Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Thank you, Rotary Club of Cordelia

On April 12th, I had the privilege and honor to attend a meeting for the Rotary Club of Cordelia, at the Courtyard by Marriott in Fairfield. There they presented The Matt Garcia Foundation, with a very generous check in the amount of one thousand dollars! We are extremely grateful for this amazing donation. We will continue to live out Matt's dream, as we have, for the last 14 years. We get to do this because of amazing donors like you.

The Rotary Club of Cordelia, was founded in 1988. It is an association of business and community leaders serving the Fairfield Suisun area and enriching the professional and personal lives of its members. 

We want to Thank The Rotary of Cordelia for all that you do for so many!

Direct: 707.372.4160
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Saturday, May 27, 2023

Why the pencil is perfect | Small Thing Big Idea, a TED series


Why are pencils shaped like hexagons, and how did they get their iconic yellow color? Pencil shop owner Caroline Weaver takes us inside the fascinating history of the pencil.

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Sunday, May 21, 2023

Assist-A-Grad Scholarship

We had many applications to review this year for our annual Assist-A-Grad Scholarship selections. Our annual 10 to award but an additional, larger scholarship in memory of our dear friend and member of The Matt Garcia Foundation, Lesley Snedeker DePorto.

In the group of our annual 10, we also denoted one of these to be in memory of our beloved late board member, Dwight Lundy Jr. He was a mentor and active leader on our board as well as in this community.

This year's applicants were all from Armijo, Public Safety Academy, Rodriguez, Travis Education, and Vanden high schools. All the applicants were very qualified candidates and narrowing down the selection was so tough. Each of the students were articulate and open about what they hope to accomplish in their next phase of academia. But they were also very inspiring, talking about what the future has in store for them and what they can do in their future careers. Some also shared their excitement for the "unknown" as well; not really knowing what their major would result in nor in which career. All the passion that each of them shared, brought such hope and excitement to our interviewers.

This brings me to a BIG thank you to this year's foundation interviewers; Jay DePorto, Dana Lee-Bise, Shirley Villanueva, Andy Ramirez, Teresa Courtemanche, Usha Mantena, and Susie Young. Thank you so much for the hours of interviews spent by each of you and for even sharing some of your experience and wisdom when asked by the interviewees! Your time has been and continues to be invaluable for the growth of our foundation!

We wish all of the 2023 Graduates much success and hope for their next journey in life! Remember also...there are many resources on the college campuses and in each of those communities that are ready to help you! Use these resources and always be open to an extended helping hand. 

Congratulations Class of 2023!!!

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Thursday, May 18, 2023

What's normal anxiety -- and what's an anxiety disorder? | Body Stuff wi...


Everyone gets anxious at times, but how can you tell when it crosses the line and needs attention? Dr. Jen Gunter shares the science behind your brain's threat-detection system, what makes it malfunction and the most effective ways of treating it.

Think you know how your body works? Think again! Dr. Jen Gunter is here to shake up everything you thought you knew -- from how much water you need to drink to how often you need to poop and everything in between. This TED original series will tell you the truth about what's really going on inside you.

Direct: 707.372.4160
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Sunday, May 14, 2023

Friday, May 12, 2023

Downtown Fairfield May Events


Farmer’s Market
*Thursdays - 4, 11, 18, 25: From 3:00pm-7:00pm

Summers Concert Series
Friday 12: From 6:00pm-9:00pm 
The Time Bandits*

MAYkers Market
~Saturday 20: From 12:00pm-5:00pm

* Event on County Lawn
~ Event has street closures

Direct: 707.372.4160
Email: info@ffinest.org
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Tuesday, May 9, 2023

How Depression Affects The Brain - Yale Medicine Explains


For many people, depression turns out to be one of the most disabling illnesses that we have in society. Despite the treatments that we have available, many people are not responding that well. It's a disorder that can be very disabling in society. It's also a disorder that has medical consequences. By understand the neurobiology of depression we hope to be able more to find the right treatment for the patient suffering from this disease.  The current standard of care for the treatment of depression is based on what we call the monoamine deficiency hypothesis. Essentially, presuming that one of three neurotransmitters in the brain is deficient or underactive. But the reality is, there are more than 100 neurotransmitters in the brain. And billions of connections between neurons. So we know that that's a limited hypothesis. Neurotransmitters can be thought of as the chemical messengers within the brain, it's what helps one cell in the brain communicate with another, to pass that message along from one brain region to another. For decades, we thought that the primary pathology, the primary cause of depression was some abnormality in these neurotransmitters, specifically serotonin or norepinephrine. However, norepinephrine and serotonin did not seem to be able to account for this cause, or to cause the symptoms of depression in people who had major depression. Instead, the chemical messengers between the nerve cells in the higher centers of the brain, which include glutamate and GABA, were possibilities as alternative causes for the symptoms of depression. When you're exposed to severe and chronic stress like people experience when they have depression, you lose some of the connections between the nerve cells. The communication in these circuits becomes inefficient and noisy, we think that the loss of these synaptic connections contributes to the biology of depression. There are clear differences between a healthy brain and a depressed brain. And the exciting thing is, when you treat that depression effectively, the brain goes back to looking like a healthy brain, both at the cellular level and at a global scale. It's critical to understand the neurobiology of depression and how the brain plays a role in that for two main reasons. One, it helps us understand how the disease develops and progresses, and we can start to target treatments based on that. We are in a new era of psychiatry. This is a paradigm shift, away from a model of monoaminergic deficiency to a fuller understanding of the brain as a complex neurochemical organ. All of the research is driven by the imperative to alleviate human suffering. Depression is one of the most substantial contributors to human suffering. The opportunity to make even a tiny dent in that is an incredible opportunity.

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Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Inspiring Words

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.” 

~ Jane Goodall

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Sunday, April 30, 2023

Overcoming Bad Inner Voices


All of us have deeply unhelpful inner voices inside us, dragging us down with criticisms and unfair accusations. Wisdom involves learning how to replace them with more benevolent guides.

Direct: 707.372.4160
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Thursday, April 27, 2023

Community Clean Up - Saturday April 29th

When: Saturday, April 29, 2023
Time: 9:00am – 11:00am
Where: Matt Garcia Foundation Office, 717 Texas Street, Fairfield, CA 94533

The Matt Garcia Foundation will provide gloves, garbage pickers and buckets for collecting the trash.

Students can earn community service hours. Lunch provided after the cleanup.

For more information www.FFINEST.org

To receive updated information on volunteering opportunities, sign up for our text alerts.
Text: 81010 | Enter: @mgfv

Direct: 707.372.4160
Email: info@ffinest.org
Website

Monday, April 24, 2023

Green Pizza Comics

Zach, our board member, has been working on a personal comic (with another artist) and he is seeking followers to join him and various artists on his comic book creating journey! It will be free to read once completed. The comic book series is in its infant stages but there will be tons to come. To find out more, please visit the following links, follow and like to support. See how cool stuff gets made!

Website: https://greenpizzacomics.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/greenpizzacomics

IG: @greenpizzacomics

BMAC (Buy Me A Coffee): buymeacoffee.com/greenpizzaQ

Direct: 707.372.4160
Email: info@ffinest.org
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Friday, April 21, 2023

Who Am I?


What is it that makes us most distinctively ourselves? Our bodies, our memories, our values...? Take a tour through the philosophy of personal identity.

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Saturday, April 15, 2023

Thank You Women


I wanted to thank our 2 podcast guests, councilwoman, Doriss Panduro, and Battalion Chief, Jessica Fleshman, for helping us to honor Women's History Month. Hearing their stories about how they got to where they are today is very inspirational. I'm honored that these two amazing women took time out of their busy schedules to come down to our podcast room and talk with Sheila and me.

It is vital that we women respect, honor, and support each other in all that we do and say in this world.

For me, having the support from other women has been my saving grace, especially, during crucial times in my life. I know that having another woman who understands what we women deal with, is extremely important and valuable. We will always need each other.

Thank you all for all that you do

Sincerely,
Teresa

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Wednesday, April 12, 2023

How To Be Confident


The fastest route to confidence is to stop being so attached to one’s dignity and seriousness; and plainly admit that one is – of course – an idiot. We all are.

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Sunday, April 9, 2023

Monday, April 3, 2023

How To Simplify Your Life


What many of us long for more than anything else is a simpler life; we feel overwhelmed by our responsibilities, schedules, commitments and obligations. This is a film about how to create the simpler life we deserve.

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Friday, March 31, 2023

Thank You Lowes!

Cora Stewart Specialty Assistant Manager with Lowe’s thank you sincerely for securing the donation of trash clean up supplies for the Matt Garcia Foundation monthly community clean-up events. You are a pleasure to work with. We are grateful for your dedication to the community.


Direct: 707.372.4160
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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

The Matt Garcia Foundation Podcast Room Is Up and Running!

We had a test interview with Aldo a senior with Armijo High School. 

Our goal is to make this space a safe and open place for our youth to show up and talk about current or past subjects of interest to them. We know these are crazy times. Often, just having honest discussions with others in similar circumstances can provide much needed comfort and healing, especially knowing that we are not alone.

If you are interested in helping with our podcast, feel free to contact Teresa Courtemanche (teresa@ffinest.org) or Sheila Webster (sheila@ffinest.org). We would love to hear from you.

Check out our test podcast episode. https://anchor.fm/ffinest

Stay tuned for our upcoming March podcast episodes. With March being Women’s History Month we will be interviewing women who are making a difference in our community.

Direct: 707.372.4160
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Saturday, March 25, 2023

Are you a body with a mind or a mind with a body? - Maryam Alimardani


Our bodies – the physical, biological parts of us — and our minds — the thinking, conscious aspects — have a complicated, tangled relationship. Which one primarily defines you or your self? Are you a body with a mind or a mind with a body? Maryam Alimardani investigates. 

Lesson by Maryam Alimardani, directed by Ivana BoĆĄnjak & Thomas Johnson.

Direct: 707.372.4160
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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Community Service Day

When: Saturday, March 25, 2023
Time: 9:00am – 11:00am
Where: Matt Garcia Foundation Office, 717 Texas Street, Fairfield, CA 94533


The Matt Garcia Foundation will provide gloves, garbage pickers and buckets for collecting the trash.

Students can earn community service hours. Lunch provided after the cleanup.

For more information www.FFINEST.org

To receive updated information on volunteering opportunities, sign up for our text alerts.

Text: 81010 | Enter: @mgfv


Direct: 707.372.4160
Email: info@ffinest.org
Website

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Celebrating Women

March Women’s History Month 

Women’s History Month started as a local celebration of “Women’s History Week” in Sonoma, California, in 1978. They chose the week of March 8th, which is International Women’s Day, as the celebratory week. The movement gained popularity that in 1980 President Jimmy Carter declared the Week of March 8, 1980, as National Women’s History Week. In 1987, Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month.

Woman’s History Month Theme 2023

Each year a Women’s History Month Theme is designated for the month of March. In 2023, the Women in History Month theme is Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.

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Thursday, March 16, 2023

What is consciousness? - Michael S. A. Graziano


Explore the theories of human consciousness and the science of how your brain works to create a conscious experience.

--

Patient P.S. suffered a stroke that damaged the right side of her brain, leaving her unaware of everything on her left side. If someone threw a ball at her left side, she might duck. But she wouldn’t have awareness of the ball or know why she ducked. Where does consciousness come from? Michael Graziano explores the question that has vexed scientists and philosophers for centuries. 

Lesson by Michael S. A. Graziano, directed by TED-Ed.

Direct: 707.372.4160
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Friday, March 10, 2023

Welcome Back Dr. Usha


The Matt Garcia Foundation is excited to announce that Dr. Usha Mantena has joined our Board of Directors. Dr. Usha met Matt while he was running for a seat on the Fairfield City Council. He showed up one day at Western Dental in Fairfield where Dr. Mantena was practicing dentistry. She ended up voting for Matt and soon after, learned of his tragic death. Usha then reached out to us to offer her help wherever it was needed, and she has been a dedicated donor and volunteer of the foundation since its inception. We are extremely happy and grateful to have Dr. Usha Mantena on our board!

Direct: 707.372.4160
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Tuesday, March 7, 2023

ALONE vs LONELY


Loneliness is often a by-product of keeping so many of our thoughts and feelings inside, inevitably feeling like we're the only ones going through whatever we're going through. Embrace vulnerability as our greatest strength, not weakness, and you'll never feel lonely (even when you're alone).

Direct: 707.372.4160
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Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Inspiring Words

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

― Dr. Seuss


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Sunday, February 26, 2023

The unexpected math behind Van Gogh's "Starry Night" - Natalya St. Clair


Physicist Werner Heisenberg said, “When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first.” As difficult as turbulence is to understand mathematically, we can use art to depict the way it looks. Natalya St. Clair illustrates how Van Gogh captured this deep mystery of movement, fluid and light in his work.

Lesson by Natalya St. Clair, animation by Avi Ofer.

Direct: 707.372.4160
Email: info@ffinest.org
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Thursday, February 23, 2023

Community Service Day

When: Saturday, February 25, 2023

Time: 9:00am – 11:00am
Where: Matt Garcia Foundation Office, 717 Texas Street, Fairfield, CA 94533

 
The Matt Garcia Foundation will provide gloves, garbage pickers and buckets for collecting the trash.
 
Students can earn community service hours. Lunch provided after the cleanup.

 
For more information www.FFINEST.org
 
To receive updated information on volunteering opportunities, sign up for our text alerts.

Text: 81010 | Enter: @mgfv

Direct: 707.372.4160
Email: info@ffinest.org
Website

Monday, February 20, 2023

Scholarships and Summer Internships, Oh My!

Assist–A –Grad Will Continue in 2023


APAPA 2023 Summer Internship


Direct: 707.372.4160
Email: info@ffinest.org
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Friday, February 17, 2023

How miscommunication happens (and how to avoid it) - Katherine Hampsten


Have you ever talked with a friend about a problem, only to realize that he just doesn’t seem to grasp why the issue is so important to you? Have you ever presented an idea to a group, and it’s met with utter confusion? What’s going on here? Katherine Hampsten describes why miscommunication occurs so frequently, and how we can minimize frustration while expressing ourselves better. 

Lesson by Katherine Hampsten, animation by Andrew Foerster.

Direct: 707.372.4160
Email: info@ffinest.org
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Tuesday, February 14, 2023

February is National Heart Month

We often associate the month of February with hearts because of Valentine’s Day. However, there’s another reason we should think about hearts in February; it’s American Heart Month. February is designated as American Heart Month to advocate cardiovascular health and raise awareness about heart disease.

American Heart Month is a wonderful opportunity to focus our attention on ways to promote and maintain heart health. Since 1963, American Heart Month has been celebrated as a way to educate Americans to join the battle against heart disease.



Direct: 707.372.4160
Email: info@ffinest.org
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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

How stress affects your body - Sharon Horesh Bergquist


Our hard-wired stress response is designed to gives us the quick burst of heightened alertness and energy needed to perform our best. But stress isn’t all good. When activated too long or too often, stress can damage virtually every part of our body. Sharon Horesh Bergquist gives us a look at what goes on inside our body when we are chronically stressed.

Lesson by Sharon Horesh Bergquist, animation by Adriatic Animation.

Direct: 707.372.4160
Email: info@ffinest.org
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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Appreciation Dinner

On January 13th, 2023 the Foundation had a wonderful going away dinner for Briana Esquivias and Sakina Ali at the Hilton in Fairfield. Briana and Sakina, thank you so much for your service with the Foundation. We are a better organization because of your time, talent and leadership. Matt Garcia would have been very proud of you because you inspire us to do our very best, and your encouragement makes everyone feel so blessed. Although you will both be missed, we’re all excited to see where life takes you next. You are destined for greatness!

Direct: 707.372.4160
Email: info@ffinest.org
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Monday, January 30, 2023

What is depression? - Helen M. Farrell


Depression is the leading cause of disability in the world; in the United States, close to ten percent of adults struggle with the disease. But because it’s a mental illness, it can be a lot harder to understand than, say, high cholesterol. Helen M. Farrell examines the symptoms and treatments of depression, and gives some tips for how you might help a friend who is suffering.

Lesson by Helen M. Farrell, animation by Artrake Studio.

Direct: 707.372.4160
Email: info@ffinest.org
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Friday, January 27, 2023

Community Service Day, TOMORROW!


When: Saturday, January 28, 2023
Time: 9:00am – 11:00am
Where: Matt Garcia Foundation Office, 717 Texas Street, Fairfield, CA 94533

The Matt Garcia Foundation will provide gloves, garbage pickers and buckets for collecting the trash.

Students can earn community service hours. Lunch provided after the cleanup.

For more information www.FFINEST.org

To receive updated information on volunteering opportunities, sign up for our text alerts. 
Text: 81010 | Enter: @mgfv

Direct: 707.372.4160
Email: info@ffinest.org
Website

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

PG&E 2023 Scholarships

PG&E and its employee groups offer a wide range of scholarships to help the next generation of Californians succeed and innovate in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), as well as other disciplines. In 2022, PG&E made nearly 150 of these scholarships available, each ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.

Each group awards scholarships to students who have shown commitment to specific communities or causes. ERG or ENG scholarships do not have gender or race requirements. Thus, students are encouraged to apply to more than one or all eligible scholarships. Applicants for ALL the scholarships listed must:

Be a high school senior or graduate, have received GED certification or be an undergraduate or postsecondary undergraduate student. Veterans and adults returning to school are encouraged to apply.
Have a primary residence that is a PG&E customer in California at the time of application.
Plan to enroll full time in an accredited college or university in the Fall.

PG&E's Employee Resource Group (ERG) and Engineering Network Group (ENG) scholarships. Deadline: February 24, 2023

For more information including scholarship criteria and applications, visit the PG&E website.

Direct: 707.372.4160
Email: info@ffinest.org
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Saturday, January 21, 2023

The psychology of narcissism - W. Keith Campbell


Narcissism isn’t just a personality type that shows up in advice columns; it’s actually a set of traits classified and studied by psychologists. But what causes it? And can narcissists improve on their negative traits? W. Keith Campbell describes the psychology behind the elevated and sometimes detrimental self-involvement of narcissists. 

Lesson by W. Keith Campbell, animation by TOGETHER.

Direct: 707.372.4160
Email: info@ffinest.org
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Sunday, January 15, 2023

Downtown Fairfield Tree Lighting

The Matt Garcia Foundation's section of the Fairfield Tree Lighting contained different, engaging activities for our community members! One of these activities included wrapping gifts of socks and mittens for individuals experiencing homelessness in our community. This activity was planned with the intention of allowing those in our community, especially children, to be able to experience the spirit of giving. Many community members wrote friendly, encouraging messages on the gifts that they wrapped. These gifts were donated to Solano Unity Network.

Solano Unity Network is a community organization that aims to create change through community building and mutual aid. Through their outreach program, they support the houseless in Solano County. On December 21st, Solano Unity Network hosted their "Unhoused Persons Memorial Day'' where they and other mutual aid groups honored and remembered the lives of houseless individuals who passed away in 2022. Their memorial included a vigil, warm food, supplies, and friendly company for the unhoused folks in attendance. The wrapped gifts contributed to this event. Thank you to those who were able to contribute to this act of service!

Direct: 707.372.4160
Email: info@ffinest.org
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Thursday, January 12, 2023

How to stay calm under pressure - Noa Kageyama and Pen-Pen Chen


Your favorite athlete closes in for a win; the crowd holds its breath, and at the crucial moment ... she misses the shot. That competitor just experienced the phenomenon known as “choking,” where despite months, even years, of practice, a person fails right when it matters most. Why does this happen, and what can we do to avoid it? Noa Kageyama and Pen-Pen Chen explain why we choke under pressure.

Lesson by Noa Kageyama and Pen-Pen Chen, animation by Olesya Shchukina.

Direct: 707.372.4160
Email: info@ffinest.org
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Monday, January 9, 2023

Goodbye to Briana and Sakina

Briana and Sakina move forward on their new life journeys and say goodbye for now as board members of The Matt Garcia Foundation. We just want to say Thank you both for all that you have done for us and for me.

Briana and Sakina became a part of our family when they joined The Matt Garcia FoundationIt has been a privilege and an honor to watch Briana and Sakina grow into the beautiful women that they are today.

Many years ago Briana and Sakina joined our community clean-up on the last Saturday of each month as a part of their community Service project from their respective schools as Key Club members and ultimately Key Club Presidents. Briana Esquivias was attending Rodriguez High School and Sakina Ali was from the Public Safety Academy. 

We witnessed them become fast friends. Today their friendship and bond is unbreakable.

For me, they have been much more than board members. They have helped me sort through many different emotions and feelings. I have shared my heartache and joys, one on one, as well as, together. Thank you for listening to me with no judgement.

Briana and Sakina have exceptional leadership skills. They both changed the vibe of The Matt Garcia Foundation in such a powerful and beautiful way. I can never thank you enough for that. 

Briana and Sakina have taught me so much, not just regarding the foundation, but with their amazingly compassionate and empathetic hearts. Briana and Sakina bring a calm and orderly presence to all that they do. 

I am extremely proud of their accomplishments over the years. Watching Briana become a teacher and Sakina recently marry her soulmate has made our hearts overflow with pride. 

Although we will miss them both tremendously, we feel excited knowing that their amazing journeys have just begun.

Thank you Briana and Sakina for blessing us.You both will forever have a place with us no matter where you go or what you do.

We love you,
President Teresa Courtemanche

Direct: 707.372.4160
Email: info@ffinest.org
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Friday, January 6, 2023

A New Year.

“Each New Year, we have before us a brand new book containing 365 blank pages. Let us fill them with all the forgotten things from last year—the words we forgot to say, the love we forgot to show, and the charity we forgot to offer.” – Peggy Toney Horton

Direct: 707.372.4160
Email: info@ffinest.org
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Tuesday, January 3, 2023

4 things all great listeners know


Dig into different strategies that can improve your listening skills so you can become a high quality listener.

--

It’s easy to tell when someone’s not paying attention, but it can be surprisingly tricky to know what good listening looks like. Good listening is one of the most important things we can do to improve our relationships, develop our worldview, and potentially change people’s minds. So what can we do to become better listeners? Dig into different strategies that can improve your listening skills.

Directed by Maryna Buchynska, and action agency.

Direct: 707.372.4160
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