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Your Support Changes Lives

December 27, 2018

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*Sarah had just turned 18, and left her former foster home with very few resources. Because she had nowhere to go she ended up returning to live with several family members who were heavily into drugs and alcohol. Sarah quickly realized that this was not a safe place for her to stay, and she reached out to our Independent Living Skills (ILS) program for support.

Through her work with the program, and the commitment of her ILS Advocate, she was able to apply for a housing voucher, rent and furnish her own apartment, and have the length of the voucher extended to five years.

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United in Remembrance and Conversation: Working Together to Make Our Community Safer for Transgender Individuals

December 20, 2018

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by Emily Ostrowski

On November 20th, YWCA Clark County hosted members of the community for a vigil, followed by a facilitated community conversation in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance. Since its inception in 1999 Transgender Day of Remembrance is meant to memorialize those who have lost their lives due to transphobia and draw attention to the increased threat of violence trans people have and continue to endure.

Thirty-three participants joined us for the vigil and many stayed for the community conversation. The community conversation consisted of three groups. Each group was posed a series of questions centering on issues faced by the trans community in Clark County, and ways in which we can make our community safer. (You can read a comprehensive overview of the questions and responses here.)

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The Benefits of Becoming a Monthly Donor This November

November 20, 2018

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Your generosity consistently provides life-changing services to our community. Every gift matters and every dollar is providing safety and support. This November, YWCA Clark County has set a goal for signing 40 new donors willing to make regular, monthly donations.

While any type of donation is an immense help to us, the reliability and commitment you offer by being a monthly donor is invaluable stability that cannot be replicated with one time donations. “When you join the YWCA Clark County Monthly Donor Program, your sustaining gift will provide hope to people during some of the most difficult moments in their lives” says Sherri Bennett, Executive Director. “Your promise is saving lives. It is that simple, and that important.”

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Women’s Leadership Center Takes On Consent in #MeToo Era in Newest Education Series

November 16, 2018

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by Cheyanne Llanos Bare, Coordinator of the WLC

Trigger Warnings: Mentions of sexual assault and rape

The era of #MeToo has opened our eyes to the experiences and stories of countless survivors, as well as the realization that rape culture is extremely prevalent in our society. Yet there remain lingering questions over what constitutes sexual harassment and assault.

The answer lies in consent.

The problem is that many of us have not had conversations or received formal education around consent. Only 8 states require sex education classes to mention consent, so we are often navigating the waters of consent, boundaries, and healthy relationships without a guide. This leaves plenty of opportunity for misinterpretation and miscommunication. For example, a 2015 Planned Parenthood survey found that people varied greatly in what they believe indicated consent.

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Stand with DVAM

October 31, 2018

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By Grace Maute

Recently, a survivor and her children came to our shelter fleeing domestic violence. When they first entered shelter, YWCA Clark County advocates provided them with crisis intervention, safety planning, and emotional support as they adjusted to their new living situation. The oldest child, who was experiencing PTSD symptoms due to the prior living situation, was able to work with the children’s advocacy program advocate in therapeutic activities and play with other children in the shelter.

The mother worked with the family support advocate who helped by providing emotional support and helping her understand what her options were moving forward for housing, income, and other essentials. The shelter was also able to help with providing culturally-specific hygiene products, food, clothing, transportation, and gift cards for miscellaneous needs. These supports ensured that the survivor was able to focus on creating a sustainable financial plan for her future without having to worry about where her next meal was coming from.

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Money Moves: Why Finances Play a Vital Role in Empowering Women

October 19, 2018

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Written by: Cheyanne Llanos Bare

By this point, we are no longer strangers to the gender pay gap. A gap, which has women earning $.80 for every dollar made by our male counterparts. This disparity is even greater amongst women of color. Black women earning just 62.5% compared to their white male counterparts in 2016 and Hispanic or Latina women 54.4% reducing the income of women over $10,000 each year.

And then there is the pink tax: an added cost to products or services that are marketed to and for women. This could be a dry cleaning bill or products like deodorant, shampoo, razors, or even pens. This totals an additional $1351 spent on extra costs and fees for women. Prior to the Affordable Care Act (2010) even health insurance was priced at a higher rate for women, causing women to pay $1 billion more on annual health care costs in the United States.

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Interview with Former “Young Women of Achievement” Scholarship Recipient Hannah Chong

June 28, 2018

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Since 1985 YWCA Clark County has been proud to recognize young women for their volunteerism, commitment to community, and leadership with our Young Women of Achievement Awards. Each recipient, from our first to our two most recent, inspired us by their commitment to better the world around them, and we relish any opportunity we get to spotlight their good works.

This is why we were so pleased to hear from Hannah Chong earlier this year. Hannah was awarded the First Independent Scholarship from YWCA in 2012, which helped send her to Seattle Pacific University for her undergraduate studies. She reached out to thank us for the scholarship, and to let us know that her educational journey had lead her to be recently accepted to medical school at Rocky Vista University in Colorado. We were so thrilled with her success that we decided to interview Hannah about her journey from former scholarship recipient to a future in practicing medicine. More

YWCA Clark County Announces Young Women of Achievement Scholarship Recipients

June 25, 2018

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Two high school seniors have been selected to each receive a $1,500 scholarship from YWCA Clark County in support of their future educational endeavors. Malia Meyer and Brianna Knode consistently demonstrated strong leadership qualities in alignment with YWCA Clark County values throughout their high school careers. Each student has contributed extensive volunteer hours to their schools, local nonprofits, faith-based organizations and their community as a whole.

Malia Meyer of Battle Ground High School was awarded the Soroptimist International of Southwest Washington Scholarship and will attend the University of Pittsburg to major in Nursing, with hopes to then serve developing countries around the world. Brianna Knode of Henrietta Lacks Health and Bioscience High School was awarded the Soroptimist International of Vancouver Scholarship and will be attending Washington State University to double major in Chemistry and Microbiology, with the intent to enter research medicine.

YWCA Clark County to Honor Val Joshua Award Recipients at Juneteenth Celebration

June 18, 2018

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Each year, YWCA Clark County recognizes those in our community who are working to end racism and oppression with the Val Joshua Racial Justice Award and the Youth Social Justice Youth Award. This year, we will celebrate Cindi Fisher and William Clark for their leadership in working toward the elimination of racism and promotion of peace, justice freedom and dignity for all.

YWCA Clark County is proud to partner with the Vancouver NAACP Branch #1139 to present the awards on June 23rd at the NAACP’s Annual Juneteenth Celebration. Join us at 1pm Saturday, June 23rd at Clark College to celebrate these amazing individuals, and to hear how they’ve made a difference in our community. Honorees will receive distinguished awards and the Youth Social Justice Award recipient will receive a $500 scholarship. More

Congratulations Heather Redman!

June 8, 2018

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by Sharon Svec

In 2015, the World YWCA Council adopted a Young Women’s Leadership Policy, which confirmed the World YWCA’s commitment to the implementation of a human rights based approach to young women’s leadership, and established the Envisioning 2035 goal. The goal is, “By 2035, 100 million young women and girls will transform power structures to create justice, gender equality and a world without violence and war; leading a sustainable YWCA movement inclusive of all women.” Former SafeChoice advocate Lauren Sheridan was a part of the groundbreaking efforts, which established this goal and developed the leadership policy.

Two years later, YWCA Clark County was happy to celebrate another staff member, Heather Redman of the CASA Clark County Program who was accepted in February 2017 as a member of the Young Women’s Global Advisory Council. The Council was created to advise and drive the implementation of the Envisioning 2035 goal. More