Mini Grant Dyad Needed: --

I am so grateful to…

I am so grateful to have received my first ever grant from Healthier Neighbors in such a time of need. Also, I am grateful that my introduction to applying for a grant was smooth. As a recipient of the grant it has truly allowed me to make the necessary enhancements to my business for growth. During a pandemic so many people had to pivot personally and professionally, and my grant experience allowed me to do both. Not only was I applying for funds, I had to help others understand the importance of what GLOWrious Bath & Body was on a mission to do. The trainings provided, the encouragement given, and the sense of community definitely helped me charge forward. Fast forward, the funds has been exercised to great use by providing me with a more seamless interface to interact with my consumers. Lastly and more importantly, I have established and continue to build lasting relationships with those I’ve met along the journey. Again, I am so grateful that this experience has been pleasant and edifying.

For the Women Helping Women…

For the Women Helping Women mini-grant, we’ve been very receptive in regards to client mental health needs during this difficult time as it relates to world affairs. Previously, we were offering virtual-only Zumba classes every Monday evening as a COVID-19 safety measure. Now that restrictions have been relaxed, we have recently been able to offer in-person Zumba classes at the park next to our site to great success. Originally, our numbers for virtual Zumba were small but steady. However, since we’ve started offering in-person classes, those numbers have been growing! Our participating clients love in-person Zumba classes and have commented on how helpful they’ve found the class. “I feel refreshed and energized, and I’ve been losing weight.”, said one 25-year-old client. “Attending classes in-person has been a breath of fresh air. “Every Monday evening, the Lake Worth West Park is flooded with women of all ages, dressed in athletic attire with the goal of living a healthier, less stressful, and wholesome day-to-day life. Everyone is all smiles from the time the music starts to the time it ends. Our Zumba instructor is lively and friendly, always happy to guide and help others through the steps. “I love Zumba!” she says. It’s certainly easy to tell from the energy she puts into the class instruction. By the time the class is over and it’s almost dinnertime, the participants part ways with a new outlook on health and fitness.

The mini grant allowed me…

The mini grant allowed me to get my “back of store” in order, which includes signing up for and using a new streamlined sales funnel/project creator (HoneyBook), which has made the proposal, contact, and payment progress 1000x smoother. This also makes my business, SPARC Guidance, more professional and helped me establish contracts for trainings/coaching sessions with Early Head Start via the Early Learning Coalition. I am also now able to offer family coaching sessions and I hope to expand SPARC to the School District next.

We have completed three courses…

We have completed three courses so far for our future leaders primarily for high schoolers in PBC. So far the theme has been on leadership development in which the courses focused on discovering your purpose, goal setting through vision boards, and tonight on public speaking. Every class has a keynote speaker who is a subject matter expert and each one so far as imparted seeds of knowledge, discovery and engagement. In many of the surveys so far, the youth have expressed that they never really thought about their purpose or that they didn’t know that every person on this planet was born with a purpose. A few of the youth shared their vision boards with me which is such a blessing. It shows how many goals some have and others are going through a discovery process of asking themselves about their goals–perhaps something they never really thought about let alone putting thoughts on virtual paper/canva LOL. Tonight, we had about 25 participants and ten of the youth participated in “table topics,” an opportunity to practice impromptu speaking on a host of topics that were age appropriate. One of the girls said that she never would have thought that she would share in a group setting and she wasn’t sure “how we did it.” What she was really saying was how did she get the courage to talk in front of people, even if by Zoom. These may seem like small wins but they’re huge to me. The next session will be on microaggressions and racial equity awareness. In March and April, the focus will be on financial awareness and in May and June, we will shift the focus to job preparedness. I may shift and provide courses outside this curriculum by partnering with another agency to discuss college preparedness. I love that I can be nimble and adjust to the needs of the students without heavy bureaucracy and red tape. Thank you BeWell PBC! I believe the impact to the youth is great and I can’t wait to see how their lives will be impacted by the time the Future Leaders graduation comes around in July.

Oh my ! The grant process was…

Oh my ! The grant process was a frantic one in Q4 2020. I reached out to a number of contacts and felt that some traction was being made…Then nothing. Year-end kicked in. So did the challenges of Covid. I felt everything grinding to a halt. The initial meetings and potential connections’ interest appeared to disappear. Things seemed to fizzle out…The beginning of 2021 was also terribly slow. It seems that Self Compassion Matters was not a priority, decision makers had not responded. I have to admit that frustration began to creep in. I am aware that Q1 is the best time of the year in terms of weather and being outside…Anyhow, some Self Compassion was needed. I am glad that I reached out to the bewellpbc team, I feel supported and my efforts are appreciated!

I experience It’s Start With Me…

I experience It’s Start With Me Program for 16 weeks and would I learn about the program where ever you are in life you can choose to change your mindset simply by allow yourself to open up to opportunity and improved who you are as person as well and connecting as well network with like mind people this can be challenging and rewarding at the same time when you put your mind to what you are trying to reach for you will be surprise the outcome.

One of the workshops…

One of the workshops that was held called “Eye 2 Eye,” gave participants a chance to reflect on how they perceived themselves in relation to the world around them. The task was to paint an eye, and within that eye, depict the inner “you”. It was an eye opener (pun intended) to see people from differing backgrounds come together and share their amazing artwork as they described themselves and reasoning for why they painted what they painted. Speaking personally, it was a fun and relaxing way to end the day while supporting the growth of others.

Individuals aging out of…

Individuals aging out of the foster care system got to engage in art and music therapy activities. It was amazing to bring these young people together in a creative way to learn coping skills and express and process their experience.

Hello my name is…

Hello my name is Verna Neely, I’m the founder of the Ladybugs of The Palm Beaches and the creator of the Ladybugs Art Box. I was given my first art kit when I was a little girl. It helped me to easy my mind during my many medical issues. I am a self taught artist . I have a degree in arts. When I find myself depressed, stressed or just angry. I pick up my art supplies. Art helps me to calm down . When I’m done I have some of the most beautiful pieces. Working with healthier Neighbors and being a recipient of the mini grant has allowed me to share Ladybugs Art Box with over 200 people. Our goal was to reach 150 people. Since start this project I have lost 5 family members to some kind of trauma or violence. I just lost a sister to gun violence. She was murdered on December 20, 2020. Thanks to art and passing out these art boxes having given me an outlet to pour my anger and sorrows into. In the near future I hope to own an art gallery right here in Riviera Beach, and just maybe some of the 200 people that received an art box will have art to put in the gallery. Thank you Healthier Neighbors.

While personally experiencing the disconnect…

While personally experiencing the disconnect from family, friends, community and church, I often thought about our Seniors and what they might be going through due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and Social Distancing. In discussing this with others and realizing some Seniors are further restricted by vision, hearing and mobility impairments we felt the need was urgent. So we sought to find a solution to this issue and to help our most precious citizens cope during this time to avoid isolation and loneliness thereby avoiding negative effects on their mental and social wellbeing. As we investigated possible solutions, we discovered voice activated technical devices suitable for Seniors. Our next challenge was funding these devices. Thankfully, the Be Well Palm Beach County Mini Grant opportunity was introduced to us. We applied and were awarded the Grant. As of today, we have helped 16 Seniors CONNECT again!