Emerging Leaders Get the Inside Scoop on Leadership
Program officer Robyn Attebury Ellis jumped at the invitation to join four nonprofit leaders, all Crimsonbridge Leadership Fund recipients, as they learned about leadership in Montgomery County. As a part of Leadership Montgomery’s Emerging Leaders program, the group meets monthly to discuss the inner-workings of key leaders’ visions, how they make decisions, who they rely on, and how they work through challenges. The day commenced included insights a coffee producer, financial expert, event space innovator, local elected official, and a brewery tour from its owner!
When Women Give
At Crimsonbridge, being entrepreneurial and partnering with others is how we practice philanthropy. This month, our executive director, Danielle M. Reyes, attended When Women Give, a conversation about the power and promise of women’s philanthropy hosted by our community partner, the Washington Area Women’s Foundation. The event not only provided an opportunity to learn and engage with community members and women of all ages, but encouraged women to recognize their many contributions and join the #iamaphilanthropist movement!
Learning with Archdiocese of Washington Catholic Schools
Through the Hispanic Enrollment Initiative, the Archdiocese of Washington is committed to increasing Latino enrollment in Catholic schools and improving education outcomes for Latino children. Aligned with this, the Elementary Schools Principals Association of the Archdiocese of Washington is hosting a four-part professional development series focused on cultural competency and culturally responsive teaching practices during the 2019-20 school year. Program Officer Caitlin Mayo had the privilege of attending the first of these sessions as a guest, where she joined more than 50 principals and staff of the Catholic Schools Offices committed to this work.
Girls on the Run of Montgomery County Fall 5K
It was a chilly November morning, but Program Officer Caitlin Mayo joined her fellow members of the Young Professionals Board of Girls on the Run of Montgomery County to volunteer at the Fall 5K. More than 2,000 girls crossed the finish line, joined by their family members, teachers, and coaches. The GOTR MoCo 5K is always a joyful and positive morning, made possible by hundreds of volunteers who believe in the value of this program. Congratulations to all of the girls who participated in the fall season!
Fall Meeting of the College Completion Colleagues Initiative
The College Completion Colleagues (C3) Initiative held its fall meeting in the community conference room of Potter’s House in Adams Morgan. The eight organizations have met as a cohort three times a year since 2018, to learn, share, and strengthen a regional network focused on college success. Participants broke off into small groups based on topics of their choosing. Our executive director, Danielle M. Reyes joined a robust discussion that shared each organization’s plans and funding needed to scale up.
Elevating Evidence-Based Programs that Accelerate Latino Student Success
Excelencia in Education’s Accelerating Latino Student Success (ALASS) Institute is the meeting place for professionals leading effective strategies for Latino student success in higher education. Participants, including Crimsonbridge’s Danielle M. Reyes and Adri Smith, learned about and shared evidence-based practices, strategies and resources that increase Latino degree completion at the community, associate, baccalaureate, and graduate levels. Also celebrated were recipients of the Seal of Excelencia – designed to facilitate institutional change to close equity gaps and increase Latino student completion.
MCAEL Launches Toolkit for ESOL Programs
Community partner MCAEL developed an exciting new resource for ESOL programs, a Program Administrator Toolkit. Our program officer, Caitlin Mayo, attended the launch party to celebrate the publication of the practical guidebook for community-based adult ESOL programs. The launch party was also an opportunity to connect with staff and teachers from other language programs, including fellow Crimsonbridge community partners such as Literacy Council of Frederick County and Spanish Catholic Center!
Creating New Futures Through College Success
Crimsonbridge board member Adri Smith has been working closely with the Foundation to engage with Washington, DC area nonprofits, universities, and others as we seek to increase the number of first-generation students graduating from college. For her, connecting with College Completion Colleagues (C3) Initiative participant New Futures, at their Bright Futures event, was an opportunity to learn more about their work and celebrate their success in supporting students with big dreams.
Making College Success a Reality for DC Students
The College Completion Colleagues (C3) Initiative has eight members – six nonprofit and two foundation partners, including Crimsonbridge. Together we are on a journey to learn from, inform, and strengthen a network of providers, advocates, and students committed to #CollegeSuccess. Board member, Adri Smith, is deeply engaged in our college success work and came out to support and learn about C3 partner, the College Success Foundation, at their Annual Breakfast.
The Catalogue for Philanthropy brought together over 70 of their nonprofit partners at Arena Stage for an opportunity to showcase and celebrate their impact on our community. Program Officer Caitlin Mayo attended in support of this effort and for the opportunity to connect with Crimsonbridge partners, such as the Literacy Council of Frederick County, the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, Girls on the Run, and Rock Creek Conservancy, as well as meet other nonprofits for the first time! Congratulations to the Catalogue for bringing our community together for an energizing night that encouraged guests to #BeAChangemaker.
Community Briefing on Immigrant Justice
The foundation’s investments in improving outcomes for immigrants has always been informed by hearing and learning from community partners. This month, Program Officer Caitlin Furey had the opportunity to do just that, by attending a community briefing hosted by Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers. At the event, five impressive five nonprofit leaders, working to achieve justice for immigrants in the Greater Washington region, challenged funders to consider the intersection of racial equity movements with movements for justice for immigrants, and called for philanthropy to leverage connections to build networks and elevate these issues.
Bringing English Language Learning to the Workplace
The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia and La Cocina VA, both Crimsonbridge partners, were invited by the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association to participate in a panel discussing the importance of employers helping their employees to grow their skills through English language training designed for the workplace. Program Officer Caitlin Mayo attended the panel to support and hear from LCNV Executive Director Roopal Mehta Saran and La Cocina Board Chair Nick Freshman. Both leaders spoke about the positive impact they have achieved through innovative partnerships with hotel, hospitality and restaurant groups.
Census 2020 Community Dialogue
Program Officer Caitlin Mayo, who leads the foundation’s Bridges for Census 2020 work, participated in an informative discussion hosted by the Fairfax County Census 2020 Complete Count Committee at the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center. Panelists emphasized the importance of community-based nonprofits, faith leaders, and civic leaders serving as trusted sources during Census 2020 outreach, especially for historically under-counted populations. After the panel, participants had a chance to mingle, ask questions, and develop strategies for getting a #completecount.
Crimsonbridge Executive Director Danielle M. Reyes joined parents, school leaders and teachers, and leadership of Archdiocese of Washington Catholic Schools Office to recognize parent volunteers for their support of the Hispanic Enrollment Initiative, led by the office’s first Hispanic Enrollment Outreach Coordinator. Parish and school leaders praised these parents not only for the active part they play in connecting and welcoming new families to area Catholic Schools, but for the many contributions their families make that enrich Catholic school communities.
Knowledge Sharing Among C3 Organizations
Members of the College Completion Colleagues (C3) Initiative recently kicked off a second year of partnership toward a shared goal of increasing college success rates. During a day of candid conversation and knowledge sharing around technology, Crimsonbridge Foundation staff appreciated learning more about the complex role that various technology tools play in helping C3 nonprofits to connect with and support students in their journey to and through college. Those same technologies also support organizational efforts to track, manage, and share outcomes within their organizations and with external stakeholders.
New Futures Welcomes New Scholars
At its bi-annual Scholar Award Dinner, New Futures welcomed and celebrated 28 young people joining its program as Scholars. Among this inspiring group were 24 pursuing a certificate or associates degree and four second-time Scholars pursuing a bachelor’s degree in IT/Cybersecurity, Construction & Trades, Health Sciences, Hospitality & Culinary Arts, Public Service, and Education fields. Grants and Communications Officer Beth Hess appreciated the opportunity to learn about the journeys and aspirations of this dedicated group of Scholars following their dreams.
Celebrating with Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
Learners, volunteers, and community partners gathered in Falls Church for the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia’s 57th Annual Recognition Ceremony. Program Officer Caitlin Furey’s favorite part of the night was when adult learners shared stories they had written for the theme, “My Voice Matters.” One learner expressed, “Although I faced many challenges, learning English was beneficial to me. I am now able to express myself and share my experiences on various topics in English. For this reason, I can now declare that my voice matters.”
Exploring the Catholic Charities Program Fair
Program Officer Caitlin Furey joined hundreds of employees from Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington for their annual Program Fair, hosted at Catholic University. The Fair was a fun, interactive opportunity to learn more about the diverse array of services available through Catholic Charities’ 59 programs. Staff members from the ESOL program, housing, employment, behavioral health, health care, immigrant support services, and more were eager to share their work and passion for helping others.
Region Prepares for 2020 Census
Program Officer Caitlin Furey and Philanthropy Fellow Anne Hundertmark joined representatives from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors for a day of learning at, “Interventions that Work: 2020 Census and Hard-to-Reach Communities,” hosted at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. The conference provided workshops that dealt with issues ranging from engaging critical populations to understanding the effects of the census on our communities. Attendees left with strategies and an improved understanding of how nonprofits can serve as a vital instrument in ensuring an accurate and representative census count.
Celebrating Achievements with the Literacy Council of Frederick County
Crimsonbridge Philanthropy Fellow Anne Hundertmark joined the Literacy Council of Frederick County for their 6th annual Celebration of Achievements. The celebration honored students who had advanced through key literacy milestones, such as completing an ESL course, and accomplishments that resulted from their improved literacy skills, including career advancement and even passing the US Citizenship Test! Volunteer tutors were also commended for the time and effort they invest into improving the literacy of the Frederick County community.
In “Palabras Sinceras,” high school students took to the stage at GALA Hispanic Theatre to present poetry and short scenes they had written and developed over the course of a year while participating in the Paso Nuevo program. The bilingual production explored themes of love, friendship, family, and migration. Program Officer Caitlin Furey and Grants and Communications Officer Beth Hess were inspired by the performances, which ranged from emotional and moving to comical and imaginative.
A Spelling Bee for Adult Literacy
The Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy (MCAEL) hosted their 6th annual Grown-Up Spelling Bee, featuring six teams, three celebrity judges, and a spirited audience of supporters. Funds raised during the event will support MCAEL’s goal to serve 21,000 adult learners by 2021. Program Officer Caitlin Furey volunteered back stage at the event and was very impressed by the spelling skills on display. Congratulations to the winning team from Bethesda Magazine, who correctly spelled “MAMMONISM” to take home the championship trophy!
Lunch with Nonprofit Leaders
Nonprofit leaders and staff from Crimsonbridge and the World Bank enjoyed connecting over lunch at Georgetown University. Crimsonbridge has partnered with Georgetown’s Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership for several years, providing scholarships for leaders of diverse backgrounds to participate in the Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate program. The World Bank also provides scholarships for leaders working to advance equity. Executive Director Danielle M. Reyes and Program Officer Reyna Sharp enjoyed the opportunity to connect with and learn about the personal and organizational goals of these nonprofit leaders.
Sharing Our Stories
At 8 a.m. on a Friday morning, nearly 20 Catholic University students entered the Center for Cultural Engagement, where director Javier Bustamante, a Crimsonbridge Leadership Fund alum, had gathered staff from the Archdiocese of Washington, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Georgetown University, Bread for the World, and Crimsonbridge to share their career path stories over breakfast. A shared theme among speakers was their commitment to community and service shaped by personal and family experiences.
Connecting at the Naturally Latinos Conference
More than 150 environmental stewards gathered at the beautiful Woodend Nature Sanctuary for the Naturally Latinos Conference, hosted by the Audobon Naturalist Society. Attendees heard from environmental leaders and discussed how to engage and empower Latino communities. An inspiring highlight was keynote speaker Ada Monzón, Puerto Rican meteorologist and founder of science museum EcoExploratorio. The Crimsonbridge Foundation was a sponsor and Executive Director Danielle M. Reyes served on the planning committee. Program Officer Reyna Sharp truly enjoyed the vibrant conference.
Catalogue for Philanthropy Review
Crimsonbridge staff joined a team of more than 100 volunteer reviewers across the region in support of the 2019-2020 Catalogue for Philanthropy. Program Officers Caitlin Furey and Reyna Sharp and Grants and Communications Officer Beth Hess used their knowledge of area nonprofits to help evaluate small nonprofits for potential inclusion in the upcoming Catalogue.
Nonprofits Gather to Share Strategies for College Success
In February, six nonprofits focused on college completion, who are members of the C3 Initiative, gathered for the third time since June to discuss how to ensure students persist and succeed in college. Jennifer Adams, College Success Director at CollegeTracks, kicked off the discussion with an insightful presentation on their approach to student engagement. Program Officer Reyna Sharp facilitated discussion with Caroline Wertz, Senior Program Officer with the Scheidel Foundation. Participants walked away with a refreshed perspective and practical tools to bring back to their teams. We look forward to the next C3 Initiative meeting this summer!
Catholic Charities of Los Angeles – Capacity for the next 100 years
The Crimsonbridge Foundation first partnered with Catholic Charities of Los Angeles (CCLA) in 2017 on the redesign of their website. A goal was to include a new extensive Spanish-language microsite prior to the organization’s centennial in 2019. After several years of virtual collaboration and partnership across time zones, Danielle M. Reyes and Caitlin Furey recently had the opportunity to meet CCLA’s leader, Monsignor Gregory Cox, and Alexandria Arnold at the St. Robert’s Center in Santa Monica and discuss the impact that having relevant online Spanish language content has had on the organization. Congratulations to Catholic Charities of Los Angeles on 100 years of service!
FADICA’s 2019 Member Symposium
FADICA gathered its members and partners in Santa Monica, California for a three-day conference focused on Catholic education, social entrepreneurship, impact investing, and Church vitality. As a new member and funder, Danielle M. Reyes and Caitlin Furey attended on behalf of the Crimsonbridge Foundation and had the opportunity to connect and learn with philanthropy professionals from all over the country. A highlight, the Social Innovation Bazaar, featured short presentations from 6 innovative Catholic-led organizations working on issues including sustainable energy, community organizing, and assistance for asylum seekers.
New Futures Scholar Award Dinner
New Futures, a partner of the Crimsonbridge Foundation through the College Completion Colleagues (C3) Initiative, honored more than 20 college students at their bi-annual Scholar Award Dinner. New Futures Scholars receive scholarships, academic advising, and career coaching. Many are pursuing degrees and rewarding careers in high-growth fields, such as Computer Science, Graphic Design, Nursing, and Hospitality. Several student speakers shared their inspiring stories, and there was not a dry eye in the room! Our Program Officer, Reyna Sharp, was pleased to meet several New Futures Alumni, Scholars, staff, and supporters at this uplifting event.
Catholic Schools Week 2019
The Crimsonbridge Foundation was thrilled to celebrate Catholic Schools Week 2019 with the Archdiocese of Washington and the students of St. Mary’s School in Landover Hills, MD. The school community kicked off the week-long celebration with a prayer service and performances by the talented student dance team and gospel choir. Our Executive Director, Danielle M. Reyes, and our Program Officer, Caitlin Furey, spent an inspiring morning at the school, which included a tour led by two eighth grade students.
Encuentro de Chicas Latinas de las Girl Scouts
More than 30 girls gathered at James Lee Community Center in Falls Church, VA for “Encuentro,” a day-long leadership conference for Latina girls in middle and high school. Three Latina women shared their experiences, in English and Spanish, as first-generation Americans who pursued their dreams and became highly successful in their respective careers. Our Program Officer, Caitlin Furey, enjoyed being a volunteer facilitator for two workshops for the middle school girls: “Budgeting & Saving” and “Financing Your Future.”
Age of Agility Summit
“Change happens gradually, and then suddenly.” Such is the case with technology, says Jaime Casap, Google’s Chief Education Evangelist. He was joined by several other engaging speakers at the Age of Agility Summit, hosted by America Succeeds at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a riveting discussion on how education must adapt to an increasingly technology-based economy. Our Program Officer, Reyna Sharp, joined business leaders, educators, nonprofit organizations, and more to explore a new vision for learners, systems, and educators that meets the demands of the 21st-century global economy.