Frontdoors Magazine July 2019 Issue

Page 1

JULY 2019 – THE EDUCATION ISSUE VOLUME 17, ISSUE 7

From

Learning

to EARNING

Junior Achievement of Arizona gives kids the skills they need to succeed

EXPECT MORE ARIZONA + GENESIS CITY + ASSISTANCE LEAGUE OF PHOENIX


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

BEHIND THE DOOR {the caniglia group}

FEATURED LISTINGS

Steve Caniglia

Shelley Caniglia

6232 N. 19th St, Phoenix, AZ 85016

130 W. San Juan Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85013

Truly a stunning home tucked in the back of the

Wonderful North Central ranch style home on an

community for privacy and serenity. This free standing

ideal, lush, quiet cul-de-sac. Pleasing curb appeal

home has a gorgeous backyard including a pool and

with paved circular driveway. Open floorplan with

two patio areas with southern exposure. 2 bedrooms

3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms with 2716 square feet.

and 2 bathrooms with 1646 square feet. Amazing

2015 remodel of kitchen/greatroom with marble

kitchen with Fisher Paykel dishwasher, custom cabinets

countertops, 6’’ wide oak plank flooring, large Wolf

with pull out pantry, canned lighting, granite countertops

gas stove top and French doors leading to spacious

and office niche for two. Quality throughout with dual

covered patio. Expansive master suite tucked in

pane windows and doors, custom cabinets, extensive

the back of the house with fireplace, large master

art lights, designer drapes, custom gas fireplace and

bathroom and master closet. Lots of travertine

towering beamed ceilings. $250,000 in improvements

inside. Entertaining backyard with tiled patio, exterior

since 2006! Two car garage with storage rooms.

fireplace and play pool. Madison School District.

Well run HOA, beautiful grounds, community pool

Around the corner from the popular Uptown Farmers

and tennis court. Close to the North Central area or

Market and close to all the new restaurants that

just up the street from the Camelback Corridor!

North Central Phoenix has to offer!

The Caniglia Group

Shelley Caniglia: 602-292-6862 | Steve Caniglia: 602-301-2402 TheCanigliaGroup.com | UrbanConnectionRealty.com



STORY CONTINUED

CONNECTING WOMEN WHERE THEY WORK, LIVE OR PLAY Join us where you live, work or play to connect with like-minded women to share information, ideas, contacts and opportunities. Learn more at: eastvalleywomen.org | centralphoenixwomen.org | womenofscottsdale.org


FEBRUARY 2019 VOLUME 17, ISSUE 2

JANUARY 2019 VOLUME 17, ISSUE 1 JANUARY 2019 VOLUME 17, ISSUE 1

MARCH 2019 VOLUME 17, ISSUE 3

G RAND CANYON C ONSE RVANCY HE LPS G RAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK C E LE B RATE ITS C E NTE NNIAL

1 0 0 Yea rs

1 0 0 Y ea rs

FPO TITLE AREA ANGELA JOHNSON AND SHERRI BARRY CREATED A FASHION INCUBATOR THAT HELPS LOCAL DESIGNERS THRIVE

Rob and Melani Walton Discuss Philanthropy and Partnerships, From Local to Global

ARTICLE + ARTICLE NAME + ARTICLE NAMEPLACE HEALTHY EATS NAME + GETTING FIT FOR A CAUSE + BILLYʼS

TOVREA CASTLE + CHILDHELP + CENTER DANCE ENSEMBLE

On the Cover Katherine Kemmeries Cecala, CEO of Junior Achievement of Arizona, with kids in the JA program.

Photo: Thurlkill Studios Makeup: Cece Lunsford of The Sparkle Bar

CINDERELLA AFFAIR + EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH CHERYL BURKE + VOYCE THREADS

EDITOR

PUBLISHER

Karen Werner

Andrea Tyler Evans

CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

ASSISTANT PUBLISHER

Tom Evans

Ashley Ford

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Neill Fox

Jillian Rivera

GRAPHIC DESIGNER

BEAUTY PARTNER — MAKEUP

Lesley Kitts

The Sparkle Bar

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

BEAUTY PARTNER — FASHION

Ashley Ford Judy Pearson Carey Peña Catie Richman

Saks Fifth Avenue Phoenix

CULINARY WRITER

Lisa Mullavey THE PAW REPORT

Yosha Brunson Kuhl PHOTOGRAPHY PARTNER

Thurlkill Studios

Be in the know FOLLOW FRONTDOORS MEDIA

GENERAL INFORMATION & PRESS RELEASES

info@frontdoorsmedia.com 3104 E. Camelback Road #967, Phoenix, AZ 85016 480-622-4522 | frontdoorsmedia.com

Frontdoors Magazine is dedicated to the memory of Mike Saucier.


TABLE OF CONTENTS {july 2019, volume 17, issue 7}

EDITOR’S NOTE...................... 07 Education Today, Success Tomorrow

44

10 QUESTIONS WITH.......... 08 Eric Bucher, Ed.D. BOOKMARKED....................... 12 Smart Summer Reads OFFICE DOORS...................... 14 Tracy Bame of the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation and Expect More Arizona

32

CAREY’S CORNER................ 20 A Mighty Change of Heart COVER STORY....................... 22 From Earning to Learning NEXT DOORS.......................... 28 The Genesis of a Brighter Future STYLE UNLOCKED............... 32 Inherent Style CHEERS TO THE CHAIR..... 38 Andrea Marconi CHARITY SPOTLIGHT........ 40 Assistance League of Phoenix KITCHEN DOORS.................. 44 Refreshments on the Road A 2ND ACT.................................. 46 One Small Step OPEN DOORS......................... 50 A Peak Behind the ‘Frontdoor’

22 NONPROFIT AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS FEATURED IN THIS MONTH’S ISSUE: ++ A Mighty Change of Heart

++ Freeport-McMoRan Foundation

++ Arizona Association for the Education of Young Children

++ Gateway Academy

++ Arizona Humane Society

++ Genesis City

++ Assistance League of Phoenix

++ Junior Achievement of Arizona

++ Center for the Future of Arizona

++ NorthBridge College Success

++ Children’s Museum of Phoenix

++ One Small Step

++ Expect More Arizona

++ Rodel Foundation of Arizona


EDITOR’S NOTE {on the job}

EDUCATION TODAY, SUCCESS TOMORROW A few months back, I attended a celebration for NorthBridge College Success, a program created to help students with learning differences transition to life after high school. Designed for students enrolled in college and vocational programs, NorthBridge provides academic support, executive functioning coaching, and social events to help minimize anxiety for students working to overcome educational challenges so they can reach their goals. When Amy Bockerstette, a young woman with Down syndrome, first told her parents she wanted to go to college, they lovingly told her that maybe college isn’t for everyone. Thanks to her hard work and NorthBridge’s help, Amy not only attends Paradise Valley Community College, she earned a full-ride golf scholarship, is a valued member of the team and a thriving student at the school. This year, seven NorthBridge students completed their associate or bachelor’s degree. The proud parents at my table at the celebration told me how life-changing it was to receive the support that let their children defy the odds — but that all of their kids’ accomplishments started with their decision to try. Those sentiments ring true for many of the organizations we highlight in this issue. Couple a young person’s hard work with an organization’s help, and students can do remarkable things. In Office Doors, Tracy Bame, the board chair of Expect More Arizona, shares how the organization is working to ensure every child in the state receives a high-quality education. In our 10 Questions column, Eric Bucher, the governing board president of AzAEYC, talks about the critical importance of supporting and elevating the work of early childhood professionals.

Our cover story spotlights Junior Achievement of Arizona, which is teaching kids from kindergarten through 12th grade how to manage their money, be ready to enter the workplace and to think innovatively. In Next Doors, Tom Evans takes us inside Genesis City to see how a fresh approach is providing at-risk and underserved students a second shot at education. And Charity Spotlight looks at Assistance League of Phoenix’s efforts to provide new school clothes and fresh confidence for kids from low-income families as they start the new school year. Here at Frontdoors, our team has kids, siblings, nieces, nephews and grandkids in all stages of the education continuum — from preschool to college. So we have skin in the game when it come to education. But really, we all do. We know that the education students receive today will set the groundwork for success tomorrow — for both themselves and for our state. So read on about some of the great work being done to offer all of our kids a brighter future. Because as Amy Bockerstette’s family will now tell you, education is for everyone.

Karen Werner EDITOR

@kwerner409


10 QUESTIONS WITH

ERIC BUCHER, ED.D. AzAEYC Governing Board President

1. What is the Arizona Association for the Education of Young Children? AzAEYC is a nonprofit membership organization that provides professional development and resources for early childhood professionals who work with children birth to third grade. AzAEYC is a state affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

2. Why was it created? A quick history lesson: In the 1960s, as more women entered the workforce, there was increased need for safe and secure childcare. NAEYC was organized to promote quality early learning, set research-based standards and develop resources for the early 8  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | JULY 2019

childhood field. A grant from NAEYC supported the building of AzAEYC, and by 1989, AzAEYC achieved affiliate status. AzAEYC’s commitment to advocate for worthy wages for early childhood teachers and access to quality early learning for all families continues today.

3. What are your goals for AzAEYC? Imagine a community where everybody knows how important quality early learning is on children’s lifelong learning. Imagine a community where lawmakers and stakeholders invest in the continuum of quality education from birth through college. This is the Arizona that AzAEYC strives for. My goal is for AzAEYC to help give early childhood teachers a voice in our state. Teacher voices and their stories are so powerful in shaping our community’s


investment in early learning. I want to be sure they are heard. I’ll also continue to nurture AzAEYC’s valued relationships with statewide partners and promote a vibrant and diverse membership that represents the strengths — and elevates the voices — of Arizona’s early childhood professionals.

4. Speaking of educator voices, can you share your own story in education? As a young child growing up with a speech impairment, I know the value of quality early learning. My early childhood special-education teacher supported my strengths rather than focusing on deficits. She messaged that I mattered and was capable. When I got to my very first college class, trying to balance work as a preschool teacher and homework, my professors also messaged that I mattered and was capable. Now, I am a first-generation college student who recently earned a doctorate degree researching quality early childhood professional development. The impact that positive, caring, trusting early childhood relationships had on my life was instrumental in making me the professional I am today. I’m proud to help lead the governing board and promote AzAEYC as a resource for continuous professional development and advocacy support as we strive to elevate the early childhood profession in Arizona.

5. Why is quality early education so critical? Research shows that 90 percent of a child’s brain develops by age 5. Quality early education produces better health and social outcomes and increases workforce productivity. The research — time and time again — shows how critical early education is not only for the well-being of children and families but also for the well-being of all of us. Access to quality early education helps a child to be successful in school and in life. Economists estimate that quality early education can yield a 13 percent return on investment annually per child through better education, economic, health and social outcomes. It’s the right thing to do by our children and families.

6. What are some of the biggest challenges early learning providers face? Imagine a teacher as an architect. Not as a designer of buildings, but of healthy brains. This helps us see how critical they are as professionals in our community. Elevating the professionalism of the field is one of the biggest challenges early learning providers face. AzAEYC’s efforts include aligning statewide policies with research and supporting teachers to advocate for themselves as professionals. Not babysitters — but professionals.

Eric Bucher’s 13 years of early childhood experience includes directly teaching children birth to age 8. He is the co-author of “Beyond Bouncing the Ball.”

7. Do you have any success stories you can share? A signature AzAEYC member benefit is our $1,000 scholarship for early childhood college students, awarded each fall. These funds can be used for college coursework, professional development, or teacher and classroom supplies. In 2018, Martha Esmeralda Carrillo was the recipient. Esmeralda was working to complete an associate in applied science degree (AAS) in early childhood education. She is also mom to 5-year-old Cecilia. Esmeralda has a passion for advocating for quality early education for children with special needs and their families. She used the $1,000 to help pay for researchbased early childhood publications and to attend professional development seminars. At our AzAEYC annual meeting last fall, Esmeralda said it best, “We JULY 2019 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  9


10 QUESTIONS CONTINUED

need to be advocating for children and their rights. We are all in this together. We are a community.”

8. What other events or opportunities does AzAEYC provide? As a membership organization, AzAEYC offers great resources for teachers as well as parents and community members. The brand-new “Family Membership” level is designed for members outside of the early learning profession, such as parents, family members and community members who want to support quality early learning. We’re also working to advocate for children, families and our profession by helping host Early Childhood Day at the Legislature every February. Anyone can join us to show their support.

9. How can readers support your efforts to advance high-quality early learning? Consider donating any amount to the AzAEYC scholarship for early childhood college students.

The $1,000 AzAEYC scholarship was created to acknowledge the outstanding service of early childhood professionals, like Esmeralda. The scholarship recognizes leadership qualities and commitment to early education and public policies that support the well-being of young children.

10. Is there anything else you’d like readers to know? AzAEYC’s work is supporting parents, caregivers and teachers — the people whose interactions are critical to children’s healthy development and socialemotional well-being. When we invest in early education, we impact our community in ways that benefit all of us. AzAEYC will continue to provide advocacy training and work to help raise the quality of early learning around the state. We are honored to be a part of this movement to create a better future for all Arizonans. To learn more, visit azaeyc.org.

JUNE 12 - AUGUST 11

SPAMILTON AT THE PHOENIX THEATRE COMPANY

AN AMERICAN PARODY

Visit PhoenixTheatre.com or call 602.254.2151 for tickets!


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

THE PAW REPORT {PetSmart Charities}

KITTEN SEASON

KNOWLEDGE IS KEY A few facts that can help you and your new kitten:

All kittens are born with blue eyes and will have their fully developed eye color at around 8 weeks old Bottle-fed kittens need to be fed frequently – on average, every 2 hours Kittens make great pets and instinctively know how to use a litter box Spaying/neutering your kitten is the best way to prevent unplanned litters – kittens can be spayed/neutered very early, usually around 8-12 weeks old

VOLUNTEER

Many shelters become overwhelmed with the influx of kittens. Whether volunteering to bottle-feed neonatal kittens, cleaning or fostering, spending time with cuddly kittens can be a fun and gratifying experience. Stop by a PetSmart store near you to learn how you can help. www.petsmartcharities.org/adopt-a-pet/ adoption-centers

Summer is officially upon us, and along with scorching temperatures and longer days comes kitten season – the seasonal time frame when cats are commonly in heat and give birth to thousands of kittens. As a result, many shelters become flooded with these bouncing bundles of fur who need homes. Because kitten season can occur more often in warmer climates, PetSmart Charities and our nearly 4,000 adoption partners work to find homes for these kittens. Cats and kittens are available for adoption every day at PetSmart Charities Cat Adoption Centers, located in nearly every PetSmart store. Adopting ensures kittens like Sassy leave shelters for loving homes. At just five weeks old, she was found abandoned, shivering in a drain pipe. Thanks to foster care Sassy will soon be ready for adoption. Whether volunteering, donating or adopting, it’s support from pet-lovers like you that provides homeless pets the best chance to find the people they’ll call family.

DONATE

During kitten season shelters quickly run low on supplies, and there is almost always a need for funding and materials such as kitten bottles, towels and small crates. Donate at your local shelter or online. www.petsmartcharities.org/give

ADOPT

Adoption changes lives for both people and pets. Give a local kitten a loving home and find your new best friend. www.petsmartcharities. org/adopt-a-pet/find-a-pet


BOOKMARKED {what are you reading}

SYBIL FRANCIS, Ph.D. President and CEO of the Center for the Future of Arizona R E C O M M E N D S : “More Than Enough” BY ELAINE WELTEROTH H E R TA K E “I read Elaine Welteroth’s memoir ‘More Than Enough’ to understand why my 19-year-old daughter and GenZers find her so inspiring. The former editor of Teen Vogue — Condé Nast’s youngest ever in its 107-year history — as well as its first African American editor, Welteroth brought social justice, feminist and

political topics to its fashion and beauty reporting. In addition to career and life tips for young people, I love the book’s powerful message that each of us at any age and from any background has more than enough to matter and to make a difference.”

O. ROBIN SWEET Executive director and CEO of Gateway Academy, Inc. R E C O M M E N D S : “Look Me in the Eye” BY JOHN ELDER ROBISON H E R TA K E “Ever since he was young, John Robison longed to connect with other people, but by the time he was a teenager, his odd habits — an inclination to blurt out non sequiturs, avoid eye contact, dismantle radios and dig five-foot holes (and stick his younger brother, Augusten Burroughs, in them) — had earned him the label ‘social deviant.’ It was not until he was 40 that he was diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome. That understanding transformed the way he saw himself — and the world. A born storyteller, Robison has written a moving,

12  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | JULY 2019

darkly funny memoir about a life that has taken him from developing exploding guitars for KISS to building a family of his own. It’s a strange, sly, indelible accounts — sometimes alien, yet always deeply human. ‘Look Me in the Eye’ is the first powerful book that helped me, personally, understand my son, who is diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. John Robison and I became good friends, and he is a resource for our family and our school. I recommend this for anyone who has been touched by someone on the autism spectrum. It will open your eyes!”


BOOKMARKED {what are you reading}

KATE WELLS CEO of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix R E C O M M E N D S : “The Pilgrimage” BY PAULO COELHO H E R TA K E “With a milestone birthday on my horizon, I have recently found myself drawn to stories of personal journeys. This summer I am reveling in Paulo Coelho’s novel ‘The Pilgrimage,’ the author’s memoir of his literal pilgrimage across Spain on one of the Camino de Santiago paths. The account of his walk is beautiful and transports you along on his journey, but not surprisingly,

what Coelho learns about himself and the human experience are the most transformative parts of this beautiful story. I regularly read novels about places I plan to travel and find they enrich my perspective and remind me to see things as others might see them. A great read for anyone embarking on a journey of any kind!”

JACKIE NORTON President and CEO of the Rodel Foundation of Arizona R E C O M M E N D S : “Educated” BY TARA WESTOVER H E R TA K E “It’s difficult to find the right adjectives to describe this book. It’s hard to read yet impossible to put down. It’s an amazing, incredible but true story of one woman’s growing up in a survivalist family in the Idaho mountains and her unquenchable desire to learn. Today’s discussions about education are filled with

references to the importance of grit, determination and perseverance. All of that pales in comparison to what this astonishing young girl embraced, tolerated and survived in her quest for knowledge. This is an unforgettable book; it will transform your notions of what it means to be educated.”

JULY 2019 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  13


OFFICE DOORS {valley changemakers}

TRACY BAME President of the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation and board chair of Expect More Arizona

Karen Werner | Editor

As a high school freshman, Tracy Bame never imagined that her English teacher, Mr. Victor, would set the tone for her professional career — including chairing the board of Expect More Arizona, an organization dedicated to finding and implementing long-term solutions to our state’s most pressing education issues.

professional career, she became aware that her path would call her to try to leave a mark on the world. For the past 23 years, she’s served as president of the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation, building the company’s corporate social responsibility program and engaging with stakeholders about important issues.

“Mr. Victor was an incredible teacher that inspired my passion, not only to be a good writer,” Bame said. “It was about looking outside what you were learning in the classroom and really being a student of the world.”

“Certainly education is central among the things that we engage around,” Bame said. As a mother, Bame is aware that education opens up a world of opportunity, but that not all Arizona children are as fortunate to receive a high-quality education as her own. “I became really passionate about wanting to make sure that all children had access

As Bame continued on to college and into her 14  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | JULY 2019


to a high-quality education and being part of work designed to raise the bar in the state,” she said. After speaking with Paul Luna, president and CEO of the Helios Education Foundation and a founder of Expect More Arizona, Bame became motivated by the organization’s mission to bring diverse groups of people together to advocate for all children having a top-flight education. “I wholeheartedly and enthusiastically joined the board six years ago, and it’s my pleasure to serve now as the chairperson,” she said. Founded in 2009 by a group of business and community leaders, Expect More Arizona is a public-private partnership that works to make Arizona’s education system the best it can be and create a shared voice to make education a top priority for our state.

to see how we’re making progress related to a number of education milestones. From pre-K enrollment to third grade reading scores to high school graduation rates, it offers specific goals that support a unified vision for education in Arizona. “What’s really powerful about the achievementrate goal is that if the state achieves 60 percent of Arizonans who receive either a two- or four-year degree or a post-secondary certificate, we will add $3.5 billion to the Arizona economy,” Bame said. “So Expect More is really helping to focus people around the things that need to be done throughout the education continuum to reach that attainment goal.” The second resource Bame is excited about is the Education Roadmap that Expect More launched in

Reflecting on her role with the organization, Bame sees it as her chance to help create an Arizona with opportunity for all students to grow and achieve, no matter where they come from. “Expect More works at building a statewide network that represents parents, teachers, concerned citizens and students. It’s kind of an umbrella organization that beats the drum for high-quality education,” she said. “There really isn’t anybody else who’s that collective voice for advocating for high-quality education or making sure that, for example, rural communities’ voices are represented, because they often get left out.” Bame is particularly excited about two Expect More Arizona resources that she sees as key to improving education in our state. The first is the Arizona Education Progress Meter, which details eight key metrics that allow us JULY 2019 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  15


OFFICE DOORS CONTINUED

January. Presenting a long-term plan for education, the Roadmap articulates short-term investments with potential to move the needle for the education system and increase outcomes for students. “That was another statewide collaborative effort where they brought together over 200 partners in the education space from all across the state to outline the priorities that the education community has collectively agreed on — from increasing teacher salaries to improving early childhood education,” Bame said. “It’s a really powerful tool for moving the conversation forward.” As board chair, Bame will be working toward organizational stability, raising the organization’s public profile, and building support for a collective vision for education among community leaders. “There’s definite progress being made,” she said. “The work that Expect More has done in raising the conversation across the state has directly resulted in Arizonans understanding and agreeing that education is a top priority.” Bame hopes her board service to Expect More Arizona means that more children will have the kind of enriching, mind-expanding education experience that Mr. Victor provided for her back in ninth grade, both for their own sake and for Arizona’s. “I think a lot of people don’t realize how critical education is, not just for personal success, but for the economic health of our state. A high-quality, qualified workforce drives the creation of economic opportunity and business development and attraction, and a whole host of things that will allow our state to thrive and grow. It’s the single best way to ensure a vibrant, healthy Arizona.” To learn more, go to expectmorearizona.org.

16  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | JULY 2019



CAREY’S CORNER {carey peña reports}

A MIGHTY CHANGE OF HEART After fostering 25 children, one couple discovered that change began with them.

Carey Peña | Contributing Writer

“She came in right from the hospital. All she had was her nightgown from the hospital and a bootprint from her stepdad on her face.”

So he wasn’t all that excited when Kara suggested maybe they should consider becoming foster parents … with the possibility of adoption.

When Darin Moss shared this story on my podcast, he physically broke down with tears streaming down his face. It’s heartbreaking to think about the day he and his wife tried to rescue a 5-year-old girl whose young life had been marred by abuse. But her story, though extreme, is not unique.

​I guess you could say he acquiesced.

“We all need to get outside of our own little world and find whatever we can do to help,” Moss said. He is living proof. A decade ago, Moss and his wife, Kara, an educator, were busy working and raising one son and three daughters. They have lots of family in Arizona and are part of a devoted church community. Life was somewhat calm. 18

FRONTDOORS MEDIA | JULY 2019

“​ I had to look at things a little different,” Moss explained. “I had to get to the point where I was willing to try something. As I tried and exercised faith in that, it grew. And continued to grow.” ​ s his faith grew, so did his family. Over the course A of eight years, the couple became foster parents to 25 children. They ended up adopting six of them who currently range in age from 3 to 13 years old. Four are siblings who they adopted so the children would not be broken apart. “​ They didn’t choose this. This wasn’t their fault,” Moss said. “Pushing them aside because of what their parents did to them is not fair.”


Left: Darin Moss (second from right) and his wife Kara founded A Mighty Change of Heart to support the 17,000+ children in Arizona’s foster system. Darin is shown here with his sons.

Above: When a child reaches their foster home, they’re often sad and confused and need to know that someone cares about them. A Mighty Change of Heart provides personalized duffle bags filled with clothes, toys, books and supplies that will go with them wherever life may lead. JULY 2019 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  19


CAREY'S CORNER CONTINUED

Darin and Kara Moss with their kids Parker, Makenzie, Kadie, Shannon, Kilik, Eva, Drina, Keyton, Maiya, Zach and daughter-in-law Jordan.

“I JUST KNEW WE HAD TO DO MORE.” ​ ven after fostering 25 children and enduring E heartbreaking situations time and time again, Darin and Kara still wanted to do more. ​ ot that they have a lot of free time, but N somehow the two have also started a nonprofit called A Mighty Change Of Heart (amchaz.org). ​ or now, they are focused on providing F personalized duffle bags for foster children in Arizona. Each child’s name is embroidered on the bag and it is filled with brand-new clothes, toys, books and at least two sets of pajamas. I​n one month alone, they distributed 350 bags to 25 group homes. ​ ext, the organization plans to partner with N Rio Salado College Lifelong Learning Center in Surprise to help kids who are aging out of the system get their GEDs. This is especially 20  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | JULY 2019

important to Kara who, as a former second grade and special-education teacher, understands how crucial it is that all children have the opportunity to continue learning. “​ The numbers speak for themselves,” Moss said. “The kids who are aging out of the system who have not been adopted … 70 pecent of them are either going to be a dropout, homeless or on drugs within the first few years.” ​ hese kids want to succeed, he assured T me. “There is nobody in this world who doesn’t want to succeed — if they have the chance,” he said. ​ s Darin Moss poured his heart out on my A podcast, it struck me that he wasn’t complaining, nor was he asking for accolades. He was simply sharing his family’s story in hope of inspiring others to open their own hearts, however they see fit.


“ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE WHEN WE CHANGE OUR HEARTS.”

years. The little girl who had a bootprint on her face still haunts him to this day. ​

​ or the Moss children, life is full of F newfound possibilities.

​I asked how he remains positive.

​But the road to now wasn’t easy. ​ everal of the Mosses’ children suffered S terrible abuse at the hands of their birth parents. Trauma like this causes many children to stop growing emotionally. ​ hey entered school way behind the others T and it has taken a true village to get them where they are today. Moss points to an outpouring of love from his family and church, along with incredible communication and support from teachers in the Dysart School District. ​ ainfully, Moss has had to come to terms with the P fact that he and his wife can’t save every child who has entered their home over the past eight

“​ Growing up I always wanted to change the world. I never knew how I was going to do that,” Moss said. “I think I’ve finally figured it out. I’m going to change it one person at a time.” ​ o see Darin Moss’s interview and other T inspirational stories, visit inspiredmedia360.com and subscribe to Carey Peña Reports.

Carey Peña CONTRIBUTING WRITER

@CareyPenaTV


COVER STORY {by karen werner}

From

Learning

to EARNING

Junior Achievement of Arizona gives kids the skills they need to succeed

O

n any given school day, 200 employees roam a Tempe cityscape, hard at work. There are doctors and marketing professionals, TV producers and bank tellers, folks manning the counter at Cane’s. Only they aren’t your typical workforce. They’re fourth through sixth graders at BizTown, the pint-sized workplace at Junior Achievement of Arizona. The program teaches students how an economy works, their role as both workers and consumers, and what it’s like to be contributing members of society for a day. But it’s a lot more than fun and games. “We are teaching financial literacy, entrepreneurship, work readiness and about the flow of goods and services,” said Katherine Kemmeries Cecala, the CEO of Junior Achievement of Arizona. Cecala knows a thing or two about these topics. An industrial engineer and lawyer by training, she holds an MBA and has served as chief operating officer of Valley of the Sun United Way and interim CEO of Friendly House. But when she learned about the

22  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | JULY 2019


“One of the things that makes Junior Achievement so great is that kids get to experience what they’re doing, so they feel it inside,” said Katherine Kemmeries Cecala. “That’s why the lessons stick.”


COVER STORY CONTINUED

JA teaches students from kindergarten through high school how to manage their money, be ready to enter the workforce and think like an entrepreneur.

number of kids JA’s programs serve, she knew it was the perfect place to leave a mark on the next generation. “I was just delighted to become part of it,” she said about joining the nonprofit nearly four years ago. JA serves more than 80,000 K-12 students in Arizona each year, giving them the skills they need to manage money, succeed in the workplace and be problem solvers in adulthood. “The number-one thing that most businesses say is missing is critical thinking,” Cecala said. “They say, ‘We can’t find kids to hire.’”

That’s where JA steps in. The BizTown workday was underway for one 10-year-old boy, who was serving in the role of CEO at Wells Fargo when the student working as his chief financial officer was sick. After a momentary panic, he tapped a teller and trained her for the job. “Now, that person isn’t as skilled as the other student who had been working within the class, so he’s helping train her as he goes. They’re short-staffed, so they get backed up with people in the bank,” Cecala explained. “So that CEO goes and fills in and starts to create some efficiencies. Ten years from now, when he’s at work and has a problem, he can say, ‘I’ve done this. I know what I need to do.’” Indeed, research shows that kids in Junior Achievement have 34 percent higher critical thinking skills than their peers who don’t get JA training. Not only that, JA students are 30 percent more likely to get a bachelor’s degree and 67 percent more likely to get a master’s. Why? JA helps kids connect the dots between training, financial literacy and success. The organization partners with about 400 schools statewide to provide more than 20 classroom-

24  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | JULY 2019


We are teaching financial literacy, entrepreneurship, work readiness and about the flow of goods and services. or simulation-based programs to primarily low-income students each year. The curriculum is created by educational experts at the national level, but it’s delivered by nearly 8,000 volunteer mentors throughout Arizona. When they go into the classroom, they talk about their lives and careers, often exposing kids to jobs that they never knew existed. “We try to make sure we have as diverse a volunteer pool as possible so that we can better match the kids,” Cecala said. “We have volunteers,

as well as people on our board, who were in extreme poverty or homeless and managed to pull themselves out. They can give that history of, ‘I once was like this, and this is what I was able to do.’” But it’s not enough to hear the stories and receive the lessons. Students must experience them, too. Each year, JA Finance Park helps some 4,000 junior high and high school students learn about personal budgeting and how to navigate the financial waters of the future. In real-life simulations, they are randomly assigned jobs, salaries, children, spouses and other criteria from which they have to budget their lives and make choices. Where will they live? What will they drive? How will they pay for insurance, childcare and vacation? “They’re shocked at gross versus net,” Cecala said. “Suddenly they see that the people who had more training or had certain types of careers are doing better. And they start to think, ‘If I’m going to want this kind of life, I might need to do some of these things a little differently.’” JULY 2019 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  25


6 JA Factoids: 1

Junior Achievement Worldwide is 100 years old. It was founded in 1919 by Theodore Vail, president of American Telephone & Telegraph; Horace Moses, president of Strathmore Paper Co.; and Senator Murray Crane of Massachusetts.

2

Junior Achievement came west to Arizona, launching its first office in Tucson in 1957. Many of Arizona’s top executives experienced the JA Company Program as students.

Savings, credit, interest rates, loans and other aspects of personal finance — these topics are baked into JA’s curriculum, and it’s information students often don’t get anywhere else. In fact, studies show that parents are very reluctant to talk about money with their kids. “It’s a very uncomfortable subject,” Cecala said. “More parents are comfortable talking about sex than talking about money. So most kids do not get training about money in the household. When we’re able to go into the classroom and teach these kids concepts that the schools aren’t teaching, they are eager to learn.”

was able to accomplish,” Cecala said. “She’s still there and is very successful.”

For one young student who attended JA You’re Hired, those concepts were life-changing. In this program, high schoolers learn about interviewing, résumé writing, working in teams, problem solving and more. A volunteer from the University of Phoenix was so impressed by this young woman, she was hired as an intern. A single mom, that student went on to get a job, move into administration and attend the University of Phoenix. “She wanted her son to see what she

“We’re trying to make sure that while we are very relevant today that we’re staying relevant for the future that these kids are going to experience,” she said. That’s especially important because one in three alumni credits JA for influencing their future career decisions.

26  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | JULY 2019

For more than 60 years, JA has empowered the futures of more than 2 million Arizona students, but there’s still a long way to go. Although the organization is all over the state, more than 100 schools remain on the waiting list, and JA would like to reach more rural schools and homeschooled children. To help do this, JA is working with the University of Advancing Technology to create a free digital financial-literacy game that Cecala hopes to pilot this fall.

While fifth graders see BizTown as a bustling kid-sized town, it doesn’t look like the economy of the future. “We have lots of storefronts, but in five to 10 years, the majority of people won’t be


3

Today, 59 percent of JA students come from low-income backgrounds.

4

JA students earn, on average, 20 percent more than the general population and are 200+ percent more likely to start a business one day.

5

About 22,000 students visit JA BizTown each year.

6

Most popular career in BizTown? Radio disc jockey.

working for companies. They’ll be self-employed, contracting, consulting,” Cecala said. To better reflect the gig economy, JA is talking to companies, universities, thought leaders and futurists and planning to do some remodeling in BizTown. “We don’t know what the jobs of the future will be, but we do know there will be more technology,” Cecala said. “I know that you’ll need to be more nimble about moving from one place to the other, so we’ll be creating more co-working space. I hope within a couple of years to have it look more like a smart city.” Of course, all of this takes money, which JA is working hard to raise. “We would love to serve every child in this state in the K-12 realm, so they will all be better prepared,” Cecala said. But she acknowledges that there’s a disconnect when it comes to public perception of JA. “People are often surprised that we serve primarily low-income kids and that we are funded by philanthropy, not by schools.”

By empowering the future of Arizona students, JA plays an important role in the state’s workforce and economic development.

those dollars often have a ripple effect. That effect can be seen in a letter from a seventh grader who wrote to thank JA for teaching personal budgeting in his school. As part of the lesson, he brought home a budget worksheet, because his mom said they didn’t have enough money to pay their bills every month and she had to pick and choose which ones to pay. “That boy sat down with his mom and together they made out a budget,” Cecala said. “His mom was excited because it would help her credit score. But the boy was more excited because they were able to budget in such a way that they had $10 left over at the end of every month.” And he got to keep that money for an allowance. “To me, that exemplifies what Junior Achievement is about because not only did we change his life, we changed his family’s life too,” Cecala said. To learn more, go to jaaz.org.

It takes about $34 for every child JA serves, but JULY 2019 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  27


NEXT DOORS {ahead of the curve}

THE GENESIS OF A BRIGHTER FUTURE Genesis City provides youth with a second chance at an education Tom Evans | Contributing Editor

Life is rarely linear. Yet when it comes to getting an education, our society is oddly conditioned to think that everyone is going to be able to do it on the same time frame. And life can often be challenging, especially for those born into poverty. Poverty, in turn, can force you to make difficult, or even ill-advised, decisions. Those kinds of decisions — sometimes made in the interest of survival, sometimes made because a person doesn’t know any better — can have a ripple effect that cascades through the rest of a person’s life. In the vast majority of cases, that’s what happens to kids who drop out of school. There’s this misconception that kids drop out because they’re lazy, but that’s rarely the case. Rather than pursuing their education in 28  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | JULY 2019

a linear manner, sometimes they have to work or become caregivers, just so their families can survive. Sometimes they experience trauma or heartbreak that slows their personal growth and development. Sometimes, the net of poverty spurs them into lashing out, or committing theft or parenting a child far too young. So they drop out of school, or get kicked out, or get arrested and suddenly there’s no straight-line path forward anymore. They remain in poverty or end up in jail or worse — and the cycle of poverty carries on to another generation. Well, that’s what can happen anyway. But that’s not what’s happening at Genesis City. “There’s this myth that kids who drop out are lazy or don’t want to work,” said Karen Callahan,


Photos by Jillian Rivera Photography

Proud scholars and family members recently celebrated the class of 2019 at the Genesis Academy graduation and awards ceremony.

executive director of Genesis City. “Nothing could be further from the truth. Some of the kids who come in here are so tired after working 30 or 32 hours a week, sometimes at night. We help give them ways to learn while dealing with that.”

98 percent are minorities, 99 percent are a year or more behind in their studies. A full third have been in gangs or the juvenile justice system; 15 percent are teenage parents; 30 percent have been incarcerated or are on probation.

Callahan has been with Genesis City since the beginning. Formed in 1991 as an intervention program that was part of Phoenix College, Genesis City evolved over the years, first into a 501(c)(3) and then as a charter school, with the goal of helping students reengage with the educational system and earn a high school diploma. The model allows Genesis City to tap into some state educational funds — but only for about 40 percent of its students. The rest is done through philanthropy and a lot of hard work.

But Callahan said they are young people who often have limitless promise if given the right opportunity.

Its mission is “to reclaim the promise of Arizona’s disenfranchised youth by providing them with the tools they need to become active contributors to the economic and social welfare of their communities.” The reality is a holistic effort to literally save young people who would otherwise be lost. The numbers around the student population are startling — 95 percent of students live in poverty,

“They’re nonconformists,” she said. “They think outside the box and think differently, and that’s why they can be a huge benefit to the community. They’re sometimes mavericks in their own families. But they’re the type of kids who become leaders.” The Genesis City model removes the linear boundaries of traditional education and adjusts the pace to fit each student. If a student needs time off for a family matter, they can pick up where they left off. Genesis City provides support to students and families — sometimes even financial support — to ensure the home environment is stable. “It’s the thorough, holistic approach that makes us different from other schools,” said Shana Tompa, the organization’s development director. “There are so many kids left behind who have talent and potential … They’re worth fighting for.” JULY 2019 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  29


“We are telling them that if you have a great idea, you can own it and nurture it and benefit from it,” said Luis Bleuze, who oversees the Young Entrepreneurs program at the school. “You can find yourself achieving a high level of pay for it.” I asked Callahan if it ever feels exhausting, having to work so hard to overcome the constraints that poverty has on young people. She pointed out that when it comes to measuring the success of these kids, traditional metrics don’t apply. Dropout rates, for example, are based on completing a four-year education in four years. So she spends an inordinate amount of time trying to explain the organization’s work in other ways. Genesis City helps at-risk youth acquire the education and work skills they need to become productive members of the community.

As a result, there’s a flip side to the numbers. More than two-thirds of Genesis City graduates are first-generation high school graduates in their families, and an amazing 80 percent of Genesis graduates go on to post-secondary education. When you tour Genesis City, Callahan and Tompa frequently stop to point out photos of college graduates who are now out in the community succeeding. They proudly recall the challenges that the students faced when they came in and how they helped each one learn to overcome them. The young people who graduate are required to perform 35 hours of community service — although Callahan said it ends up being more like 100 hours each. And in the process, they learn skills and enjoy experiences they never would have otherwise encountered, which in turn expands their horizons. And when their horizons expand, they start to see opportunity. This summer, a dozen Genesis City students that are part of the Young Entrepreneurs program will attend conferences across the country. Seven of those students will be among 300 nationwide at a conference in Detroit. For many of them, it will be their first time on an airplane. 30  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | JULY 2019

“What’s most exhausting is having to fight for them,” she said. “You have to become an educator for educators so that people understand.” The good news is that it’s working. One measure is the success stories on the walls, but another is the fact that many of the students at Genesis City are the children of students who were first-generation high school graduates as well — and received their diplomas from Genesis City. The philanthropic support has been increasing as well, highlighted by Genesis City receiving a $100,000 “Playmaker” grant from Phoenix Suns Charities, a grant that will help them transform their physical space. But the biggest transformation takes place when young people who were on the cusp of being left behind find themselves somewhere they never dreamed of being. “We take these first-generation high school graduates and help bridge them to post-secondary education,” Callahan said. “And when we can do that, we can break the cycle of poverty more quickly.” To learn more, visit genesiscity.org.

Tom Evans CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

@TEvans927



STYLE UNLOCKED {living fashionably}

INHERENT STYLE The Lytles embrace fashion and philanthropy across the generations

Catie Richman | Contributing Writer

It’s rare to find one thing three generations so readily agree upon. But when asked, “Who’s the most stylish Lytle?” — without missing a beat — Zach and Larry point to Ben, who chuckles and says, “Yup, it’s me.” The patriarch earned the title of “most fashionable” thanks to his vibrant and sizable wardrobe, curated during his frequent travels to Italy. “You wouldn’t know this from my closet, but I hate shopping. I buy when I’m in Italy. I go every year or so. I just like the clothes there and the style,” Ben said. Ben’s personal style can be summed up in one word — Mediterranean. The brilliant dashes

32  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | JULY 2019

of color and sleek lines, perfectly coordinated details, open collars and sharp blazers are indicative of the refined Italian nonchalance he acquired on his many trips. There is a seasoned finesse to his look, exemplified by perfectly fitted Armani suits that only custom tailoring can provide. Larry shares his father’s penchant for finely tailored clothes, preferring custom suits via his tailor from Asia, who fits him a couple of times a year. Larry defines his style as “more traditional, with a bit of flair” for more formal occasions and prefers a sport coat and jeans for a smart, casual look, or as Larry’s son Zach would describe it, “the intellectual professor.”


Fashion runs in the family for the Lytle men. On Zach, a Hugo Boss suit passed down from his father. On Ben, a custom Armani suit. On Larry, a custom jacket Burberry pocket square. JULY 2019and | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  33


STYLE UNLOCKED CONTINUED

As for his own style, Zach says, “I’m very much for simplistic comfort, not so much the sport coat, but more of a modern, relaxed take.” When it comes to dressing for a gala, he sticks to a traditional look, opting for classic colors and a glen-check Hugo Boss suit passed down from his father. “Papa gave me my first fashion direction, which was ‘Always stay just a bit under my size.’ My brother did not pick that up, so I won all the suits,” said Larry, a valuable piece of advice Zach also has adopted. “You can get the really nice luxury suits that are a few years old or you can get the Men’s Warehouse for $200. I’ll pick the first one!” Zach said. The next piece of fashion direction Ben bestowed upon his family, and perhaps the most important, is, “Don’t be afraid of color.” “Papa is famous for his color!” said Larry (another undisputed point among the Lytles). Ben will proudly tell you, “I’m a peacock.”

But there is a sensibility to his use of color — a polished peacockery — something he learned in Italy. “Remember your eye color, remember your hair color. Men don’t like always think about it,” advised Ben. “Pick the stuff that you know will highlight it.” When it comes to dressing for a gala and artfully applying color in their attire, all three men will say there are other considerations. For those of you taking notes, this is an important one: Dress to the woman first, then the theme. “It’s easier to change three little color details than a whole dress,” Zach said. Sophisticated suits and style advice are not the only things passed down in the Lytle clan. Helping the community and a spirit of generosity are threaded into their values as well. Ben, a healthcare entrepreneur and lifetime philanthropist, has his own interests and areas of focus when it comes to giving back, but also looks to the charitable interests of the younger generations.


Below: Larry’s Movado watch was a gift from Ben, (left) when Larry landed his first job out of college. “I’ve always kept it and wear it on those days when I want good connections,” Larry said.

Right: Ben picked up this Bulgari ring many years ago in San Francisco. “I wear it all the time, and people always give me lots of compliments,” he said.

“I like to pick charities that are not well funded, that are struggling just to get by. It’s filling a gap and catching where there’s nobody covering it, especially organizations that help children,” Ben said. “Then I support whatever my kids and grandkids get into, and see what they want to support. That’s really my priority for the family fund.” Contrasting his bright, statement-making style, Ben prefers a more muted approach to the family’s philanthropy. “Any time you get the opportunity to stay low-key and can do it quietly — it’s always better. You don’t need my name on a building.” Larry supports his father’s interests but has also built his own name in the philanthropic

community, starting several nonprofits of his own — the first at 23 — and serving on various boards such as Banner Health Foundation, Florence Crittenton and Jewish Family & Children’s Services. “It’s kind of my spiritual service,” Larry said. “We’ve been blessed with an amazing life, and amazing family. It’s kind of my chance to give some of that benefit back to the people who didn’t start with that step ahead.” Zach, who got married earlier this year at his grandfather’s home, is coming into his own and finding his own type of charity role. “I’ve grown up around charity since I was born, so this is second nature,” Zach said. “If anybody asks me to volunteer, my response is, ‘Sure, when do you need me?’” JULY 2019 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  35


STYLE UNLOCKED CONTINUED

With the guidance of his grandfather, father and uncle Hugh, Zach aims to join a leadership program to pave his own philanthropic path in the Valley. “It’s really rewarding to see Hugh, Larry and Zach get involved in the city,” Ben said. “It makes me feel great because I know how much it meant to me.” The three generations of Lytles will continue to work together to support one another and their community as they build their legacy graciously, generously and in impeccable style.

Photos by Jillian Rivera Photography

Catie Richman CONTRIBUTING WRITER

styleunlocked.net



CHEERS TO THE CHAIR {

Society of Chairs }

Frontdoors is proud to recognize those who volunteer their time, treasure and talents to support local organizations in a leadership role.

Why do you support the Arizona Humane Society?

I believe it’s critical to speak up and care for the thousands of sick, injured and homeless animals that can’t speak for themselves, and AHS does just this. I’m constantly amazed by the innovation, excellence and compassion that all of the Arizona Humane Society staff and volunteers exhibit on a daily basis. AHS even saved the lives of some of my own four-legged family members — Maggie May, the boxer, who was found as an emaciated stray and nursed back to health, and Greta, our boxer mix, who was abandoned as part of a litter. Without AHS, I wouldn’t have found these girls, and the same is true for thousands of families throughout Arizona.

How long have you supported the organization?

I’ve supported AHS in one way or another for more than 15 years as a donor, adopter and foster volunteer. In 2012, I started working on the AHS committee that puts on the organization’s signature fundraiser each year, Compassion With Fashion, and then co-chaired that event in 2014. I joined the board of directors in 2013, where I have held numerous leadership positions, including chair of the governance committee and vice-chair. In 2018, I was elected to chair the board of directors.

What would people be surprised to learn about AHS?

Andrea Marconi Board Chair, Arizona Humane Society azhumane.org

AHS just celebrated its 62nd anniversary and has done incredible work throughout its history. But in the last five years, AHS has led the effort to create truly transformational change in the Valley. Not long ago, Maricopa County was one of the worst places to be a homeless or vulnerable pet, and now it is becoming one of the best. Intake and euthanasia rates have decreased drastically, and more pets are finding homes with loving families than ever before. But AHS isn’t satisfied and always keeps growing and finding new ways to save lives. I would love to have you visit one of AHS’s facilities at the Sunnyslope Campus or the Nina Mason Pulliam Campus for Compassion to see this lifesaving work in action.

Favorite movie: “Top Gun.” Such a fun movie with great music (and men Thank you to our July 2019 Cheers to the Chairs Runners-Up: Tami Butcher and Kari Yatkowski – Co-chairs, Gabriel’s Angels (Salud! 2019) Cassidy Campana – Board Chair, Mesa Arts Center Foundation

in flightsuits). Who could ask for more?

Favorite restaurant in Arizona? Uncle Sal’s Italian Restaurant. The

home-style Italian comfort food brings me back to my roots and reminds me of family.

Favorite place to travel: The Caribbean islands. Proudest accomplishment: My two sons, Taylor and Brady, are my everything.

I wear a number of different hats, as we all do — wife, lawyer, philanthropist, daughter, etc. — but my “mom” hat gives me the greatest pride and joy by far. I particularly love how my boys are developing into strong, but compassionate young men who care for the world and others around them, including the animals!

To Nominate Your Event Chair, Co-Chairs, Honorary Chair or Board Chair, Contact publisher@frontdoorsmedia.com. 38  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | JULY 2019


CHICK 2019-2020 MORTGAGE FRONTDOORS MEDIA PARTNERSHIPS If your company, foundation or organization is looking to reach the most active participants in the Valley philanthropy scene, consider becoming a Frontdoors Media Partner. You can choose from three new programs:

Premium Partnership

Select Partnership

Value Partnership

• 1 full-page ad in six issues of Frontdoors Magazine

• 1 full-page ad in 3 issues of Frontdoors Magazine

• One half-page ad in two issues of Frontdoors Magazine

• Banner ad in 6 issues of The Knock + link to your event

• Banner ad in four issues of The Knock + link to your event

• Banner ad in two issues of The Knock + link to your event

• Run of banner ads on FrontdoorsMedia.com for 6 months

• Run of banner ads on FrontdoorsMedia.com for 3 months

• Charity Close-Up segment on Frontdoors TV

• Charity Close-Up segment on Frontdoors TV

[ $1,000 per month ]

[ $500 per month ]

[ $100 per month ]


CHARITY SPOTLIGHT {giving back}

ASSISTANCE LEAGUE OF PHOENIX Help on Wheels

Ashley Ford | Assistant Publisher

THE STORY Operation School Bell has been making a difference to underserved children across the country for more than 100 years, and locally in the Valley for more than 30. What started as a group of volunteers who saw kids in need of school clothing has grown into a core program in all 122 Assistance League chapters across the nation. Here in the Valley, Assistance League of Phoenix serves the largest population of children in the country, thanks to its Operation School Bell program. Operation School Bell provides school clothing to low-income youth in the greater Phoenix area to help improve the lives of children and families. “Families really are struggling. Some of them have

40  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | JULY 2019

to decide, ‘Do I spend money on school clothes or utility bills?’” We hope to be able to alleviate that concern for families and take care of those needs,” said Aimee Runyon, CEO of Assistance League of Phoenix. “When Operation School Bell started, we served just the schools surrounding our office that could get to us,” Runyon said. “One of our biggest goals has been to expand Operation School Bell because the need is so great.” With both a physical Philanthropic Center and a Delivering Dreams Bus equipped with mobile dressing rooms, Assistance League of Phoenix is able to serve more than 8,500 schoolchildren a year.



Putting caring into action, the Assistance League of Phoenix takes the Delivering Dreams Bus to Title 1 schools to deliver essential-need items to low-income children.

THE CAUSE The growth of Operation School Bell has been due largely to the creation of the Delivering Dreams Bus mobile delivery center, a program unique to the Phoenix chapter. “There’s a great need out there but oftentimes it’s hard for the population in need to get to the services,” said Runyon. “So we said, ‘Let’s find an answer to that and create a mobile center on wheels.’ Our first Delivering Dreams Bus came about through the generosity of the Diamondbacks Foundation Grand Slam Award.” The Delivering Dreams Bus is a 40-foot distribution center that operates four to five days a week, serving 50 kids per school almost every day of the school year. Operation School Bell partners with 90 Title 1 schools, and school personnel determines which children are qualified for the program. 42  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | JULY 2019

Typically, 100 kids per school participate once in the fall, and again in the spring. “I think one of the most shocking things is the number of kids that are excited to get their own toothbrush,” said Runyon. “We’ve seen it all. Kids that have clothes that don’t fit or have holes in them. Kids with shoes that have cardboard or duct tape around the sole because the soles are gone. Kids that have shoes from two different pairs because that’s all that fit.” Through the program, each child receives three polo shirts; two pairs of pants, shorts or skirts; a sweatshirt; underwear and shoes. The children are encouraged to pick the style and color of clothing they like. They also receive a hygiene kit that includes a full-size shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrush.


THE FUTURE In the 2019-2020 school year, two to three additional buses will be launched. “We’re so excited to take this idea even further because we’ve seen the success with it,” Runyon said. “We just received our second Grand Slam Award from the Diamondbacks Foundation and we’ll be launching a new Delivering Dreams Bus at the beginning of the spring baseball season in 2020. BHHS Legacy Foundation has also agreed to fund an additional bus that should be launching sometime this fall.” Operation School Bell is successful in large part because of the volunteers and Assistance League members that are so dedicated to the programs and children they serve. By focusing on community needs to drive decisions around expansion, Assistance League of Phoenix hopes to grow across the Phoenix metropolitan area and help as many kids as possible. “It’s hard to describe the feeling of being able to help a child with something as basic as a pair of shoes or a toothbrush. It makes you really grateful for the things you have in your life that you take for granted,” Runyon said. “I think that one of the best things our program provides is an opportunity for these kids to see firsthand what it means to have a community around them that really cares about their well-being.” To learn more, go to alphxaz.org.

Ashley Ford ASSISTANT PUBLISHER ashley@frontdoorsmedia.com


KITCHEN DOORS {refreshments on the road } Lisa Mullavey | Contributing Writer

CADUCEUS CELLARS

Noon – APPS & DRINKS

Jerome | caduceus.org Founded in 1876, Jerome, Arizona is a favorite day-trip destination for many due to its history as a former copper-mining town. Perched high on Cleopatra Hill, Jerome is now known for its restaurants, wineries and art galleries. Many come to visit the Caduceus Cellars tasting room, owned by Maynard James Keenan, Grammy-winning vocalist for the band Tool. Their wine is produced from grapes from vineyards located in the Verde Valley and Willcox, Arizona. My husband and I stopped in and shared a wine-tasting selection that featured three of the cellar’s white wines and one rosé. From crisp and fruity to buttery and full-bodied, it was difficult to pick a favorite and easy to see why the cellar’s walls are covered with awards. We especially liked that Caduceus paired the wines in the tasting flight with soundtracks — albums that were being played during the winemaking process. The staff was knowledgeable and approachable, making this spot ideal for both the occasional wine drinker and the enthusiast. The tasting room also offers food pairings, an espresso bar (a must try — it’s delicious), a wide selection of food products to pair with your favorite wine or spirit, and mixers to stock your bar. Caduceus turns 10 this month; stop in and celebrate with them.

HAUNTED HAMBURGER

1 p.m. – LUNCH

Jerome | thehauntedhamburger.com During its mining heyday, Jerome was known as the “wickedest town in the West.” Jerome is now widely known as the largest ghost town in America. From ghostly sightings to midnight tours, spooky themes lurk around every corner. The Haunted Hamburger is known to have the best burgers in Jerome, but is it haunted? Located in an old building, legend has it that the restless spirits of long-gone tradesmen were responsible for many a scary occurrence when the restaurant was being built. We stopped in for lunch and were seated on the back patio. The view was great — we looked out on the town and mountains in the distance. My husband ordered the BBQ burger with crispy bacon, barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese and frizzled onions with a side of jalapeño coleslaw. I chose their signature Haunted Burger with bacon, cheddar and swiss cheese, mushrooms, green chilies, grilled onion and guacamole served with fries. Despite all the toppings, the burger was easy to eat because of their toasted house-baked buns. In addition to burgers, Haunted features a variety of appetizers and entrées, as well as local beer, wine and cocktails.

RED ROCK GELATO

3 p.m. – AFTERNOON SNACK

Sedona | redrockgelato.com Red Rock Gelato provides a delightful taste of Italy in the heart of Sedona with their homemade gelato and vegan-friendly sorbetto (frozen fruit dessert). Each day, Red Rock makes their sweet treats in small batches using high-quality, locally sourced ingredients, many of which are imported from Italy. They offer more than 20 flavors of their decadent creations and samples are encouraged, which was appreciated because everything looked so good it was hard to decide what to have. The four of us each ordered a different flavor in a cup: cioccolato (chocolate), doppio cioccolato (double-chocolate), menta al cioccolato (mint chocolate) and fragola sorbetto (strawberry). Each was incredibly rich and creamy. My favorite was the doppio cioccolato made with delicious Guittard dark chocolate decorated with dark chocolate chunks. We all also sampled their delicious signature flavor, strada rocciosa rossa, or red rocky road, in honor of the beautiful surroundings. Red Rock Gelato also offers espresso and fresh lemonade. I highly suggest eating outside to enjoy the beautiful view of the red rock mountains.

44  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | JULY 2019


Gerardo’s Italian Kitchen

6 p.m. – DINNER

Sedona | gerardositaliankitchen.com Some of the best things about Arizona are its in-state road trips. Head a few hours by car in any direction, and you can explore many unique places. Often called one of the most beautiful places in America, Sedona is known for its red rocks and breathtaking views. After an afternoon of taking in the magnificent scenery, my parents, husband and I had worked up quite the appetite. We’d received a recommendation to try the family-owned Gerardo’s Italian Eatery. Having relocated three years earlier from Payson, Gerardo’s was voted Best Italian in Sedona by TripAdvisor in 2018. Chef Gerardo and his team focus on fresh, local ingredients as well as items sourced from Italy. They make all of their pastas, dough and sauces from scratch and offer a good selection of

beer and wine (local and otherwise) and handcrafted cocktails. We started our meal with their homemade garlic bread and marinara and G’s chef board, featuring a selection of meats, cheeses, olives and crostini. For our entrées we had their lasagna (vinici grassi), eggplant parmigiana, Sicilian-style chicken parmigiana and the special of the day, chicken rollatini, served with gnocchi tossed in a parmesan cream sauce. Each dish was beautifully plated and the taste more than lived up to their Best Italian recognition. Their marinara sauce was especially good as it brought out the richness and robust flavor of the tomatoes. Gerardo’s is a warm yet casual setting ideal for family dinners, dates and special occasions.


A 2ND ACT {survivors giving back}

ONE SMALL STEP Because it’s always the beginning Judy Pearson | Contributing Writer

He stood there, small and shivering, covering one grubby foot with the other for warmth. In that moment, Caryn Shoemaker’s heart broke. It was a chilly January evening and she was serving a meal to migrant workers who had come to work in the Chandler orange groves. The church group had also collected articles of clothing to pass around as needed. “In an instant I knew what I had to do,” Shoemaker said. “There was a pair of men’s socks on a nearby clothing table. I grabbed them and slid them onto his feet. He couldn’t have been more than 2 — and the socks were huge! He smiled, his mother thanked me shyly, and I thought how easy it was to make someone more comfortable. I decided right then that as soon as I retired, I was going to do something with socks.” And that’s exactly what she did. Beginning in 2001, and over the course of the next eight years, Shoemaker and a group of friends dubbed themselves One Small Step, and provided 150,000 pairs of socks to the Chandler clothing bank. Then in 2009, the clothing bank closed. 46  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | JULY 2019

“All I could think of was, ‘What are these people going to do for clothes?’” Shoemaker said. “So we found half of a vacant portable classroom at a Chandler school and set up our own clothing bank, calling it the Clothes Cabin. When the school wanted their classroom back, we got serious about our mission. We filed paperwork to make One Small Step a bona fide nonprofit, found our own location and became a regional clothing bank. “Many cities require their clients to prove residency, provide children’s birth certificates and so on. If you’re homeless, that’s hard to do. We don’t care where — or what — you call home. As our vision statement says, we believe that no person or family within our service area should lack the clothing they need to secure employment, succeed in school, maintain a healthy and hygienic life, and be socially accepted,” Shoemaker said. She and One Small Step’s board, along with their band of more than 70 volunteers, had never conceived of doing anything more than clothing.


And they were committed not to duplicate the services of other organizations. But they also came to realize there were many little things that would help people become independent. A woman came in looking for sheets, so they added towels and beddings to their inventory at the Clothes Cabin. A man needed steel-toe boots to work as a day laborer. They began buying new boots at a discount, turning that request into their back-to-work program.

“When men can find employment,” Shoemaker explained, “their families don’t need clothing, which then makes it available to others. Another day, a homeless man picked out some new T-shirts in the Clothes Cabin. He had no way to keep his clothing clean, he told us, so he wore the same ones to their filthy end. That was the inspiration behind our laundry service, and now clothing doesn’t have to be thrown away.”

The only clothing bank in Chandler, Clothes Cabin provides free services to people in need. Last year, it gave away more than 81,000 articles of clothing.


A 2ND ACT CONTINUED

One Small Step keeps allowance sheets for all of their clients. They’re able to provide one load of laundry a week — now up to 360 loads a year — and five articles of clothing, plus underwear and accessories, for each man, woman and child every three months. The Clothes Cabin inventory is a combination of clean donations and items they’ve purchased. Funds are raised via an annual event called “No More Chilly Nights,” and from their Friends Resale Boutique, where they sell donated and gently used household and decor items. But designer purses are gratefully accepted. “If we can get $40 for a Coach purse, we can buy 160 pairs of socks!” Shoemaker said. Like a bougainvillea bush, the programs continue to blossom. Someone told them his cart and all of his belongings had been stolen, so they installed storage lockers for the homeless to secure valuables. They offer mailboxes so clients can receive benefits checks and other communications. When they saw clients using their bathrooms to clean up before putting on new clothing, they saw a need for showers, which they’re installing at their new, even larger location. One Small Step was named because their original mission was providing socks. In retrospect, it was a prophetic choice. The organization provides one small step toward helping a man or woman get a job by providing them proper clothing. It is one small step toward helping children find normalcy in their lives by providing closed-toed shoes for playing at recess. It’s just one small step from being shabby and unseen toward being treated with respect and dignity. After all, every journey begins with one small step. To learn more, go to onesmallstepaz.org.

Judy Pearson CONTRIBUTING WRITER

info@A2ndAct.org

48  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | JULY 2019



OPEN DOORS {publisher’s page}

A PEEK BEHIND THE ‘FRONTDOOR’ Andrea Evans | Publisher

Over the summer months, the team at Frontdoors Media takes a moment to reflect on the recently wrapped philanthropy season in the Valley and dive into planning for 2019-2020. We’ve had some fun looking at the data, so I thought you might enjoy getting a look behind the Frontdoor with us!

FROM THE FRONTDOORS MEDIA CALENDAR:

638

Events Posted

FRONTDOORS MAGAZINE TOP ONLINE READS: JANUARY 2019 VOLUME 17, ISSUE 1 JANUARY 2019 VOLUME 17, ISSUE 1 SEPTEMBER 2018 VOLUME 16, ISSUE 9

FPO TITLE AREA

Rob and Melani Walton Discuss Philanthropy and Partnerships, From Local to Global

#1 ARTICLE + ARTICLE NAME + ARTICLE NAMEPLACE HEALTHY EATS NAME + GETTING FIT FOR A CAUSE + BILLYʼS

Melani and Rob Walton (JAN 2019)

50  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | JULY 2019

#2

Lin Sue Cooney and her therapy dog Max (APRIL 2019)

#3

DRESS FOR SUCCESS + 10 QUESTIONS WITH DIANA YAZZIE DEVINE + ONE•N•TEN

José Cardenas and Dr. Javier Cardenas (SEPT 2018)


TOP 3 EVENT LOCATIONS FOR THE 2018-19 SEASON:

#1

JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa

#2

Arizona Biltmore A Waldorf Astoria Resort

#3

Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia

CHEERS TO THE CHAIRS CONTEST LAUNCHED IN JANUARY 2019:

THE KNOCK EMAILS DELIVERED IN THE PAST YEAR:

Clicks, Shares and Votes

Emails Delivered

4,585

2,093,786

MOST-READ FRONTDOORS SOCIAL MEDIA:

INSTAGRAM POST

FACEBOOK POST

Beach Ball 2019 Raises Over $1.65 Million for Phoenix Children’s Hospital (MARCH 12, 2019)

UMOM Announces $1.1 Million Grant from Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation (MAY 21, 2019)

#1

FRONTDOORSMEDIA.COM TOP-READ STORIES:

Holiday Prelude XXXIII Luncheon & Fashion Show

We can’t wait to see what the next season brings. And keep those amazing story ideas coming!

Andrea

#2

59 Annual Heart Ball th

#3

Phoenix Zoo Receives $1 Million for Africa Trail

Andrea Evans PUBLISHER

@AndreaTEvans


The Valley’s Highest Quality, Most Reliable, Best Equipped Audio/ Visual Company is also the Best Value in Town Find out what dozens of the Valley’s top events and nonprofits already know — Latest Craze Production goes above and beyond to create an extraordinary AV experience for any occassion. And be sure to ask us about our incredible new LED walls that will make your visuals stand out like never before.

LatestCrazeProductions.com | 480.626.5231