Dear Friends, Family, and Colleagues,
I am excited to announce that I recently joined the board of directors of The CorStone Center for Personal Resilience, based in Mill Valley, CA. As a first step I have committed to raise $20,000 on their behalf by May 31st!
Let me tell you what’s different about CorStone and why I chose to support them:
CorStone fosters personal resilience in marginalized youth – especially girls and young women – around the world caught in a cycle of poor health, crisis, conflict, and poverty. Personal Resilience is the capacity to 'bounce back' and thrive despite significant adversity. This is not a skill we are born with. Research has shown that resilience can be learned and cultivated. CorStone is one of the only organizations out there working to improve resilience among high-poverty youth in developing countries.
I was impressed with CorStone’s focus on adolescent girls and young women. They are aware that poor girls and women not only lack financial means to protect their health and keep their children in school, but Corstone is also aware of a deeper problem – that these young women lack critical social and emotional assets such as self-esteem, communication skills, and problem-solving skills that set the foundation for improved mental, emotional and physical health, academic achievement, and career-readiness.
One of my favorite CorStone programs is Girls First – India, a peer support group program for India’s highest-poverty girls, facilitated by trained community women. Girls in the program have never attended school or are the first generation in their families to attend school; have little or no access to water or sanitation; are at high risk for becoming victims of violence and child marriage; and will have few, if any, employment prospects beyond sex work or menial labor if they do not finish school.
I mean, can you imagine?
The situation seems hopeless, but it’s not. Girls First’s impact with these young girls has been transformative – improving mental health, coping skills, self-esteem, conflict resolution skills, and school attendance! And they have tracked their success (see their reports).
Following three years of testing in 20+ slums, in July 2013 Girls First will launch in 80 schools with 5,000 girls in high-poverty rural India. And, CorStone has just received funding to plan a similar program in the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, the largest slum in Africa, with a population of 1,000,000 people.
It’s not often that we have the chance to contribute in a way that will have an immediate and widespread impact on the wellbeing of thousands of girls.
Please join me in supporting CorStone by donating whatever you can - $20, $100, $1,000, $10,000 or something in between – every little bit will make a difference! Please help me reach my goal of $20,000 in 60 days.
Thank you for your compassion and support.