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Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA

by Women's Health Specialists
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA

Supporting Young Women Through Adoption 

Since starting our adoption program, Adoption Choices of Northern California, Women’s Health Specialists has assisted hundreds of birthmoms and adoptive parents.

Our adoption program focuses on pregnant women and ensures that they are in control of their adoption plans. Birthmoms select the family, make decisions regarding the birth and hospital stay and determine the amount of contact that will be maintained after the placement. We empower pregnant women of all ages choosing adoption to create the adoption plan that will be the best fit for them. 

Most of our clients are in rural Northern California. One of our recent cases was with a birthmom in rural North Eastern California who placed with a lesbian couple.  In picking a family, she felt drawn to this couple and had a special connection with where they lived since her first child was born in the same community. The birthmom came to adoption because she felt it would be the best thing for the child as she was not ready to parent two children alone; financially or emotionally. Our staff traveled to her for all of our meetings including the meetings with the the adoptive family.  After the birth and hospital stay, the adoptive family was in contact through daily texting and exchanged pictures of the baby for a few months to help the birthmom as she moved through her grief. They have a very open and caring relationship with each other and are so happy to have found one another through Adoption Choices.

Choosing adoption can be a difficult and emotional decision but when women are given control over their bodies and choices in their adoption, they are better prepared to handle their grief.

Our program is free to women placing. Our services include full adoption facilitation which for birthmoms includes; providing screened adoptive parents, coordination of meetings with adoptive family selected, hospital and post birth contact facilitation, pre and post birth adoption support, adoption counseling with a therapist in your area, and we travel to where birth moms live throughout Northern California. We also offer ongoing support groups for birthmothers and all members of the adoption triad.

Your support helps us continue to provide free services to birthmoms and supoprt young women through adoption. 

Here's some quotes from our clients:

“Thank you for your help in making my adoption a positive experience.”

“I don’t know what would have happened with everything if you hadn’t been there. You made a difficult situation into an easier one. You and your program are a miracle.”

 "This was the best decision I ever made. Thank you so much Adoption Choices!"

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Transforming Yourself and Community! Demystifying your body through slef-determination and liberation! 

Speculum Kit Giveaway Day

Each July, volunteers and staff put together about 300 kits that include a mirror, speculum, how-to booklet and a flashlight. These kits are given to clinic visitors on one day, in honor of our Founder and Self-Help Advocate, Dido Hasper.

WHS was founded on the concept of self-help, demystifying your body, and putting your own health in your hands. In honor of Dido’s continued influence in women’s self-determination and health care choices, the staff and clients remain greatly inspired. What is self help? Self help is taking a mirror, flashlight and speculum to view your own cervix. 

This year two young women took leadership in hosting the giveaway. Together they distributed flyers to share with community this special day for women to receive a kit and transform them selves. These women shared with their friends and community their stories of how powerful knowing about your body can be. Kits were distributed throughout the day to young women who wanted to learn more. It was an inspiring day brining community together and supporting these young leaders in transforming the community. 

Who Is Dido Hasper?

Dido was the Founding and Executive Director of Women's Health Specialists. A true pioneer in the women’s health movement. Dido put the health centers on the map, weathering opposition from anti-abortionists, funding crises, and fighting social bigotry. Using the vital lessons and knowledge Dido shared so generously with all of us, we will continue our work in her memory.  

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Young women are stepping into their power through organizing and facilitating a peer educator prevention training.

Over the last few months young emerging leaders have hit the streets doing peer to peer outreach by sharing information on sexual and reproductive health services. They are mentored and trained on how to have compassionate, non-judgmental conversations around STI/HIV testing and treatment, birth control, pregnancy, abortion, condoms, annual checkups and more. Through outreach they connect people to care by making referrals to Women’s Health Specialists and reduce stigma around reproductive and sexual health.

Recently, a group of these young leaders successfully completed facilitating an entire peer educator prevention training for young people between the ages of 15-19. The young leaders were involved from the planning and recruitment of the training to the preparation and facilitation of the training. It started with them picking a date to host the training and then recruiting several participants through different forms of outreach to register for the training. Each young leader took on multiple roles that included prepping the folders and materials for the training, training set up, registration check in and training facilitation. This was a training that was led by youth for youth. Each young leader chose a topic and activity to facilitate with the participants. They led activities and discussions with their peers having bold and open conversations around sex, pregnancy, STD/HIV, barriers to service, stigma, abortion, consent, confidentiality, access, risky behaviors, birth control, self-help and more. It was powerful training led by several powerful young women. It was fun, exciting and engaging! 

On completion of the training the feedback from the young women who facilitated the training was positive. They shared how they felt empowered and supported. These young leaders are continuing their work through facilitating community education sessions, mentoring new peer outreach workers, coordinating organizational events and guiding our organization into the future. 

We thank you for your support and dedication to helping us support young women step into their power. 

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Emerging Leaders Join Together to March for Reproductive Justice!

On January 21st, people across the country participated in a worldwide protest to advocate legislation and policies regarding human rights and other issues, including women’s rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, reproductive rights, the natural environment, LGBTQ rights, racial equality and more.

In far Northern California, 8 young leaders joined together on this day to march for reproductive justice, the complete physical, mental, spiritual, political, social and economical well-being of women and girls based on the full achievement and protection of women’s human rights.

These young leaders participated in the local Women’s March to raise awareness about the injustices that impacted their daily personal lives. This march was an opportunity for young leaders to have their voice be heard, advocate for equality and stand in solidarity. Together they made signs that expressed their concerns and shared statements that they wanted to be heard.

At the event young leaders also hosted an educational booth where they shared information with participants on clinical services and programs that are offered by our organization. This provided young leaders with an opportunity to connect with community members and provide compassionate information of where people could access their reproductive needs free and low-cost.

During the March the young leaders joined the crowed of over 1000 people and marched down the streets waving their signs, shouting words for change and taking a stand. These emerging leaders are passionate about their community and fight for reproductive justice, the protection of our rights, our safety, our healthcare and our families.

Many of the young leaders expressed how they felt empowered to speak up and proud to advocate for justice for themselves and their community.

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 Building The Future

As part of our young women’s leadership development program, we provide an opportunity for participants to co-lead and facilitate in community organizing on issues or topics that relate to  women’s rights and reproductive justice. Through community organizing we provide young women with the tools and experience to create change within their communities by bringing people together to build the future. These young women are shifting the culture we live in by tackling issues around sexually transmitted infections, birth control, reducing shame and stigma, all pregnancy options and addressing barriers to access to create an environment of inclusiveness and sex positivity.

Recently several young women leaders of the program united to restore and sustain abortion coverage for low-income women. Together these young women created a space within their community to build support for lifting bans that deny abortion coverage. As part of a nationwide effort in partnership with other grass roots organizations these emerging leaders are removing the stigma and having conversations about barriers that women face when seeking abortion care.

This community organizing provides an opportunity for young women from different communities to come together and invite people from their communities to get involved. Together they shared information on the HYDE Amendment that penalizes low-income women seeking an aboriton. The HYDE Amendment blocks federal funding for abortion services. The young co-leaders would facilitate a group discussion on how these restrictions on abortion care would impact people like them and their communities.

During this event the co-leaders help facilitate an activity called “Walk in My Shoes”. Walk In My Shoes is an activity that consists of 5 women’s profiles, each is pregnancy and seeking an abortion. The activity helps expose the many barriers women face when acceding abortion care. The young women engaged in leading the activity and creating a space to have real conversations about access. Each story represented a different situation. After the exercise the group talked about how to take action to support abortion funding, remove barriers, reduce stigma and empower each other to fight for reproductive justice.

Together we are Building The Future. The young women’s leadership development program reaches youth women from marginalized communities, and provides an opportunity expand their knowledge in reproductive health, women’s right, their bodies and reproductive justice.

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Organization Information

Women's Health Specialists

Location: Redding, CA - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @whs@cawhs
Project Leader:
Linda McCrea
Redding, CA United States
$24,095 raised of $30,800 goal
285 donations
$6,705 to go
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