New Dining Hall Dedication a Milestone in Campaign for El Tesoro On June 1 Camp Fire will dedicate the new dining hall complex at Camp El Tesoro. The dedication will open with a ribbon cutting and remarks by Peg Smith, CEO of the American Camp Association and Dr. Gary Krahn, Head of School for Trinity Valley School. Tours will follow. Other Camp Fire leaders in attendance include Liz Darling, Camp Fire National Camp Fire Board Chair and former El Tesoro camper and Cathy Tisdale, President/CEO of National Camp Fire.
“We are grateful to have these outstanding leaders come to support and recognize the hard work and generosity of so many. This event not only signifies the opening of new buildings for our campers year round, but signifies Camp Fire’s commitment to look to the future and preserve for future generations a traditional camping experience open to every child, ” said Tod M. Miller, Campaign for El Tesoro Chairman.
Camp El Tesoro Dining Hall ComplexRevised 04.28.2010
This event also marks an important milestone in the campaign fundraising – the public campaign requesting financial support to complete the project. The Campaign for El Tesoro has raised $7.8 million of the $10.7 million goal and is now looking to the larger community for their support. “When I think about El Tesoro being the only remaining Camp Fire camp in Texas, I realize just how fortunate we are to have such a broad support system of individuals who value the experiences and life-lessons camp provides,” added Zem Neill, CEO/President of Camp Fire First Texas. continued on page 5
Rees-Jones Foundation Supports El Tesoro de la Vida The Rees-Jones Foundation recently awarded a $15,000 grant to Camp Fire First Texas in support of Camp Fire El Tesoro de la Vida grief camp. The Rees-Jones Foundation grant is an example of the significant impact that private funding has on Camp Fire programs. In 2012 nearly 80% of the El Tesoro de la Vida campers requested and received financial support. This grant alone will provide funding for more than 20 full camperships or nearly 23% of these campers.
Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones created the Dallas-based foundation that bears their name in 2006. The Foundation’s mission is to serve God by serving others, sharing His resources in ways that provide opportunities for the disadvantaged, relief for the suffering, and encouragement in the growth and well-being of children and families in our community. On behalf of the children we serve, Camp Fire is honored to have the support of the Rees-Jones Foundation.
A Note from Zem
2013 Board Members Chairman of the Board Brandon L. Chase Vice Chairman, Administration Lauri Curtis Hadobas Vice Chairman, Financial Development Barbara B. Cook Vice Chairman, Planning Judd Pritchard Treasurer Nancy Hooper Secretary George W. Bean, Jr. Directors Jerri O. Akers Heidi Coombs Kimberly DeWoody Gary L. Douglas John S. Elliott Dolores Garza Marilyn Gilbert Michele Hahnfeld Terry Haney Dan Hansen Nina Hutton Brant C. Martin Gloria V. Martinez Bill McCoy Tod M. Miller John Molyneaux Chuck Mooney, III Cheryl Moore Steven W. Novak Evelyn H. Richardson Jenene Schaffer Chuck Sheridan Linda Springer John Strong Monica M. Thomas-Bonnick Lynda Tiedtke Jared G. Vitemb Kay L. West Lori West Drenda Williams Witt Foundation Board Daly R. Bales, Jr. Kenneth Barr Kevin Garman Melissa Kirtley Barry Richardson Patricia Vaughan President/CEO Zem Neill
w Camp Fire ass, we introduced the ne In the last issue of the Comp look has been plementation of this new Im se. mi Pro r Ou d an nd bra r volunteers and port and ownership of ou a smooth process. The sup ase of brand rtainly helped. Our next ph ce s ha ss ce pro s thi of ff sta Resource n on and in the Camp Fire implementation will be see design. ations and a new website loc m gra pro r ou at r, nte Ce e First Texas, to our future, at Camp Fir ks loo nd bra w ne the of n While the implementatio ry of our past. d preparing to tell the sto an ing rch we are also resea is underway Fire First Texas. Planning mp Ca of ary ers niv An 0th nize this moment in Next year marks the 10 all are to pause and recog we ed cit ex w ho u yo l tel a number of and I cannot rs have been working with tee lun vo e Fir mp Ca y. tor our organization’s his us points of view. Each tell our story through vario to ns tio iza an org d an ions of youth in local partners has helped shape generat cil un co r ou w ho tes tra nue to do opportunity demons this organization to conti le ab en ll wi t tha ns pla citing North Texas – and the ex ! me co so for generations to you or a friend n our Alumni Club. Even if joi d an ite bs we r ou to want you to join the Please take the time to go gram in another region, we pro e Fir mp Ca a in ted lunteers, youth you know participa rd to past and current vo wa for k loo I b. Clu i mn Camp Fire First Texas Alu lebration. ating in the centennial ce members and staff articip
Lisa Ciora-Fandrich Joins Camp Fire Development Team Lisa Ciora-Fandrich joined the Development Division of Camp Fire First Texas in January as the new Annual Giving Manager. Lisa has more than 15 years of experience in the areas of community relations, talent development and event management. Prior to joining Camp Fire, Lisa served as the Community Relations Manager for Fluor Corporation where she managed Fluor’s grant program for North Texas, employee volunteer programs, community impact initiatives and more. Lisa maintains active involvement in several community service organizations. Most recently, she served on the Board of the Irving Schools Foundation, an organization that supports the students and staff within Irving Independent School District. She is an advocate for children and enjoys volunteering. Lisa and her husband, Will, have three children.
Jonathan Y. Ballard Award Presented Jesus ‘Jay’ Chapa, joined the Camp Fire Board of Directors in 2002. He served as Vice Chairman, Planning; Vice Chairman of Administration; as Board Chairman and on the Capital Campaign Steering Committee. For his past leadership as chair of the 2011 and 2012 Board Development Committees and as a member of the Camp Fire First Texas Foundation board, he was presented with the Jonathan Y. Ballard Award at the Camp Fire First Texas Annual Meeting. This award is given to individuals who have provided superior service in the general area of administration and is given in honor of the late Jonathan Ballard, a director at Southland Corporation, who made a significant contribution to Camp Fire and the Foundation through his will.
Excel For Success Early Childhood Initiative Launched Excel for Success is a program supported by the Rainwater Charitable Foundation. Excel for Success is a comprehensive, early childhood professional learning system that focuses on development of professional readiness for early childhood practitioners and administrators. Cheryl Mixon, the facilitator for this new initiative, said, “We want to build a core competency that can be reflected in the educators’ actions in the classroom through their work with children, parents and program staff.”
L-R - Jennifer Folzenlogen, Camp Fire; Cheryl Mixon, Camp Fire; Jeremy Smith, Rainwater Foundation
What sets it apart from other models is the attention on putting research into practice and offering rigorous, ongoing professional development that systematically allows participants to learn, reflect on the learning and, finally, apply the learning in the classroom.”
This integrated system includes research-based curricula; technology driven child and program progress monitoring; and intense, on-going teacher professional learning including on-site mentoring focusing on providers of 0-5 age groups. As the program expands it will: offer a Saturday Academy providing sessions on research-based best practices that will be offered to the larger public, develop a Family Engagement program and develop the Camp Fire Child Development Center into a model program where practitioners can observe and participate in a lab setting that exemplifies high quality, researchbased best practices that contribute to the school readiness of all children.
El Tesoro de la Vida Dinner Chair Shares Personal Connection to Campers Each year supporters of Camp Fire El Tesoro de la Vida grief camp come together for one night to secure the opportunity to forever change the lives of hundreds of children. This year’s event was chaired by Melinda and Kevin Garman. Kevin has a personal connection to the children at El Tesoro de la Vida. He has walked in their shoes. As a child, his family lost his father and sees in this camp the hope and the healing that was desired for his own siblings. The Garman’s desire to “pay it forward” was evident in their support and dedication to make this year’s event a phenomenal success for the children it helps.
Melinda and Kevin Garman
The annual dinner and auction has one goal – raise funds to give as many grieving children the opportunity to heal while having the time of their lives at camp. This year the more than 380 supporters did just that raising more than $45,000, 43% more than last year, to support camper scholarships for grief camp. “I am extremely thankful for the generosity of so many to help these kids find healing and help at El Tesoro de la Vida,” said volunteer camp director Denis Cranford. “Even with this amazing success, there are always more children to help. It is my hope that supporters who weren’t able to come to the event find it in their hearts to fund a child at camp this year through the Camp Fire First Texas Campership Drive.”
Record Attendance at Celebration of Child Care Champions More than 490 child care professionals and supporters of early childhood education filled Ridglea Hills Country Club on April 24 for the sold out, 8th annual Celebration of Child Care Champions L-R Barbara Luft, Ty Fagan, Syble Louise Michell, Rhonda Deen, (Denise Collins not pictured) dinner and awards ceremony emceed by presenting sponsor Lockheed Martin’s Eric Fox.
Recipients of the 2013 Excellence in Child Care Awards* Denise Collins Phyllis Jack Moore Professional Development Award Ty Fagan Young Professional of the Year Barbara Luft Family Child Care Provider of the Year
“We depend on a lot of people to make quality early childhood education happen from funders, researchers, educators and ISDs to mentors, classroom teachers and directors,” explained Lyn Lucas, vice president of the work/family division of Camp Fire. “It is rare to have all of these people under one roof to celebrate the quality and importance of early childhood education.”
Rhonda Deen Teacher of the Year
This event recognizes the immense value and positive impact early child care professionals have on tens-of-thousands of North Texas children. The theme of the evening focused on implementation of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) in the early childhood classroom.
*The awards presented are based solely on nominations from parents, early childhood educator peers and administrators in Tarrant County.
Syble Louise Michell Administrator of the Year
Sharon MacDonald, the keynote speaker and 28-year child care veteran, delivered a humorous and interactive, get-out-of -your–seat-and-participate message to demonstrate the power of music and engagement in learning. Presenting Sponsor
Keeping with the focus of the evening, table centerpieces, donated by Kaplan Early Learning Systems, were baskets filled to the brim with classroom tools, equipment and games that support STEM learning. One lucky child care professional at each table took it back to use in the classroom. The evening culminated with the presentation of the 2013 Excellence in Child Care Awards. The Celebration of Child Care Champions was presented in conjunction with the Fort Worth Area Association of Education ofYoung Children, Educational First Steps and the National Association for Family Child Care Homes.
Save the Date for Fall Camping on Fall Creek Group camping gets a new look this year at Camp Fire Camp El Tesoro’s event, Fall Camping on Fall Creek, held October 10 -13. This year’s event is open to families and friends of all ages and is adding some activities. The event’s new offerings include a 3-night option, adult focused explorations, later departure on Sunday afternoon and equestrian activities. There will also be story telling around the fire to learn about the legends and lore of Camp Fire Camp El Tesoro. “We hear from adults all the time that they wish they could come to camp, too,” said Susan Merrill director of programs at Camp Fire Camp El Tesoro. “For all those adults, this camping event is a wish come true!” Registration and pricing will be available online in July.
Every Child Deserves to Go to Camp When Debi McDonough first started thinking about sending her son, Coley, to camp it was strictly to keep him active and have something to do while she worked. As a single, working mom she wanted to keep her young son active during the summer months, but found that many camps were ½ days or just too expensive. A friend had mentioned Camp Fire Camp El Tesoro to her. “It was amazing, everything we were both looking for in a camp. When I realized that they offered camperships I just knew this is something that we had to do and hope that our application would be accepted, she said.” The first summer Coley attended Camp El Tesoro he was 10 years old. “That first summer as I watched the campers walk up through the woods to meet their parents at closing ceremonies and saw Coley singing camp songs with his new friends, it brought tears to my eyes. He looked so happy!” said McDonough. Coley’s favorite camp activities are archery, canoeing and kayaking. One of his favorite memories from camp is receiving his tenure walking staff that his counselor made especially for him with his name burned into it. Attached to it is his 3-year
pin. He says he will be bringing that walking staff with him every year now! This summer marks his fourth year attending overnight camp. Coley’s goal is to be in the CIT (counselor in training) program when he turns 16 so he can become a counselor at El Tesoro one day. McDonough truly believes that going to camp has helped prepare Coley for life, independence and the opportunities to achieve his goals. “If it wasn’t for your donations we would not be one of the families enjoying the benefits of Camp El Tesoro. It is my hope to one day be able to give back as a donor so that we can help kids have the experience that Coley has had!” Through generous contributions of supporters and donors, Camp El Tesoro was able to provide 137 camperships in 2012. While that is an impressive number, there were still more on the waiting list due to financial need. Help us achieve our goal of being able to send 150 kids to camp this summer through our campership drive. Your generosity can provide a life-changing experience for a camper and family. Make your donation today online at CampFireFW.org or by calling 817-831-2111. If you make a donation by May 17 your gift will be matched up to 15% by the Birdies for Charity program through the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Country Club.
continued from page 1
Camp El Tesoro is celebrating the 80th summer of camp this year making it one of the oldest camps in North Texas and the only Camp Fire camp in the state. If you would like to attend the event which begins at 1:30 p.m. on June 1 please RSVP at CampFireFW.org or 817-806-5451. The campaign is now entering the public giving phase and needs the support of the community to be completed. If you would like to contribute to the Campaign for Camp and be recognized on one of our donor trees, please visit CampFireFW.org to make a contribution or use the enclosed envelope.
80 YEARS 1934 - 2013
Capital Improvements Summary: Completed Projects • • • • • •
Funded, but not Completed Projects
Equestrian Center • Eight new cabins (four duplexes) High & Low Ropes Challenge Course • Welcome & Outdoor Education Center Dining Hall • Arts Village Health House Multi-Purpose Sports Court Entrance & Road into Camp
Unfunded Projects, Need to be Completed • • • • • •
15 New Cabins (six duplexes & three singles) Lodge Renovations Pool Area Expansion CIT & Staff Housing Interior Roads & Hiking Trails Office & Camp Store 5
Recent Contributors Individuals Ms. Sue Abshire Mr. Chuck Akers Ms. Carolyn A. Alban Lisa Austin Sharon L. Austin Kathleen and D.R. Bales Ms. Danielle Bassham Mr. Hutch Beach Mr. George W. Bean, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Beason Sherry Bennett Mr. Jerry F. Berger Mr. and Mrs. Chuck Blanton Mrs. Jeanne Boatman Mr. and Mrs. Lee Bohme Shirley Bowen Mr. and Mrs. Kevin C. Brandt Mrs. Evelyn H. Breaux Mrs. Flora Brewer Ms. Tara Brindley Darcy Brown Susanne Brown The Bullard Family Ms. Blanca Elena Burciaga Mr. J.W. Butts Corinthia Campbell Ralph Caroll Ms. Karen Cary The Chandler Family Mr. and Mrs. Brandon Chase Mr. Paul K. Chitwood Ms. Linda Goehman Christie Lisa Ciora-Fandrich Skyla Claxton Cindy Clines Mr. Steve M. Connolly Lisa A. Cook Jacqualyn A. Corona Mr. and Mrs. Jerry L. Cotton Malinda Murphey Cowan Ms. Tammy L. Coyne Mr. Denis Cranford Mr. and Mrs. Jerry W. Cranford Dr. and Mrs. Timothy E. Cronin Mr. Mark Crowell Malinda Crumley Mr. and Mrs. Dan Custred Mecole Darden Mr. Brady Darnell Ms. Kimberly A. D’Avignon Ms. Karol Genovese Del Real Ms. Dawn DeWall Ms. Virginia Dorman Dr. Laurie Boquet Dory Dr. and Mrs. Gary L. Douglas Ms. Karen Genovese Dozier
Mr. Derrek Drury Mr. and Mrs. Keith M. Easton El Tesoro de la Vida - Anonymous Donors Ms. Samantha Elder Donna Elton Leigh Ann Emerson Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Epps Mr. and Mrs. Fred Fayyazi Ms. Lisa Fellers Mr. and Mrs. Pat Fisher Mr. Len Fuller Ms. Marcia A. Fuller Mr. William Jared Fuller Ms. Jennifer Fung Maddie Garman Melinda and Kevin Garman Mr. and Mrs. Timothy P. Gildon Lydia A. Goetz Mr. and Mrs. Thomas C. Gooch Lorayne Goodwin Barbara and Denis Greer Kay Gunn Lauri Curtis Hadobas Mr. and Mrs. Lee Roy Hahnfeld Dorothy and Gary Hames Ms. Michelle Hancock Terry Haney Fiske Hanley Debra Hanus Mr. and Mrs. Weldon B. Hatch III Mrs. Dawn Henderson Mr. and Mrs. Keith A. Hicks Evey and Michael Hull Nina Hutton Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Isgur Mrs. Phyllis H. Jack-Moore Connie Jackson Diane Lochtrog Johnson Mr. and Mrs. Herbert H. Johnson Christy R. Jones Angela Kell-Hastings Kelly B. Keller Ruth Ghormley Kimbrough Connie D. King Joshua Kollie Mr. and Mrs. Glen Kroh Ms. Eileen S. Kulda Teresa and Tim Landon Danh T. Le Melissa Lopez Jane Lovedahl Lyn Lucas Misty Luttrell Mr. and Mrs. Bullett Manale Judy Mayo Mr. and Mrs. Samuel McBride
Ms. Wendy A. McFarlin Carolyn S. McGaha Ms. Mary Anne McKenzie Mrs. Mary Tyler McMurtray The McPherson Family Susan E. Merrill The Metz Family Mr. and Mrs. Audie Miller Mr. and Mrs. Brian Miller Ms. Lindsay C. Miller Mr. and Mrs. Tod M. Miller Ms. Susie Minton Mrs Sara Mitchell Cheryl Y. Mixon Mr. John Molyneaux Cheryl Moore Ms. Heidi D. Moore Glenda H. Moreno Tracy Munford Mrs. Roxane C. Murph Ms. Danielle E. Needham Zem Neill Dr. and Mrs. Patrick W. O’Malley Mr. Michael Pate Shannon L. Pena Linda L Peoples Diane Phillips Tracey Young and Jeff R. Pitts Mrs. DeVonna L. Powell Wicks Ms. Samantha Ptacek Mrs. Patricia Raines Edward Ramirez Linda Ramoz Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Rinn Mr. and Mrs. Tom E. Robinson Mr. Fritz Roessler Marlene and Michael Sanders Mr. and Mrs. Matt Scales Jenene Schaffer Mr. and Mrs. Trey Scheideman Hortencia Serna Jack and Pat Shannon Scott Shaunfield Ann Sheets The Shelton Family Mr. Chuck Sheridan Mr. and Mrs. John Shults Royce Simmons Sally and Steve Snow Mr. Lyle H. Snow Miss Kimberly Sotman Katlin Southall Ms. Ginny Tanner Mrs. Kathleen Telger Terry Templeton Christi and John Thornhill Crystal L. Tobar
Lydia Tovar Scott Trees The Uvaney Family Mr. Jared Vitemb Tracie and Michael Voelkering Mr. and Mrs. Michael Weaver Lori and Jay West Mr. Michael A. Williams Ms. Judy R. Wilson Kathy Wymer Lauren Yosten Organizations Academy Sports + Outdoors Albertson’s Community Partners Program Anonymous AT&T, Anonymous Employees Babe’s Chicken Dinner House Bank of America, N.A. - Fort Worth, Anonymous Employees Bank of Texas Ben E. Keith Foods Betty Janes Boutique BNSF Railway Company Branson Airport Brazos Moon Brazos Smokehouse The Business Press Butler’s Antiques Cabinet Specialist Camp Bowie District Central Market - Fort Worth Citigroup, Anonymous Employees Clayton Yes! Corporate Office Concrete Colors of Texas Cotton Patch Cafe Dallas Ft. Worth Metroplex CFC Dallas Ft. Worth SECC Dallas Symphony Orchestra Diamond Oaks Country Club Disney Parks Downtown Store A. J. & Jessie Duncan Foundation Dyno Rock Indoor Climbing Center Eddleman-McFarland Fund Educational First Steps Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. Finley Resources, Inc. Fly Branson Travel Services Fort Worth Paintball Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Fort Worth Zoo Funky Monkey GameStop
Thank you for supporting Camp Fire First Texas Contributor list through April 30, 2013. Guardado Landscaping Paul S. Hollis Trust Home Depot Indulge Magazine J. Hilburn Men’s Clothier The J.I. Foundation Jetta Operating Company, Inc. Jon Hart Designs JPMorgan Chase Bank Junior League of Fort Worth, Inc. Kaplan Early Learning Systems Lakeshore Learning Materials LaurieAnna’s Vintage Home Lhoist North America LKCM Radio Group, LP (95.9 The Ranch KFWR) Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Lonestar Antiques LLC Loyalty Class, First United Methodist Church Marigold Trading Co. Market on the Square Ella C. McFadden Fund of the Community Foundation of North Texas The Adeline and George McQueen Foundation The Meadows Foundation Munfy Productions National Camping Association of Japan Nothing Bundt Cakes NRH20 Omni Hotels Oscar’s Pub Pamela & Company Paradise Bistro & Coffee Pier 1 Imports Pig Iron City Pinehurst Resort Project Partners Red on the Square The Rees-Jones Foundation Ridglea Watch & Jewelry RMP Industrial Supply, Inc Robin Jackson Photography Ruby Grace’s at LoneStar Antiques Scarborough Renaissance Festival Harold Simmons Foundation Sky Camp in Yoshima Japan Southern Star Aviation Sports Authority Fort Worth Star-Telegram Stuff N’ Nonsense Target
Texas Health Resources The Funky Monkey The Maverick Fine Western Wear The Pan Handle Tom Thumb Good Neighbor Program Union Pacific Foundation United Way of Central New Mexico United Way of Tri-State Vaquero Country Club Wagon Yard The Gil and Dody Weaver Foundation Whole Foods Products XTO Energy, Inc. HONORARIUMS Dave Allen Marky Thornhill Corinthia Campbell Brandy N. Gray Mr. and Mrs. Tom Cochran Dr. and Mrs. Willis H. Murphey, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Crumley Dr. and Mrs. Willis H. Murphey, Jr. Kim D’Avignon Alicia Cannon Tyson Fields, my former student Vaughna Kromann Annie Flory Alicia Cannon Laurie and Jaycie Henderson Cory Henderson Mr. and Mrs. David Jones Dr. and Mrs. Willis H. Murphey, Jr. Joan Katz Blake Brodgen Lindsay Miller Alicia C. Miller Danielle Samsury Erin Robison Darian Sands Kerri A. Sands Carson Aaden Smith “Memaw”, Susan Lucky Smith Shelley Spikes Brittany Bradshaw Calie Willis, a new college graduate Mom and Dad Sheri and Douglas Willis
Dorothy Wing Terri Brigman
Chhoy Mao Rattana Mao
Ralph Mendoza Zem Neill Ann Sheets
Myra Bauldwin Mrs. Verna K. Straiton John M. Blackwell Katherine and Pete Giuliani, Jr.
Clarence Mooney, “Pepaw” Steve, Courtney and Pam Mooney
Linda Brown April Ciccarello
Harley Lee Nolen Cindy and J.R. Hames
Sue Brown Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Holle Melissa and Bill Joslin Mary and Rondale Ladd Zem Neill Ann Sheets Mrs. Faye Toler Mr. and Mrs. William Michael Zimmerman
Marlow Strode Rodriguez Mr. and Mrs. Grady Shropshire
Krystal DeShawn Bryant Zem Neill Ann Sheets John Coultas Thomas Braun Mattie Mae Cunningham Linda Barnett Patricia M. Bolger Martha Brooks Cindy Clines Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Drake Leigh Ann Emerson Mr. and Mrs. Pat Fisher Diane Lochtrog Johnson Connie D. King Lake of the Woods Camp Mr. and Mrs. Larry McAuley National Finance Credit Corp of Texas and Texas Livestock Marketing Association Zem Neill Linda Ramoz Dorothy Wing Walter Lee and Lena Mai Dyer Jill and Todd Boydston Robert Flory Alicia Cannon Steve Fults Pam and Steve Mooney Mark Henderson Cory Henderson Adele Klein Rush Klein
Grace Sadler Zem Neill Darrell W. Sands Kerri A. Sands Amy Sherbart Janet and Bill Neff Jack Sheridan Glen and Dale Bell Gregory Smith Ms. Lawan Smith Ted Thornhill Mark A. Thornhill Maxie Tipton (still helping children) Verne and Christine Walker Eric Wallace Leticia Caraveo CAPITAL CAMPAIGN Kathleen and D.R. Bales Jill and Todd Boydston Terri Brigman Susanne Brown Cindy Clines Lisa A. Cook Donna Elton and Tom Smith Lisa and Bruce Epps Vincent Genovese Memorial Foundation Joan and Lee Roy Hahnfeld Cecilia Hindman Diane Lochtrog Johnson Rush Klein Laura and Tod Miller The Chuck Mooney Family Ann Sheets Bernadette and John Shults Ward G. Veale Dorothy C. Wing 7
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Stepping Up to Graduation May is synonymous with mortar boards, Pomp and Circumstance and opening a new chapter in young lives. For 11 students this life experience almost didn’t happen.
Step Up participants Esmerelda Rodriguez and
Barbara Velasquez will be graduating on June 9 Three years ago, as sophomores, seven from North Side High School. students at North Side High School and four students at Diamond Hill High School were referred a truancy prevention program – a program that has changed the course of their lives.
“The students I work with are expected to help in the home with siblings, hold a job to provide financial support all while completing homework assignments and going to school. Or they are faced with the peer acceptance and easy cash that being a part of a gang offers. This is their reality. It is my job to help these students navigate within their realities to be successful,” explained Melissa Villegas, director of teen services. Through Step Up, Villegas provides students the tools and unconditional support they need to blaze a different path by introducing them to new career possibilities, instructs them on how to apply to college and financial aid, and prepares them for college life. And this work is paying off. “Doing something different than what their parents did, what their cousin did, what their family did is scary for these kids. But I see over and over that with support, the students in Step Up welcome the change, embrace it and want to be a part of something more and we help them achieve that,” Villegas shared. The program currently serves 48 students freshman through seniors. This is the largest graduating class for the program with 100 percent of seniors going on to college after graduation.
Calling all North Texans who have participated in a Camp Fire program to join the Camp Fire First Texas Alumni Club! Register online at CampFireFW.org or call 817-806-5406.
NEW Product Promotes Giving to Camp Fire Fort Worth based snack company, Anderson Trails, launched a new product called WOATS. This snack exists to inspire kids to discover and harness their passion, make a difference in their communities and change the world for the better. One way the company is activating their mission is to identify a Monthly Mission Partners whose mission aligns with theirs AND help raise money for the non-profit partner. Camp Fire First Texas will be the FIRST Monthly Mission Partner For every online purchase at www.woats.com through July Camp Fire will receive a $1 donation per bag plus supporters of Camp Fire receive $1 off using the code: campfire.