Susan Swayze Receives 2013 Founders' Award
Susan Swayze was announced as the recipient of this year's Founders' Award during the November 13 membership meeting. The Founders Award is presented annually to a member who has demonstrated exemplary service to the organization. The award is based on a member’s outstanding participation in the organization; length of service; specific initiatives and achievements and their impact; raising awareness about and broadening the image of AAWGT; innovation; and breadth and spirit to inspire and raise the capacity of other members for AAWGT’s collective good.
Since 2005, Susan has been engaged with AAWGT as one of the 15 original Founders. She served as a member of the original Grants Committee and then went on to serve as a grants reviewer, review team leader, Assistant Chair and Chair. She has also served on Steering Committee, Fundraising/Leadership Development and Nominations Committee and the Endowment Committee.
Former Leadership Award recipient Tara Clifford, who chaired the nominations committee, announced this year's awardee, saying, “Never willing to say no, [Susan] has been extremely generous with her time and her talents. The entire AAWGT organization has benefited from her leadership and her unselfish devotion.”
AAWGT Receives Community Leadership Award
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) awarded AAWGT with the 2013 Leadership Award in recognition of continuous commitment to ensuring that every child in our community has the opportunity to live in a safe, stable permanent home.
AAWGT President Julie Schuelke accepted on behalf of the organization saying, "CASA's mission of serving children who have been abused and are under the protection of the foster care system fits perfectly within AAWGT's grants criteria. We are happy to have been a vital supporter of CASA over the last several years through our grants program. We also have members who have become "CASA's" and have volunteered directly with the CASA organization. We appreciate and thank CASA for the vital work you do with children in need in Anne Arundel County."
Fall Open House Celebrates Work Of 2012 Grantees
On Wednesday, Oct. 9, nearly 100 members and friends of Anne Arundel Women Giving Together came out on a rainy evening to celebrate the accomplishments of the organization’s 2012 grantees at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. This special evening allows the prior year’s grantees to share with AAWGT members how the organization’s grant money was put into action, through highlights and stories about lives changed.
The celebration of the eight 2012 grantees included:
Assistant Grants Committee Chair Kimberly Iaquinta opened the evening with a report on the highlights of seven years of AAWGT grant making, which has resulted in more than $500,000 in grants to organizations serving Anne Arundel County women and families. Post Grants Committee Chair Lynn Buhl and Assistant Chair Diane Evans moderated the program and introduced the 2012 grantees.
For highlights of the evening click here.
Video of the evenings presentations coming soon - Check back!
The Weakening Link Between Marriage and Childbirth: Does it Matter?
On Sept. 11, 2013, AAWGT members and friends attended an interesting and informative educational session on “The Weakening Link Between Marriage and Childbirth: Does It Matter?” The speaker, Katherine (Katy) Suellentrop, is the Director of State Support at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. The National Campaign’s goal is to insure that all children are born to loving, committed parents who have planned for and welcome their parental responsibilities.
The answer to the title question is, absolutely. Among other dismaying statistics, half of all unwed teenage mothers and their children live below the poverty line. Only 40% of teenage mothers graduate from high school, and only 2% obtain a college degree.
There is some good news in this area, as teenage births in the United States have declined by 50% since 1991. However, the U.S. rate is still twice that of Great Britain, which is twice that of the rest of Europe. The U.S. rate is 10 times that of Japan.
The rate of teen mothers has stayed fairly constant at 3% of the population over the past few years. In Anne Arundel Co. in 2011, 364 teens gave birth, 93% of them unmarried. Twenty percent of teen mothers already have one or more children. While nearly all teens say they do not want to get pregnant, 58% of sexually active teens admit to having unprotected sex at least part of the time. <more>
Ms. Suellentrop’s complete PowerPoint presentation can be accessed here.
AAWGT Awards More Than $95,000 in Grants to Seven Area Non-Profits
The award recipients and their programs were introduced at a Grants Showcase Reception held on Wednesday, June 12 from 6-8 PM at the Francis Scott Key Auditorium Lobby at St. John's College, in Annapolis.
This round of $95,682 in grants brings to more than $500,000 the total amount AAWGT has awarded in the seven rounds of grant making since the giving circle’s founding. The grants are provided annually and made available through member contributions and its endowment fund, which was created in 2011.
The seven Anne Arundel County nonprofits that were featured at the Grants Showcase on June 12 included:
• Anne Arundel County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) – $15,000 to supplement staffing for the program that trains volunteers who provide support and advocacy for abused or neglected children in the court system.
• Food Link Wholesale Charitable Produce Program - $15,000 to support staffing, transportation and supply gleaned food for the only program of its kind in the county that provides fresh fruit, vegetables and other healthy food to over 13,000 neighbors in need in Anne Arundel County.
• Anne Arundel County Public Library Foundation - $15,000 for a Family Literacy Center at the Brooklyn Park Branch Library. Improvements will include a new children’s area, a pre-teen/teen area enhancement and adult seating in the Library, which will provide a safe, stimulating environment for children and families and become a pivotal center for community life.
• Anne Arundel County Mental Health Agency’s Youth Suicide Awareness Action Team - $13,000 to be used for training individuals to help reduce the rate of youth suicide through early identification and intervention. The program’s cornerstone is “Question, Persuade, Refer” trainings, which teach people to identify potential suicide victims, talk to people in crisis and get them immediately to a mental health professional.
• Girls on the Run of the Greater Chesapeake: GOTRGC Scholarship Program - $15,000 for staffing and direct program support of a structured program that combines a fun experience-based curriculum of training for a 5K race with self-esteem enhancing workshops for preteen girls
• Sarah’s House - $15,000 for staffing of a program targeting teenagers living at Sarah’s House that focuses on their emotional self-development, intellectual enrichment, and personal and academic goal setting.
• Creating Communities: Arts Mentorship Academy - $7682 for staff and direct program support services to Title I school students, ages 8-17, through an arts-based alternative education.
“We have a very strong group of grantees this year, and we are delighted to be highlighting these worthy organizations at our June 12 Grants Showcase,” said AAWGT President Julie Schuelke. “It’s an opportunity for people in our community to come out and learn more about the needs in our community and how AAWGT supports these organizations in the work they do to make a difference in the lives of women and families in Anne Arundel County.”
See photos from the event in the Photo Gallery.