Women's & Girls' Fund announces 2011 Grants
May 5, 2011

Support for Education and Training

Three organizations received grants totaling $20,000 from the Women’s & Girls’ Fund during a luncheon Thursday at Seven Oaks Country Club.

The Women’s & Girls’ Fund is a leadership initiative of Kern Community Foundation with an endowment established in 2005.  The grants represent the fourth annual distribution from the endowment, with cumulative awards now totaling $84,000.

A $10,000 grant was awarded to Kern Economic Development Foundation for its Alliance of Women in Energy Mentoring Initiative.  The program pairs socio-economically disadvantaged students with professional women in energy-related businesses, encouraging students to pursue college educations, and exposing them to nontraditional career options in the energy sector.  The Women's & Girls' Fund grant facilitates the expansion of the pilot program from Independence High School's Energy and Utility Academy to a similar academy at Taft High School.

Women's Economic Ventures (WEV), a Ventura nonprofit with a satellite location in Frazier Park, was the recipient of a $5,000 grant.  WEV will partner with the local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) serving the mountain communities to offer a proprietary Self Employment Training program which encourages microenterprise development.  The Women's & Girls' Fund grant will underwrite a 14 week course for approximately 20 women in fall 2011.

Garden Pathways Inc. was awarded $5,000 to expand its capacity to recruit and train volunteers for both its Family to Family Mentoring program and its initiative with teens in local high schools.  Garden Pathways received similar support from the Women's & Girls' Fund in 2009.          

In addition to announcing grants, the Women’s & Girls’ Fund honored its 2011 Women Defining Philanthropy.  Abigail Wheeler, a senior at Wasco High School, was recognized as the "2011 Young Woman Defining Philanthropy" for her work with local youth.  Chief among her accomplishments is the creation of the "Wasco Kids' Club" which teaches healthy living habits to children while developing leadership traits in their teen mentors.  Ginny Kirschenman was recognized as the "2011 Woman Defining Philanthropy" for her community work that began in 1959.  Beneficiaries of her philanthropy include Bakersfield Community House, the Junior League of Bakersfield, Grace Reform Church, California Living Museum, and CASA of Kern.

The Women's & Girls' Fund endowment exceeds $550,000 and is managed by Kern Community Foundation.  The Foundation is a vibrant nonprofit enterprise created by and for the people of Kern County.  Kern Community Foundation is known as a home for community philanthropists, a results-oriented grantmaker, and a trusted community leader.  More than $7 million has been granted since the Foundation's inception in 1999. 

<< see all news stories