(From left) Kevin Alfaro, director of programs & evaluation for the Central Valley Community Foundation, Assemblyman Dr. Joaquin Arambula and Foundation CEO Ashley Swearengin (far right) present a check to Karin Kelley-Torregroza and Sarah Villa of Teen Success, Inc. Photo by Donald A. Promnitz
Written by Donald A. Promnitz
Over $500,000 was awarded to seven community organizations for work in youth development.
The checks were granted Thursday at UCSF Fresno, where they presented by the Central Valley Community Foundation, which placed an emphasis on helping with the issue of teen pregnancy in the Valley at the event.
“It struck me deeply that the work you’re doing, first of all, is not only so desperately needed, it is so inspiring,” said Ashley Swearengin, president and CEO of the Foundation and former Fresno mayor. “And my only regret in being here today is that there weren’t multiple zeroes on the left of the decimal to give to you all.”
Fresno County has the sixth-highest rate of teenage pregnancy in California despite large declines throughout the state. Babies born to teen mothers have been found to be at a higher risk for premature birth and other health issues.
“When I look at teen pregnancy, I’m looking at our community that faces some of the most difficult issues,” said Assemblyman Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) at the presentation. “When we look at trauma and poverty, and the social/economic structure that we have to support our community, I’m proud that right here in this room, are people who are helping our community to learn.”
Grants for youth development were given to Teen Success, Inc.; the Foundation at FCOE, Inc.; Fresno State’s Fresno Foundation; Boys & Girl’s Club of Fresno County; the Latino Commission- Nuevo Comienzo and Woodlake High School. UCSF Fresno’s Medical Education Program was also awarded.