IPODERAC's Children Fund published Lodo Rotary Club Visits IPODERAC for Día de los Muertos in Blog 2015-12-18 09:46:25 -0700
Members of the Lodo Rotary Club and their family visited IPODERAC to celebrate Día de los Muertos with the boys and tour the land for the new girls' program.Read more
In Mexico, there are an estimated 108,917 children are living on the streets, and 30% of reported street children are girls. Over 80% of the current programs for girls are run by nuns and only train for traditionally female, low-paying jobs that will not help lift the girls from poverty. In addition, the capacity of existing programs to assist more girls is severely constrained. IPODERAC is expanding its reach by building a separate center for young girls which will use the same successful development philosophy used with the boys since 1966, but with added components designed to empower the girls with confidence and life skills necessary to become emotionally and economically stable.
A New Center: IPODERAC for Girls
It will house 72 girls, ages 6-18.
It will be ~75% self-sustained within 10 years.
It will take a holistic approach to raising girls with an emphasis on empowerment.
The City of Atlixco donated 6.8 acres of land in October 2014 to serve as the location for the new center (pictured here). It is six miles from the existing IPODERAC campus.
After a pause in building due to the pandemic, construction has once again resumed. There are currently 36 girls living in 3 completed houses. All 6 houses have been built and IPODERAC is working on furnishing and equipping the final houses.
IPODERAC is also opening a communications center on the girls' campus. The center will have a technology lab so the girls can get trained on technology, which will help with employment.
Click the button below to donate to the girls' program:
Located about 75 miles southeast of Mexico City, the city of Puebla is the capital of the Mexican state of the same name. It is the fourth largest city in Mexico. Known for its traditional cuisine, colonial architecture, and Talavera pottery, it is also an industrial hub for cars, automotive parts, textiles, petrochemicals, sugar and other products. The world’s largest Volkswagen factory outside of Germany is located here, as are plants for Ford and Fiat with Audi joining them in the near future. Home to many universities and technical training facilities, students are drawn to the numerous academic and industrial opportunities in the Puebla area.
As part of IPODERAC’s commitment to help the boys become self-sufficient when they leave, funding is raised to provide scholarships for them to attend technical high schools and universities. The boys compete for the scholarships and are held accountable for their performance while receiving a scholarship. Many boys choose to pursue careers as automotive engineers and technicians, chefs and even lawyers. One former IPODERAC resident has been a corporate attorney for over 10 years in the Mexico City office of one of the world’s largest law firms. Several boys have joined an engineering firm that supports the automotive industry, while one young man became a local auto mechanic, comfortably supporting his wife and their new son.
If you are interested in assisting a student to pursue education or training that will help him lead a productive life, you can sponsor a student with a $2000 scholarship for one year of technical training or you may designate your donation, in whatever amount, be dedicated to providing scholarships for the boys.
To donate to the scholarship program click here:
Scholars with board member, Jim Polsfut
Thank you for your interest in IPODERAC's Children Fund!
IPODERAC's Children Fund
P.O. Box 371042
Denver, CO 80237
Mary Hillsman is an independent consultant specializing in transformational leadership and change management. Previously she worked as CEO of three non-profit organizations addressing: violence against women, low-income housing and training for women to access technical jobs. Mary began supporting IPODERAC after her first visit in 2003. Her community service commitments include volunteering for Daniels Fund Scholarship Program, Colorado Performance Excellence, and the Teen Dating Violence Prevention Task Force; and serving on boards for Neighborhood Cultures of Denver, Violence Against Women Act, Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance, Colorado Coalitions Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, the Douglas County Community Foundation.
Maureen is currently President of the Mississippi Branch at Citywide Banks. She has more than 34 years of business and private banking experience, including senior management positions with UMB Colorado, Wells Fargo, Vectra Bank, Bank One, and Colorado National Bank. She is highly active in the Denver and Aurora communities. Her community involvement includes leadership roles as a trustee of Regis University and as a board member of Central City Opera House Association. She is also a member of the Rotary Club of Denver, Mile High Montessori, and a graduate of Leadership Aurora. Maureen graduated from Smith College, Northampton, MA, with a Bachelor or Arts.
Jim Polsfut first visited IPODERAC while living and working in Mexico City -- on November 27, 1992, to be precise, on the introduction of his good friends, Javier and Cristina Sojo. Jim returned two weeks later, and since then, his engagement with IPODERAC has become life-long. Over the years, he has weeded the garden, milked goats, laid bricks, painted buildings, re-painted buildings, run to town to buy emergency medical supplies, filled in as a substitute house educator, raised money, and most importantly, mentored kids. In addition to his role on the ICF board, Jim also serves on the IPODERAC board. Jim currently is the CEO of the North American Specialty Hospital. Previously, he was CEO of the US/Mexico Foundation, president of the Biennial of the Americas, president of First Western Development Corporation, and general manager of GE Capital RFS in Mexico City. He lives in Denver, Colorado, with his son, Javier.
August Ritter is currently the Director of Board Relations for The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Previously, he worked as the CEO’s Outreach Manager and before joining TNC, he was a Sustainability Consultant with Waste Management Sustainability Services. He has a M.S. in Conservation Leadership and a B.S. in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, both from Colorado State University. In 2009, prior to graduate school, August lived and volunteered at IPODERAC for six months. He was with the youngest boys in the house called San Juan. It was a transformative experience that changed his life. He’s been back to IPODERAC several times since 2009 and is amazed at how big his San Juan boys have gotten!
Mitch Benson is currently an Operations Engineer for Newfield Exploration. Mitch has spent his entire career in the energy industry including positions in oil and gas and renewable energy. He has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Mitch started working with IPODERAC in 2012 as part of Kid’s Christmas Fund, a fundraising campaign to provide Christmas presents for the 70+ boys of IPODERAC each December. He was first able to visit IPODERAC in February of 2015 and was blown away by IPODERAC’s ability to make such a positive impact on the lives of dozens and dozens of young men.
Francisco Martinez Oronoz
Francisco is currently living in San Juan, Puerto Rico, working as assistant to the Secretary of Education, developing and coordinating career and technical education initiatives. Francisco received his PhD from Florida State University in Education Leadership and Policy Studies, Sociocultural and International Development Education. His dissertation research focused on a mindfulness-based intervention strategy he implemented in 2017 with boys at IPODERAC. However, his first visit to IPODERAC was in 2009 when he volunteered and lived in the San Lucas house. He returned a year later to volunteer at the San Juan house, with the youngest boys. He still keeps in touch with the boys he worked with years ago and loves hearing about the families and lives they have created for themselves.
Opper is an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker and a professor at Santa Clara University. Their feature films have been broadcast nationally on P.O.V. (Off and Running) and World Channel (Visitor's Day), and their recent series, The F Word, was nominated for a Gotham Award and an IDA Award. Opper is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and has been featured in Filmmaker Magazine’s annual 25 New Faces of Independent Film, Indiewire Magazine’s 25 LGBT Filmmakers on the Rise, and DOC NYC’s 40 Under 40 list of documentary talents. They live in Oakland with their wife, toddler and an untrained dog named Babs.
Alicia Lucero graduated magna cum laude in Organizational Communications from the University of Colorado – Denver, where she also received certifications in public relations and mediation. Having 15 years’ professional experience in education, Alicia has developed multi-culturally relevant curriculum, taught in urban and diverse classrooms, built community organizing and engagement campaigns, that included opening seven K12 schools throughout Denver; and most recently, is administering outreach and admissions for the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver as Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions. During this time, Alicia has visited and lived at IPODERAC twice - once in 2005 and another time in 2011. The resilience, strength, and love she’s experienced from IPO continues to inspire her to this day. Outside of IPO and her academic profession, Alicia is highly involved in her Indigenous and [email protected] communities in Denver with her family, both downstream (family and friend events, activities, and the like) and upstream (involved with a number of organizations that administers events, education, and access to resources).
Stephanie Hill provides administrative and bookkeeping support for several nonprofit organizations and small businesses. She loves to do paperwork and keep things organized. She has worked with ICF since its inception and each year has developed a deeper appreciation for the work being done at IPODERAC. She has a B.S. in International Business from the University of Colorado at Denver and a Masters in Development Practice from Regis University. She has lived and worked in Taiwan, Antarctica, and Mexico. She enjoys hiking, reading, and studying Spanish.
- Banner photos copyright Max Davis Company, 2014