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Catalogue Blog

Guest Post: Empowered Women International

Empowered Women International creates entrepreneurs and community leaders through women’s empowerment. Marga C. Fripp, the Founder and President, shares Three Reasons to Mentor a Woman, while EWI’s Media and Outreach Intern Jeremy Brandt-Vorel shares the stories of two women active in EWI’s programs. Both articles were originally published on EWI’s blog.

Why mentor a woman? Well, there are many reasons, but I want to share 3 compelling aspects that move most of our mentors.

Passion is infectious.

I often hear our mentors and even donors finding EWI’s passion for social change real and infectious. It’s true that once you meet our women entrepreneurs and experience the passion behind their work, you too will catch the bug and be transformed. We’re in the business of changing lives, but doing this without passion we wouldn’t be the same organization.

Once empowered, women give back.

It’s truly remarkable to see our immigrant or low-income women students struggling to recover from difficult life circumstances, yet working on business models that aim at social change. Income or profit is important for women. But what is most important is the change these women want to see in their communities. And their business enables them to do just that.

Mentoring is inspiring and rewarding.

We all want to feel good about being of help to someone in need. We love to support and invest in people who passionately believe in what they do. We love champions, and being part of their journeys is as rewarding as seeing them reaching the final destination.

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In The News …

DC police measure up-and-coming neighborhoods (Washington Post): “As residential and retail development pushes more people and businesses into new areas, economic development data can be as important in shaping police staffing decisions as armed-robbery statistics. Discussing “up and coming” hubs, such as the Waterfront and H Street NE, Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier says that “my primary goal, as these areas roll out, is that not only are they safe, but that they feel safe.” As neighborhoods change, “there is also friction between law enforcement and community leaders who say police are not moving quickly enough or deploying officers smartly enough in some areas.” What is your experience?

Poverty and Schools: Finally, Some Lights Go On (Huffington Post): Peter Meyer of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute discusses the “seemingly interminable battle between those who believe that you have to cure the poor before you can educate them and those who believe that educating the poor will help cure poverty.” His opinion? “The pendulum might be swinging, ever-so-slightly, toward the believers (in school).” He cites several projects that he hopes “will motivate more school leaders to believe that they can and must face poverty squarely, in the classroom.” Do you agree with the findings, and are they replicable?

Language instruction for immigrants in the DC region (WMAU: Community Minute): Profiled at the beginning of this month, Catalogue nonprofit “Language ETC (LETC) offers English and literacy training to low-income adult immigrants in the greater Washington area using volunteer teachers and tutors educates more immigrants annually than any other non-governmental organization in the area — and no willing student is turned away.” Most recently listed in the 2009/2010 Catalogue, LETC also provides a Multimedia Language Lab, conversation classes, book clubs, and individual job counseling to Washington area students.

In The News …

14 percent of VA children live in poverty (WTOP): “The percentage of Virginia children living in poverty in 2010 was at its highest rate since 1998, an anti-poverty group reported Tuesday. The total number of children living in poverty totals nearly 265,000, or 14 percent of children under 18 in the state, Voices for Virginia’s Children said in a report to be presented to the General Assembly. While well below the US rate, the number in Virginia has increased steadily since the start of the economic downturn in 2007, when it was 12.9 percent, according to the report. In raw numbers, an additional 33,000 children are living in poverty.” You can learn more about Catalogue’s Children, Youth, and Families non-profits right here, twelve of which are based in Virginia.

In Maryland, a prescription for better health care (Washington Post Local): “Maryland is near the top of the national rankings in median household income, but the state’s great wealth does not equal good health for everyone. Instead, the state has troubling clusters of chronic disease, low-birth-weight babies and limited access to health care for those who lack the means to pay. Areas with large minority populations, including Prince George’s County, are especially hard-hit.” A new proposal, unveiled by Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, “urges lawmakers to create health-care zones, which would mimic economic-enterprise zones” and state and local governments offer tax incentives for medical professionals who establish practices in underserved areas. It also would monetary awards for communities or nonprofits that find innovative ways to improve the overall health of a community.
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Teachers & Students

From “With Hispanic students on the rise, Hispanic teachers in short supply” in yesterday’s Post:

The surge in Hispanic students across the nation is forcing schools to reckon with a deep shortage of teachers who share their cultural heritage.

More than 21 percent of schoolchildren are Hispanic, experts report, compared with 7 percent of teachers. No other racial or ethnic minority group has such a wide disparity. In the struggle to close this gap, the stakes are high: Research suggests that a more diverse faculty might lead to better attendance, fewer suspensions and higher test scores. [...] Of 126,000 students in Maryland’s second-largest system [Prince George's], 21 percent are Hispanic. But among teachers, the share is 2 percent.
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Pictures for the Day

Today, catch a glimpse into … Liberty’s Promise, which combines professional development and civic education to sustain and support young immigrants in need — while encouraging them to be active and conscientious American citizens. You can read about just a few of Liberty’s Promise’s young participants right here.

This past June, Liberty’s Promise hosted their Annual Flag Day Fundraiser at Venable LLP, which was drew over 150 guests and successfully raised funds to support their critical work low-income, immigrant youth. Youth from the High Point High School after-school program spoke about their experiences with Liberty’s Promise; and The John Greely award was presented to Prince George’s County Council Member Eric Olson for his ongoing support of Liberty’s Promise’s Prince George’s County programs. Check it out:

Congratulations to all — and best wishes for the coming year!