10 Things About Ethel M. Larkins & The California Schools Voluntary Employees Benefits Association


Sounds too Much like Right

The California Schools Voluntary Employees Benefits Association (VEBA) is a 501c(9) non-profit trust whose mission is to be the California public sector’s preferred provider of innovative health care resources that are effective, affordable and of the highest quality. To continue improving health care for its members, VEBA launched the VEBA Resource Center that produces an extensive range of programs, classes, services and events for members to take a holistic and proactive approach to their overall well-being. As a Classified Union Member, Leader, and Chapter President OSS 724, Ethel M. Larkins was asked to sit on the VEBA Board to represent all San Diego Unified Classified Employees and advocate for their members and families, ensuring they receive high quality healthcare at affordable prices.


#1 I was born and raised in the Logan Heights neighborhood of San Diego.


#2 I am a Licensed Cosmetologist (50 years) – first class to be issued a State of California License.


#3 If I have a spare moment, I like to read.


#4 I hope to master sewing.


#5 I would like to remove all the laws that are outdated and still on the books since reconstruction, and that women have true equality.


#6 I am Aunt to “Toby”, a short haired Golden Retriever.


#7 Throughout the pandemic, VEBA has seen a large increase in the need for services – particularly around social and emotional well-being. Through our VEBA Resource Center, members have access to integrated resources that aid in their mental, emotional, physical and social health.


#8 One of our members used to suffer from terrible anxiety that would sometimes prevent her from participating in everyday activities. During Covid, all of that changed because VEBA helped support her through meditation, yoga and techniques to cope with her anxiety and reduce stress – which also resulted in her dropping 40 pounds! I am dedicated to continuing this support long after the pandemic is over.


#9 VEBA volunteered and was selected by San Diego County to manage the allocation of Covid-19 vaccines for all eligible San Diego school employees. VEBA collaborated with Sharp Health Care, UC San Diego Health, the County of San Diego and the San Diego Office of Education, to coordinate the vaccine distribution for more than 100,000 county school employees.


#10 To promote equity and access in our least advantaged communities, we worked with the County of San Diego to open vaccine appointments first for schools located in the lowest scoring communities based on the California Healthy Places Index, which is a measure of the health and well-being of communities. In conjunction with our medical partners, we are proud to say we successfully vaccinated nearly 30,000 education employees.



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Esteban Villanueva