* The word "dropout" doesn't exist in Laura Balverde-Sanchez' vocabulary. "I've always called it push-out ," she said. "None of us leave school because we want to."
Newly named to the Cal State Los Angeles president's advisory board, Balverde-Sanchez said more borderline students could succeed if universities give them "more of a bridge" between high school and college.
"It was so hard to convince my parents to let me go to college," said Balverde-Sanchez, a UCLA graduate and former teacher who now heads the El Rey Sausage Co. in Vernon. "Education starts with taking risks--with saying, 'I want to go to school.' "
* Best known for his abiding advocacy on behalf of illegal immigrants and refugees, the Rev. Luis Olivares will leave Los Angeles' Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church next year. "I have no complaints," said Olivares, who had already been granted two extensions. His only concern, he said, is what's going to happen to the ministry for those who have come to see the church "as sometimes their only recourse." Olivares said his superiors have assured him that the Claretian order plans to continue to minister to immigrants at the church, known as La Placita.