HERstory at the Haggin

Last night on March 8th, the Eleanor Project presented HERstory, an event that took place at the Haggin Museum. This was one of their first events since partnering with the United Way of San Joaquin County. The event celebrated women in our community and their achievements, as well as promoted female empowerment and supportive networking. Along with having a room full of historical archives that highlighted important women and groups of women who dedicated themselves to uplifting their communities (including Haven of Peace founder Ethel Ellison and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority), the night also featured a presentation by Dr. Edie Sparks, a history professor at University of the Pacific who spoke about her book, Boss Lady. The book highlights three women entrepreneurs who ran successful businesses during times where it was extremely rare to find women in high-ranking positions: Margaret Rudkin, Olive Ann Beech, and Stockton’s very own Tillie Lewis.

Named after Eleanor Roosevelt, the Eleanor Project- founded by Kristen Birtwhistle and Stacy Jackson- consists of events and programs that focus on celebrating women’s accomplishments by bringing them together and sharing their stories. Other events include TEP Talks, Oxygen Mask Social Events, Dinner and Discussions, and Women Owned and Operated (WOO) business development opportunities.

To learn more about the Eleanor Project, please visit their website here: http://theeleanorproject.com<http://theeleanorproject.com/>

Agape Villages Foster Family Agency

Each week, we will be featuring an organization that provides invaluable programs and services for the San Joaquin community that uplift and strengthen those who may be struggling or in need of assistance. Many of these organizations are not too widely known, so our goal is to share their commitments and contributions to the San Joaquin County community.

The Agape Villages Foster Family Agency is committed to placing foster children who often have experienced trauma, neglect, and grief into safe and supportive families with fully qualified foster parents. Agape Villages serves 23 counties in Northern California including San Joaquin and Sacramento, and have offices in Manteca, San Ramon, and San Leandro. Their goal is to aid disadvantaged children in recovering and reshaping their lives by providing them with a nurturing environment until they are able to reach the next stage of their lives, whether that be reunification with or emancipation from their biological families. Agape Villages also provides families the opportunity to heal, grow and develop in hopes that reunification may occur if possible or appropriate. Today, the total number of children served by Agape Villages is 6,100.

Agape Villages provide children, adolescents, and young adults (newborn to 21 years of age) with numerous services that include: enhanced treatment foster care, an enrichment program, and a transitional youth program. The enhanced treatment foster care program has the goal of finding placements even for sibling groups and adolescents, which are among the most challenging foster youth to find temporary homes for. In addition, social workers implement a “Needs and Services” plan that is specific to the needs of every child. The Enrichment program includes activities such as art, dance, horseback riding, and church youth groups with the goal of increasing children’s social skills, self-esteem as well as their motivation for learning. Last, the Transitional Youth program is geared towards those 15 to 21 years of age, and helps to prepare them for life as independent adults by providing job training and college preparation.

To learn more about Agape Villages Foster Family Agency, visit their website here:   http://www.agapevillages.org