January - February 2017
Trinity Opportunity Alliance is featured in an article by Cindy Solomon for the January-February issue of Interpreter magazine. Yours is a valuable and life-changing ministry that we were pleased to feature.
December 15, 2015
TOA Participant Receives Donated Car
Because of the continued generosity of the community, another young adult has received a reliable vehicle to get to work and school. A donor offered this car to a deserving TOA participant in the hopes that this would empower them to reach their goals. Aging out of the foster care system leaves young adults with few resources, and in a large, sprawling metro area like Phoenix, transportation is one of the biggest challenges. Everyone at TOA is excited for Sarah, the young woman who received the vehicle, and have high hopes for her future!
Last summer 13 girls aged 15 – 17 attended a summer boot camp at Mesa Community College (MCC). Six months later all of the girls are still enrolled in high school and are performing above levels for last year. This summer the five-week program will enroll up to 25 boys and girls and will combine activities to develop interpersonal skills, college success qualities, and math skills. All parts of the curriculum are designed to work together to leave the students better equipped to succeed in school, in work, and in life.
Harkins Joins as a new TOA employer partner with two positions staring the summer of 2016!
March 3, 2016
Jonathan's New Ride
It's not every Friday you get to see the work of the Lord in the most unexpected place, the DMV. Jonathan's gratitude and smile is the reason why spending my afternoon watching him sign over the car lease was all worth it. I hope the Volvo I once drove my friends around in supports him in his continuing success and high school graduation! I pray the Lord guides Jonathan on his journey to the next chapter in life and wherever else those four wheels take him!
FOSTER HOMES TO COLLEGE.
Eighteen months ago an offshoot of Trinity Opportunity Alliance (TOA) was initiated by Jo Steig, a member of NSUMC and a professor at Mesa Community College. It began by working with Keys to Success (KTS), a program of the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation, to help meet the educational needs of teens aging out of the foster care system. What began with youths struggling to complete their GED transitioned into the development of summer bridge programs for high school students in care. We quickly learned that the earlier the youth develop study and interpersonal skills along with academics, the more long-term and sustainable the benefits. This has led to collaboration between TOA, Keys, Helen’s Hope Chest, and Mesa Community College (a part of the Maricopa Community Colleges) to design such a program.
February 11, 2016
TOA Spotlighted By Channel 12 News In Phoenix
Trinity Opportunity Alliance was recently featured in a piece done by local news station Channel 12. We are grateful to be able to share our story and our vision in a number of ways.
"One year ago Patty was 19 and frustrated due to her lack of success on the math portion of the GED. After 3 attempts, she was no closer to her goal of running her own child care facility. Today Patty is enrolled at Mesa Community College and fall 2016 will begin work on her associate’s degree in Early Childhood Development. What made the difference was a partnership between the Trinity Opportunity Alliance and Keys to Success that pairs a volunteer math coach with a foster youth who is struggling with math. The math coach was able to provide guidance and encouragement and Patty did all of the work. The partnership will continue to support Patty and other foster youth at MCC by helping to develop steps-to-success programs and by providing advisement and support as they navigate through required math courses."
June 1, 2015
TOA Provides More Than Jobs
In April 2015, TOA was able to provide a car to Amber.
Amber has been a program participant in the AFFCF Keys to Success program since June, 2014 and has proven her dedication to setting and achieving her personal and professional goals by working, attending Gate Way Community College and being a committed member of the Arizona Youth Partnership Board.
Her lack of reliable transportation was on ongoing challenge and prevented her from making more progress in all areas of her life. By providing her with reliable transportation, TOA assisted another young adult in taking next steps to self-sustainability and success.
In this program, TOA’s involvement is more about being present to help build connections than it is to specifically supply human resources and funds. This collaboration reflects a TOA desire to root programs within institutions so that the ownership and growth remains local, thus increasing long term sustainability. Currently MCC is serving as a district pilot with the aim to expand to other colleges within the district. Phoenix College has already expressed interest to be the second site for this program.
A Special Christmas Gift
Paradise received her car named "Red" just before Christmas 2015. A joyous gift for a brilliant woman!
February 24, 2016
Jasmine Gets A "Blueberry"
In another extraordinary gift of generosity, a local family donated their cherished family car, affectionately named "Blueberry", to another deserving TOA participant. Jasmine will now have the reliable transportation she needs to travel to work. We are excited for Jasmines future, and thankful for generous donors who believe in the vision of Trinity Opportunity Alliance.
In 2015 the Trinity Opportunity Alliance (TOA) aligned with AZ Keys to Success Program and the Maricopa Community Colleges Bridging Success Initiative to connect youth aging out of the foster system with academic support systems. For some, getting a high school equivalency certificate or GED is their barrier to future opportunities. On March 16th we enjoyed a tremendous success when a young woman passed the math portion of the GED! Before last summer, she had passed all other parts of the GED but three times had been unsuccessful on the math portion. We linked her up with a personal tutor and through a great deal of hard work on her part she discovered success! Her first thought was to call her tutor to share this amazing news. Her goal is to get a child care certificate at Mesa Community College and open a child care facility and we are already working with MCC to create a counseling/academic network to support her in her next steps.
TRINITY OPPORTUNITY ALLIANCE
We are excited to report that TOA has received three grants in the past month. The first is a grant of $24,675 from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust to develop the training modules for employers! We have also received $2,400 from an offering at the Annual Conference. Finally, we have received a grant from the Los Arcos United Methodist Building Corporation of $355,000 to support the expansion of the program. We are truly blessed. In addition to the amazing financial support TOA has received, we have also entered into a partnership with ASU Center for Child Well Being. Staff and student interns will be working with us on various TOA projects.
January 5, 2016
A Special Holiday for JaQuane
Meet JaQuane! He is the recipient of one of the cars donated to NSUMC and is currently employed by an employer partner recruited by the Trinity Opportunity Alliance.
JaQuane was introduced to the Trinity Opportunity Alliance by our youth serving agency the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation (AFFCF). He is part of the Keys to Success program (overseen by the AFFCF) that prepares foster youth preparing to or aging out for job readiness.
December 8, 2015
Press Coverage Highlights "Keys to Success" Partnership
On November 9th, Trinity Opportunity Alliance and North Scottsdale United Methodist Church hosted a special event created by the Keys To Success program, to better equip young adults as they prepare for their opportunities in the Phoenix metro workforce. The Arizona Republic covered the event, and you can read the article by following this link.
Season for Sharing: Helping foster kids thrive, one at a time
Kara G. Morrison, The Republic | azcentral.com 9:11 p.m. MST November 27, 2015
NSUMC CONGREGATION DONATES $9,500 AT THE 2015 CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES FOR FOSTER YOUTH LAUNCH PACKAGES!
North Scottsdale United Methodist Church (NSUMC) established Trinity Opportunity Alliance (TOA) to create a system that matches youth aging out of the foster care system with employment.
KTS, a primary youth serving partner of TOA, works with approximately 125 young people who either have or about to age out of the foster care system. KTS staff work with these young people (16-24) to prepare them to secure and keep employment with TOA employer partners.
One offshoot of TOA is $100 “Launch Packages” for the foster youth who are participating in Keys to Success (KTS), a program the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation (AFFCF). The grant is to assist youth who are preparing for job interviews or a job with clothes, shoes and services they need. NSUMC/TOA will provide a $100 match (launch package) for each youth receiving the KTS stipend.
Winter 2015 to 2016
LAUNCH PACKAGES for TOA Youth
Foster Youth Launch Packages Increased for $100-$200!
NSUMC established TOA to create a system that matches youth aging out of the foster care system with employment. Keys To Success (KTS) is a program of the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation, a primary youth serving partner of TOA. Annually, KTS staff engages approximately 100 young people (ages 16-24) to prepare them to secure and keep employment with TOA employer partners. The youth participants either have or are about to age out of the foster care system
One offshoot of TOA is the “Launch Packages” for the foster youth who are participating in KTS. Last year the NSUMC congregation donated $9,500 during the 2015 Christmas Eve Services. The grant was used to assist the youth in preparing for job interview with clothes, shoes and services they need. This summer we increased the grant to $200 per youth. The initial $100 is awarded when a youth is preparing for an interview. The final $100 is awarded when employment is secured to assist with the purchase of job related clothes. Another form of encouragement for our young people that is making a difference in the lives of others in need. Here what they have to say:
I just started going to Glendale Community College this semester. I want to be a veterinarian, and plan on attending University of Arizona in Tucson. I just turned 18, and needed to get a job as soon as possible. I interviewed at Fry’s and got hired as a cashier at the store close to GCC. My job coach took me shopping to get the clothes I needed to start working. I got three white shirts, three slacks and a pair of shoes for work. I really appreciate the clothes.” DH
“My career goal is to become an attorney, and I am completing my GED this October. I will be 18 years old next spring. I was able to purchase interview clothing and work clothes with the grants received from AFFCF. First, my employment coach and I went shopping for interview clothing. I selected a dress and a skirt, top, matching blazer, and two pair of shoes. The next week, I wore the new dress and pumps for my informational interview with a prosecutor at the Attorney General’s office. I went to her office in down-town Phoenix, and met with other attorneys, and then went with her to court to watch the cases she was covering that day. The attorneys said I seemed so mature for my age. I still keep in touch with the attorney. After that I applied for jobs and went to an interview with Fry’s Food Stores. I got the job! My employment coach took me to Wal-Mart where I got the clothes I needed to start working at Fry’s. Thank you for helping me.” PL
News from NSUMC and TOA
Did you know that several organizations that we support such as UMOM New Day Centers, Wesley Community Center, Justa Center, and the Coalition of Compassion & Justice began as a program of a Methodist church? That’s how we see TOA evolving. The seed money to launch the program came from one of our church members. The congregation of NSUMC assumed the responsibility for the design, pilot and ﬁnancial support for TOA. As the program grew, we recognized the need for additional staﬃng and a diﬀerent structure to sustain the mission and further spread our outreach to community partners that include employers, youth serving agencies, and faith congregations.
To accomplish this we submitted a request for a ﬁve year grant for program development to The Los Arcos United Methodist Building Corporation (LAUMBC). Funding from LAUMBC would be a bridge that provided the core funding while we implemented our fund development strategy and moved toward becoming a independent nonproﬁt organization. As a ﬁrst step in that process, TOA became a sponsored project of The Technical Assistance Partnership of Arizona (TAPAZ). A full-service ﬁscal sponsor focused on groups with missions linked to health and human service missions, TAPAZ oﬀers crucial financial management support and helps build nonproﬁt organizational capacity.
In July, we were blessed to receive full funding for our grant request! We thought you would like to know more about LAUMBC. It is our intention to keep the memory of the good people of Los Arcos UMC alive by including them as a legacy supporter of Trinity Opportunity Alliance. Their commitment to caring for others in the name of Christ will live on in our work and in our gratitude.
The Legacy of Los Arcos United Methodist Church
The Los Arcos United Methodist Church reached out in faith to establish the Hacienda de Los Arcos, a non-proﬁt facility to provide housing for the low-income elderly population in Scottsdale. The facility was administered for 44 years by the Los Arcos United Methodist Building Corporation until it was sold. The Hacienda still exist, albeit under a new owner. It is the primary legatee of the church.
Once the property was sold, the nine-member Board of Directors had the awesome task of distributing the proceeds of the sale to other non-proﬁt entities thus extending the reach of the Los Arcos Church into the wider community. Twelve organizations received grants from the Board, and are in eﬀect the secondary legatees of the church. The Los Arcos Building Corporation Board of Directors is merely the facilitator/implementer of the church’s mission.