Community Service Starts in Your Backyard 02

A volunteer reads a book with a group of girls.

Courtesy of United Way

Utah Economic Summit to be held April 27

The annual Utah Economic Summit will be April 27 at the Grand America Hotel, and will engage Utah’s top leaders and decision-makers from the business, government and academic communities with the best business content related to Utah’s robust economy. The summit provides a platform for strategic dialogue related to the current economic impacts and future growth of our business communities.

This year’s summit will feature Mitch Lowe, CEO of MoviePass and co-founding executive of Netflix. Local experts will delve into insights about Utah’s economy and business growth as well. Breakout sessions will focus on improving customer experience, sales expertise, retaining top talent and small business resources.

To learn more and register for the event, visit

Funds given for county emergency system programs

The Utah County Emergency Food and Shelter Program was chosen to receive $152,092 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in Utah County.

Public or private voluntary agencies interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds must contact Shannon McCarty at United Way of Utah County for an application. Applications must be submitted via email to by noon on April 20.

The local board overseeing the funds seeks to address the following priorities and needs in the Utah County area: sheltering homeless singles and families, homeless prevention through rental assistance, food assistance due to hunger caused by economic emergencies and mortgage assistance to prevent homelessness.

Under the terms of the grant from the national board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must: 1) be private voluntary nonprofits or units of government, 2) be eligible to receive federal funds, 3) have an accounting system, 4) practice nondiscrimination, 5) have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs, and 6) if they are a private voluntary organization, have a voluntary board. Qualifying agencies are urged to apply.

Students defrauded by Marinello can obtain discharges

Following a federal lawsuit filed by the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and the National Consumer Law Center against the U.S. Department of Education and Secretary Betsy DeVos, three former students of the now-defunct Marinello Schools of Beauty have finally received a full discharge of their federal student loans. At the time of its closure, Marinello had 56 locations, including campuses in Layton, Ogden and Provo.

Plaintiffs Lizette Menendez, Lydia Luna, and Leonard Valdez inquired about enrolling in Marinello’s cosmetology program in 2013 to improve their job and income prospects. The plaintiffs were ineligible for federal financial aid because they had not completed high school, Marinello promised that they could earn valid high school diplomas from Parkridge Private School. Based on Marinello’s representations, the three plaintiffs received Parkridge High School diplomas and obtained federal loans to attend Marinello. After graduating, none of the plaintiffs were able to find employment as cosmetologists with their Marinello diplomas.

After an extensive investigation in 2016, the Department of Education determined that Marinello partnered with Parkridge to scam students and obtain fake high school diplomas in order to falsely certify their eligibility for financial aid. Despite this, the Department refused to grant loan discharges to the plaintiffs in violation of the Higher Education Act. Only after LAFLA and NCLC filed a lawsuit challenging this denial did the Department discharge the plaintiffs’ loans.

“It is outrageous that the Department waited to comply with the law until these borrowers were fortunate enough to find attorneys and file lawsuits,” said Robyn Smith, senior attorney at LAFLA, in a press release.

Those who attended Marinello Schools of Beauty and believe they may have been similarly defrauded through the Parkridge High School Diploma program should call Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles at 1-800-399-4528.

Karissa Neely reports on Business and North County events, and can be reached at 801-344-2537 or Follow her on Twitter: @DHKarissaNeely

Karissa Neely reports on Business & Community events, and loves telling people’s stories.