Community Services Consortium

Serving Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties in Oregon. Helping people. Changing lives.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

CSC Head Start Employee Starts the New Year as a New Citizen

Yanina Flores made her first trip to America when she was just 12 years old. The CSC Head Start Classroom Aide visited the US on vacation with her family from her native Guayaquil, Ecuador. Little did she know that she would one day come here to stay, and become an American citizen.

Yanina headed back to the States when she was 20, teaching English as a second language classes in Los Angeles. She only planned to stay a year. And then life happened.

"I met Jerry, and my plans changed." said Yanina.

Jerry was a member of the Coast Guard. After they got married, Yanina adjusted to life as a military wife. "The hardest adjustment wasn't to American culture, it was to being a wife and mother and dealing with life with a spouse in the military." said Yanina.

Eventually Yanina and Jerry ended up in Oregon. A friend told Yanina about a job opening at Head Start in Lincoln City, and it seemed like a perfect fit with her teaching background. She was hired and started with CSC Head Start last September.

Yanina wears many hats in her work as a Classroom Aide with Head Start, going wherever she is needed - between two classrooms, the playground, the kitchen, and even the front desk. In just a few months, Yanina has become a much-valued member of the team at CSC Head Start in Lincoln City.

"Yanina is wonderful! She brings so much to us - a great spirit and presence, as well as lots of outrageously wonderful holiday decorations, like some big ghosts on Halloween." said Suzanne Miller, Director of Lincoln County Head Start.

Yanina began studying for her citizenship test last year. It was a challenge, learning a new language and a new history. Her first attempt at the test didn't go well. Like many of us, Yanina had some serious test anxiety.

"I studied so hard, but when I went in to take the test, I just blanked. And that made me more anxious, and it just went downhill." she said.

But Yanina was determined. She didn't give up, kept studying, and planned to take the test again. She headed to Portland with her husband and sons Jerry, 17, and David, 16 on December 7, in the midst of the winter storm that dumped 8 inches of snow. It took them hours to get to Portland.

But the long commute was well spent. Her sons quizzed her along the way, even offering mnemonics and other associations so she would remember the answers to the questions.

On December 8 at 7am, she took the test the second time, and it was a success. She was sworn in as a United States citizen at a ceremony later in the day.

We here at CSC are so proud of Yanina's determination and accomplishment, and so glad to have her working at CSC Head Start. Congratulations Yanina!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Help Linn Benton Food Share by Just Using Your Fred Meyer Rewards Card

You can help Linn Benton Food Share earn donations just by shopping with your Fred Meyer rewards card! Fred Meyer is donating $2.5 million per year to non-profits in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington to charities designated by their customers. Here’s how the program works:
  • Go to to sign up for the Community Rewards program, which links your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to Linn Benton Food Share. You can search for Linn Benton Food Share by name or by their non-profit number (94-1099406).
  • Every time you shop and use your Rewards Card, you are helping Linn Benton Food Share earn a donation!
  • You still earn your Rewards Points, Fuel Points, and Rebates, just as you do today.
  • If you do not have a Rewards Card, they are available at the Customer Service desk of any Fred Meyer store.
For more information, please visit

Welcome to CSC's blog and e-newsletter!

These communications tools can be used to make announcements, acknowledge donors and volunteers, post videos and slideshows–whatever we want to share with our online community.

There are 3 ways to deliver info to stakeholders:

  1. The blog itself, which can be linked to our current website
  2. Email news blasts (blog articles sent via email as eNewsletters)
  3. RSS Feed (subscribers read in Google Reader or other feed reader, can also send posts to Facebook and Twitter)
We're excited about these communication tools and look forward to both your input and feedback for continuing improvement and positive information-sharing.

If you have agency/program information you'd like posted on this blog, please send full text and/or photos and videos, ideas, or suggestions to Janet Hessel and she will take the next steps.