Nearly 50 preschoolers, excited and giggly, donned white caps and gowns and contagious smiles for the graduation ceremony of the Head Start program operated by BCFS Education Services. Proud parents and family members had their camcorders and phones at the ready to capture the sweet memories and they cheered on the little graduates.
BCFS names Kenia Dimas associate executive director for the agency’s South Texas community-based operations. As associate executive director, she will be responsible for overseeing the growth and success of community-based programs that touch the lives of thousands.
The symbiotic relationship on Kerrville’s non-profit campus saves youth from homelessness, substance abuse, unemployment, crime and unplanned pregnancies. Thanks to the Ruby Stevens Foundation, Hal Peterson Foundation, Sterling-Turner Foundation, Cailloux Foundation and other organizations and individuals in the community, more than $1 million has been secured to expand the campus.
Last December, BCFS Health and Human Services (BCFS HHS) celebrated the grand opening of its transitional living home for homeless teens and young adults, called “Our House.” Now, BCFS HHS’ parent company, BCFS, is committing a $225,000 challenge grant over three years to solidly plant the organization’s footprint and mission in Abilene for years to come.
BCFS Health and Human Services’ new “Community Services Division” will lead programs that serve thousands of children, families and communities each year. Terri Hipps will serve as executive director, focusing on on developing best practice service models, and expanding programs and community support.
“Growing up in a rough neighborhood shouldn’t sentence any child to a life of crime, poverty, poor health or other struggles,” said Catarina Velasquez, BCFS HHS Program Director for Guadalupe Street Coffee. “Thanks to investments made by organizations like the Rapier Foundation, Guadalupe Street Coffee will continue be a force on the West Side that increases school retention and enhances teens’ likelihood of graduation and future success.”
Twenty-seven young adults have joined the current class for BCFS Health and Human Services’ (BCFS HHS) YouthBuild project. The full-time program helps young adults earn their GED or high school diploma while getting hands-on training to enter the workplace, start a career in construction, or begin college.
The Texas Healthy Start Alliance has named BCFS Health and Human Services’ (BCFS HHS) Laura Echeverria “Distinguished Practitioner of the Year.” This honor recognizes individuals with exceptional professional achievement and leadership in maternal and child health, and who make selfless contributions to their community with the aim of improving the health of women, children and families.
No eighteen year old has it all together (or nineteen or twenty year old either for that matter). Navigating the confusing web of first time apartment leases, financial aid forms, and the spice aisle at the grocery store is enough to make any young adult’s head spin. Now, compound this overwhelming feeling onto aging out of foster care without a parent, grandparent, or other positive role model to bestow tips and tools.
BCFS Health and Human Services has named longtime and lauded first responder, John Linstrom, as National Deputy Director of Mitigation and Preparedness Services. Linstrom will establish and execute key partnerships with federal and state governments focused on bolstering emergency response readiness and capacity across the nation. Linstrom has more than 30 years of experience in emergency management.