February 2021

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February is known for its romantic holiday, Valentine's Day. But showing love is more than heart-shaped candies, chocolates, or flowers. Love can be demonstrated by helping another person to become safe; to become financially self-sufficient; and to be physically and mentally well. Caring about another person is one of the greatest gifts we can give.  

At YWCA Northeast Indiana, our staff demonstrate great compassion, and so we are highlighting our therapists in this month's edition. In our Opportunity Services department, therapists provide individual and/or family therapy to people who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, childhood sexual abuse, dating violence, or similar crimes. Therapy is free of charge, and is offered to those who are already involved in other YWCA Northeast Indiana programs as well as those who aren't.  

Our Hope & Harriet program integrates high-quality, person-centered care and is guided by evidence-based addiction treatment practices. Our Hope & Harriet therapist provides education, awareness, skill building, therapeutic groups, family groups, and individual therapy.

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"Teen Dating Awareness Month (TDVAM) is a month-long campaign dedicated to raising awareness about teen dating abuse. Every February, young people and their loved ones join together across the country for a national effort to raise awareness about the issue of teen dating violence." Check out Love is Respect's TDVAM 2021 Action Guide.

Also in this edition, we highlight the caring nature of the Goldstein family, having generously donated funds to establish the Goldstein Family Scholarship program. We also highlight two exceptional women in our Power of Persimmon initiative. Please read more about Judy Roy and Rachel Steinhofer and how they are helping to empower other women. We also recognize Amy Torrez, executive director of Paul's Place, for her outstanding leadership within our community.  Her love of her father led to the naming of Paul's Place.

And, lastly, we would like to invite you to celebrate along with us the remarkable bravery and love shown by people throughout history who believe, as we do, that each member of our community is to be accepted, supported and valued, no matter their skin color. It's time to LevelUp Northeast Indiana.

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During Black History Month, we recognize individuals who have helped pioneer and create history for the African American community. Join us by celebrating a local hero you know! Submit a photo and a brief description of how they are shaping our community to marketing@ywcaerew.org. Please make sure you have your hero's permission to use their photo.

We couldn't end this newsletter without thanking all of you, our supporters. The love and compassion you have shown to us is what enables us to show great compassion to others. We could not do what we do without you!

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Opportunity Services and Hope & Harriet Therapy Teams

The three-person Opportunity Services therapy team includes Abbi, Mary, and Mukhabbat. Abbi Stephens, MSW, LSW, is the newest member of this team. She is an implicit-bias trainer and enjoys working with a wide range of clients. Mary Friend, MS, LMHCA, is our longest-serving therapist. Mary, who primarily focuses on our adult clients, enjoys helping people think through their patterns and come to new realizations.  Mukhabbat Yusupova, MA, LMHC, CAS, CCTP, is our Lead Therapist. She is trained in EMDR, Hypnotherapy, and is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. In her 9 years of clinical practice, she has enjoyed working with a variety of the population, focusing specifically on trauma counseling and multicultural approach interventions to bolster resilience in the patients she serves. 

The therapeutic components of our Hope & Harriet addiction recovery program are delivered by YWCA Northeast Indiana therapist, Jennifer Pappert, MA, LMHCA, and through a partnership with Headwaters Counseling. Jennifer has an Associate License in Mental Health Counseling from the state of Indiana. She received her Master of Arts degree in Mental Health Counseling from Huntington University, which is CACREP certified. Jennifer completed 26 hour training for Certified Dialectical Behavior Therapy and is currently working to obtain the additional 300 hours of practice to officially be certified in DBT skills practice and implementation.

Our Hope & Harriet program offers an intensive long-term, residential program for women including pregnant, postpartum, post-delivery and parenting women with dependent children. The program addresses issues specific to women in relation to substance use disorder and their children when applicable. We offer a structured and supportive environment that fosters personalized growth, enabling women to recover from their addictions and gain the necessary skills to support and sustain their recovery. Our program integrates high-quality, person-centered care and is guided by evidence-based addiction treatment practices. We provide education, awareness, skill building, therapeutic groups, family groups, and individual therapy. 

As we celebrate love this month, please take a moment to thank a therapist for their compassion and expertise!

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Goldstein Family Scholarship Program

The goal of the Goldstein Family Scholarship Program is to help female survivors of domestic violence improve their self-sufficiency and quality of life by completing higher education. 

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The scholarship fund provides financial support for tuition, books, rent, utilities, and childcare. Support is provided based on the applicant's financial need after using all other available community resources. Financial support and case management services are provided to scholarship recipients for up to 4 years.

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Our next scholarship application deadline is April 1st.

Learn more about applicant eligibility criteria, higher education requirements and expectations, case management services provided, and how to apply by visiting our website!

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YWCA Northeast Indiana’s Power of Persimmon initiative honors empowered women who diligently seek to help empower other women through mentorship, networking, and education. Kudos to these remarkable women!

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Judy Roy
Judy Roy has been a leader in the finance and accounting industry for nearly 35 years, currently serving as Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration at Indiana Tech. Her first job after college was in the accounting department at General Electric on Broadway; she’s been encouraged by the progress of the Electric Works project in transforming her former workplace. She has also played an integral role in Indiana Tech’s participation in the project. Learn more about Judy here.

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Rachel Steinhofer

Rachel Steinhofer, a skilled associate with Barrett McNagny, represents clients in the employment arena. Rachel has volunteered at the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic, serves on the board of directors for Mental Health America of Northeast Indiana and McMillen Health, and is secretary of the board of directors for both organizations. Learn more about Rachel here.

Stay tuned to upcoming newsletters to see who will be featured next in Power of Persimmon! Thank you to our media partner, Glo Magazine.

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February is Black History Month

We believe that our community can only truly prosper when each member is accepted, supported, and valued. YWCA Northeast Indiana is taking deliberate action to educate, empower, and unite people through programs designed to create inclusion and build racial equity. Our vision is to help our region become the equitable place we know it can be. It’s time to Level Up Northeast Indiana.

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We owe the existence of Black History Month to author and historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson. In 1915, Woodson attended a special celebration commemorating the 50th anniversary of emancipation. During the three-week event, over ten thousand African Americans traveled to Washington, D.C. to view exhibits on Black history. This inspired Woodson to found the Association for the Study of African American Life & History (ASALH). In February 1926, Woodson and the ASALH announced the first Negro History Week. 

Woodson did not choose the month of February on a whim. Two significant figures in Black history have birthdays in February. Former President Abraham Lincoln's birthday is on the 12th, and abolitionist Frederick Douglass's is on the 14th. The Black community already had a longstanding tradition of celebrating both dates. By choosing February for Negro History Week, Woodson used these existing traditions to spark public interest in Black history as a whole.

Negro History Week received an overwhelming response from the public. Schools and communities around the country organized local celebrations, performances, and lectures on Black history. In 1928, ASALH began setting a theme for the annual celebration and created study materials for the public. Teachers, activists, and intellectuals were instrumental in keeping the spirit of Negro History Week alive in the following decades, and the 1960s Civil Rights Movement only increased interest in the event.

In 1975, President Gerald Ford became the first U.S. President to recognize Black History Week. The following year in 1976, fifty years after the first Negro History Week, Ford issued the first "Message on the Observance of Black History Month." Since then, every American president regardless of party affiliation has issued a proclamation honoring Black History Month. 

-Written by Rui Gui and Hakim Muhammad

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Learn more in our most recent Racial Justice 101 blog post, where we include a local spotlight on Dr. John Aden, Executive Director of the African/African-American Historical Museum in Fort Wayne and a full-time staff member at Canterbury School.

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Aden graduated from Paul Harding HS in 1988 and went on to attend Wabash College. As an undergraduate student, Aden spent a summer at the University of Chicago studying ancient Egyptian mummies and the question of skin pigmentation and ideas about race. This experience inspired him to pursue and earn a doctorate in African Studies at the University of Indiana. Aden is also a former Fulbright Fellow to the Republic of Mali, where he conducted research among blacksmith communities.

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Amy Torrez


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Featured in this month’s Empowering Leaders Video Series is Amy Torrez, Founder and Executive Director at Paul's Place.

Learn more about Amy here.

Thank you to Amy Torrez for being our featured empowering leader! We are also thankful for our corporate partner, Fort Wayne Metals, for sponsoring this initiative. 


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Wish List

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We have many needs right now, specifically for the women and children living with us in our domestic violence crisis shelter and in our Hope & Harriet addictions recovery program. Some of these needs include new women's sweatpants and sweatshirts, ethnic hair products, and gently used baby swings. Find a full list of our current needs on our website and check out our Amazon Wish List to have items shipped directly to us! Thank you in advance for all of your support!