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Making a Difference – The Ophelia Project

For this installment of Perspective, we’ve asked Susan Francis to spotlight The Ophelia Project.  Susan has over 30 years experience in non-profit management and is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Healthy Family Foundation, who’s fastest growing and most well-known program is the Ophelia Project.

“The Ophelia Project is a mentoring program for girls in 8th through 12th grade, whose mission is ‘to empower and encourage teens to increase their sense of self-worth and maximize their potential contribution to society’.  Since 1998, Ophelia Project of Coachella Valley has served 2300 girls and currently serves 550 girls annually in 11 schools across the three school districts of the Coachella Valley. The 120 trained and certified volunteer mentors and guest speakers deliver this program in sessions that take place at school and during the school day. The amazing results of the program include increased GPA, reduced drop-out rates and 100% senior graduation rates!
The following is a video of the project in action: 
Through all my years in nonprofit work I have never seen a program that brings such dramatic results to such a deserving group, with such far reaching benefits. The Ophelia Project changes lives and rescues the potential of adolescent girls in the Coachella Valley!  Ophelia Project is not publicly funded and we must rely on private and corporate donations from foundations, businesses and individuals to support the cost of this valuable program.”
Here is just one of the many examples of girls impacted by the program:
Karen – Ophelia Project Mentee from September 2009 to May 2014

“My name is Karen, I am 18 years old, and I have been an Ophelia girl for five consecutive years…Ophelia definitely has had a great impact on my life. I was in eighth grade when I began my first year with what is now, my Ophelia family. Getting to know the mentors and listening to their advice made me realize the importance of obtaining an education and becoming successful… This organization truly focuses on self-evaluation, and thanks to my mentors, self-esteem is no longer an issue.  My Ophelia sisters and I all share the same potential, the same spirit, immense hunger for knowledge, and possibly the same determination…I will finally begin my journey fighting to do what I love best: nursing…I will attend College of the Desert for two years, while I work as a CNA. Other goals include becoming an Ophelia Mentor with the hopes of inspiring other teenage girls…My classmates and I can all agree that Ophelia is a true blessing in all of our lives and I am forever thankful for all of my mentors.”

If you would like more information about the project, and opportunities to support their wonderful work, please reach out to Susan directly at 760-776-1600 ext 122.

“Nothing will work unless you do.” – Maya Angelou

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