Desert Hot Springs Celebrates Black History Month!

Beautiful Lighting!!!

As you drive into the city across gene Autry from the freeway, you will notice a distinct lighting pattern across the palm trees. Thanks to our city staff, our trees have been adorned with red, yellow, and green lighting to commemorate Black History Month. Black History Month is an annual celebration that recognizes and celebrates the many achievements by African Americans and their contribution to U.S. history. Formerly known as African American History Month, the event evolved from “Negro History Week,” which was created by Carter G. Woodson. The event has been officially designated by every U.S. president since 1976, celebrated nationwide, and has now been recognized in our city! I would like to openly celebrate our City Staff for making this happen!

We’re Number 1 (again!!!)

Best in the WORLD? DHS already has a world champion youth MMA fighter (World Champ!) , now let’s add “Best Water in the World” to our resume! Last week, the 30th Annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting competition convened and our very own Mission Springs Water District (MSWD) was voted best water in the world! According to their website ( the world’s largest water tasting competition was held in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia and included more than 100 water samples from around the world.

The judges were trained by noted Watermaster Arthur von Wiesenberger. Not only did he train the judges, but he instructed them on navigating the difficult challenge of evaluating a glass of waters tastelessness, which is a quality that every entrant desired to achieve. The competition is the largest and longest running water tasting competition worldwide, and has been designated by BuzzFeed as “the world’s most prestigious water tasting competition.”

It should be noted that this isn’t our first recognition for our amazing water. Since 1997, MSWS has been recognized nine times for superior taste. GO DHS!!!

City of DHS is on the Rise!

As our High School Students would say, “Watch us Soar!” The world is beginning to take notice because we are SOARING! Last week we were ranked and recognized as one of the most fiscally responsible cities in the state of California. Of the 471 cities surveyed, DHS has been ranked #163 in terms of fiscal health. Several factors were considered in the ranking such as: the amount of money in reserve accounts, the ability to pay retirement benefits, the debt of the city, and more. By comparison, our ranking labeled DHS as “low risk”, while our neighboring city Palm Springs was recorded as one of the most 50 at- risk cities and regarded as a “high risk”. Furthermore, our ranking placed us 5th amongst other valley cities behind Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, and La Quinta.

According to a press release from our City Staff last week, we have the highest reserve fund (reserves, capital, operating funds) balance in history! #DHSstandUP

Thank You Rotary!

Pictured with President Ed Malloy

Yesterday I had the honor of speaking to our local Rotary Club about our progress. The presentation included a brief discussion concerning who we are, what we do, and where we are headed. I was happy to announce that our following has increased to nearly 2500 subscribers and our reach (those that are now able to access our stories) is now well over 7000 weekly. Thank you for allowing me to share, and for the wonderful gift that now proudly sits on my desk.

Youth Mentorship

These are my mentees in the “Keys to Success” mentorship program

Have a desire to give back? Love pouring into the lives of young people? Thanks to the Ophelia Project (read our spotlight at and a new mentorship program that has launched for young men at DHS High (every Friday 1st period) we have you covered! While Ophelia has been created for our young women, the other mentorship program that meets on Friday’s has been created for our young men. For more information about Ophelia, please contact Susan Francis at For additional on the male mentorship program please contact me, both programs are in need mentors!

We need YOU! Become a member of Advancing DHS for just $10 a month! Contact us about sponsorship opportunities! Have any interesting story ideas? Send an email and let us know!! Most importantly, share the publication!!!

More From Advancing Desert Hot Springs...

Little League Baseball

By Kephyan Sheppard | April 4, 2020

Opening day across the Nation has been postponed. COVID-19 has impacted nearly every area of our lives, and even our National past time has taken a blow. With Major League spring ball season at a standstill, our own local Little League program is also influx. Little League baseball has been a fixture in our community…

We are in this TOGETHER!!!

By Kephyan Sheppard | March 19, 2020

Admittedly, this edition is a few days late. Several times I began typing and several times what I typed, I deleted. A week ago, our website received anonymous note asking if I would address COVID-19 and the outpouring of fear and concern that has swept throughout our city. With the increasing numbers of those affected…

Watch Them Soar: DHS High

By Kephyan Sheppard | February 8, 2020

DHS High should be celebrated! Not only because it’s a great school, but because of the innovative approaches that Principal Cota and her staff employ daily. Over the course of the last year I have witnessed academic excellence, school pride, and exemplary professionalism from students and staff. However, I have now become aware of some…

DHS Celebrates Dr. King!

By Kephyan Sheppard | January 23, 2020

He stood for equality, he marched for peace, he died sharing the vision of a day that he knew he would never see in his lifetime…Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a true hero. This weekend as hundreds of thousands of people marched and celebrated his legacy worldwide, you were able to catch a glimpse…

The Ophelia Project

By Kephyan Sheppard | January 4, 2020

Imagine a program that aims to help young girls achieve all they can in life, one that meets them right where they are and is committed to ‘rescuing their potential’. That program does exist, it is called The Ophelia Project. After years of operating on campuses throughout the Valley, the program will officially launch through…


By Kephyan Sheppard | November 25, 2019

Youth sports are a staple in every growing city. The notion that we must keep our youth busy year round is one that is well received nationwide. Here in DHS, our Junior All American Football and Cheer program has proven to be a successful model of consistency for our youth, but has also served as…

Veteran’s Day and Beyond!!!

By Kephyan Sheppard | November 9, 2019

Principal Arseo Meet principal Arseo! She has been served as principal at Bella Vista since the school opened in January of 2014. (She previously served as the principal at Edward Wenzlaff for two years.) She has a passion for Bella Vista, one that is evident every time you see her walk through the halls and…

Diversity DHS!!!

By Kephyan Sheppard | October 19, 2019

A while back, we presented Diversity DHS to some of you in an effort to highlight the many things they do to Advance DHS. This week I was able to catch up with Sam Messler, the groups co-founder and dicussed their growth and plans for the immediate future. Groups like Diversity DHS are part of…

Our Wonderful Historical Society

By Kephyan Sheppard | October 12, 2019

A Historical Society (sometimes referred to as a preservation society) is an organization that aims to preserve, collect, research, and interpret historical information or items related to (in this case) a city’s history. These society’s play an integral role in protecting and preserving records while interpreting and presenting things of the past to the general…

A 4 Time Emmy Award Winner Calls DHS Home!

By Kephyan Sheppard | September 21, 2019

Ask anyone in Hollywood and they will tell you that the Emmy Award is an award of prestige. An Emmy Award (Emmy), is an award that acknowledges excellence in the television industry. This award is coveted by many, and bestowed upon few. Now I know you may be asking the question, “What in the world…