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Pomona Hope News    July  2014

Pomona Hope News!

Pomona Hope Launches Parenting and Me

 “It is challenging to raise your children in a different culture from the one you grew up in.  The parenting classes have helped me understand how to raise my children in a very different multicultural environment.” (Hortensia Machorro, Parenting and Me participant and community leader.)
 
While Pomona Hope has gratefully hosted parent education classes conducted by another nonprofit since 2009, this year marks the launch of Parenting and Me, a new homegrown initiative that eclipses our previous efforts in both scope and ambition. Made possible largely through a generous grant from Tri-City Mental Health Services, Parenting and Me focuses on developing a community of parents, raising leaders, and empowering parents, rather than merely educating parents.
 
In explaining the need for Parenting and Me, Program Director Emily Budiyanto shared, “When I think about our parents, I think that they are very strong people who care so much about their families. But they are also dealing with a lot of needs and challenges. Dad might be at work for 12 to 18 hours a day; mom is taking care of the family and she feels isolated in a lot of ways.  I think they need parenting classes not only for the education which is very valuable, but also to experience community and to know they are not alone. Even though there may be other resources for parents in the community, parents might not access those for different reasons. But Pomona Hope is a safe place; it is where their kids go, they know adults they can trust here so it just makes sense that this would become their hub for community.  That is our hope with this grant and for this parenting class – that it would evolve from something that is helpful and educational to something that is community and relationship driven.”
In preparing for this initiative, Emily enlisted the aid of Lawrence and Ines Vasquez. Though officially retired from their careers in clinical social work, Lawrence and Inez had already been volunteering countless hours in counseling and empowering the families of Pomona Hope over the past several years when Emily approached them to lead the new Parenting and Me endeavor. The Vasquez family will be leading parenting classes at Pomona Hope in a four-week series every other month resuming in September.
 
A clinical psychologist as well as a veteran social worker, Lawrence has enjoyed a long, successful career in counseling and remains deeply passionate about empowering parents and families. He explained the approach he takes in Parenting and Me: “What we’re doing is trying to strengthen the parents by developing their confidence and helping them resolve their own issues. Parents may come from a culture different from their kids, they may face language issues, and as we strengthen them, they grow into a better position to take charge of their families and help their kids.  If you have a healthy home, you’ll have healthy kids; if you have healthy kids, you’ll have a healthy community.”
 
Lawrence elaborated on the value of parent empowerment. “We try to encourage the parents to have dreams and a vision for themselves.  We say, ‘Besides being a parent, what do you want to do with your life?’ They might say, ‘Oh I’ve always wanted to take an art class…’  ‘Well why can’t you take it?’ So when they start to see they can move out of their box of just being a parent, and it is okay for them to think of themselves, they pass that on to their kids and the kids can now dream and look forward to their own adulthood and have a vision for their lives.”
 
Emily explained her vision and hopes for Parenting and Me. “So many of our Pomona Hope parents have just been trying to survive and get by. So my hope is that as they are supported through the classes and counseling, parents will be able to reach out to the community around them and better understand their own needs. As they become more confident parents, they’ll have the resources to look externally and also look into the community.   They will not only come to the parenting classes to receive, but also to begin to talk about ways we can do better here, ways we can be part of strengthening the community.”
Over the past decade Pomona Hope successfully developed, expanded, and honed a program of education and empowerment for children and youth (After School with Pomona Hope), but a similar initiative for adults and parents remained on our backburner due to lack of resources.  This changed when Tri-City Mental Health Services invited Pomona Hope to apply for their Community Wellbeing Grant earlier this year. The Tri-City grant enables Pomona Hope to compensate the Vasquez’s for their teaching and counseling and allows us to facilitate childcare during the classes.
 
“Tri-City was pushing us in a way we already wanted to go,” Emily explained.  “The grant requires us to engage and help raise up a community leader. The grant requires us to put a lot of responsibility on the community rather than us coming in and offering this service to the community.  But that is in line with the vision of Pomona Hope, to not be a service provider, but to invite the community to work alongside us to share resources. The grant pushed us in a good direction we knew we needed to go. So often grants can pull an organization away from your vision, but this Tri-City grant is pulling us toward our vision and was an extra push that we needed to empower our parents a little better.”
 
In expressing her hopes for this season of Parenting and Me, Hortensia added, “I want parents to see what other parents are going through and to learn from each other. I want parents to understand there is always a way out, places to go for help, and when people feel like doors are closing, there is always a way to open them.”
Former Pomona Hope kid Jelitza Herrera has returned to Pomona Hope to serve as a Summer Intern after her first year at UC Berkeley!
Ryan Stewart and Barbara Evans harvest some vegetables in the Center Street Community Garden.
Do you buy books, DVDs, or CDs through Amazon.com? By making those purchases through the Amazon Affiliates link on the www.pomonahope.org homepage, 2-5% of your purchase will go to support the work of Pomona Hope! Each year Pomona Hope raises close to $2,000 through friends shopping through this link - enough to create two Summer Apprentice scholarships! Simply click on the Amazon Affiliates banner!

Who supports Pomona Hope?

Who funds Pomona Hope? Who partners with us so we can keep our doors open, our lights on, and our staff fed?
 
When it took the first steps toward incorporating as a nonprofit back in 2003, Pomona Hope was just a few people with a dream.  We held a yard sale to come up with just enough money to cover the filing fees with the state of California for our nonprofit status.  The generous support of First Presbyterian Church of Pomona, LaVerne Heights Presbyterian Church, and a growing team of individual supporters allowed us to hire our first Program Director, Bob Linthicum Jr. With Bob, our founding board of directors worked hard to share Pomona Hope’s vision with other churches and friends in order to enlist a team of financial supporters.  We took our first, novice steps toward pursuing grants from corporations and foundations. 
 
Those early years were lean years.  Covering rent, supplies, insurance, and our Program Director’s humble salary was a struggle each month and we frequently faced deficits that seemed insurmountable.  However, God came through for us every month in the generosity of a growing team of individual donors and institutions. 
 
Over the intervening decade, Pomona Hope has grown considerably.  Our fledgling after school program has grown by leaps and bounds and has added components such as the Summer Enrichment Program, College Access, and Computer Literacy classes.  In addition to After School with Pomona Hope, we have developed our Summer Internship Program for college students, Summer Apprenticeships for high school students, Parenting and Me classes for our parents, and our partnership with the Center Street Community Garden for the neighborhood. We have added staff and are renting twice as much space as we did in the beginning. As our budget has grown to allow for this greater impact in the city, we have remained committed to the frugality we practiced during our first lean years when each month seemed like it might be our last.
Since our earliest days, we have been grateful for the support of local churches. First Presbyterian of Pomona, LaVerne Heights Presbyterian Church, and Glenkirk Church (Glendora) are playing significant roles in the financial support of Pomona Hope. We are tremendously grateful for their partnership and continue to invite other churches to share in our mission.
 
Over the last two years, we have become increasingly successful in garnering support from foundations and institutions.  The Sister Fund, the Stamps Foundation, the Magistro Family Foundation, the Zondervan Foundation, Tri-City Mental Health Services, the Rotary Club of Pomona, the Pomona Valley Medical Center Physical Therapy Department, and the University of LaVerne are just a few of the organizations that have supported us in our mission of bringing hope and transformation to the city of Pomona in recent years. We are grateful to each for the partnership that has allowed our organization to thrive.
 
However, our largest source of support has always been the regular contributions of individuals.  Indeed, our mission has been made possible through individuals and families consistently giving gifts of $20, $50, or $100 each month. These individuals, some of whom have been supporting Pomona Hope since our earliest days, have played the biggest part in our growing impact. Without these supporters, Pomona Hope might have remained merely an exciting dream rather than the sanctuary and blessing it has become to so many children, youth, and families. Whether they realize it or not, these monthly supporters have played a role in the life of every child, youth, or parent who has crossed our threshold.  For every student who has seen their grades improve, every child who has gained confidence through our summer dramas and activities, every youth who has begun to conceive of themselves as a future college student, and every parent who has found a safe place to share and be encouraged; these supporters have played a role their stories!
 
If you are not a current financial supporter of Pomona Hope, I invite you to consider partnering with us through one of several possible opportunities. Our current donors support us by:
  • Sending us a monthly check
  • Setting up an automated bill pay through their bank
  • Setting up automatic monthly giving using their credit card through the link on our website: Donate
Becoming a financial supporter of Pomona Hope has enabled many people to feel a greater part of our mission. Join our support team and then drop by to see what you are a part of!
Summer Intern Hannah Chiou (University of Florida) leads the Braves ( 2nd-3rd graders) during their Language Arts rotation!
The Conquerors (4th-6th graders) practice computer applications while learning about cyber-bullying in Summer Intern Crystal Hermosillo's (University of La Verne) technology rotation!
Summer Intern Ryan Stewart (Pomona College) helps the Champions (6th-8th graders) prepare their cases for a debate on school responses to bullying!

Come to our Summer Open House!

Our Summer Interns, kids, and youth have been working (and playing!) hard all summer! We will be showcasing our learning and accomplishments and will be performing a homegrown production of The Princess and the Frog! Please come!
Pomona Hope
Summer Enrichment Open House!
Tuesday, July 29 at 5PM

First Presbyterian Church sanctuary
401 N. Gibbs St.
Pomona, CA  91767
You're part of our team! Let us know what you think and please forward to friends you know would love to hear about the work of Pomona Hope! Thank you for your continued support!
Pomona Hope
401 N. Gibbs St.
Pomona, CA 91767
www.pomonahope.org
info@pomonahope.org
donate@pomonahope.org