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El Sol Shines “working together for a better community"

EL SOL NEWSLETTER - First Quarter 2018

The Board of Directors of El Sol, Jupiter’s Neighborhood Resource Center is proud to announce that Suzanne Cordero has been named as the organization’s new Executive Director. Suzanne has served as the Executive Director of the Guatemalan Tomorrow Fund for six years and brings a wealth of fundraising, strategic planning, and non-profit experience to her new position at El Sol. As a long-time Jupiter resident and former member of El Sol’s Board of Directors, Suzanne has a deep understanding of the role El Sol plays in the Jupiter community. The selection was made after an extensive national search and selection process.

Over the years, El Sol has grown to provide a variety of services to meet our clients’ needs: Labor, Adult Education, Health, Community Life, Legal, Food and Nutrition, and Child Development. We are proud to share the development of our programs for the first quarter of 2018 and the positive impact they are having in the Town of Jupiter and surrounding communities.

HIGHLIGHTING OUR SEVEN AREAS OF FOCUS

LABOR - Our Labor Center is open daily to provide day labor opportunities, which result in meaningful work and income for workers and access to workers for employers. In the first quarter of 2018, a total of 3,648 jobs were filled. El Sol registered 71 new workers and 318 new employers. With the addition of the Worker Development Coordinator, our Vocational Training Program has taken on new goals. In the first quarter, 31 students graduated from a variety of different courses and of those, 20 secured new income.

Volunteers provided 378 hours to the Labor Program at the Employer Desk and the Labor Desk.

Our new Kitchen Training Program, funded partially by Extraordinary Charities, began this year. We expanded our kitchen services from providing food assistance to our community members in need to also provide our clients with marketable job skills that can help them find more stable income. El Sol is not only providing the immediate assistance they need today, but helping them prepare for a brighter tomorrow.

STORIES THAT SHINE

One of the graduates from the El Sol Kitchen Training Program (KTP) is beginning to realize the benefits of hard work and successful training. Jose Torres, who is hoping to be a chef one day, and has worked for seven years as a kitchen aide locally, announced that he is on his way to completing his dream. Jose has been offered a full-time job managing a kitchen and is excited to see that the studies and certification of the KTP program are now paying off.

Graduates of the KTP program are certified in “ServSafe" a certification recognized by culinary professionals in the state of Florida. Additionally, Jose has also received a certificate of completion in our English as a Second Language (ESL) Level 2 class and has completed an online chef course through Capacitate Para el Empleo (Train for your Employment) program. Jose shared; “I'm taking advantage of all that I've learned.” He also expressed gratitude to El Sol and says he will be back to let you know how it goes! Jose is pictured above with fellow student Dalila Jara and KTP Coordinator Angie Willoughby. The KTP, a ten-week program, is an intensive 3 day a week vocational training program for those who are interested in a culinary career.

Adult Education - Remove barriers to employment by empowering people to improve their financial self-sufficiency and economic freedom for themselves and their families. El Sol offers ESL classes in the evenings on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays during the 10-week semester. El Sol also offers more casual “table talk” classes during the days on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This quarter an average of 70 students participated per class day and 17 graduated from ESL Levels III and IV.

Volunteers provided 94 hours of service to El Sol in our Nighttime ESL Program and 182 hours of service in the daytime classes this quarter.

El Sol's Health Program expands our clients’ capacity to be healthy and have active voices in their own lives and community. Our 2018 goal: 2,000 total Individuals will receive education information through training and workshops and 70% of our clients will successfully follow up with their referral appointment. Quarter I Progress: 2,932 total individuals received education/information and 67% of clients had successful follow ups.

Volunteers provided 32 hours to the Health Program this quarter.

El Sol's Promotores de Salud (Health Promoters) reached a total of 204 members of the community this quarter to discuss health issues of concern and educate the community. The first quarter topics were Bike and Pedestrian Safety, and Addictions.

Our Community Life Program promotes opportunities for integration that build bridges between families in our community. For the first quarter of 2018, El Sol created new opportunities for clients/families to participate in community programs; including, Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies, the Annual Soccer Tournament, Martin Luther King Jr. Day event, and community service events. Our clients gave a total of 112 volunteer hours back to our community through community service events in the first quarter of 2018.

El Sol and the Town of Jupiter Police Department held their 6th Annual Soccer Tournament on March 17th. 16 teams competed and over 1,800 people attended. Food was provided by the Food Shack in Jupiter. Activities for kids included face painting, craft tables, Canine demonstrations by the Police Department and Fire Department truck tours by Palm Beach County Fire and Rescue. The El Sol team took first place in the tournament!

The Legal Program is an avenue of information and education about the American legal system. Quarter I Progress: 55 individuals attended education workshops and 92 individuals received legal navigation and referrals. These cases consisted of immigration, criminal, labor, domestic, and miscellaneous issues.

Volunteer Attorneys assisted and gave 43 hours towards El Sol clients this quarter.

Providing clients with legal information and education.

El Sol's Food and Nutrition Program is helping fight hunger in America and encourage healthier eating by providing food security to the neediest families in the community, who make an average of $100-$200 a week. Our Food and Nutrition Program offers a breakfast and hot lunch to workers waiting for work in the center daily. The food is provided at a small fee of 25 cents per meal. Most of the food is donated by local grocery stores, the Palm Beach County Food Bank, and with our El Sol's Sunshine Organic Community Garden providing the fruits and vegetables when in season. A partnership with C.R.O.S. Ministries also provides a food pantry two days a week at the center.

In the first quarter of 2018, we served a total of 2,890 healthy meals with an average of 37 meals per day, 335 individuals attended nutrition workshops, 25 vendors and 200 people attended El Sol's Farmers Market on a weekly basis, 566 pounds of food were harvested from our garden providing food for 146 clients. C.R.O.S Ministries Pantry at El Sol served 869 individuals.

Volunteers contributed 1,072 hours in the kitchen and 100 hours in the garden at El Sol.

Child Development - Support the healthy development of children and equipping parents with tools to strengthen family bonds and community engagement. El Sol’s Sunshine Summer Camp Program is a six-week educational and fun camp for children from low income families that live in our community. 20 children have registered for the Summer Camp to be held at El Sol from June 11 through July 20.

An Art Program has been established to provide nighttime programming options for the children of adult education parents on Monday evenings. The Read-A-Recipe program has been re-established to provide nighttime programming options for the children of adult education parents on Tuesday evenings.

The School for Parents Program was created to assist parents strengthening their parenting skills, and foster communication in the household and community. Amelia Nuñez Training Consultant at Triple P - Positive Parenting Program in America, Inc was the guest speaker at our School for Parents Workshop in May. The topic was ​"How to create a better relationship with your child's school." The training focused on participating in parent/teacher conferences, volunteering at the school, assisting their children with school work, finding the tutoring resources within the school, and keeping an open line of communication with their children about issues in school.

Due to several issues regarding bullying, Amelia facilitated a class with the children while another staff member held a class with parents. The children learned how to discuss, understand and handle bullying at school. The children viewed a video, discussed issues that have happened with them or their friends, and role played specific situations to learn strategies. At the end of the session Amelia joined the parent class to provide feedback about her observation and conversation with the children.

SPRING GRADUATION

Our Spring Graduation was held in April to recognize our ESL, Computer, Sewing, and Basic Spanish Literacy classes, and Kitchen Training Program students. Many of our students have not attended and completed formal education in their home country and this was a major accomplishment and we wanted to celebrate! Over 150 family and friends were on hand to proudly support our students as they were presented their certificates.

People Helping People

Volunteers are the life line of El Sol and we greatly appreciate them all! Thank you so much for your commitment of time, skills, and energy to improve the quality of life for all the residents of Jupiter.

El Sol held its 10th Annual Volunteer Recognition Ceremony to thank volunteers for their investment in our community. At the beautiful, “Mardi Gras” cocktail reception event on February 9, 2018 Volunteer Coordinator Mike Phillips had the pleasure of presenting the VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR award for 2017 to Blanca Robles. Blanca, while also being a client at El Sol, dedicates a great amount of her time as a volunteer and has contributed significantly to our various programs. She is committed to the mission of El Sol and has helped at the Labor Desk, the Employer Desk, Case Management, and is also an Ambassador, who goes out in the community to represent El Sol. Blanca is the first Worker / Volunteer to receive this award. She is a great example for our workers, and in every aspect, goes out of her way to ask how and when she can help. This award is greatly deserved. Congratulations Blanca!

In the First quarter of 2018, a total of 159 El Sol volunteers gave 2,984 hours of their time, valued at $86,743.87.

El Sol, Jupiter’s Neighborhood Resource Center is on a mission to improve the quality of life for the residents of Jupiter and surrounding communities by providing services primarily to day laborers, their children and families.

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