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Three Community Leaders to Receive Foundation's 2008 California Peace Prize
Date:11/12/2008

l treatment program in Woodcrest, California, and continued her work at Inland Valley Recovery Center, in a program for female parolees and their children. She founded Men of Valor and Excellence, a recovery transitional program, and co-founded Inland Empire Veterans Stand Down, a program that connects homeless veterans and their families to resources.

"Who better to teach someone about the dangers that come along with the lifestyle of drugs and violence than someone who has been there?" asked Evans. "I share who I am so they know they're not alone. There are second chances. There is hope."

Orlando Ramos

A native New Yorker, Orlando Ramos began his violence prevention work in several New York City high schools and moved west in 2006 to become principal of Richmond High School -- located in one of the most impoverished communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Ramos is skillful at mediating among students involved in violent incidents and his interventions -- especially among gang members -- have led to community agreements and decreases in suspensions and incidents. Ramos helped the city of Richmond campaign for increased involvement of parents and community members in the lives of area youth. A key stakeholder in the California Cities Gang Prevention Network, he advocates to keep schools open until midnight in order to bring community-based organizations on campus to support youth and their families.

"I'm a firm believer that education saves lives," Ramos said. "It was an incredibly talented teacher that got me into a GED program when I had dropped out. That person helped guide me and I try to be that role model for my students now."

Billie Weiss

Billie Weiss is an epidemiologist and public health champion who has worked for over 20 years to reduce violence against youth. Weiss is currently the associate director of the Southern California Injury Prevention Research Center at the University of California, Los Angele
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SOURCE The California Wellness Foundation
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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