United Way Announces Foster Youth Summit in April

United Way is gathering foster youth and community leaders working on foster care issues for its inaugural Foster Youth Summit on April 5 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Sacramento State Ballroom, 6000 J Street. The summit will identify opportunities to increase the number of foster youth who graduate from high school and go on to complete post-secondary education. Summit findings will be released as a report that will determine the direction of United Way’s foster youth programs. For more information and to sign up: YourLocalUnitedWay.org/FosterYouthSummit.

Stephanie Bray, president and CEO of United Way California Capital Region, announced the summit to 300 supporters at United Way’s 17th Annual Women United Luncheon on March 21. More than $78,000 was raised through the luncheon for United Way’s programs that are preparing foster youth for success in college and career. Since 2002, United Way’s Women United action group has raised more than $2 million for programs for local foster youth.

“It’s time to take our work to the next level,” Bray said at the luncheon. “For far too long, we have talked about the drop-out and homelessness rates for foster youth. We know that no one person or organization can do this alone. So we are convening a public forum to discuss how we move the needle on high school graduation and college or career attainment for foster youth so that fewer struggle as they transition into adulthood.”

Nonprofit service providers, state and county foster youth advocates, school districts, foster youth and other supporters will come together for a deep dive into community level data, a foster youth panel on real-world implications of the data, breakout sessions and a keynote speech by Jennifer Rodriguez, JD, executive director of Youth Law Center and a former foster youth.

At the luncheon, Bray cited a 2018 Annie E. Casey Foundation report that noted without any support, California foster youth drop out of high school at a rate of 24 percent, 30 percent do not have stable housing and 51 percent are unemployed.

“That is so much lost potential,” Bray said. “We at United Way believe that every child, including each foster youth, has the opportunity to achieve. Imagine the impact if we don’t invest in our foster youth’s potential.”

Bray referred to luncheon keynote speaker September Hargrove as an example of how foster youth achieve success, not only for themselves but for communities across the country. Hargrove, a former Sacramento foster youth who volunteered with United Way a decade ago, is now VP of global philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase & Co., leading the company’s $150 million commitment to Detroit through neighborhood revitalization, small business, financial capability and workforce development.

For nearly 100 years, United Way California Capital Region has brought local people together to make community change happen. Today, the nonprofit is bringing people together across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties for its Square One Project, a 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of students in our region who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. United Way believes ending poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones and their families receive support and resources. To learn more and make a donation: YourLocalUnitedWay.org.

Women United Luncheon to Raise Funds for Local Foster Youth

Women across the region will gather for a spring-themed luncheon to celebrate and raise funds for local foster youth at United Way’s 17th Annual Women United Luncheon from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on March 21 at the Sheraton Grand, 1230 J Street, Sacramento. The event will feature a heartfelt program with personal stories from foster youth, successes from United Way’s programs and a fashion show with local foster youth. To purchase tickets or become a sponsor: YourLocalUnitedWay.org/Luncheon.

“For the last 17 years, our United Way has brought women together to help change kids’ lives,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “This year’s luncheon will bring together women from across our region to raise funds for local foster youth as part of our Square One Project. Together, we are investing in the potential of kids in the Sacramento region so that they graduate from high school prepared for success in college and career. Foster youth in our community deserve the same investment, and our Women United action group is providing the tools those young people need to realize their potential.”

Keynote speaker will be September Hargrove, a former foster youth in United Way’s program who spoke at the Women United Luncheon 11 years ago and is now vice president and program officer for global philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase in Detroit. She is responsible for leading the firm’s $150 million commitment to Detroit across the firm’s priority areas: neighborhood revitalization, small business, financial capability and workforce development.

Hargrove grew up in foster care, separated from her five younger brothers, and graduated from Grant Union High School in Sacramento. She received her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and returned to Sacramento to volunteer in a leadership capacity with United Way, among other organizations. She then attended Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government where she received her master’s degree in public policy and urban planning. Prior to her work with JPMorgan Chase, Hargrove was a White House Fellow with the National Economic Council and a senior advisor at the U.S. Department of Commerce during the Obama administration, chief operating officer for the New Orleans Startup Fund and an economic development program manager for former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. She began her career as a California Senate Fellow and gubernatorial appointee under former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“September is an incredible example of how foster youth here in the Sacramento area have the potential to make a difference on a national scale for people in underserved communities,” Bray said.

For nearly 100 years, United Way California Capital Region has brought local people together to make community change happen. Today, the nonprofit is bringing people together across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties for its Square One Project, a 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of students in our region who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. United Way believes ending poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones and their families receive support and resources. To learn more and make a donation: YourLocalUnitedWay.org.

Donate Gifts and Stockings for Foster Youth Through United Way

Many Sacramento-area children uprooted from their homes this holiday season and placed in foster care will enter the system too late to sign up for gift donations through Sacramento County Child Protective Services. To fill this need, United Way California Capital Region has expanded its Holiday Gift and Stocking Drive focus to include these children. Local residents can join United Way’s Women United and Young Leaders Society action groups in spreading holiday cheer to foster youth by purchasing gifts from United Way’s Amazon wishlist, donating $25 for a filled holiday stocking, or giving the Ultimate Gift Package – a $100 donation that provides a filled stocking and gift for foster youth, as well as a donation to United Way California Capital Region. To learn more about United Way’s Holiday Gift and Stocking Drive, visit www.yourlocalunitedway.org.

“Most nonprofits have to begin creating gift donation drives in the fall. That means many children uprooted from their homes through no fault of their own in the last couple months of the year will not receive a gift or stocking – that is unacceptable, so we’re filling that gap,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “All children in our community deserve to feel cared for during the holidays, no matter where they live.”

A donation of $25 purchases one holiday stocking filled with personal items, a gift card, gloves and a blanket. Holiday gifts purchased through United Way’s Amazon Wishlist must be new, unused, unwrapped and received by Dec. 10 at 4:30 p.m. at United Way’s office, 10389 Old Placerville Road, Sacramento.

For nearly 100 years, United Way California Capital Region has brought local people together to make community change happen. Today, the nonprofit is bringing people together across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties for its Square One Project, a 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of students in our region who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. United Way believes ending generational poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones and their families receive support and resources. To learn more and make a donation: www.yourlocalunitedway.org.

United Way Women’s Action Group Becomes Women United

United Way California Capital Region’s Women in Philanthropy group is now United Way’s Women United, joining the global Women United network of more than 70,000 women leaders taking action in their communities. The local Women United action group is a force of 350 local women and supporters making sure local foster youth are prepared for success in college or career.

“The name Women United is a clear call to action for women of all ages and backgrounds to come together for an important cause,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO of United Way California Capital Region. “This makes it clear that we need all of women’s gifts, from donations to volunteer time. While our focus will remain the same, we will now be part of a global group of women, all working on their local community’s most pressing issues, most of which are related to children.”

The local Women United action group raises funds for special bank accounts that help foster youth leaving the system save for necessities such as rent, transportation and textbooks. Members and supporters also lead life skills workshops and trainings to help foster youth understand how to manage finances, navigate the college system, prepare for interviews, cook and more, and they participate in volunteer experiences and networking events. To learn more about Women United, become a member or make a donation, visit www.YourLocalUnitedWay.org/WomenUnited.

Women United’s local members and supporters focus on foster youth as part of the Square One Project, United Way California Capital Region’s 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of students who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. Through nine decades of work and research across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties, United Way believes ending poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones to prepare for success in college or career. To make a donation, visit www.YourLocalUnitedWay.org.

United Way Women Collect Hundreds of Towels for Local Foster Youth

United Way’s Women in Philanthropy and members of the community donated 360 towel sets, 100 pieces of luggage and hundreds of toiletries for local foster youth preparing to move out on their own. The items from United Way’s Women in Philanthropy Spring Drive were donated to Sacramento County’s Foster Youth Emancipation Basket program for more than 260 local foster youth getting ready to leave the system. More than a dozen volunteers came together in late April to package the towel sets and write notes of encouragement to each of the foster youth who will receive an emancipation basket

“It was incredible to see so many people from the community come together to support local foster kids, many of whom are getting ready to move out with nothing but the clothes on their backs,” said Romy Cody, member of United Way’s Women in Philanthropy Leadership Council. “Luggage, toiletries and towels are tangible items that many of us take for granted but will mean a better start for these resilient kids transitioning to adulthood.” 

United Way’s Women in Philanthropy brings local women together to end poverty for local foster youth by helping them become financially prepared for life after foster care. This focus is part of the Square One Project, United Way’s 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of local students who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. Through nine decades of work and research across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties, the local United Way believes ending poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones to prepare for success in college or career. To learn more about United Way’s Women in Philanthropy, visit www.yourlocalunitedway.org

Local Foster Youth to Shine at United Way’s Women in Philanthropy Luncheon

Local residents can help foster youth at United Way’s 15th Annual Women in Philanthropy Luncheon from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Nov. 9 at Memorial Auditorium, 1515 J Street, Sacramento. The event, sponsored by AT&T, will include a fashion show, gourmet lunch, presentations by local foster youth and an announcement about the future of the group. Tickets are $75-$125 and can be purchased at www.yourlocalunitedway.org.

“We have an entertaining and heartfelt program planned for this year including stories from foster youth, successes from the program, a fashion show and a big announcement about Women in Philanthropy’s exciting future,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “This is an amazing opportunity for local foster youth to sit side by side with some of the region’s most powerful women and community members who care deeply about their future.”

United Way’s Women in Philanthropy brings local women together to end poverty for local foster youth by helping them become financially prepared for life after foster care. This focus is part of the Square One Project, United Way’s 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of local students who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. Through nine decades of work and research across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties, the local United Way now believes ending poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones to prepare for success in college. To learn more about United Way’s Women in Philanthropy, visit www.yourlocalunitedway.org.

United Way Women Collect Towels, Toiletries, Luggage for Foster Youth

United Way's Women in Philanthropy collects towels for Sacramento foster youth

United Way’s Women in Philanthropy collected 253 towel sets, 48 pieces of luggage and hundreds of toiletries last week for Sacramento County foster youth preparing to emancipate from the system and live on their own for the first time.

“I’ll never forget hearing an emancipated foster youth talk about drying herself off with her clothes because she didn’t have a towel,” said Lorrie Wilson, co-chair of United Way’s Women in Philanthropy. “And many foster youth leave their foster homes carrying their clothes in a garbage bag instead of a suitcase.”

The drive supported Sacramento County’s Foster Youth Emancipation Basket program, which receives the towels and toiletries. Luggage is given to foster youth in United Way’s financial stability initiative that is working to ensure more households in the region, including foster youth living on their own, are financially literate and able to save for the future. Through the initiative, foster youth take financial literacy courses and can earn funds toward matched savings accounts.

“These towels, luggage and toiletries are a concrete way that we can address these kids’ immediate needs, but it’s critical that we also prepare them for the future,” said Ruth Miller, co-chair, United Way’s Women in Philanthropy. “United Way and its partners are making a collective impact on these kids’ lives by helping them save money, learn how to use their resources wisely and make decisions that will set them on track for the rest of their lives.”

United Way’s Women in Philanthropy brings local women together to help local foster youth across Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties. A dynamic group of businesswomen, homemakers and community leaders, Women in Philanthropy members are first responders in repairing the financial stability of local foster youth by raising funds for United Way to provide financial literacy courses and matched savings accounts designed specifically for foster youth. Members also hold drives and provide trainings. Women in Philanthropy is part of United Way’s team of nonprofits, businesses, donors, volunteers and community leaders working to meet the community’s greatest needs, give immediate aid and find lasting solutions for future generations in the areas of education, financial stability and health. To become a member, visit www.yourlocalunitedway.org/wip.

 

 

 

 

Local foster youth meet with leaders at State Capitol

United Way Women in Philanthropy Day at the Capitol

Kome Ajise, chief deputy director of the California Department of Transportation, was one of eight leaders who spoke to local foster youth about his experience working in government at United Way Women in Philanthropy’s 3rd Annual Day at the Capitol. Forty local foster youth toured the State Capitol on March 24 and participated in roundtable discussions with leaders in government. Participating foster youth were from Amador-Tuolumne Community Resources, Child Abuse Prevention Center, Koinonia Homes for Teens and New Morning Youth and Family Services, which are partners in United Way’s financial stability initiative that is working to financially prepare foster youth for emancipation.

United Way’s Women in Philanthropy brings local women together to help local foster youth across Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties. A dynamic group of businesswomen, homemakers and community leaders, Women in Philanthropy members are first responders in repairing the financial stability of local foster youth by raising funds for United Way to provide financial literacy courses and matched savings accounts designed specifically for foster youth. Members also hold drives and provide trainings. Women in Philanthropy is part of United Way’s team of nonprofits, businesses, donors, volunteers and community leaders working to meet the community’s greatest needs, give immediate aid and find lasting solutions for future generations in the areas of education, financial stability and health. To become a member, visit www.yourlocalunitedway.org/wip.