JLSD Community Partner Spotlight: St. Paul’s Senior Services

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St. Paul’s Senior Services offers a solution for nearly every senior at any stage in life. Since 1960, St. Paul’s Senior Services, a nonprofit, non-denominational organization, has been dedicated to serving the physical, spiritual, and social needs of San Diego seniors. With a reputation for excellent care, St. Paul’s Senior Services offers independent and assisted living, a skilled nursing community, respite care, a managed medical program, a senior day care program, child care, and an intergenerational program. Having younger generations interact with seniors is proven to have a beneficial impact on everyone involved.

At St. Paul’s Villa, the assisted living and memory care community in Bankers Hill, members of Junior League San Diego (JLSD) have volunteered to assist senior residents in a variety of arts and crafts projects, from creating Mother’s Day cards to participating in thematic activities surrounding Valentine’s Day and more. Residents look forward to seeing the many smiling faces of the JLSD members and having the opportunity to sit and chat. The interaction between JLSD members and seniors offers a meaningful connection.

Some seniors may choose to, or be unable to, venture out into the community and having regular interacting with vibrant youth who are respectful and engaging improves their social well-being, facilitating happiness in their hearts. Each generation is able to learn from one another, and it is a beautiful thing to witness. Typically, one JLSD member will interact with two or three residents at a time, providing quality moments. Seniors at St. Paul’s Villa assisted living, and memory care look forward to the time they get to spend with the members of JLSD.

 

Jackie Gutierrez

Communications Specialist

St. Paul’s Senior Services

JLSD Community Partner Spotlight: Promises2Kids

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Junior League of San Diego has been a longtime supporter of Promises2Kids and its Guardian Scholars program. In 2001, Promises2Kids launched its Guardian Scholars program to address the dismal educational statistics for foster youth and is proud of its over 85% college graduation rate, compared to the less than 10% nationally.  With the support of the JLSD’s gift of $70,000 in honor of its 70th Anniversary, Promises2Kids established an endowed scholarship for a former foster youth in college who embodies that of the JLSD members themselves, leadership and giving back to the community.  Takeyia, a sophomore at UCSD, is the current recipient.  Not only is she pursuing a career in the STEM field, already becoming a role model for young ladies, but she is also passionate about community service, often giving back in her church community.

Today, Promises2Kids’ Guardian Scholars begins supporting foster youth in the 9th grade, exposing them to the vast educational and career opportunities available, and annually supports 175 foster youth pursuing higher education whether it be a certificate, community college, or 4-year university education.

Promises2Kids recognizes the need to not only support foster youth in high school and then into higher education, but also the importance of providing support as they transition into life after graduation.   In August 2017, Promises2Kids launched the Women’s Leadership Network, building off the Men’s, in an effort to ensure these foster youth have a network of successful and supportive role models who help them achieve a successful and independent future – something JLSD understands all too well.  A year later, we have had 18 young women, all former foster youth, engage in the program and better prepared for life after school.

Promises2Kids is grateful for the support from the Junior League of San Diego.  Their leadership, volunteerism, and dedication to the San Diego community has been critical in our efforts to create a brighter future for foster children.

Promises2Kids was founded in 1981 and, since then, it has served over 250,000 current and former foster youth, and distributed more than $25 million for critical services and program.  From the moment they come into foster care and through to adulthood, Promises2Kids provides the hope, support, and opportunities these special individuals need to change their lives for the better… now and for years to come.  Our programs include the A.B. and Jessie Polinsky Children’s Center, Camp Connect, Foster Funds, and Guardian Scholars.  These programs assist Promises2Kids in its mission to create a brighter future for foster youth®.

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Stephanie Segal Ortega, MA
Chief Operating Officer
Promises2Kids

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These are the 2018-2019 Guardian Scholars

 

JLSD Gives Back: 2018 Grant Presentations, Part I

In the Fall of 2018, the Junior League of San Diego presented $20,000 to 7 of our Community Partners who helpTransition Aged Foster Youth and other issues that effect our community and mission based programs, such as homelessness and domestic violence.  Our Partners help with everything from getting a leg up, an education, or just a hot meal.

Read below for highlights of Community Council Vice-President, Brandi Cropper presenting the grants to our Community Partners as well as words from our President, Joni Flaherty about what each Community Partner means to the Junior League of San Diego and information on what the funds will be used for.  Don’t forget to check out our Facebook Page for videos of the presentations!

Monarch School, $3,000

The Monarch School has served San Diego for almost 30 years with a mission to provide education to homeless youth for grades K through 12.

This grant was used to purchase school supplies for 6 of the 13 classrooms so the students could start the school year strong!

“The women of the Junior League of San Diego and Monarch have partnered with one another for decades to support Monarch’s efforts of educating San Diego’s homeless youth. We are honored to support Monarch in its mission and value our longstanding relationship in the San Diego community.”  — Joni Flaherty, 2018-2019 JLSD President

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Brandi presenting the grant on the first day of school at Monarch.

 

San Diego Youth Services – TAY Academy, $4,000

TAY Academy serves Transition Aged Foster Youth through San Diego Youth Services and provides emergency needs to at risk youth.  Our grant is allocated for “Flex Funds” usage.  Grants and budgets do not allot for fresh food or emergency needs — things that are both so important to the youth that is served.

“TAY Academy was one of our first partners when we adopted transition-age foster youth as our community focus several years ago. We are proud to support TAY Academy and its unparalleled efforts to serve the varied needs of hundreds of current and former foster youth each year.” — Joni Flaherty, 2018-2019 JLSD President

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Brandi and the LCSW at TAY Academy, Gillian.

 

Promises2Kids, $5,000

Promises2Kids provides over 3,000 foster youth in San Diego County with the tools, opportunities and guidance they need to overcome the difficulties of their past, and grow into healthy and successful adults.

This Grant specifically goes towards the Guardian Scholar Program in order to help two former foster youths through their college career. This program boosts graduation rates ten-fold.  It will be used to send them care packages and help with expenses!

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Brandi presenting to Promises2Kids CEO (and former JLSD member) Tonya Torosian, MSW, CFRE.

“This year, we have the opportunity to fund two Guardian Scholars, a program that supports the higher education or trade school dreams of former foster youth. Promises2Kids is at the forefront of making education accessible for these students, and we are honored to support their efforts.” — Joni Flaherty, JLSD President 2018-2019

JLSD Community Partner Spotlight: Urban Street Angels

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Urban Street Angels, founded in 2012, is a non-profit addressing youth homelessness in San Diego, CA and beyond. They began as a small group of volunteers hitting the streets of Ocean Beach several times a month, with backpacks of supplies and home-cooked meals to hand out. They quickly discovered that San Diego has a vast number of resources dedicated toward feeding and supplying the homeless. However, a key service was missing – transitional housing and work programs for transition-aged youth.

Their current mission aims to end youth homelessness by providing supportive housing and job training to cultivate personal responsibility. Urban Street Angels operates an emergency overnight shelter for 20-25, which provides much needed love and support for San Diego’s young homeless population. Their shelter currently operates on Tuesday nights at Mission Gathering Church in North Park, and on two or more Fridays a month at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

In addition to addressing the immediate needs of San Diego’s homeless youth, many of their shelter guests go on to join their housing and transitional employment, 8 West, where they receive the training and support necessary to leave the streets behind for good. The 8 West team members make and sell organic soaps and artisan products, creating an income to help offset the costs of operating the shelters and empowering the youth.

JLSD has partnered with Urban Street Angels for 4 years, contributing hundreds of dollars worth of hygiene supplies through annual Impact Shift drives, and providing dinners at their shelter coordinated through JLSD’s Impact Committee. This year, ​​Urban Street Angel’s Director of Operations also presented at our annual Community Partner Breakfast and brought tears to the eyes of our “sold out” event. 

Social Workers from Urban Street Angels/8 West attended Solutions Summit​ and  Brand of Brothers to share their mission and collaborate on ways to help transition age youth in San Diego. 

JLSD Human Trafficking Awareness Rally

The 5th Annual Junior League of San Diego Anti-Human Trafficking rally was held in Balboa Park on January 13, 2018.

Speakers included 53rd Congressional District Congresswoman Susan Davis; San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan; Assembly Member Brian Maienschein of California’s 77th State Assembly District; Jamie Quient, President of Free to Thrive; Joseph Travers, Executive Director of Saved In America; Todd Hemmen, Supervisory Special Agent, from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and Derek Neth, Special Agent, Homeland Security Investigations.

The following Community Partners participated, sharing information and tools to help educate San Diego about human trafficking in our midst: Alabaster Jar Project, Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition, Casa de Amparo, the San Diego District Attorney’s Office, FBI, Free to Thrive, Point Loma Nazarene University, The Salvation Army, Saved In America, Survivor Leader network in San Diego, and the US Department of Homeland Security.

 

 

 

 

 

Solutions Summit 2018: Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is an ongoing problem with foster youth in the United States and will be an area of focus at the Junior League of San Diego’s 4th Annual Solution Summit. There will be more than 40 organizations coming together for discussion and problem-solving on short and long-term solutions for domestic violence within the Transition-Age Foster Youth (TAY) population.

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In a study with 339 17-year-old emancipated foster youths selected from the Missouri Children’s Division Youth, more than 75% reported some type of maltreatment in the past. Fifty-two youth qualified as meeting criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

In another study, researchers used a psychoeducational program (The Youth Relationships Project) to prevent abusive behavior and promote healthy nonviolent relationships for youth who have experienced previous maltreatment.  Youth aged 14-16 years of age were identified through Child Protected Services agencies and were randomized to the program (intervention) versus no intervention.  Over half the youth in the study were foster youth.  Over the period of the study, those who received the intervention were less physically abusive towards partners and reported less physical, emotion and threatening forms of abuse by their partners and themselves.

The Junior League of San Diego will bring together over 40 organizations at Solutions Summit 2018 for discussion and problem-solving focusing on how learnings from these studies can be applied to help TAY in San Diego.

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References:
Jonson-Reid, M., Scott, Lionel D. , McMillen, J. Curtis, Edmond, Tonya. (2007). “Dating violence among emancipating foster youth”. Children and Youth Services Review. Volume 29, Issue 5, Pages 557-571, ISSN 0190-7409, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2006.12.008.
Wolfe, D. A., Wekerle, C., Scott, K., Straatman, A. L., Grasley, C., & Reitzel-Jaffe, D. (2003). Dating violence prevention with at-risk youth: a controlled outcome evaluation. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 71(2), 279.

Solutions Summit 2018: Housing

Studies show at least 20 percent of foster youth experience homelessness as they emancipate from foster care. The Junior League of San Diego’s 4th Annual Solution Summit will bring together more than 40 organizations for discussion and problem-solving focusing on how learning from studies on foster youth homelessness can be applied to help TAY in San Diego.

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In San Diego, there are more than 3400 youths in foster care and an estimated 425 youths age out of the foster care annually and after aging out of foster care at least twenty percent of foster youth experience homelessness.

Several shortfalls have been identified in housing services provided to youth as they emancipate from foster care. Over half of the emancipated foster youth interviewed stated they were unprepared to live on their own at the time of discharge from foster care.

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Preventing homelessness before it occurs is the most cost-effective way to address homelessness. Characteristics of successful programs include flexibility in their design and funding, are youth centered and collaborate across agencies for foster care exit strategies. Youth who have participated in pre-emancipation independent living classes responded positively to the programs and these classes provide important opportunities for socialization.

The Junior League of San Diego will bring together over 40 organizations at Solutions Summit 2018 for discussion and problem-solving focusing on how learnings from these studies can be applied to help TAY in San Diego.