Nonprofit Spotlight | Seedling Foundation
Last month I was invited to attend the Seedling Foundation Mentor Appreciation Luncheon. Seedling Foundation’s mission is to support children challenged by parental incarceration with innovative, research-driven, school-based mentoring in Austin and selected sites in the Central Texas area. It’s Promise Mentor Program, launched in February 2006, provides the caring, consistent presence of an adult friend that works to build resilience among at-risk youth, youth affected by the incarceration of one or both parents.
Mentors and mentees in designated schools are matched through a multi-step process that includes a Mentor Profile, criminal background check, and reference checks. Mentors complete a 2.5-hour orientation which provides solid practical information about the mentoring process and the importance of their role prior to their introduction to a child. Throughout the mentor-mentee relationship Seedling Foundation offers continued education for mentors, providing support based on research findings and best practices.
Recently I participated in a professional training on the acculturation, identity and family of Chinanxs with Dr. Manuel X. Zamarripa. Although Dr. Zamarripa’s trainings are from the mental health perspective the material presented and the experiences shared are relevant and useful to any who have an interest in cultural awareness, those that want to learn about multiculturalism and diversity, and simply, those that just “don’t get” why others “have to go there?!?”
Two of three points discussed in Chicanx Psychology: Acculturation, Identity and Family were of main interest to me and the work I do to bridge and foster cultural communication and community engagement with the Latinx and Hispanic communities. They are, recognizing the influence of historical, social and cultural factors, and recognizing that ethnicity influences human behavior. Having an awareness of the immigrant and native frameworks is important and supports informed and respectful communication. Culturally informed communication (trauma-informed, in some cases) then leads to a successful engagement, fostering positive relationships.
On the Dulce Shelf
Summer reading is here! I’ve been receiving reading lists for the past two weeks in anticipation of the yearly summer reading custom, from school required reading to beach books. Here’s a recent list provided by Austin360’s Cultura en Austin blog, the 14 Latino books for your summer reading list .
As for Sententia Vera’s Dulce Shelf, I have a summer author pick to recommend. Take a look at any of Luis Alberto Urrea’s literary gifts. You won’t be disappointed.
Another interesting title that came across my desk is Zeitoun by Dave Eggers.
My last professional gig with YWCA Greater Austin gave me the experience of managing the multiple areas of my professional career at once, they are, Development & Communication, plus Advocacy work in the realms of women and immigration issues. It was a busy, yet exciting and learning, year. I am grateful for the opportunity to have served such a distinguished and historic organization.
I didn’t break all ties to the organization as I value its mission to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom an dignity for all. So, I am now a volunteer. I’m helping with the website transition of its homepage and basic maintenance. Something, I’m sure, the managing team is anxiously waiting for its completion. I’m also a volunteer member to its Advocacy Committee.
Now, this website transition is testing my patience and skill in website administration. I found the technology to be cumbersome and snobbish, that is, NOT user-friendly at all, especially as it’s geared at local nonprofits with frugal budgets, that having an IT professional on staff or vendor would be a luxury. I continue to learn about Blackbaud’s Sphere CMS while silently cursing at its every unfriendly hurdle.
Take a look at what will be the new YWCA Greater Austin homepage design and make sure to check back in a few… to visit its completed launch!
Independents Days is Baker & Taylor’s exclusive DVD and Blu-ray program focusing solely on independent product. Each month a variety of independent films will be highlighted that warrant special attention. From New Release products to Catalog campaigns, each title will be priced to sell and guaranteed to be in stock.
In this month’s selection is the independent film, FREEHELD, a film about a New Jersey police lieutenant, Laurel Hester, and her registered domestic partner, Stacie Andree, both battle to secure Hester’s pension benefits when she is diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Rated PG-13 (Parental Guidance 13+)
Starring Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Steve Carell
Release Date: February 02, 2016
Format: DVD Video, Blu-Ray
ISBN: 6316311761 / 9786316311764
UPC: 031398234814 / 00031398234814
Pre-Order Price: $29.95
I have volunteered for the YWCA Greater Austin for over 5 years. Its mission to eliminate racism and empower women are two of my personal values. Please join me in supporting the programs at the @YWatx that serve women and their families through counseling, teen resiliency classes, professional development and advocacy efforts.
Every dollar donated to the YWCA Greater Austin stays in Austin to empower the lives of women and their families!