Leadership Stockton, a program of the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce, is proud to announce the graduation of the Class of 2020. We are proud of their hard work and dedication to making Stockton a better place to live. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed their project completion date back but they are working hard at to finish their project at the Micke Grove Zoo. This class is a great example for the community to show what a group of people can get accomplished when they work together. The Class of 2020 was recognized for their great work Wednesday, September 23, 2020 on a Leadership Stockton Class of 2020 Virtual Graduation Zoom. Class Member Mario Vasquez was awarded the 2020 Distinguished Class Member of the Year, as voted on by his other classmates. You can watch a recording of the graduation here: https://youtu.be/lTM7AZHJIug.
The Leadership Stockton Class of 2020 chose to revitalize and renovate a space located within Micke Grove Zoo that had previously been neglected and unusable. The amphitheater had been used as a Children’s learning center which included birthday parties and educational classes. The class plans to fully restore the area by creating functional and usable area through the addition of concrete paths, a shade structure, interactive learning tools and a stage for an animal specialist to display animals, up close and personal. The restoration of this area will allow the zoo to increase the capacity of classes and parties by a factor of two.
The reason this project was chosen among numerous fantastic projects was due to the class’ overall goals. First and foremost, they wanted the main beneficiary of the project to be children. Secondly, they wanted the project to have an impact on the community at large. Lastly, the class had a passion for animals and wanted to find a way to integrate that passion into their project. The MGZ revitalization project encompassed all aspects of what the class of 2020 had in mind when embarking on this journey.
Although the class was on track to raise a record amount of funds, the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench in all future fundraising efforts. By January the class had raised approximately $35,000 with a goal of $70,000. Although the project is not yet complete, the 2020 cohort is currently working with a construction company to get the project completed before the upcoming holiday season. They are looking for one final push of fundraising from donors to reach their new goal of $50,000. They have received a new partnership with an organization that may help them reach this goal, but efforts are still underway.
Hours of sweat equity have already been put into the project to complete the following: raking and weed removal, the first wave of landscaping, removal of debris and junk from the area, as well as a full wall mural to beautify the space making it a more fun and enjoyable space for children.
Leadership Stockton Class of 2020 Graduates:
James Aiello, University of the Pacific
Jill Antonini, Animal Protection League
Shayne Brown, F & M Bank
Cameron Burns, City of Stockton Mayor’s Office
Brad Burrell, Stockton Police Department
Kristi Capra, San Joaquin Delta College
Barbara Davis, Health Plan of San Joaquin
Jordan Giannoni Harless, San Joaquin Delta College
Tondria Hall, El Concilio
Staci Johnson, San Joaquin County Office of Education
David Kamins, Mid Valley IT
Raksan Kasem-Houy, Family Resource & Referral Center
Kate Lindell, Edward Jones
Andrea Lopez, San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office
Katie Miller, Port of Stockton
Nancy Muniz, Central Valley Low Income Housing Corp
Jordan Peterson, City of Stockton Economic Development Dept.
Renee Puig-Hink, The Builders' Exchange of Stockton
Raquel Romero, San Joaquin Delta College
Tim Rubino, Big Valley Ford Lincoln
Mario Vasquez, San Joaquin Delta College Police Department
Juan G. Villanueva, Port of Stockton
Nick Zanos, San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office