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AAWGT: Making a difference in our community!

Full Circle News

February-March 2017

How Women Lead Change at Home & Around the World

AAWGT’s annual Women and Leadership event will be held on March 8th, International Women’s Day, from 6-8 pm at the Calvary United Methodist Church, 301 Rowe Blvd. in Annapolis.

As AAWGT continues to help lead change and improve the lives of women and families in our community, we are hosting this special evening to hear from four amazing women who demonstrate their passion for giving for giving back to their communities.

Elizabeth Kinney, a well-known leader in the Annapolis area, is the former Executive Director of the Light House. She currently serves as President of Light House Social Enterprise, which includes the Light House Bistro Cafe.

Elizabeth's daughter, Megan Kinney, inspires those around her with music, activism, and 'a whole lotta love.' Now based in Los Angeles, the talented singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist incorporates the art of Acroyoga and acrobatics into her live show.

Jan Piercy served as Deputy Assistant to President Clinton for Presidential Appointments; represented the U.S. on the Board of the World Bank as Executive Director; and serves on the advisory council of the Global Philanthropy Forum and as chair of the Board of the Homeless Children's Playtime Project in Washington, DC.

Lissa Piercy, Jan's daughter, is a performance poet, teaching artist, and co-founder of Strength of Doves, an independent speakers' bureau and talent agency representing social justice-oriented authors, artists, and teaching artists.

All are welcome to join us for what will be a very special celebration of women in leadership and philanthropy.

Grantee Arundel House of Hope Addresses Homelessness

In 2013, the Anne Arundel County Public Schools system reported that 929 of students in our schools were homeless. These students and their families were living in shelters or hotels, doubled up with relatives or friends, or living on the street. Just imagine trying to study and learn under those conditions. Without an adequate education, these children are at risk of continuing a generationally experienced life style of spending their lives underemployed or unemployed.

The Family Project at Arundel House of Hope addresses systemic issues involved in family homelessness. Because many of the problems that cause family homelessness reach across generations, the Family Project works with both adults--specifically women--and their children. The focus is developing and practicing the skills needed for self-sufficiency; this helps them now, and they can then pass on this knowledge to future generations. Arundel House of Hope works with families for up to two years.

To measure the success of the project, AHOH looks at the progress each individual and each family makes in the program. The parents complete bi-monthly life-skills, parenting workshops, and support groups each year. Participation increases their ability to live independently and save at least 20% of their income. The after-school program works with students individually to help them increase their grades by one letter grade each year they are in the program. The goal is to reduce absences and tardiness by 80%.

Healing the Hurt with Trauma-Informed Care

Trauma-informed care, incorporated across the community, is creating significantly better outcomes for affected young children—this was the key message delivered by Dr. Joan Gillece at the February 15th program, “Derailing Early Childhood Trauma,” held at the Friends Meeting House.

Dr. Gillece explained how untreated trauma can have a drastic lifelong impact on children and that treatment must be shaped so that it does not further traumatize a child. She shared a short animated video to illustrate how a trauma-informed, empathic approach differs from other treatments.


Dr. Gillece's presentation slides are available here.

Leadership Letter

Fresh off our 10th anniversary, this year’s leadership team envisions a very promising and exciting 2017! Building on the strong foundation our early leaders established, we begin this year with a renewed commitment to our mission: investing our collective dollars to support organizations that work to improve the quality of life for women and families in Anne Arundel County; informing our members - and the general public - about the critical issues facing this population and measures being taken by local non-profits to address them; and inspiring members to become engaged leaders and philanthropists for the betterment of our community.

We made remarkable strides during our first decade, awarding 71 grants totaling over $800,000 to organizations focusing on children’s education and development, reduction of homelessness and support of affordable housing, and prevention of, and treatment for, violence and abuse. We are going into 2017 with 209 members, more than at any point in our history.

We’re well positioned to continue to build our grants fund to lend even more support to community non-profits. We’ll continue to convene excellent educational sessions to inform our membership and the larger community about challenging issues that affect women and families. And, we’ll  strategically work to raise our collective and individual voices and our impact to address what’s not working well in our county.

AAWGT has many opportunities to get engaged and take on leadership positions so please speak up if you’d like to be more involved. There is definitely a place for you this year!

Linda Eggbeer, President

Betsy Chotin, Vice-President and President-Elect

 Full Circle News is published bi-monthly. Feedback or questions? Email

Anne Arundel Women Giving Together
AAWGT is a fund of the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County

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