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May – June 2021

May Birthdays

1 Jillian Olinger
2 Patricia Murray
3 Jerry Valentine
7 Lillian M Haddox
7 Adrienne Lee-Garland
8 Elizabeth Kittner
9 Danyel M Brown
10 Montavious Cowart
10 Kathleen M Athey
18 Angela Walls
21 Laura M Miller
22 Bryan Williams
28 Lisa Skelly
30 Danny Hook
31 Sabrina W Horton
31 Nakita Wilson

June Birthdays

4 Anne Cronin
8 Mackenzee Burton
10 Phillip Grissett
11 Nancy E Conkel
12 Christine E Hickernell
15 Erin Norris
15 Jacqueline Cherry
16 Paula Eskridge
20 Stacey Hough
20 Christine J Loveless
21 Marjorie Buie-Collard
23 Khristopher James Ross-Wilcox
24 Marilyn Muniz
25 Tessa Marie Blake
26 Rolana Kinzer

May Anniversaries

Belen de Leon

Rolana Kinzer

Jamie Randle

Loren E Martin
Yvonne McBroom

Tamika Brown
Barbara Freeman
Adrienne Lee-Garland

Donna Connelly

Mandi A Buchwald


June Anniversaries

Ryan Kennedy

Jacqueline Cherry
Cynthia Galloway
Amber Jacott

Jerry Cobbs

Stacy M McLain





Toya Howard
Service Coordinator

Catherine Smith
Assistant Teacher/Safe & Sound

Kaleena Wiseman
Early Childhood Center Director

Teresa Woods
Service Coordinator


Women of Achievement

Mark your calendar for the Women of Achievement Virtual Celebration from 12-1 p.m. on June 23. You can learn about this year’s seven Women of Achievement and five Women on the Rise by visiting ywcacolumbus.org/woa2021. Watch your email in June for more information about how YWCA Columbus employees can tune into the event and join the celebration

Policy and Advocacy updates

In April and May, the policy team undertook several legislative and advocacy activities. The team submitted testimony in favor of House Bill 145 to increase eligibility for publicly funded childcare from 150% of the Federal Poverty Line to 200%. Additionally, the policy team submitted testimony to and supported the passing off legislation in the City of Columbus and the City of Reynoldsburg to ban landlord discrimination against tenants using public assistance (source of income). Additionally, our team established a relationship with OPAWL, a leading Asian American and Pacific Islander organization which is conducting advocacy around this demographic. YWCA Columbus submitted testimony in favor of State funding for the AAPI community in an effort to better support them. We finished up our legislative meetings with elected officials, and began to establish those relationships which will help push our advocacy work forward. We also hired our Summer intern, Allie Valocchi! We are looking forward to working together in our team to continue our advocacy and policy work.

Love Letters for Black Girls

May is mental health awareness month. With this in mind, and in light of the devastating police killing of Ma’Khia Bryant, Black Girl Rising is organizing a love letter writing campaign for Black girls. The campaign aims to create a protective circle of love and support around Black girls in this Columbus and to honor and celebrate the life of Ma’Khia Bryant.

Letters will be read over the radio, played on Black Girl Rising’s YouTube channel, and will eventually be turned into a book that will be given to Black girls in foster care or who are incarcerated. You can think of this as a self-love writing exercise and write a kind, affirming letter to yourself celebrating girlhood, Blackness, identity and anything else you’d like to highlight. The letter could also be written to a Black girl in our community (without a specifying name) and include statements like ‘You’re amazing!’, ‘You are loved!’

If you are interested in participating, please submit love letters (around 250 words or less in a Word doc, PDF, or video format if submitting digitally, or send a greeting card) to Belen de Leon at bdeleon@ywcacolumbus.org. Note: video submissions that will be shared on Youtube are only requested from Black women and girls


Juneteenth (also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day or Emancipation Day) is a day that honors and celebrates Black liberation. The holiday dates back to June 19, 1865, when enslaved people in Galveston Texas received word that the war had ended and that all enslaved people were now free – a full two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Though this freedom had been cemented two years earlier, it wasn’t until Union troops arrived that the proclamation could actually be enforced.

We now celebrate the end of slavery on June 19th to honor when all Black people were freed with the understanding that freedom and justice have always been delayed for Black people in the United States. Today, Juneteenth is about celebrating Black culture, history and life; and is an opportunity to build community, educate and take action. Today, 47 states, recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday or holiday, and there is a national push to establish June 19th as a national holiday.

Join us in celebrating Juneteenth and consider signing this petition to recognize it as a national holiday! We’ll share more information about other opportunities to celebrate as we get closer to June 19.

Internal Equity Council

Do you want to be an agent of change within our organization? It is not too late to join the Internal Equity Council! Among other things, the council will be responsible for developing priority recommendations to enhance internal diversity, equity, and inclusion. These recommendations will guide our work in the years to come! For more information, please reach out to Jillian at jolinger@ywcacolumbus.org. Meetings are held monthly.

Help Others Join Our Team

YWCA Columbus is hiring for the following summer and long-term positions:

1 – FT Family Support Specialist

1 – PT Kitchen Production Specialist

1 – FT Kitchen Production Specialist

1 – FT Security Assistant 2nd shift

1 – PT Security Assistant 3rd shift

1 – Program Manager – Leadership for Social Justice

1 – Marketing & Communications Coordinator

1 – Project Specialist

1 – Creative Services Coordinator

1 – Staff Accountant

Program Assistants – YKP

Site Directors – YKP

2 – Assistant Teacher Floaters

1 – School Age Assistant

Employee Referral Bonus
We are currently increasing the referral bonus to $500 for full-time and part-time vacant positions and $250 for seasonal positions not lasting 90 days. Current employees can help us add more amazing people to the team, and earn an amazing referral bonus in the process. The scope of our employee referral policy covers all full-time, part-time and probationary employees except members of the Human Resources Department, Senior Leadership Team (including Program Directors), and the Chief Executive Officer. Any interns working with YWCA Columbus are not eligible to be rewarded based on this policy. The Employee Referral Form can be found on the public drive @ (H:) HR/Hiring Forms, and must be received by Human Resources prior to the candidates interview. Feel free to reach out to HR for any questions.


The Advancement Team would like to give a shout out to Teresa Woods who joined the YWCA Housing Team on Monday, May 17, 2021. Teresa joined YWCA Columbus in August 2020 as an intern. In November 2020, she joined the Advancement Team as the Volunteer and Donations Coordinator. However, Teresa’s background lends expertise to her new position as Service Coordinator. Teresa, although it’s bittersweet to lose you, we appreciate your time with Advancement and look forward to watching you grow with YWCA Columbus!

We were happy to celebrate the impact of the unforgettable Paula Neal last month as she left our YWCA Safe and Sound program for new adventures. However, we’re beyond thrilled to have welcomed Kaleena Wiseman onboard! Kaleena brings a wealth of experience in childcare, education, and trauma-informed care with her, and we’re confident she will be successful as the new Safe and Sound Director.

Stacy McLain is continuing to balance filling in as a lead teacher and the assistant director while helping the Safe & Sound Childcare Center with the transition of a new administrator. She is a great blessing to this program.

We want to give a huge shoutout to all YKP staff who attended our most recent goal-setting meeting. In our listening sessions, we collaborated to establish shared values and program standards that we will work to incorporate and reach in the coming year. This work will be the foundation of our next calendar year of professional development, so we sincerely appreciate each and every person’s time and feedback.

We’re excited to be offering a ton of new and exciting opportunities for kids this summer, including Entrepreneurship workshops, a celebrity-judged “Pitch Challenge” (think Shark Tank), and new NASA “Rockets Rock” building kits, Go-Pros, a technology lending library and more! Huge thanks to our team for all their amazing work getting us into a good position to have a great summer.

Portia Li was nominated as the March Westerville YKP employee of the month for taking on additional responsibilities at Robert Frost during a peer’s absence. Anita Rastogi was our April employee of the month. She is new to working at Cherrington and has taken some great initiative to learning the new site procedures, getting to know students, & managing her professional development requirements. Her positive attitude has been a great addition to the Cherrington team! Congrats to both these awesome YKP Program Assistants.

Also, a shout-out to Kristy Hylton, Gahanna Site Director for her exemplary family engagement this month! Kristy just launched a parent appreciation festival, complete with pun-themed gifts and personalized photos for parents. Thank you Kristy for continuing to make our parents and guardians feel supported and appreciated- we appreciate you too!

– YWCA Columbus in the News –


Christie Angel was named to the Power 100 list by Columbus Business First. The list represents the 100 most influential leaders in Columbus. (May 2021)

YWCA Kids Place was included in the Columbus Parent summer camp guide. (April 2021)

The Columbus Dispatch published a profile on this year’s five Women on the Rise honorees. (April 2021)

Columbus Business First and The Columbus Dispatch listed Christie Angel among the newly appointed leaders for the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation Board. (March 2021)

Christie Angel was quoted in The Columbus Dispatch’s article about the pandemic’s disproportionate economic impact on women. (March 2021)

Columbus Business First and The Columbus Dispatch shared articles about the Franklin County Digital Equity Coalition. YWCA Columbus is part of the steering committee for this coalition to address broadband inequities. (March 2021)

YWCA Columbus was included in The Columbus Dispatch list of organizations benefitting from local breweries celebrating International Women’s Day. (March 2021)