.SUMMER 2012 NEWSLETTER
"How Are The Children?"
HOW ARE H.E.A.R.T.'S CHILDREN???
It is said that among the villagers of the African Masai warrior tribe the traditional greeting is "How are the children?" which acknowledges the high value placed on their children's well-being. Even warriors with no children of their own give the traditional answer: "All the children are well."
"All the children are well" means life is good. It means the daily struggle for existence, even among a poor population, do not preclude proper caring for its children. Ms. E believes the sentiment behind this salutation and response is that if the children are well, there is always hope for the village.
This being our FIRST newsletter we've sent out all year, rather than start off with a rundown of the various activities we've sponsored and participated in to date, it was decided to be appropriate to start off with an update on how the youth we've served are doing.
Though the "Hearts" we speak of here are no longer children perse, they will always be the Sons and Daughters of H.E.A.R.T. You may recall prior articles, profiles, achievements, and mention of some of the following of our "Hearts" over the past few years, or may have even had the opportunity to meet them.
Let's begin with our 2012 Graduates:
received her High School Diploma at Vallejo Senior High School.
During her Senior year she participated in the Media /Communications Class (which featured a weekly radio program); Drama Club; and was Coordinator of the All-School Talent Show. She is employed part-time with Discovery Kingdom as a Rides Operator. She's managed all of this as a teen parent! Mellea's goals are to become a published poet, writer, screenwriter, and perhaps actress. She plans to attend Solano Community College in the Fall. As a single parent she will continue to need lots of encouragement and support from the village. (A HUGE HEARTFELT "Shout Out" to her (Foster) Mom Kandice! )
received her Bachelors of Social Work degree from Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas. While still a student at PSC she completed a full term as President of the National Pre-Alumni Council with the United Negro College Fund; and was crowned Queen for the local chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. She is currently seeking employment in the Human/Social Services Field in Sacramento; and she would like to attend graduate school in Chicago with a live-in internship. Sade's request of the village is to keep her in our prayers.
our 2008 Les Brown Heart of Dreams & Tenacity Award recipient, received her Teaching Credentials at Cal State University, L.A. in 2010, and her Masters Degree in Education at Ashford University in February 2012. She is employed as a teacher with the Santa Barbara County Education Office, and became a first time "Mommy" to a gorgeous son in April. Elizabeth's request is prayers for her adoptive mom who, on Elizabeth's due date, was diagnosed with cancer.
our very first recipient of the Les Brown Heart of Dreams & Tenacity Award (2005), and first College Graduate (proud 2007 Alumnus of Clark-Atlanta University holding double degrees) Kevin is living in NY and is Founder/President of "Legacy Thinking Labs". He has authored his first book: "10 Ways Anyone Can Graduate College DEBT-FREE: A Guide to Post College Freedom" to be released in August; and has begun speaking to audiences nation-wide. His goal is to become a New York Times Best Selling Author and one of the top speakers in the country. Kevin states: "The village can help by remaining as supportive of me as it has been for the last 11 years, and purchasing my book when it is released next month."
our 2006 Les Brown Heart of Dreams & Tenacity award recipient, is the Founder/President of Marcus Wilson Ministries, and has authored his first book, "The Amazing Generation". He continues to pursue his music ministry (his music is featured on our CD: "We Are The Village: Volume I" and is enjoying being a husband and father.
our 2007 Heart of Dreams & Tenacity Award recipient and 2010 graduate of University of California at Berkeley, is employed as a Family Preservation Social Worker with Family Support Services of the Bay Area. She is excited to have recently been granted permanent status having completed her probationary period as a temporary employee.
"My first FULL-TIME BENEFIT position!" she exclaims. J
Princess' immediate goals are to practice Self-Compassion, and Mindful Parenting. She would like to be able to provide her children with enrichment and recreational activities which will facilitate their overall development. However, although she's employed full time, the costs associated with these activities is often unaffordable. Any passes, discounted tickets or gifts provided by the village would be greatly appreciated for events such as swim lessons, museums, theatrical plays, ice-skating, etc. "Most importantly, please keep me in good thoughts" she says.
a 2007 High School Graduate is employed by North Bay Medical Center as a CNA (Certified Nurse Assistant). She also holds a certification in Phlebotomy, for which she still seeks to find employment. Alviena will be returning to take classes at Napa Valley College in the Fall while she decides which medical profession best suits her. She recently found that she really enjoyed working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
another 2007 High School graduate serves as a State Youth Council Ambassador in Napa. She has started her own mini-facial business and is going to school to become a licensed Insurance Agent. Her goals are to own a successful Beauty business and Insurance practice. Daisyann says "I can always use new clientele for my Beauty business".
(Contact HEART if you would like more information regarding her business)
Ms. E is so proud of all of her "hearts" (aka"chiren"); and knowing that life is difficult in general, she knows it's even more difficult without the support of family. For most of our youth, reaching adulthood did not create some magical potion /solution where they suddenly had everything they needed-in many cases it has been quite the contrary.
Now being a "Village Gramma," she has cut bacl in accepting new counseling referrals of younger children in order to spend more time and focus on mentoring, advocating, and seeking/providing resources for those who've weathered the tumultuous days of childhood. They are those who are now working as young adults to establish a legacy of change generationally and sociologically.
Are you one of our supporters?
If so, thank you; and please share our work and vision with others.
If not, won't you please consider becoming so?
please make your tax-deductible donation today.
you can also find other ways to support us by browsing the
"DESIRES OF (THE) HEART" page on our website:
HEART TOUCHES FROM OUR
"VILLAGER OF THE YEAR"
HEART wishes to acknowledge the generous support of someone who has not only shown us where her heart is, but she's also "shown us the money!" in letting us know how proud she is of the work we are doing.
Mrs. Georgia Cassell
a wife, mother of two adult children and retired Licensed Clinical Social Worker is our
Villager of The Year.
Having read a prior post about "daughters of HEART", Eboney and Mellea, Georgia made a donation of $500.00 designated to supplement medical/living costs for Eboney who has been undergoing cancer treatment for the past year; and Senior Year Activity costs for Mellea, now a High School Graduate.
Not only that, for her birthday in February, she requested that friends and family make a donation to support the continued services of HEART.
Georgia has more than a casual interest in the welfare of HEART, as she is seeing the fruit of her labor, literally, having been Ms. E's very first supervisor in the field of Human Services, more than 30 years ago while an employee at Children's Home Society of California in San Francisco.
Take a look at the following transcript of our Conversation with Ms. Georgia:
1. What prompted you to choose For A Child's H.E.A.R.T., Inc. as the recipient of both your personal donation and your own Birthday Tribute?
I chose For a Child's H.E.A.R.T. as a recipient because I have always been concerned about children in the foster care system. Sadly I believe there are far too few services for this population especially as these kids become young adults.
Only recently I reconnected with Ms. E, whom I worked with in the early 80's. When we had a conversation about our professional lives she told me about her program. I have great confidence in her endeavors and as soon as she described, and I read about her program I knew I wanted to find a way to contribute.
2. What touched your heart most about your designated recipients of your personal donation? and Why?
I was most effected when I read the newsletter which described Ebony's fight against cancer and her ongoing medical living and needs.
My own birthday, even the 60th, seems relatively unimportant in comparison to some one, especially a young person, battling cancer. I feel blessed to be here, and very much alive and well! Being able to help Ebony with payments towards her medical costs was a "no brainer" for me. The cost of medical treatments are staggering and I felt strongly that a portion of the money go to her.
The donation that went towards Mellea's Senior Year activities was important to me because I think it is important to be able to help a foster youth "normalize" their high school experience.
3.How did you come to know HEART's Founder/Director, Ms. E?
I came to know Evelyn in the early 80's when she was a Case Manager Assistant and I was her supervisor. We worked to assess services for developmentally disabled children .
4. What do you remember most about her? and did you think she would still be working in the Social Services/Child Welfare field?
I loved Evelyn's humor, her humanity, and her straight forward way of approaching very difficult problems in the work we shared. She was very funny and I always wanted to be on her team as well as have her on MY team.
I was additionally endeared to her because although we came from very different backgrounds, we shared similar experiences and challenges in being the adult daughters of our mothers. J She was always responsible and accountable both at work and in her commitment to her mother and sister.
I never thought specifically about her future in Child Welfare but I am not surprised that she remained in the field. Knowing that she was primarily brought up by a single parent and that her cherished younger sister had Down's Syndrome, I believe those factors effected her direction in her career and life in general.
5. Do you see any of the same characteristics in her now as you did then?
As far as I can tell, in the year since we've reconnected, she seems pretty much the same--in good ways of course!
6. What can someone in a supervisory or other position do to encourage/support a "newbie" in the workforce?
I think the best way to help a "newbie" in the field is to provide constructive criticism, recognize successes, validate strengths, provide good role models that love life and are effective in the workplace. I also think it is important to steer them towards setting limits for themselves (in some instances becoming more selfless) and finding good outlets for personal development.
7. How do you see your involvement as a "Friend With Heart" now? and how would you encourage others to become one also?
In the future I see myself as helping in areas identified by Ms E as important to the future of her agency, especially writing and fundraising. Because I believe foster youth are underserved, I encourage anyone with interest to find a way to contribute.
8. What message would you like to share with both our "elders" and "children and youth" the village?
My message to the village is to remember that it's all about small, baby steps and EVERYTHING counts!
We hope you have enjoyed this "brief" Newsletter/Update and find it worth the more than 6 month wait. Ms. E will try to share more with you before too much time has passed.
Again, If you find it in your heart to support HEART financially, please click the "Donate" button and make your tax-deductible donation today.
Also please remember to visit the "DESIRES OF (THE) HEART" page on our website, and assist us in obtaining the tools and equipment we need to further our commitment to our youth and village.
In the meantime keep us in your thoughts and prayers, and thank you for doing something special "for a child's heart".
Hearts & Blessings!
Current, Transitioning and Former Foster Youth
Are Invited to Join Us For
"Fostering Vision with HEART"
Saturday, May 19, 2012
2:00pm until 6:00pm
This year's Foster Pride event will be a relaxed afternoon of fun and nurturing with Ms. E and current, transitioning and former foster youth on Saturday, 5/19/2012, 2-6PM at the office of For A Child's H.E.A.R.T., Inc. in downtown Vallejo, CA. (*)
Exact Address will be provided upon RSVP.
Attendees will have the opportunity to create vision boards (Bring a few of your favorite magazines), participate in interviews for "Visions For A Heart" TV Show, and snack on pizza and other goodies while just enjoying being themselves.
Ms. E would ESPECIALLY LOVE to reunite with former youth
she's not seen in a while, other than on Facebook!
*(Enjoy the Vallejo Farmers Market earlier between 9AM - 1PM)