February 14, 2021


Hello, Everyone:


2020 changed many things for all of us. But one thing it didn’t change is that our Exceeding Expectations kids continued to make great progress, even without a lot of face-to-face contact. Another thing that continued is that our generous EE donors remained committed to supporting our efforts and are making it possible for our kids and families to thrive, even during these rough times.


Today, we gathered outdoors (diligently following COVID protocols) to celebrate accomplishments, present scholarships and look forward to a good year ahead. We took the opportunity to celebrate our college graduates, current students, volunteers, and the younger kids who will be our next generation.



We kicked off the day with a 3-mile race.  Awards were presented to the top competitors and medals handed out to all finishers.




Edgar Orozco  joined the US Marines right after graduating high school in 2007. He rose through the ranks to staff sergeant, became a drill instructor at Perris Island, and then ran a motor pool in Japan. He recently left the service, moved back to San Bernardino with his wife and three kids, and rejoined EE. He brought some gifts today which we raffled off for the families.


George Forman grills for the Franco and Olivares families

Juice blender for Amori's family     



Outstanding Volunteer award -- Meli Mandajuno joined EE when his kids, Isi and Miguel, were 10 and 12. They are now 26 and 28. Meli, now our Bike Leader, never misses an EE event nor the opportunity to take our kids biking and running. He is also my San Bernardino “go-to” guy when help is needed and I can't be there myself. One call to Meli and I can count on him immediately jumping into action. He is truly an Outstanding Volunteer as well as a great EE dad.




College students and graduates with us today

Moises Hernandez, Michael Williams, Archi Lai, Airlen Franco, Nancy Alvarez,
John Alvarez, Ricardo Franco, Tammy Patterson, Marlene Samano-Romero



Special accomplishments were recognized.


Running Girls to Watch

Gabby & Joselyn

Most Improved Runners

Rocsi, Genuwine, Carl, Kevin


20 -Mile Club for Bikers, presented by Bike Leader Meli 

Joselyn, Gabby, Richard, Arian



EE's Next Generation

Big sister Nancy standing in for Edgar, Christopher,
Fernando, Damian, Ivan, Eliana with mom Marlene



Outstanding Remote Learner



About-to-be (next month) Marine Jeffrey

…who got some great advice from veteran Edgar.



College scholarships were awarded.


Blazeman Memorial Scholarship, in honor of Jon Blais

Airlen Franco and Ricardo Franco


"Heart of Gold" from the Goldie Sirota Family Trust

Diana Velasquez


The Brenkus Family Scholarship

John Alvarez


The McFarland Family Foundation supporting EE Scholars

John Alvarez, Nancy Alvarez, Marlene Samano


Dawn Callahan Scholarship

Tammy Patterson


David Martin Scholarship

Andrew Arellanos (represented by his family; Andrew is away at school)



Cake was served…

…and a splendid time was had by all!


We are looking forward to 2021 being a good year for Exceeding Expectations and each of you.

Your help, financial and otherwise, has made so much possible for these kids and their families. On behalf of everyone in EE, thank you for being there with us, in the past and in the future.


Stay safe.