The Fond du Lac Area Women’s Fund supports local programs that bring about positive change in the lives of Fond du Lac area women and girls. The Women’s Fund has awarded its 2013 grants to six local agencies for their programs that primarily benefit Fond du Lac area women or girls in Women’s Fund priority areas: education; leadership development; financial self-sufficiency; and/or safety, dignity, and freedom from violence. “With the 2013 grant cycle completed, the Women’s Fund is proud to have invested close to $100,000 since its inception in 2004 impacting the futures of Fond du Lac area women of all ages”, said Rae Nell Halbur, Fond du Lac Area Women’s Fund Board President.
Marian University received $7,000 for a new program, “Bridge to Success Pre-Professional Training Workshop”. This 3-day workshop will provide intensive pre-professional training for 200 Fond du Lac area women seeking careers in applied and environmental science. According to figures submitted by Marian, 70% of Fond du Lac women attending college are the first in their families to do so, or fall into federally defined low-income categories, or both. A strong foundation in coursework, by itself, does not sufficiently prepare them for success as healthcare executives and scientists. Leadership in those fields requires proficiency in scientific writing, time management, financial literacy, business etiquette and other ancillary skills. Workshop activities are specifically designed to address these areas.
A $3,100 grant went to Family Service Association of Sheboygan for its Money Smart Women’s Conference in Fond du Lac. This half-day conference, part of Fond du Lac County Money Smart week, presents educational and informative financial literacy programs relevant to Fond du Lac County women. The program goal is that participants learn how to more effectively manage their money and improve daily financial decision-making, and long-term, that they will increase 2 their financial capability, savings and net worth. Topics of past sessions including topics like “Couponing 101”, long term care, and turning your passion into your business.
The Pregnancy & Parenting Support Program at Family Resource Center received a $3,000 grant. The program educates parents about child development and parenting skills through oneon-one and group sessions, classes and workshops, and includes a 24-hour helpline. Program goals include reduction of the risk of child abuse and, for teen parents, completion of high school.
A grant for $2,000 was awarded to the Boys & Girls Club of Fond du Lac for its SMART Girls program, which targets girls 11-16 years old at the Johnsonville Boys & Girls Club. The program aims to develop the positive values and character traits needed to become responsible women and consists of three components: It’s your Body, Take Care of Yourself, and Women in Leadership. Female teen leaders aged 13-18, themselves SMART Girls graduates, assist with program curriculum leadership. along with staff and community partner professionals.
Badgerland Youth for Christ’s Teen Parents program received a $1,500 grant. The program aims to equip and encourage teen parents to become responsible, successful adults, including living independently, parenting well, and completing their education. It accomplishes its objectives through speakers, training and provision of mentors to participating teens. The mentoring volunteers include successful former clients of the program.
The Fond du Lac School District received a $1,250 Women’s Fund grant for “Girls on the Run”. This positive youth development program is a collaboration among the Fond du Lac School District, Fond du Lac School District Recreation Department, Fond du Lac Family YMCA, and the Boys and Girls Club of Fond du Lac. It combines an interactive curriculum and running to inspire self-respect and healthy lifestyles in pre-teen girls. Lessons provide girls with the tools to make positive decisions and avoid risky adolescent behaviors, as well as helping to address the problem of child obesity. Girls on the Run Fond du Lac culminates in participants running a 5K.
Laurice Snyder, the chair of the Women’s Fund Grant Committee said, “This year we were able to support both exciting new and existing community programs for women and girls. We ask agencies who receive a Women’s Fund grant to submit a detailed program evaluation as a condition of future funding. This information enables us to assess which programs are getting measurable results, so we can feel confident that our donors’ money is being used wisely.”