As the quote from John Donne so famously states, “No man is an island.” We are all a part of each other’s lives in ways we may never fully understand. What we do, we do with you, for you, as you. We cannot do this work alone.
For a child with confidence, who feels like he or she belongs, anything is possible. As you prepare for a fantastic 2018, consider joining us as we prepare to expand the horizons for youth by equipping them with life skills that will give them the confidence they need to feel like the sky’s the limit.
As we gather around our families this holiday season, we are grateful for the spirit of the season that extends beyond our immediate families to the greater family of this Village and beyond. We appreciate your continued encouragement and ongoing support of our mission to empower youth by educating them on life skills that will help them excel in life, and we wish one and all a very Merry Christmas.
With love and appreciation from all of us,
The Village Enrichment Program
The Village Enrichment Program had the privilege of being a part of Ron Finley’s third annual Da FUNction in Los Angeles this year. The free event is a one-of-a-kind community gathering that featured garden installations, hands-on gardening, arts and crafts, pottery making, a mobile wood shop, a drum circle, yoga, storytelling, organic food trucks, jump rope, games and prizes, bubble making, circus acts, dancing, face painting and much, much more.
“It was like a community festival. A really lively and exciting carnival atmosphere with so many fun, interactive activities that provided a way for total strangers to come together in a unifying way,” comments Village Co-founder Aretha Green. “It was a wonderful event and in addition to the exposure and interaction with the community, we were able to make great connections for furthering the mission of the Village.”
As funding cutbacks continue on a federal level, reducing the youth programs that The Village has been a part of, we continue to look to collaborate with other organizations like Ron Finley’s to stretch the reach of our programs, as well as the impact of your donations.
We thank you for your support! Your tax-deductible donations continue to be our only source of income, and 100% devoted to programs that directly affect the youth. We remain a lean, no overhead, volunteer organization dedicated to improving the chances for success in the lives of our youth.
As we enter this holiday season, we wanted to update you on what we’ve accomplished this year at The Village. It’s been an eventful year!
Marc and Eva Stern Math And Science School (Stern MASS)
We continued our after school program at Stern MASS and ended the 2016-2017 school year on a high note – graduation! Eight seniors in our program graduated this year, and we were there to support them and celebrate their success. The Village was able to provide a small scholarship to one of the graduating seniors in need to help supply required materials for a job training course post-graduation.
Throughout the semester, we had terrific discussions on a variety of topics including developing a healthy body image, food deserts in urban areas and what hiring managers look for most in young, unexperienced candidates. We even got a diehard “nothing-green-passes-between-my-lips” guy to try – and enjoy! – a spinach-blueberry-banana smoothie! A big win.
The afterschool club sponsored a job fair for the school where The Village had a booth. At the close of the event, we showed them that we still had the moves as we salsa danced with the kids.
ScholarShop Mom Workshop
Thanks to the ScholarSHOP Mom, Brenda High, the Village was able to host a financial aid workshop at Stern Mass for the students and their parents. Mrs. High, who has spent over 20 years researching scholarships and is a member of the National Career Development Association, travels around the country giving workshops on financial aid and finding scholarship money. She provided session packed full of great information on finding money for school backed up with tons of resources available through her website scholarshopmom.com. Her motto “Going to College? Don’t Major in Debt!” is more than just a witty slogan. Mrs. High has helped some students graduate from college DEBT FREE!
The Village had the opportunity to sponsor gansta gardener Ron Finley’s Da FUNction this year. Finley hosts the event to bring the community together to celebrate the Urban Gardening Movement. The entire Village team enjoyed the day filled with gardening, arts and crafts, music, jump rope exhibitions – including double dutch! – performances, bubbles, face painting, a mobile wood shop, pottery making, games, healthy food trucks and much, much more.
Our thanks to Junior Board members Kristen Green, Charmaine Griffin and Angie Perez for their help with and at the event. Look for our upcoming post with a photo recap of Da FUNction next month!
The Village collaborated this June with the Los Angeles County Stentorians, an African-American Firefighter’s association founded in 1954 to address the discrimination and segregation challenges in the City’s Fire Department. The Stentorians conducted a CPR/First Aid training for students at Barack Obama Middle School in Los Angeles, and Village Director of Operations Aretha Green was invited to speak to the students on best practices preparing for college. She was able to convey lessons learned from the ScholarShop Mom workshop and advised the middle schoolers to start early.
A huge thanks goes out to Village Leader, Jeff Broadnax, for starting his annual fundraiser, “Free Throws for a Fresh Start.” Jeff secured sponsors and spent time training for his free throw challenge, where he performed better than most in the NBA! Jeff made 416 out of 500 free throws for an outstanding 83.2%!!! (And yes, we are trying to talk him into helping out DeAndre Jordan…J) Many thanks again to Jeff and all those who took him up on his challenge and chose to support The Village. We are most grateful for your generosity!
2018 & Beyond
The Village plans to continue our Stern MASS afterschool program next year. Unfortunately, we were unable to have a summer program this year due to cutbacks in federal funding for summer programs. As a small, self-funded, all volunteer organization, we have no facility to host programs ourselves. Instead, The Village partners with programs like Youth Policy Institute (YPI) or other existing programs to deliver our life skills content.
We continue to evaluate the grant game, although it is a difficult one to get your foot in the door. With grant dollars diminishing and being stretched extremely thin, we will continue to count on our village – the kindness and generosity of you, our supports, to keep the momentum growing.
Please make your tax-deductible donation to The Village Enrichment Program today!
As we reflect this week on the things we give thanks for, we are so grateful for you and your support.
2017 is starting off as our best year ever! The Village Enrichment Program is in its first year-round afterschool program at the Alliance Marc & Eva Stern Math and Science High School in Los Angeles. Their afterschool group “The Ladies and Gentlemen: Leaders of Tomorrow” invited us to bring our life skills programs and content to the 25+ girls and boys in the club.
We have had great sessions on managing personal finances, job-readiness, wonderfully engaging discussions on nutrition, food deserts and our food supply, spirited debates pro and con going to college, games and activities.
Photos above (clockwise from top left): Spinach-banana-blueberry smoothies! Got one participant to try it who said he never eats anything green. He liked it! Seaweed is sampled and a nutrition IQ contest.
Fundraising Success: NAX Shoots Hoops to Help
A HUGE THANKS goes out to Village Leader Jeff Broadnax who recently held his 1st annual Free Throws for a Fresh Start, raising over $1,500 for the Village Enrichment Program, and even more for other worthy causes. We cannot thank Jeff enough for coming up with this creative idea for fundraising. (And boy, are we glad that he’s got skills! In his free throw challenge, Jeff made 416 of 500 free throws – an astonishing 83.2%!! Go, Jeff!)
Many thanks to those who challenged Jeff in this event. We welcome those who offered their support to The Village from Jeff’s fundraiser. Thank you for your incredible generosity!
Featured Volunteer: Dr. Carlton Green
Author and motivational speaker Dr. Green has been a champion of The Village from day one. Each year, Dr. Green shares sage advice with the youth as he regales them with stories from his youth and his personal and professional path. Participants sit spellbound, hanging on to his every word.
“I am inspired and encouraged each time I volunteer at one of the Village’s programs. The students are attentive and ask deep questions which makes me dig within myself to give my very best.”
We thank Dr. Green for his ongoing commitment to The Village. If you are in the Los Angeles area and interested in volunteering with this summer’s programs, please let us know. We would love to have you! And more importantly, you will have the opportunity to positively impact young lives. Visit www.thevillageep.org for more information or to contact us.
Welcome Junior Board!
We have started our Junior Board, engaging several young professionals, including former Village facilitator Angie Perez, nonprofit professional Kristen Green and educator Charmaine Griffin. Many thanks to these young ladies for donating their time and expertise to help The Village improve processes and enhance programs.
Summer in The Village
We are well underway with our plans for this year’s summer program. We are working on a 3 or 4 week program at Los Angeles Leadership Academy in Lincoln Heights, where we have been welcomed with open arms for over 5 years! Recruitment of facilitators is underway and program dates and content being finalized. Look for our summer Village Beat for a wrap up of those activities.
As always, thank you to all of our donors who make every bit of these programs possible. We hope we have inspired your continual support this year and welcome donations of ALL sizes. Donate today under “Give” at www.thevillageep.org, or mail your 100% tax deductible contribution to:
The Village Enrichment Program
1107 Fair Oaks Avenue #806
South Pasadena, CA 91030
We count on donors like you to make these programs available to the underserved youth of our Village. Absolutely 100% of your donations go to the programs and their facilitation.
This summer marks our 5th year holding The Village Enrichment Program summer workshops. We had the opportunity to add a new school this year, College Bridge Academy (CBA) in Compton, California.
We were blessed to have join us, once again, such Village Leaders as motivational speaker Dr. Carlton Green; School Psychologist Dr. Rose Johnson-Huff; 94.7 the Wave morning on-air host Pat Prescott; and 24 Hour Fitness Club Manager Rodney Daniel. We were assisted by City Year Corps members Evelyn Amez and Sandra Ruvio in facilitating our program.
An added bonus this year, we were able to secure the assistance of Carroll Brown, a PhD candidate from Phillips Graduate Institute, to join us in a consulting role. Mr. Brown sat in on our workshops and came up with fantastic ideas for The Village that have the potential to open more doors for us at schools throughout California by making the program part of the G requirement in California’s A-G graduation requirements for high school graduates. Stay tuned for his video from this summer’s program which will go out in our Giving Tuesday email blast.
Over 20 of The Village’s friends and family gathered earlier this year at the home of co-founder Aretha Green for a “Friends & Family Launch” where support was garnered and volunteers were recruited to help with this summer’s program.
The Village Welcome Reception
The Village Enrichment Program (The Village) hosted its Welcome Reception on September 15, 2013, on the rooftop of the newly opened YWCA Greater Los Angeles Urban Campus building. Over 80 guests enjoyed a beautiful Sunday afternoon overlooking the downtown Los Angeles skyline. With the soundtrack for the event being provided by the amazing Dale Fielder Quartet, it was a Sunday in September to remember! Continue reading “Newsletter – December 2013 : The Year in Review”
As we close 2013, we wanted to be sure to provide you, the members, volunteers and supporters of The Village Enrichment Program, with feedback on the programs you have helped to fund.
This year, we were able to deliver a 16-week program in cooperation with the YWCA of Greater Los Angeles, for the YWCA’s Transitional Subsidized Employment (TSE) program. The TSE program aids in transitioning young women from county assistance to employment by providing temporary jobs that allow the young women to gain much needed work experience and prepare them for becoming productive members of the workforce.