From Africa to Inglewood to Chico State Senior from Nigeria overcomes challenges

Krystle Tonga with Samuel Akinwande

by Nicte Hernandez

Although he’s dealt with typical challenges that come with being the first person in his family to attend a university, Samuel Akinwande’s route to Chico State was far from typical.

Akinwande was born and raised in Nigeria, moving at age 11 to Inglewood, where education took a backseat to everyday worry about simply making it home alive after a day’s schooling.

“We had no help in high school when pursuing higher education,” Akinwande said. “Our counselors literally gave us our transcripts and said figure it out. That’s it.” read more

Inday’s serves up Filipino dishes for Chico Restaurant’s origins from neighborhood cookouts

photo by Leslie Layton
Inday Geiger

by Jae Siqueiros

The origin of Inday’s Restaurant started with a friendly neighborhood cookout 20 years ago after Ethel “Inday” Geiger emigrated from the Philippines to Chico.

Her deep craving for traditional Filipino meals was so persistent that she started preparing them at home with her husband, John Geiger.

Traditionally, Filipino homes have multiple generations living in a household. Adults often care for their aging parents while raising their own children. As a result, preparing large meals has been a regular occurrence for Inday Geiger. read more

Japanese student likes U.S. culture’s openness Youth activism lauded; election turmoil worried her

Kanako Otani

by Alisa Thorsen

When Kanako Otani first left Hiroshima, Japan, to study at Chico State, she was afraid she would face discrimination on a daily basis. To Otani’s surprise, she found that the culture in the United States was very open, expressive and diverse.

“Here, I can pursue whatever I want and be whoever I want to be,” said Otani, who came to the United States four years ago. “In Japan we practice collectivism, so everyone tries to be the same. If you do something different you might be considered weird and a lot of people don’t like that.” read more

Tiny House Club helps shelter homeless Chico's first tiny house underway

by Karen Laslo

On this past Sunday morning, Charles Withuhn of the Chico Housing Action Team (CHAT), along with a retired contractor and nine Chico State students from the Tiny House Club, showed up behind the university’s Langdon Hall to get to work on the first tiny house in Chico. (Click on arrows to see slideshow below.)

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Their goal for the day: To put up the framed walls they’d previously hammered together at another work session.

Withuhn said they were building the tiny house because of the many “unsheltered” people in our community. The goal is to house for the least amount of money as many people as possible and as soon as possible. read more

Stately Blue Oak a Chico Heritage Tree Tree probably took root after end of Civil War

photo story by Karen Laslo

This Blue Oak (Quercus douglassi) is one of 10 Chico Heritage Trees. It has a 53-inch diameter, quite large for a Blue Oak because they grow very slowly. Chico’s urban forester, Richie Bamlet, estimates the Oak is about 150 years old. It can be viewed at the east end of Baroni Park or by bicycling down to the end of Preservation Oak Drive off East 20th Street.

If Bamlet is correct about the tree's age, it took root during Reconstruction after the American Civil War. For more information about Chico’s Heritage Tree Program click here or watch for more ChicoSol photo features on this topic.

Migrant Ed students present to BCOE A summer institute changes lives

by Leslie Layton

Five teenagers from this area who have participated recently in Migrant Education summer leadership programs described a transformational experience in presentations Monday to the Butte County Office of Education board.

Migrant Ed student presentations

Oct. 16 Butte County Office of Education board meeting

Marco Antonio Villa Cruz

"One of the most interesting things I learned was about how Martin Luther King fought for the freedom of African Americans. He wanted a new way of living and he believed we could do it."

Angel Barrera

The 14-year-old Gridley student visited sites in Washington, D.C., including, he said, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Marine Corps War Memorial and Lincoln Memorial.

Noemi Chavez

"I was forced to get out of my comfort zone and make friends."

Victor Jimenez

He couldn't get into the flamenco guitar elective, because it was full, but liked theater "even better."

Janet Velazquez

"My parents work their butts off and I have to make them proud."

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Noemi Chavez, a Gridley High School senior, said the Migrant Student Leadership Institute (MSLI) program at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS), “taught me how to be myself.”

“Three or four years ago, I never would have said I was born in Mexico,” Chavez told the board. “MSLI taught me not to hide where I came from. It gave us hope. Now I’m applying to college.” read more