Looking Back On Our Year

Categories: Blog, Press Release

As 2019 winds down, we’re looking back at some of our favorite moments from the past year!

First Lady Tammy Murphy’s Visit

On Wednesday, February 6th,  we were honored to receive a visit from Tammpy Murphy, First Lady of New Jersey, and the NJ Department of Human Services Commissioner, Carole Johnson. During their visit, First Lady Murphy and Commissioner Johnson signed our Stand Against Racism pledge, committing to do the work of ending racism through ongoing transformation of themselves and the institutions and structures of society.

The 2019 Tribute to Women Awards

On March 8, 2019, we recognized eight exemplary women at the 2019 Tribute to Women Awards. At the awards, our honorees were congratulated by First Lady of New Jersey Tammy Murphy, Senator Cory Booker, and the New Jersey Legislature. We were proud to highlight the incredible work being done by our 2019 Tribute to Women Honorees.

The 2019 Tribute to Women Awards recipients are:

 

Zoe Brookes, Co-Founder of the Trenton Circus Squad
Tracy McManimon, Senior Vice President and Chief Underwriting Officer at NJM
Linda Oppenheim, Community Activist (Fannie Floyd Racial Justice Award),
Barbara Purnell, and Community Advocate and Volunteer (Waxwood Lifetime Award for Service to the YWCA Princeton)
Linda Schwimmer, President and CEO at the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute
Martha Sword, Community Leader
Robin Walton, Vice President of Community and Government Affairs at Thomas Edison State University,
Patrizia Zita, Principal at the Kaufman Zita Group.

15th Annual Job Fair at Latinas Unidas

This year, Latinas Unidas helped 76 individuals with job placement through their job readiness program.

In May, thanks to a generous grant from the Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce Community Development Fund, Latinas Unidas connected 11 companies with 150 potential new employees.

The annual Latinas Unidas job fair is a key component of the job readiness program. Participants learn how to fill out applications, set goals, and develop interview skills. Many of the program participants at the job fair filled out applications on location, and several secured job interviews for the following week.

Kidsbridge

In May, 35 of the children in our Young Wonders Child Development Center participated in anti-bullying workshops lead by Kidsbridge, an organization dedicated to teaching children social-emotional skills, tolerance, and the value of diversity. As an organization #OnAMission to promote racial and gender equity, we’re proud to have had the opportunity to teach our students the importance of tolerance, conflict-solving skills, and appreciation of diversity.

YWCA National Conference: Dare to Be Powerful

In June, YWCA Princeton staff attended the 2019 YWCA National Conference: “Dare to be Powerful” in Washington D.C. Over 300 YWCA leaders came together to connect and learn through a series of workshops, panel discussions, and speeches.

On Capitol Hill day, we advocated for policies such as increasing the funding of The Child Care and Development Block Grant, and reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. We also met with representatives from the offices of Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, Congressman Andy Kim, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Bob Menendez, and Congressmen Tom Malinowski, Albio Sires, and Chris Smith, to discuss affordable child care.

The conference affirmed that we are one network, one movement, one YWCA. United in our mission to eliminate racism and empower women, we are able to life one another up, and share best practices to further our ability to provide life-changing services and programs.

Robotics Presentations at SES Americom

In June, our Robotic Rockettes and Prototype G team members presented a recap of their seasons at SES Americom, a founding sponsor of our Robotics program. Team captains Anjali and Aparna lead the presentation. Both captains explained the strong sense of community among First Tech Challenge teams. They often work together with other teams at competitions and mentor one another. Prototype G made an improvement to the autonomous component of the challenge, and shared their information online. 100 other teams that have replicated their strategy! (Watch Aparna explain this innovation here)

Also, Aparna was asked to act as an honorary member of team 9971 LANbros drive team, ranked #1 in the state. She joined them in Detroit, and they won the entire FTC World Championship!

Our Robotics program was established to address and reduce the gender and racial disparities in STEM. We are so proud of our teams for dedication and eagerness to advance their skills, and their drive to encourage other girls to pursue their interests in STEM and robotics. This would not be possible without our partnership with SES Americom, which we are incredibly thankful for!

Our Summer Stand Against Racism Series

In a powerful and timely collaboration with Not In Our Town Princeton, we hosted weekly screenings of Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us, followed by productive conversations lead by Dr. Joy Barnes-Johnson. We were happy to recognize familiar faces throughout the weeks, as members of the community joined us to learn the story of the Exonerated Five (Kory Wise, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana Jr., Kevin Richardson, and Antron McCray), and the injustice that lead to their incarcerations. Powerful and productive conversations followed each screening, and we appreciate our partners and participants in this work.

Young Wonders Win Town Topics Readers’ Choice Awards

In August, we were honored to be win the Town Topics Readers’ Choice Awards category for “Best Daycare / Preschool.” YWCA Princeton CEO Judy Hutton stated, “Our Young Wonders Child Development Center provides affordable child care to working families in the Princeton community and we are so thrilled to be recognized for our work. Our teachers put a tremendous amount of effort and attention into their daily interactions with our students. This is the first year the category has been included in the Readers’ Choice Awards, it just makes this accomplishment extra special.

Our Partnership with Princeton Public Schools

In September, Princeton Public Schools were awarded funds by the New Jersey Department of Education to expand preschool. YWCA Princeton was selected as a partner in the expansion program, and an additional class for three-year-olds was created. “Free public preschool is widely recognized as an important path towards closing the achievement gap,” said Superintendent Steve Cochrane. “This is an exciting opportunity for the Princeton Public Schools, and for our entire community.

Beyond Pink

In October, or, “Pinktober,” the Breast Cancer Resource center hosted the second annual Beyond Pink Art Show. The two-day art gallery featured artwork created or inspired by breast cancer patients and survivors. With the help of our incredible staff, volunteers, and sponsors, we were able to raise funds awareness, and funds, related to breast cancer support programs and services available at the BCRC.

For a full rundown of our year and program highlights, read our 2018-2019 Annual Report!

2018-2019 Annual Report

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