20 pounds,” Neal said. “I’ve been working for this my whole life. I’m going to finally accomplish it.”

The two are members of the 2014 graduating class from the Matt Garcia Learning Center, also known as “The Matt Graduates.”

They were joined by 23 others, representing the school’s fourth graduating class.

Throughout the ceremony, the young men and women were praised for their tenacity and reminded that they hold the keys to their destiny.

Sheila McCabe, director of secondary education for the Fairfield-Suisun School District, told the crowd of about 125 people that she has a poster in her home showing the Grand Canyon with a river running through it. The accompany words tell how the river always wins the confrontation with the rock – because of perseverance, not strength.

“You have persevered,” she told the graduates and guests.

Teresa Courtemanche, the mother of Matt Garcia, the school’s namesake, encouraged the young men and women to realize how amazing they were and shared a little about her life.

“I was pregnant with Matt as a teen and went to the adult school, which is now the Matt Garcia Learning Center,” she said. ”I know Matt is with us, too.”

“You are a demonstration that anything is possible,” said Raymond Courtemanche, Garcia’s stepfather. “You are a representation of the spirit of Matt.”

Student speakers Sierra Nita, Catherine Park and Adrianna Azevedo reminisced about their studies at the Matt Garcia Learning Center and the difference it made in them making it through high school.

“Our hard work has paid off,” Park said.

Azevedo praised the teachers for their help.

“They bent over backward (for us),” she said.

Principal Cindy Lenners sent the graduates off to meet with their family friends after giving them kudos for making the right choices.

“Your are responsible for continuing to reach for the stars,” she said.

A few hats were tossed in the air as the Class of 2014 dispersed in Willow Hall at the Fairfield Community Center.

Destinee Penton posed for pictures with family and friends, including her father Dean Penton.

“I’m proud of her, just like any dad would be,” he said.

In another area, Daniel Cardona-Coronel was surrounded by family members who wanted to pose with him. He was several credits short as he entered his junior year of high school, he said. Once he started earning more, he decided to stay.

“I thought, ‘I might as well finish now that I’m here,’ ” he said.

Article Source: The Daily Republic 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Dan Gilbert: The Psychology of Your Future Self

"Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they're finished." Dan Gilbert shares recent research on a phenomenon he calls the "end of history illusion," where we somehow imagine that the person we are right now is the person we'll be for the rest of time. Hint: that's not the case.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

About The Matt Garcia Foundation


Matt Garcia was a man with a vision. He was the youngest city councilman elected in the state of California in November 2007. Matt was a great young leader and inspiration to all who knew him. Matt was only 22 years old…but he lived more in those short years than many adults can even imagine. He led by inspiration, with integrity and ambition.

Matt’s dream involved supporting the youth and creating places for them to go and things for them to do; Changing a culture of violence and crime in the city through youth involvement. By uniting a community all people will have a sense of belonging and responsibility to the city of Fairfield. Matt’s life was cut short, but his legacy, work and heart live on.
The Matt Garcia Foundation was established to carry out Matt’s dream. We are dedicated to the work and efforts that Matt started and hope that we can inspire others to be the change in this world we live in, just as Matt inspired us.

Our Mission:
Support Youth
Stop Crime
Strengthen Our Community

Our Vision:

“Everyday we learn something new. Take life as a test and shoot for a better score each day…
It doesn’t have to be an “A” the next day, but let’s hope it improves.” – Matt Garcia

Our Values:

Forgiveness and Compassion
Respect for Diversity
Celebration of Hope