For more than 50 years, the California State Employee Campaign
(CSECC) has shown the commitment and dedication of the state’s
workers on behalf of their communities. It has been their promise
to California. For this reason, we are claiming that promise as
our new identity.
July 24, 2012Patricia Simpson, California Conservation Corps
Gerri Lynn Ayala was born August 6, 1976, the 15th of 16
children. But unlike the other 14 born before her, Gerri was born
with Cerebral Palsy with seizure activity and autism. She is
paraplegic, wheelchair bound with limited left side use of her
body. She has the IQ of a pre-schooler, will never walk or
live on her own. Gerri will never get married or know how it
feels to raise a child. But, thankfully, she was also born with a
desire to live.
As a child and early teen, I volunteered forty hours per week
each summer at my local Naval Hospital as a ‘candy striper’ for
the American Red Cross. Through my high school years, I
spent many hours at a local nursing home listening to stories,
laughing and just receiving joy from the residents who didn’t
have regular family visitors.
Our Promise: California State Employees Giving at Work (formerly
CSECC) is a campaign that allows employees to give to a variety
of charitable organizations that are vitally important to the
community. I am a member and in great support of Our Promise
because I have had five kidney transplants.
When I think of how I would want to make a difference in
someone’s life, I have always arrived at the conclusion to “just
do the right thing” for as long as I can remember, I have
always been involved in community service.
Bari Schlesinger was once unable to pick up items that she
dropped on the floor. She once relied on others to open doors.
She once feared going places alone.
Thanks to the help of Canine Companions for Independence, Bari no
longer strains herself to retrieve dropped items, she doesn’t
need to wait for strangers to come along and open doors, and gone
are the days of anxiety and doubt. Bari is now a self-assured and
independent individual with her wonderful Canine Companions
assistance dog, Axel III, provided to her free of charge.
Growing up without many basic resources can be a burden to
children who come from impoverished families. This struggle has
always been close to my heart since I myself grew up in a single
parent household where we struggled to get by on just the basic
necessities. When I became an adult I realized that I had the
power to do something good that could help make a child’s life a
little easier. As an 18 year youth sports coach I realized that I
had collected so much baseball gear, and I knew that I could put
it to good use.
We all like to think that we are safe and secure, but one
incident or accident can surprise and shock us. In 1980, my
father had a massive stroke, and my mother was instantly
transformed into a 24-hour caregiver for a person who had severe
speech and mobility issues.
When John Albarran lost his sight to glaucoma, he quickly figured
out how to move forward in his life. By the age of 17, before he
had graduated from high school, Albarran was a Guide Dogs of
America graduate. He is currently partnered with his fourth dog
from the school, a female yellow Labrador Retriever named Julep.
I have worked as an attorney for the State of California my
entire professional career, beginning at the Department of
Justice, then at the Office of the Inspector General, and
currently at the Board of Parole Hearings. But long before that,
I spent a year as an exchange student in Argentina at a time when
the country was still ruled by a military junta.
September 7, 2012Lt. Ken Roberts Sr., California Highway Patrol
I am Ken Roberts Sr., a Lieutenant with the California Highway
Patrol Commercial Vehicle Section; I have been with the
Department for over 17 years. When he was 2 months old, my
son Ken Roberts Jr. had emergency surgery for pyloric
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