Empowering and engaging women and girls

Tari Hanneman, director of The Women’s Fund of Winston-Salem, is grateful that Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center provides support for her organization.

And not just because Wake Forest Baptist sponsors the annual luncheon put on by The Women’s Fund, where it announces its yearly grants and builds awareness.

“I would say it’s the people and knowledge,” Hanneman says. “The fund is delighted to have many dedicated members from Wake Forest Baptist.”

In fact, the 2013 board chair for The Women’s Fund is Allison Brashear, MD, chair of Neurology. Brashear became involved with The Women’s Fund not long after arriving in Winston-Salem in 2005. She had a natural interest—her mother, Dr. Diane Brashear, helped to found The Women’s Fund of Central Indiana years earlier.

“She taught me about the importance of philanthropic projects that benefit women and girls, something I try to model for my daughter, Diane,” Brashear says. “When I found that Winston-Salem had a Women’s Fund, I knew our family had moved to the right place. Funding grants with a gender lens is very important to making sure that we are addressing the root causes of social issues impacting women and girls in our community.”

One example of how The Women’s Fund puts its money to work is through its funding of a social worker assistant for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools who works specifically with Latino teen mothers and their families. The Women’s Fund has helped pay for that position for four of its six years.

The Women’s Fund puts its money to work is through its funding of a social worker assistantGricelda Mendez, who has been in the job since it was created, says her goal is to connect teen mothers with the services they need before and after having their baby. She assists them, for example, by driving them back and forth between school and health care appointments, interpreting for them and their parents in various community settings, providing supportive counseling, helping them make child care arrangements and helping their families through crises.

If the young moms get help with these services, “they’re more likely to stay in school,” Mendez says. “I want them to have a better job, not just for themselves, but now that they have a child, to provide better support for their new family.”

Faith Lockwood, social worker for teen parents for the school system and Mendez’s supervisor, says statistics show Mendez is helping make inroads. The rate of graduation for Latino moms has crept over the 40 percent level, up about 5 points in four years. Equally significant, the rate at which Latino teen moms return to school each August for the new year is up from 64 percent four years ago to 77 percent today.

“Hope for the future of our community’s youngest mothers and their children is so much greater if these young mothers remain within the ‘village’ created by school,” Lockwood says.

Click here to learn more about The Women’s Fund, which at this year’s luncheon in November will pass the $1 million mark in money awarded to programs for women and girls.

 

Community Financial Support Mother and daughter on the run together—for good health Day of Caring provides health resources for those in need Empowering and engaging women and girls Teaching families to live a healthier lifestyle
 
Community Financial Support Mother and daughter on the run together for good health Day of Caring provides health resources for those in need Empowering and engaging women and girls Teaching families to live a healthier lifestyle

 

 

 

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