ST. PAUL, Minn. (March 24, 2011) – The Amherst H. Wilder Foundation is pleased to announce its selection of the 2011 Kingston Fellowship grant recipients.
The Kingston Fellowship was established last spring in honor of President Emeritus, Tom Kingston, upon his retirement from Wilder Foundation. The Fellowship provides the opportunity for Wilder Foundation to develop a highly effective, culturally competent set of leaders and promote ongoing improvement of human services in the East Metro community through annual grants to qualified Wilder Foundation employees.
Seven Wilder Foundation employees have been selected as the 2011 Kingston Fellows and awarded a combined $25,000, giving them the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and develop innovative programs to address community concerns. Fellows were selected based on their promise of outstanding contribution to the field of human services or human services research, especially in an area that is under-represented in the communities that Wilder Foundation serves, demonstrated accomplishments in their discipline and leadership potential.
“We are grateful to the many donors who helped establish The Kingston Fellowship Fund with gifts totaling more than $1,080,000 to honor the legacy of Tom Kingston,” said MayKao Y. Hang, president and CEO of the Wilder Foundation. “The Kingston Fellowship builds on the Wilder Foundation’s commitment to developing and delivering services that meet the needs of vulnerable people in our community though culturally competent employees and a dedication to community leadership.”
The 2011 Kingston Fellows include:
Mae Brooks, Wilder’s HR Business Partner/Talent Acquisition Manager, is completing a Masters of Arts in Organizational Leadership. She intends to put theory into practice to leverage diversity and affect the delivery of inter-culturally competent human services at Wilder Foundation through the strategic rollout of the Intercultural Development Inventory. Presentation of her strategic plan is required to satisfy her graduation requirement at St. Catherine University.
Leonard Cain is an Education Advocate for formerly homeless families. He has overcome great adversity to advocate for children’s educational success and increased parental involvement. He connects Wilder Foundation families to educational opportunities in the community. The fellowship will help him obtain a Masters of Arts degree in Family Life Education at Concordia University.
Sterline Saran Cryer is a Family Case Manager in the Wilder Foundation ROOF Project. Cryer completed her Master’s Degree in 2008. She will use the Kingston Fellowship award to cover costs associated with supervision, study and preparation coursework, and written and oral exams to acquire licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist. The Fellowship removes the financial barriers keeping her from licensure.
Jeanelle Foster is the Assistant Director of the Wilder Foundation’s Child Development Center. The Kingston Fellowship will allow her to complete 10 credits toward her graduate degree in Early Childhood from Concordia University. She is learning more about best practices in curriculum and instruction, language development, emergent literacy, family systems, diversity and ethics to serve well the children and families at CDC.
Ka Moua Lo is a Human Services Counselor II/Functional Family Therapist for Wilder’s Southeast Asian Services. Her Fellowship will allow her to complete her MSW from the University of Minnesota and obtain licensure to help reduce disparities in children’s mental health. Only one in five children with mental health concerns receives care and, as compared to white youth, only one third to one half of minority youth receive the help they need. Lo’s education, passion and cultural sensitivity and competence will be a great asset to the field of human services.
Thomas Nguyen provides case management services, diagnostic assessments, individual and group therapy as a Counselor II for Wilder Foundation’s Southeast Asian Services. As a Vietnamese-American mental health practitioner pursuing a doctorate in psychology, his goal is to devote his energy and talent to address mental health and social adjustment needs within the Asian American community. Nguyen is one of five Vietnamese speaking mental health practitioners in the East Metro. Cultural misconceptions regarding mental health coupled with the absence of professional resources is a barrier within Asian American communities that he strives to eliminate. His Fellowship will be applied to tuition toward his doctoral program at University of St. Thomas.
Larry Yang is an Administrative Services Coordinator for Children and Family Services-Clinical Services working on a master’s degree at St. Mary’s University to become a Marriage and Family Therapist. Through his work at the Wilder Foundation, Yang recognized that many members of the Southeast Asian community have significant, undiagnosed and untreated mental health issues. Fluent in Hmong, as a Marriage and Family Therapist he will add a diverse perspective on family, culture and world view to the experiences of his peers.
For more than 100 years, the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation has combined direct service, research and community development to address the needs of the most vulnerable people in greater Saint Paul. For more information on the Wilder Foundation, visit www.wilder.org.