The purpose of International Women’s Day (March 8) is to actively call for a gender equal world. Trinity Youth Services (TYS) would like to take the time to honor some amazing achievements in Women’s history while also highlighting some of the inspiring and dedicated women in leadership that TYS is so blessed to have.
According to the Women’s Bureau, from 1950 to 2010 there was roughly a 56% increase of women participating in the workforce. During that time, several key moments in the Women’s Civil Rights movement occurred. In 1955, Rosa Parks famously refused to give up her seat and in 1963 President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act. Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, which was intended to ban all employment discrimination and in 1966 Betty Friedan founded the National Organization for Woman (NOW). Title IX of the Education Amendments was signed into law in 1972 and in 1981 Sandra Day O’Connor was sworn in to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2016, Hillary Clinton became the first woman to receive a presidential nomination from a major political party and in 2021 Kamala Harris became the first woman and first person of color to be elected Vice President of the United States.
The 20th century brought with it a “rapid rise in women’s labor force participation,” according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics but despite this information, PayScale reported, “In 2020, women earn[ed] $0.81 for every dollar earned by an equivalent man. This figure is representative of the uncontrolled – or ‘raw’- gender pay gap, which looks at the median salary for all men and women regardless of job type or worker seniority.”
TYS takes the pay gap between women and men very seriously, by conducting periodic wage analysis to ensure there are no disparities based on gender. “Being the first female CEO in Trinity’s 55-year history,” says Cher Ofstedahl, “I have a critical awareness of the particular challenges women have historically faced in the workplace and a keen desire to ensure all staff are treated equitably, empowered with the knowledge, skills and tools to be successful in their positions and provided with opportunities to fulfill their professional goals.”
Some of the amazing leadership that TYS is so grateful to have, includes not only Chief Executive Officer, Cher Ofstedahl, who’s leadership has carried the company through an incredibly challenging year, but a number of other worthy women in key leadership positions: Administrative Officer Inger Walker, Financial Controller Linh Trieu, Director of Foster Care and Adoptions Jackie Jakob, Director of Development Jenelle Phillips, Intake and Rancho Cucamonga Foster Care Director Laura Kassem, Monterey Park Foster Care Director Roomina Islam, Apple Valley Residential Campus Director Elizabeth Tamoush, and Yucaipa Residential Campus Director Teresa Valles. TYS would also like to highlight board members Judith Jarvis and Valerie Martinez for adding strong women’s voices to the governance of the agency.
Celebrating women, championing equality, building a workplace that is inclusive, increasing visibility and forging women empowerment are required to create a world with gender parity. TYS applauds all the outstanding women of the agency and of the world for their resilience.
Ways You Can Help
Join our Agency: TYS is a premier provider of residential treatment programs, mental health services, foster care and adoption agency to children and families in Southern California. We seek team members with a genuine commitment to the empowerment of at-risk children and their families, and a willingness to work in a demanding, fast-paced environment, which requires dedication and a desire to provide positive role models for the children in care. Click here to apply.
Donate: Consider donating to organizations like the Children’s Foundation of America, who help provide resources of the highest quality to children in foster care. Your donation provides scholarships and other essential needs to help create positive outcomes for foster youth.
Volunteer: Contribute your time by volunteering to help advocate and raise awareness. Use social media to share articles like this one or sign up here to participate in a volunteer project.
Foster or Adopt: TYS’s mission is to help children and families create a better future. You can change the trajectory of a child’s life by becoming a resource parent and providing the love and support children need to be successful in life. Contact TYS representative, Carlos Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-346-9645 to learn more about adopting or becoming a foster parent.
Isabel Millward-Pena, Communications Specialist
Isabel contributes content for our social media, blog, newsletters and promotional materials. She recently earned a bachelor’s degree in English from California State University San Bernardino and is currently working on her master’s degree. Isabel began working at Trinity as an intern, was hired as clerical, and was then promoted to communications in our development department. Prior to her work at Trinity, she was a substitute instructional aid and a supervisor at Starbucks. She has also volunteered as an aid at local elementary schools and notably achieved “Partner of the Quarter” at Starbucks in 2017. Isabel is an active member of Trinity’s Diversity, Inclusion, Value and Equity (DIVE) team and volunteers her time at the Children’s Foundation of America.
Trinity Youth Services cares for children 24/7/365. As such, we are paying close attention to the fluid situation surrounding the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak and taking steps to be as agile and proactive as possible. The safety of children and staff is our highest priority and every precaution is being taken. I have reached out to our vendors to ensure supplies and food deliveries will occur on schedule and that essential resources are prioritized to our youth.
We are facing unique challenges as direct service providers for the most vulnerable of children—foster youth placed in the homes of resource families or living on Short Term Residential Program (STRTP) campuses. School closures and the subsequent lack of immediate childcare and eldercare options for resource families who work and for residential staff who have young children or adult relatives they care for at home, have created an increased burden on those who need to work but cannot and those who can work and are covering additional shifts.
We are committed to providing uninterrupted programs and services. At this time, we are asking for your support to assist us with the unexpected operating expenses we are incurring. If you are able to help with a contribution of any size, it would be greatly appreciated. Donations may be mailed to PO Box 1210, Claremont, CA 91711 or made immediately by accessing the Children’s Foundation of America website at www.childrensfoundationofamerica.org. Please designate “Trinity Youth Services (unrestricted)” where prompted.
Thank you for remembering the children in the midst of this unprecedented, global concern. Your kindness and thoughtfulness will not be forgotten.
Chief Executive Officer
Trinity Youth Services is proud to announce Cher Ofstedahl as its new Chief Executive Officer, the first woman to ever hold the position at the agency since its inception in 1966. An accomplished music industry veteran, professional actress and celebrated comedienne, Cher has been instrumental in creating high-impact programs and services that empower children and families for 22 years.
Cher became a passionate advocate for children and decided to help children break the cycle of abuse after experiencing a traumatic childhood herself. The neglect and abuse she experienced gave her a compassionate heart towards children in crisis, and ultimately paved the way for the tremendous impact she continues to make within the agency. Cher has held several different positions at Trinity Youth Services including marketing, human resources and executive management.
An inspiring, award-winning change agent at Trinity and within her community, Cher holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Ashford University and post-graduate certifications from Cornell University and Harvard Graduate School of Education.
She also possesses a master’s degree in ethical leadership from Claremont Lincoln University, and is a member of the first graduating cohort in a National Human Services Assembly (NHSA) nonprofit executive leadership program.
Deeply committed to helping children and families improve their quality of life, Cher serves on the board of directors at the dA Center for the Arts, is on the membership committee for the California Alliance for Children and Families, is past chair of the Inland Empire Alliance for Children and Families and director of the Children’s Foundation of America. Her many accolades include being a recipient of Senator Anthony Portantino’s Women in Business award in 2019.
Driven by Trinity’s mission to create a better future for children and families, Cher is poised to maintain the integrity of the agency and is determined to find loving homes for children in crisis throughout Southern California.