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February 6, 2023
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Monte Sereno company helping female farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa (local scene)

This week’s LOCAL SCENE features a Monte Sereno company linking up with African women who farm, an inductee into an historic honor society, and an “antique” TV opportunity...

Local company partners with international nonprofit to help end extreme poverty

Health Bear Food Company of Monte Sereno has partnered with Opportunity International, a Chicago-based, global nonprofit whose mission is to design, deliver and scale innovative financial solutions to help families living in extreme poverty.

“Health Bear and Opportunity International are coordinating with female farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa to enhance their farming practices, improve their harvests, feed their families, send their children to school and break the cycle of poverty,” said Johanna Mahal of Opportunity International.

Health Bear founder Lisa Matar is now working with Opportunity International and female farmers to improve their quality of life by modernizing their farming practices. 

“In all reality, I have something in common with these female farmers,” she said. “We are all business women working diligently every day to move our businesses in the right direction to be more efficient and prosperous. There is nothing more powerful than women supporting women. It is my joy and pleasure to help them grow their businesses.”

Matar said she founded Health Bear to bring healthy food to busy people looking for a quick, but healthy, solution for breakfast.

“With grab-and-go food at our fingertips, we can start our days off right but easily forget there are millions of people in the world that have a hard time getting the food they need to thrive,” she said. 

To support the efforts, visit healthbearfood.com and donate to Opportunity International at checkout.

County Board of Education filling vacancy

The Santa Clara County Board of Education is accepting applications to fill a vacancy on its seven-member Board of Education. The open Board Trustee Area 3 seat was created after Trustee Rosemary Kamei submitted her resignation, effective on Dec. 21, because she won the election for San Jose City Council’s District 1 seat in the June primary.

Applicants must be registered voters and must reside within Trustee Area 3, which includes Cambrian, Campbell Union, Luther Burbank, Moreland, Union and Campbell Union High school districts and a small portion of San Jose Unified and Santa Clara Unified.  

The County Board serves as a decision-making body for countywide charter schools and serves as an appellate body for charter school petitions denied by local school districts. The board also is an appellate body for such actions as interdistrict transfer attendance requests and student expulsions.

Any registered voter residing in Trustee Area 3 is eligible to serve on the County Board of Education, except the county superintendent of schools or any member of her staff and any employee of a public school district or charter school within the jurisdiction of the Santa Clara County Board of Education.

Applicants can verify residency in Area 3 by calling the Santa Clara County Office of Education at 408.453.6924. In addition, California law requires that candidates be at least 18 years of age, a citizen of California, and must not be disqualified from holding a civil office. 

The provisional appointee will serve until the term expires in November 2024.

Interested individuals should submit a letter that includes interests and qualifications for the position. Include a minimum of three references and a resume. All materials must be received by noon on Nov. 12. 

Submit applications to Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, County Superintendent of Schools, 1290 Ridder Park Drive, MC 201, San Jose, CA 95131-2304 or email to [email protected] All materials, upon submission, become property of the SCCOE and as such, are public record.

For information, contact the Superintendent’s Office at 408.453.6540.

DeSantis inducted into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi

Rachelle DeSantis of Los Gatos was recently initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society. 

DeSantis was initiated at University of Southern California.

DeSantis is among approximately 25,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year. Membership is by invitation only and requires nomination and approval by a chapter. Only the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors are eligible for membership. Graduate students in the top 10 percent of the number of candidates for graduate degrees may also qualify, as do faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction.

‘American Pickers’ filming in California

Antique collectors are encouraged to dust off their collections and share their stories with the crew from the “American Pickers” TV show.

The History Channel series is filming in California in January, and is looking for collectors to apply for the chance to be featured on the show.

The series explores the world of antique “picking,” following skilled pickers in the business as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, the Pickers are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics.

The show’s producers are looking for leads. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send your name, phone number, location, and description of the collection with photos to [email protected] or call 646.493.2184.

The Pickers do not pick stores, flea markets, malls, auction businesses, museums, or anything open to the public.

Staff Report
A staff member edited this provided article.


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