Sunday, September 23, 2012

Review: Inocente

MTV recently aired a documentary about a undocumented and homeless teenage girl pursuing her passion of becoming an artist. 

I can honestly say that I had a box of tissues in my lap throughout this whole film. Inocente's circumstances are heart-wrenching and almost hopeless, but with the help of a few non-profit organizations, she has the chance to change her life.

Shine Global is a non-profit film production company.  All donations go to the production of their films and Shine Global donates all net profits to local non-governmental organization working on behalf of the children and issues documented.

ARTS-is a San Diego based nonprofit organization dedicated to providing, supporting, and advocating for arts programs that heal, inspire, and empower youth facing adversity. Their unique program framework and model creates a one-stop shop for kids to be exposed to and engage in the arts at many levels depending on their circumstances, skill level, and interest.

Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEFis the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the “law firm of the Latino community”, MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access.

To watch this documentary visit: MTV 

Friends who Philanth'rock' it!

Many for-profit organizations are including philanthropy in their missions and engaging in social responsibility. This past Friday, my friend Caitlin volunteered at the State Street Global Outreach 4K! State Street encourages their employees to be active in their communities and collectively the corporation has contributed over 78,000 hours to 4,900 volunteer projects worldwide.  When I asked her why she volunteered for the 4K, she responded:

"I volunteered because my husband is running it. Also because it is a great opportunity for me to take a study break, get outside, and enjoy the September sunshine on the Boston Harbor Islands. Meeting new people and enjoying life for a good cause!" 

If you work at State Street or are friend of the State Street family, check out their website for details: State Street Global Outreach.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hi all (the couple followers I have!):

I have had sort of a slow start posting regularly as I am planning for the blogging days to come AND....I have started graduate classes for a Masters in Public Administration. I am totally stoked to be back in school and already feel right at home with the course material. Hopefully this degree will catapult me even further into my dream job.

Wish me luck (I am going to need it after being out of school for 6 years!) and check back REAL soon for all things philanthropic.
Sidenote-my last post on the Pine Street Inn was read by a member of their team and they have invited me on a tour of their facilities! I will be sure to fill you all in on how it goes. If anyone in the Boston area wants to join me, just let me know!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

my early inspiration

For as long as I can remember, I have been a humanitarian. I strongly believe that my purpose in life is to make a difference and create change. I grew up in a family of modest means. My father was exceptionally hard working, holding two jobs for most of my childhood. He grew up extremely poor and always reminded my siblings and I how lucky we were to have necessities. I learned the value of a dollar at a very young age. Starting around the time I was 10 years old, my grandfather would give me one hundred dollars every time I received all A’s on my report card. Instead of keeping this reward or buying several new Barbie dolls, I always told my parents I wanted to send my money to the Pine Street Inn. We passed it on our ride home from my grandparents' home every week and even from afar, without really knowing what it was, I felt a connection; I even asked my fellow classmates at school to donate. At this young age, a philanthropist was born. I was too young to fully grasp what I was doing, but I knew it made me happy to help others. I received a thank you letter from the Pine Street Inn, stating that I had given three people a few nights of shelter.  Emergency shelter is only one of the many wonderful services the Pine Street Inn offers. It offers programs around permanent housing, job training and placement, street outreach, and recovery. It also advocates on a policy level to help the lives of homeless men and women.

To find out more about the Pine Street Inn or see how to get involved, check out their website at:  Pine Street Inn

Saturday, July 7, 2012

1 million homeless students in the U.S.

Picture courtesy of

The U.S. Education Department recently reported that the number of homeless students in America has topped one million by the end of the 2010-2011 school year. That number is a 57 % increase since 2007. As if that isn't shocking enough, experts are saying that the count of 1 million is probably half of what it could be if kids were more accurately counted. The report doesn't include homeless infants, children not enrolled in school and those children schools have failed to identify.

71 % of children identified as homeless by the Education Department list their family or friends' homes as their residency. When they are listed as such, these children aren't considered homeless by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development and in turn can not apply for subsidized housing. This means that of the 1 million homeless students identified by the Education department, only 300, 000 of those children are considered homeless by the Housing and Urban Development Department. How can this be you ask? Don't we have the obligation to help all of these children? our country's future depends on it. Currently Congress is considering the expansion of the definition of homeless (bill H.R. 32) to include those living on friends and relatives' couches or in motel rooms-addressing the increase in the number of families losing their homes due to the recession. However, advocates are currently divided on this bill as some worry it would drain funds away from those needed immediate help and live on the street.  In December, 6 children testified at a congressional hearing to share their stories of stress and struggles at school as they sleep 4 to 5 in a cheap motel and bounce from one relatives couch to another. What are your thoughts?

The thought of families and children living on the streets or bouncing around from one shelter to another is one that could keep me up every night. The average age of a homeless person is 9 years old. 9 YEARS OLD. For children, not having a permanent place to call home and having to change schools frequently sets them up for failure educationally, socially, and emotionally. Congress needs to increase the budget of HUD, so they can address the needs of all homeless children. Homlessness is a HUGE problem in our country.

For these articles, check out:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Supreme Court upholds ObamaCare

Today the Supreme Court upheld President Obama's healthcare law, giving access to healthcare to millions of Americans.

To find out more, click