What Sustains Us

What Sustains Us

What sustains us.

So much to think about as 2016 comes to an end. We can expect many changes over the coming months and years, but one thing is certain: the answer to all that challenges us is right here in front of us. It’s in our homes, in our schools, in our shelters and on our streets. It’s in our child care centers and executive offices. It’s right outside my window as I am writing. It is women and girls.

We are, each of us, powerful, and can change the narrative around the events of the past year. It is a profound affirmation that our work is important. We are the people who work to solve society’s problems. We are the ones who work to build strong communities. We bring people together for good. We invest to make a better future.

I was reminded recently about the power of investing in women and girls when we heard from our Chrysalis After-School program evaluator. In partnership with Mercy Medical Center, we’ve created an opportunity for high school girls to teach the younger girls in our programs, and the effect has been more than remarkable.

Evaluations of overall program results found that:

  • self-esteem,
  • pro-social attitudes, and
  • resilience 

are markedly higher in groups using a high school mentor than in groups not utilizing mentors, demonstrating the significance of having a trusted peer or adult.
I know this is possible because you care. You give to support the girls and women in Greater Des Moines, and you trust in the work we do. To me, the value of your gift isn’t measured by its amount – it’s that you take the time to give to Chrysalis, and I thank you.

During this holiday season, please join me in reflecting on what sustains you. What keeps you hopeful, driven, giving, and working harder? How can we continue working together to realize the importance of helping each other, being responsible for each other’s welfare, valuing and investing in each other?

Meanwhile, Chrysalis will keep doing what it always has done – supporting the equality and inclusion of women and girls.

You inspire me every day to continue this work.

You sustain me. Never doubt that.

Terry Hernandez