"Since I've been involved in WGA, my approach to giving has become much more thoughtful."
This edition brings you lots of news about WGA, our members and our grantees. Keep scrolling to get the whole story.
… for Philanthropy 101, a special summer outing at Education co-chair Shereth Coble’s oceanfront home. Cheryl Riddick, vice president for grantmaking at The Community Foundation, explains what it means to practice strategic philanthropy as an individual and as a stakeholder in WGA’s grantmaking. This “Get Smart” program from the Education Committee includes hands-on exercises and insights valuable for every WGA member—as well as time to catch up with friends over wine and cheese.
After the busy spring schedule – neighborhood Connector meetings, committee activities, education programs, Strictly Social – the WGA summer has a slower pace, but work continues. At its May meeting, your Steering Committee approved several items that set planning activities in motion:
My warm thanks to all those planners who are working through the not so lazy days of summer to move WGA forward.
Girl Scouts of Gateway Council’s Get Real! Mentoring program and Junior Achievement of North Florida’s JA Girl$ were in the Education Spotlight on May 6 at Cris Hayes’s beachfront home, where about 40 members and guests enjoyed breakfast and conversation, along with learning about two programs supported by WGA grants.
Linda Hull, the Girl Scouts’ chief development officer (and a WGA member), with Tovah Mays, director of innovations, discussed Get Real! Mentoring, one of Gateway Council’s non-troop programs. It connects at-risk middle school girls with trained, caring community members to help increase skills for making positive life choices. The 30-week initiative is designed to improve girls’ attendance at school, decrease substance abuse, improve self-care and self-esteem, learn tools for conflict resolution and improve skills in communication. There is also a literacy component, which includes book club activities.
Linda and Tovah said the long-term goal is to keep at-risk girls in school and help them become productive adults. And they are succeeding. Their participant data shows: 92% improved school attendance; 88% decreased their number of disciplinary referrals; and 89% improved letter grades. A high school pilot is in the works.
A 12-year-old who says she’s learning to manage her money on her own. A sophomore at Paxon High School who is an honor student. An 11-year-old whose motto is: Get your education and succeed in your goal.” These are faces of girls who are participating in JA Girl$.
Elizabeth Paulson, JA Girl$ program manager, showed how the curriculum teaches at-risk girls about finance. This unique program, which started in Jacksonville, is being replicated throughout the country. Female volunteers from financial institutions serve as role models, teaching finance using gender-specific strategies. The volunteers take the JA Girl$ program to local agencies such as Girl Scouts of Gateway Council, Jewish Family & Community Services and the Reed Educational Campus for Girls, some of the partnerships involving other WGA grantees.
JA Girl$ targets at-risk women and girls ages 8 through 18. In addition to learning about finance, they learn about skills and education that can affect career choices as well as career and entrepreneurship options. The program is “inspiring young women and girls to open their minds to new opportunities,” Elizabeth said.
Strictly Social’s new approach was warmly received by the 75 members and guests who attended May 10. All enjoyed the casual backyard setting with a spectacular river view, thanks to the hospitality of Lori and Tyrie Boyer. The event honored new members, some of whom joined the committee—led by Network Central co-chair Suzanne Perritt—that made it happen. Among key helpers were Karen McCombs, Susie Miller and veteran WGA member Marion Tischler.
To view more pictures of the event, click here.
…to members Martha Barrett and Delores Barr Weaver, who were honored with humanitarian awards presented at the annual OneJax dinner May 26.
…to the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center for receiving a Diversity Award presented by the Jacksonville Business Journal May 4. The award recognized JWBC’s Business Women of Color Initiative, a program supported by a WGA grant.
…to Lawanda Ravoira, who leads the Justice for Girls: Duval County Initiative supported by WGA. She was invited to Chile to present a paper and participate in a week-long international symposium on youth justice issues. Her research and expertise were widely acclaimed. (Lawanda also was honored as a finalist in this month’s EVE Awards here in Jacksonville.)
If you are interested in becoming a literacy tutor for the Expanded Horizons program at the Women’s Center of Jacksonville, plan to attend a training session 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 16, at the Women’s Center.
Katy De Vanny of the Women's Center will be conducting the session; reach her for more information at 722-3000 ext. 233.
If you have a new street address, email address, phone number or other changes in your personal information, remember you can go to the WGA web site, www.womensgivingalliance.org, and make changes to your member profile yourself. It is located in the WGA Members Only section under Resources for Members. Remember, you need to be logged in to access this section. It saves you – and staff – time and eliminates the chance for error.
While you are on the web site, take a few minutes to explore all the information available there plus photo galleries of WGA events.