Education is an essential component of Providence’s vision of health for a better world. Providence recently deepened its promise to education, establishing a commitment to support educators and students in the communities it serves. This renewed focus on education is a continuation of the work of the founding sisters, who focused on health as well as education when they settled in the Pacific Northwest and California over 175 years ago.
One of Providence’s education ministries can be found in Santa Monica, CA. For over 50 years, Providence Saint John’s Child and Family Development Center (CFDC) has provided empathetic care to underprivileged families, adolescents and children throughout the Los Angeles area.
Through safe, nurturing and confidential programs that recognize each individual’s culture and identity, the CFDC has served families and children who struggle with developmental disabilities, emotional challenges, encounters with domestic violence, and substance or physical abuse. Known as a “clinic without walls,” the CFDC expands these programs to school sites, homes, clinics and community centers throughout Los Angeles.
A California State Parks Foundation partnership allowed the CFDC to host limited events, bringing children and their parents in to nature as a means to address their mental health symptoms. The first of these events gathered eight families with children primarily between the ages of 0 to 5 for a nature outing at Leo Carrillo State Park. The families experienced many barriers to visiting this park, which made this an especially unique experience.
Facilitated by volunteer mental health professionals, the focus of the day was on helping reduce parent-child stress, promoting the parent-child bond and enhancing connectedness to nature. Interventions included a mindfulness hike, and an educational game to introduce families to the “Leave No Trace” principles. One of the most significant remarks from a parent was that they were thrilled to visit the beach for the first time - even though they lived in the area.
In partnership with generous supporters and community partners, Providence looks to expand the scope of its scholarships and other educational support for young children, students and adults.
Providence’s key fundraising priorities include:
- Young children and families: To raise $1.5 million by 2025 so that more families can benefit from the critical services and supportive child care provided by child development educators.
- High school and college students: To raise $7.5 million for scholarships in the next five years. These scholarships will support high-achieving students with financial need accepted into Providence High School and the University of Providence.
- Qualified health care workers: To help advance educational opportunities for qualified Providence caregivers through the University of Providence and to raise $6 million by 2025. These scholarship funds will help support caregivers who want to acquire additional skills but don’t have the financial means to do so.
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