Blog – August 2019

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AUGUST 2019 BLOG


Volume 1, Edition 10
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AUGUST 2019

A word from the
First Lady of Louisiana
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Is it August already? Time to head back to school! That phrase holds so many different feelings for students, parents, teachers, support staff and businesses.

Personally, this is a special time for John Bel and me. Our youngest child is entering his senior year. Like most kids his age, he’s super excited and reminds  us weekly that it’s his senior year. What he doesn’t realize is that he will soon begin creating many lasting memories.

Our senior, like others, is on the verge of another milestone – becoming an adult. It feels like it happened in the blink of an eye. Time has passed by so quickly.

Senior year is filled with lots of “lasts,” but for many students it will be the first time they will experience college level courses through dual enrollment classes and most will begin to work through the college admissions process while also trying to make the most of their “final” year.

Graduation says, “Alright, world, I’m ready. Let’s see where to go from here.  I’m ready to show you what I can do. It’s time to spread my wings and fly.”

As part of getting prepared for the world beyond high school, many students across Louisiana will participate in dual enrollment classes. Last month, the Dual Enrollment Framework Task Force, signed into law by John Bel and created by the legislature, met for the first time.

The task force will help maximize participation in and access to dual enrollment for students across our state in urban and rural communities. We know that dual enrollment increases college enrollment, reduces the time students attend a community college or a four-year university to become degreed, allows high school seniors to achieve both a high-value workforce certificate and diploma and improves overall educational outcomes. It’s a win for our students and our state.

I’m so proud that John Bel and state lawmakers gave our teachers and support staff a much needed and well deserved pay raise – the first in 10 years – as well as put more dollars into K-12 classrooms by increasing the MFP.  

To our teachers and support staff, thank you for the hard work you do for our children in and out of the classroom every day.

To our businesses around the state, thank you for supporting our local schools through their parent teacher organizations ( PTOs), recognizing Teacher Appreciation Week, hosting school supply and coat drives, volunteering and providing needed resources. We are grateful for your continued partnership.

To all of the parents, John Bel and I pray that your children have a wonderful and safe school year and that its filled with much success, hope and joy.

Happy Back to School!

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VETERANS FIRST INITIATIVE

The Louisiana Veterans First Business Initiative provides an opportunity for us to give back to our veterans and their families by purchasing goods and services from these businesses. I encourage all veterans, active-duty personnel, Gold Star families and reserve-military business owners to sign up for this program today and connect with new customers and clients. And I encourage everyone to make use of the Veterans First database by patronizing these businesses and remember to thank them for their great service to our state and nation as well.
 
Thank you to Drew Brees for his support of the Veterans First Initiative.
 
For more information, click here: laveteransfirst.org

NO KID HUNGRY LOUISIANA CAMPAIGN

Rhonda Jackson

 

The importance of school breakfast!

It’s August and kids around our state are heading back to school.  Hopefully, they’re excited about the year to come. The beginning of each school year brings with it new opportunities for children to learn, grow and shine in their own special way.  But for one in four children in Louisiana, it will be tough for them to shine quite as bright because their family struggles with hunger. For some kids, the day starts with grumbling tummies and low energy, and yet they’re expected to behave, learn and do well in school. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this way. Childhood hunger is a solvable problem.

In 2017, Governor and First Lady Edwards launched the No Kid Hungry Louisiana Campaign with the goal of ending childhood hunger by providing meals to kids where they live, learn and play. Schools are a great place to start because children spend much of their time there, and the campaign has focused on making sure every child starts the day with school breakfast. In partnership with the Governor and First Lady, No Kid Hungry Louisiana is working to expand Breakfast After the Bell, which makes school breakfast easily accessible to all kids, by removing barriers like transportation challenges, tough morning schedules and stigma.

Click to read more…

Louisiana First Foundation

Yes Mam, No Mam, Thank you Mam = Teach MAM!

Ensuring Louisiana’s Artistic Future - through Better Data about Access -- A recent report issued by the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Endowment for the Arts notes that in 2016, arts and cultural industries in Louisiana employed roughly 55,000 people and contributed $6.7 billion to the state’s economy. Other research has concluded that arts education can improve students’ graduation rates, boost empathy, and improve critical thinking skills. It should come as no surprise that one of the most important tools for preserving and expanding these benefits to the state and its residents is data.

TEACH MAM

Ensuring Louisiana’s Artistic Future – through Better Data about Access — A recent report issued by the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Endowment for the Arts notes that in 2016, arts and cultural industries in Louisiana employed roughly 55,000 people and contributed $6.7 billion to the state’s economy. Other research has concluded that arts education can improve students’ graduation rates, boost empathy, and improve critical thinking skills. It should come as no surprise that one of the most important tools for preserving and expanding these benefits to the state and its residents is data.
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Foster the Love Louisiana is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, based in Lafayette, created to provide support and resources for the local foster community. Foster the Love has a Community Closet that provides new and gently used clothing, shoes, baby equipment, and bedroom furniture to families. Our First Nights Program provides overnight bags to Region 5 DCFS offices, so that children entering care will have their basic hygiene and clothing essential needs met. We are also expanding this program to provide meals for foster families when they receive a new placement.

LOUISIANA FOSTERS

Foster the Love Louisiana is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, based in Lafayette, created to provide support and resources for the local foster community. Foster the Love has a Community Closet that provides new and gently used clothing, shoes, baby equipment, and bedroom furniture to families. Our First Nights Program provides overnight bags to Region 5 DCFS offices, so that children entering care will have their basic hygiene and clothing essential needs met. We are also expanding this program to provide meals for foster families when they receive a new placement.
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Why wouldn’t people like good government, isn’t that what everyone wants? In 2017, I was nominated by the Louisiana Association of Children and Family Agencies (LACFA) to apply for Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Human Trafficking Prevention Commission Advisory Board. That same year, I was appointed by Gov. Edwards to join that Board. I did not know at that time the significance of the battle we were facing in Louisiana. It is with great Leadership from First Lady Donna Edwards, Dr. Dana Hunter of the Children’s Cabinet and all those who have signed up to be on the front lines, that we are fighting against those who have chosen to buy and sell OUR people.

ANTI-HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Why wouldn’t people like good government, isn’t that what everyone wants? In 2017, I was nominated by the Louisiana Association of Children and Family Agencies (LACFA) to apply for Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Human Trafficking Prevention Commission Advisory Board. That same year, I was appointed by Gov. Edwards to join that Board. I did not know at that time the significance of the battle we were facing in Louisiana. It is with great Leadership from First Lady Donna Edwards, Dr. Dana Hunter of the Children’s Cabinet and all those who have signed up to be on the front lines, that we are fighting against those who have chosen to buy and sell OUR people.
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CIRCLE OF FRIENDS

Governor’s Mansion Preservation Foundation Membership

For many years the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion Preservation Foundation (GMPF) offered a Circle of Friends membership to the private sector. These “friends” were presented with a special invitation to become members of this grass roots effort.  The Circle of Friends sustained the Foundation for many years dating back to the Foster administration in the mid-90’s.

With the preservation of our beautiful Governor’s Mansion at the heart of our mission, we have made the decision to start this arm of our fundraising once again. This segment of our Foundation allows anyone who wants to be a part of the Foundation an opportunity to do so at varying levels. It will be a vital part of our mission to sustain and grow the foundation in the future.

We are reaching out to you to extend this special invitation to join us in our undertaking in this very rewarding cause. The support of many of you leaves us grateful and optimistic and we are hopeful you will continue to be a part of our Foundation Family for years to come.  Our hope is that those of you who have not had an opportunity to be a part of our Family will take this opportunity through the Circle of Friends to join us.

The Circle of Friends membership form is provided in the link below. There are many levels available to offer the opportunity to participate in this project at a level that is comfortable to you. The benefits of each level are listed on the form. All funds donated to the Circle of Friends are tax deductible as we are a 501c3 organization.

Click here to download Circle of Friends membership form

Women’s Health Blog
August 2019

Words from Kimiyo Harris Williams, M.D.

“We Are Our Sister’s Keeper”

Plagued by an increased prevalence of illness and disease, we must navigate the health care world with knowledge and understanding to help improve healthcare outcomes.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 1 in every 5 female deaths in the United States is a result of heart disease. It is the leading cause of death for both African American and Caucasian women in the United States. In American Indian and Alaska Native women, heart disease and cancer are about the same in the number of deaths each year.  In the Hispanic, Asian and Pacific Islander women, heart disease is second only to cancer as a cause of death according to the CDC report.

Women in Louisiana have very high mortality rates as it relates to cardiovascular disease.  The CDC reported that in 2015-2017, women age 35 years old and older in Louisiana had among the highest death rates as a result of heart disease. The Age-Adjusted Annual Average death rates were as high 301.9-644.9 per 100,000 deaths. This striking fact is a result of multiple factors. Some of these factors include a lack of awareness about the signs, symptoms, and prevention of heart disease.

The alarming statistics about the incidence of heart disease became a personal reality ten days after my mom celebrated her 55th birthday. She felt severe pain in both hands. Disregarding the pain as a “hand strain” because she was in the process of moving, she did not seek medical attention. However, because the pain persisted for two days she was taken to the emergency room expecting to get a prescription for an “anti-inflammatory or muscle relaxant.”  While in the ER, the pain worsened in her left hand. It traveled to her left arm and then into her chest.

People of Louisiana Making a Difference

Carley Fuller is the executive director of Girls on the Run South Louisiana (GOTR SOLA), a nonprofit organization that inspires girls to recognize their inner strength and celebrate what makes them one of a kind through a research-based curricula which includes dynamic discussions, activities and running games. Fuller has actively volunteered and fundraised for Girls on the Run since she was 15 years old. Her mother, Hydie Wahlborg was the local council’s founder and executive director. Fuller experienced the impact of the GOTR core values at home, as a volunteer GOTR Coach, and in her internship and then full-time position with the organization. This unique perspective provided her with both personal and nonprofit management experience with the youth development program.

COMMUNITY

Carley Fuller is the executive director of Girls on the Run South Louisiana (GOTR SOLA), a nonprofit organization that inspires girls to recognize their inner strength and celebrate what makes them one of a kind through a research-based curricula which includes dynamic discussions, activities and running games. Fuller has actively volunteered and fundraised for Girls on the Run since she was 15 years old. Her mother, Hydie Wahlborg was the local council’s founder and executive director. Fuller experienced the impact of the GOTR core values at home, as a volunteer GOTR Coach, and in her internship and then full-time position with the organization. This unique perspective provided her with both personal and nonprofit management experience with the youth development program.
In Her Footsteps: Honoring the Legacy of My Mother -- 

Some of my earliest memories of life in St. Bernard Parish is of grocery shopping with my family. As we were “makin’ groceries,” my mother was often stopped by former students excited to see her. They so casually offered powerful testaments to her influence as a teacher, such as, “you changed my life,” or “I went to college because you believed in me.” They recalled dressing up in togas to reenact famous debates of Ancient Rome or going on meaningful field trips. These occurrences were so common that they were normalized for me; I thought it took every family hours to shop because of these interactions. It later occurred to me that this may be atypical for the average person, but it was just a day in the life of a career teacher. 

SCHOOLS

In Her Footsteps: Honoring the Legacy of My Mother — Some of my earliest memories of life in St. Bernard Parish is of grocery shopping with my family. As we were “makin’ groceries,” my mother was often stopped by former students excited to see her. They so casually offered powerful testaments to her influence as a teacher, such as, “you changed my life,” or “I went to college because you believed in me.” They recalled dressing up in togas to reenact famous debates of Ancient Rome or going on meaningful field trips. These occurrences were so common that they were normalized for me; I thought it took every family hours to shop because of these interactions. It later occurred to me that this may be atypical for the average person, but it was just a day in the life of a career teacher. 
Recently, the First Lady had the honor of hosting Women Veterans from the state of Louisiana at a luncheon and ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion. Among the attendees was 94-year-old Lillian Hoover - one of the oldest living female veterans in the state. 
Ms. Lillian, when asked about her decision to join the military said, “I consider it a privileged to join be of service.” During the time she joined, women were not allowed to serve. World War II would change that.  The military began accepting women in the service in 1944, and Hoover joined shortly thereafter. The course of that war would change the history of our country the world. Joining the United States Navy in 1944, she was one of the very first women to enlist in our nation’s history.

MILITARY

Recently, the First Lady had the honor of hosting Women Veterans from the state of Louisiana at a luncheon and ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion. Among the attendees was 94-year-old Lillian Hoover – one of the oldest living female veterans in the state.  Ms. Lillian, when asked about her decision to join the military said, “I consider it a privileged to join be of service.” During the time she joined, women were not allowed to serve. World War II would change that. The military began accepting women in the service in 1944, and Hoover joined shortly thereafter. The course of that war would change the history of our country the world. Joining the United States Navy in 1944, she was one of the very first women to enlist in our nation’s history.
Opening your first business is a daunting task. Opening a restaurant as your first business is an overwhelmingly daunting task!  And imagine trying to do it with no restaurant experience, no funding and no idea of what you are getting into!  And then imagine trying to do while still working full-time at your “real” job!  That is what Michele Ezell did.

The task of building a business plan, securing funding, designing, constructing, re-designing, licensing, menu developing, staffing, training, re-training…and all of that before one guest is ever greeted! Michele had to learn "on the fly”, as they say in the kitchen, and there was no time to pause and reconsider:  The goal was to bring an ancient Asian food concept to the deep south... and they weren’t even going to cook it!

BUSINESS

Opening your first business is a daunting task. Opening a restaurant as your first business is an overwhelmingly daunting task!  And imagine trying to do it with no restaurant experience, no funding and no idea of what you are getting into!  And then imagine trying to do while still working full-time at your “real” job!  That is what Michele Ezell did. The task of building a business plan, securing funding, designing, constructing, re-designing, licensing, menu developing, staffing, training, re-training…and all of that before one guest is ever greeted! Michele had to learn “on the fly”, as they say in the kitchen, and there was no time to pause and reconsider:  The goal was to bring an ancient Asian food concept to the deep south… and they weren’t even going to cook it!
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Chef Hardette Harris’
“Us Up North” Mustard and Turnip Greens

Smoked meats are slow-cooked until tender and boiled with mustard and turnip greens. Turnip greens are a Southern staple and this recipe is sure to become a favorite in your home!

The First Dogs

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Happy Back To School!

Something to Discern

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WE ARE OPEN

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