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Mexican American Community Services Agency Wins Grant

PALO ALTO – The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health has awarded $125,000 over two years to the Mexican American Community Services Agency (MACSA) of Santa Clara County.

The grant is one of 11 awards recently announced by Stephen Peeps, foundation president and CEO.

MACSA will use the funds to establish a tri-part mentoring program for pre-teen boys and girls in East San Jose, Gilroy, Morgan Hill and Alviso. The program features prevention and leadership education, and support services for parents. Prevention education will focus on self-esteem, development of skills to refuse to engage in risky behavior, goal setting and career exploration. In the leadership component pre-teens will learn about their community, meet city council members and participate in a project, such as planning and implementing a community health fair for youth. The third component, supportive services, will offer parent-staff meetings, parent education and social service referrals.

“Youth need nurturing, advocacy and consistency to become successful,” said Maria Elena De La Garza, MACSA division director. “The need is huge. What an exciting opportunity the foundation has afforded us.”

The foundation makes grants in two areas: protecting children, ages 0 to 5, from injury, with an emphasis on preventing child abuse and neglect; and promoting behavioral, mental and emotional health in pre-teens.

The other Santa Clara County grantees and their awards are: Catholic Charities of San Jose, $250,000 over two years; Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, $150,000 over two years; and Social Advocates for Youth, $175,000 over two years.

San Mateo County grantees are: The Coastside Collaborative for Children, Youth, and Families, $20,000 over two years; Family Support Center of the Mid-Peninsula, $88,000 over two years; Peninsula Family YMCA, $75,000 over two years; Redwood City Healthy Start Network, $150,000 over two years; and the San Francisco 49ers Academy, $75,000. Today’s Youth Matter, an organization that works to build the self-esteem of troubled youth from both counties, will receive $121,405, over three years, to add year-round mentoring to its current summer camp program.

The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health was established as a public charity in 1996, when the previously independent Lucile Salter Packard Children’s Hospital became part of Stanford University Medical Center. The foundation’s mission is to “promote, protect, and sustain the physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral health of children.”

Funding for the community grantmaking program comes from the foundation’s endowment. Grants are awarded twice a year, in June and December.

The foundation also is the fundraiser for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and the pediatric programs at Stanford Medical School. A program of public information and education regarding children’s health issues is under development at the foundation.

For more information about the foundation’s community grantmaking program, call (650) 736-0676, or visit the Web site,