Eight graduates were honored Friday  night at the FIELD Graduation Ceremonies held at Veterans Memorial Hall.  

    Farmworker Institute For Education & Leadership Development (FIELD), founded by Cesar Chavez in 1978, is making great strides in this area. FIELD offers high school re-entry for young adults who dropped out of high school and they meet at the Heritage Oak Shopping Center Monday through Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m., next to the laundromat. Over 220 people attend the FIELD classes from Gridley, Live Oak and Biggs. The program is designed to strengthen agri-business workers focusing on vocational English and assist students with access into community colleges.
    On Friday, March 30, 2012, what would have been Cesar Chavez' 85th birthday, Veterans Memorial Hall was filled with people supporting the eight graduates and the 150 who received Certificates for completion of one or more classes with at least 80 percent attendance.
    Butte College is a key partner of the FIELD program and Butte College President Dr. Kimberly Perry spoke to the graduates during ceremonies Friday evening. Butte College received a grant from the US Department of Education for the improvement of post-secondary education (FIPSE). It was awarded October 2012 and will end October 2013. The Travajo grant was submitted for FIELD for their teaching for rural academic basic achievement and job opportunities.
    Also speaking at the graduation was David Villarino Gonzalez who is the President and CEO of FIELD, a 501 C 3 non-profit organization and who is the son-in-law of Cesar Chavez.
    FIELD's purpose is to "Strengthen Rural Communities through Education and Training." The long-term strategic plan is to build wealth and assets in rural communities through businesses owned by trainees educated in their programs.
    The Gridley students and FIELD just opened Gridley Recycling Center, an e-waste recycling business at 30 East Gridley Road for this very purpose. Gonzalez gave recognition and praise to the City of Gridley and City Administrator Rob Hickey for making this enterprise possible.
    Dennis Kazarina was presented the Spirit of Cesar Chavez Award for his fund raising help for the Gridley Recycling Center.
    FIELD programs include literacy, English, citizenship, GED, high school diplomas and training in energy technology. Programs are located in Kern County, Monterey County and Northern California counties of Sutter, Yuba and Butte. For the rest of this story please pick up a 4/4/12 edition of The gridley Herald. Or call us to subscribe 846-3661,