History and Accomplishments
From 2010-2013, we developed our organization and our workshops. In 2013, we received financial support from Monterey businesses and service clubs, such as the Kiwanis Club of Monterey, Fishermen's Grotto, and Kathy's restaurant and private donors. We were supported by the Seaside City Council, The Village Project (former Fiscal Sponsor), and Grocery Outlet. We received certificates of accomplishment from the NAACP and 4th district Supervisor Jane Parker. Ladies First was featured on KSBW's Feedback at Five radio station with Theresa Wright. We held our first series of workshops along with a graduation ceremony for ten participants. The workshops were free and the graduation ceremony was to acknowledge and reward the accomplished goals of our participants. Participant with the highest participation points received a laptop computer; all participants received gift cards based on attendance.
In 2014, we were granted funds from the Community Foundation for a Business Coach. We received monetary support from the Carmel Rotary Club, Walmart Corporation's Community Giving grant, the Arts Council of Monterey, City of Seaside, Seaside businesses and private donors. Ladies First was recognized by the IRS as a non-profit organization. In July in collaboration with CSUMB Visual Arts, we held an Art Exhibit Fundraiser, featuring a young local female international artist, and collaborated with NAACP Youth Summit workshops. In October, Ladies First held the second graduation ceremony where 2 participants with highest participation points received a HP laptop computer, and one participant received a HP printer, and all participants received a $100 gift card. Established relationships with the Links, AKA and Sun Street youth group. Participants of Ladies First served as ushers at the Seaside Bach Festival, and held a recycling fundraiser to feed families at Hamilton House women's shelter.
In 2015, We started our Enrichment workshops which included a Money management workshop and a Social Media and human trafficking workshop, Established a relationship with Del Monte Manner low income housing project; established a partnership with CSUMB Service Learners Community Partners. This partnership allowed Ladies First to utilize the CSUMB Graphic Design class to develop our website with input from the girls, along with teaching them some basics about web design. Also, we utilized Service Learner volunteers to help with the workshops, which gave the girls direct contact we young ladies pursuing a college education. We developed a strategic plan for the next 2 years under the guidance of the Harvard Business Coaches. The girls attended a play production “Oliver Twist”. We held our first Fashion Show Fundraiser. Ladies First has been recognized respectfully in the community. Recognized by the City council as a good program, the mayor has attended our last 2 graduation ceremonies. This year’s graduation ceremony 3 participants received new laptop computers provided by Ladies First and the remaining 7 girls received net books, as a result of collaboration with Loaves, Fishes and Computers, and the Monterey school district; Participated in the 1st Annual Monterey County Youth Health Extravaganza, led by students from Central Coast High School. We also created a promotional video which included testimonials from participants. Ladies First was also featured in Seaside Post Sentential Newspaper.
How are we doing so far?
We have 11 volunteers who volunteer to facilitate our workshops and 5-7 volunteers in various support roles. We have given away 3 new laptops as awards to participants who earned the highest workshop points. In collaboration with CSUMB Service learners’ graphic arts class, the girls assisted with the redesign of Ladies First website, as they were introduced to new computer skills. Statistics are a good way to measure outcomes. One of the best ways to measure outcome is personal results. This letter was written by the parent of one of our graduates who is now in our leadership program.
January 20, 2015
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Terry Hall and I’m the Dad and single parent of Alexsis Hall, who is a graduate of the Ladies First program. I don’t always say the right things to my daughter, and that has been a problem with her self-esteem. Ladies First has helped her to deal with some of her personal problems. The women at Ladies First are a great help, they pick my daughter up, and take her to engage in activities fit for young lady. Ms. Pruitt has also been helpful in encouraging me and giving me sound advice dealing with my daughter’s emotional negativity. In my opinion this program is what a community needs for the young ladies. I bless the continued efforts of the women in this program and may God give them all that they need to be successful.
Minister Terry Hall