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Our Vision

Encourage others to invest in the futures of East Valley women in need, and to support East Valley women to be resilient and positive contributors to their communities.

 

Our Mission

Positive Paths exists to support East Valley women in need by providing a life-bridge to economic stability, personal growth and professional achievement. We do this through mentorship programs, scholarships, and supportive services.

 

Our Values

Collaboration

Positive Paths encourages collegiality, teamwork, and cooperation between and among employees, board members, volunteers, non-profit organizations, and the community.

Integrity

Positive Paths employees and board members strive to be competent, responsible, reliable, honest, and ethical in both their personal and professional lives.

Accountability

Positive Paths is committed to operating in an accountable manner as a non-profit organization, constantly re-examining and improving our practices, using donated funds in accordance with donor wishes and the organization’s mission, and regularly reporting on progress to the community.

How we started

Positive Paths was born from the desire to help women in the East Valley of Arizona. We recognized that a gap existed in the East Valley regarding financial security and independence for women and their families. We acknowledged that many women and their families were working very hard in entry level jobs, seeming self-sufficient, but unable to sustain their financial independence. What if women were assisted through supplemental funding combined with caring, supportive mentors as they increased their earning capacity through education, amplified skill sets, and greater employment prospects? Drawing upon the indomitable will and strength inherent in women working hard to support themselves and their families, we could increase and ensure the financial security and self-sufficiency of families in our community. We recognized that when women are supported and empowered, all of society benefits – families are healthier, more children complete elementary and high school and continue on to trade school or college, productivity improves, and incomes increase. In
short, communities become more resilient, self-sufficient, and securely independent.

Founded in 2014 by a group of forward thinking East Valley leaders, Positive Paths works tirelessly to remove barriers and obstacles that prevent East Valley women from succeeding. We provide a “life-bridge” for women who face challenges to grow personally and professionally and increase the likelihood of future generations of economic stability.

History of Positive Paths: A Realized Vision

2006

East Valley leaders meet at Chandler-Gilbert Community College to discuss the problem of decreased funding at community colleges and the impact on student support services, particularly in regard to re-entry women’s services. The search for solutions begins.

East Valley leaders tour Fresh Start Women’s Foundation (FSWF), the Jewell McFarland Women’s Resource Center in Phoenix. Informal discussions about the possibility of doing something similar in the East Valley ensue.

2007

East Valley leaders gather for feasibility and needs-assessment meetings.

2008

An East Valley Executive Council begins to form and organize.

2009

Official affiliation with FSWF begnis as the East Valley Executive Council of Fresh Start. The council primarily fundraises to support costs for East Valley operations with FSWF implementing and managing program services.

Services for East Valley women began at Gilbert Elementary School in the evenings and at the Gilbert Boys and Girls Club during the day.

The Annual Night of Heroes event begins, honoring the East Valley Man and Woman of the Year, as an annual fundraising and friend-raising event.

2010

Services are relocated to a modular building at the East Valley Institute of Technology.

2011

A new CEO of FSWF is selected and subsequent changes are made in East Valley staff and services.

2012

Adjustments were made in East Valley program managers and staff.

2013

Relocation to the Adult Education Center at the East Valley Institute of Technology made it easier to find the services and allowed an EVIT receptionist to provide support.

2014

FSWF and East Valley Executive Council amicably implement separation plans in order to best serve East Valley women.

Positive Paths, a non-profit organization serving East Valley Women with scholarships and mentoring, is formed.

Positive Paths provided 5 scholarships through the dedicated efforts of a volunteer, working Board. Individual mentors were provided to each scholarship recipient.

2015

Positive Paths continued working with the original 5 women selected in 2015, and added 13 more women to its scholarship and mentoring programs.

2016

Positive Paths selected an additional 11 East Valley women for its scholarship and mentoring program.

2017

Positive Paths temporarily used office space at A New Leaf, in Mesa.

More scholars-mentees are served every year.

2018

Positive Paths acquired office space at 1550 S. Alma School Road in Mesa, near Fiesta Mall (Suite 250).

Three professional imaging events were held with support from partnering organizations, Wells Fargo Bank and PayPal.

Positive Paths has cumulatively provided 55 women with scholarships and mentors.

2019

Positive Paths has cumulatively provided 63 women with scholarships and mentors.

Our Holiday Food, Fun, and Fashion event was hosted in partnership with Assistance League of East Valley.

2020

Thirteen new women are selected to join the group, such that 31 women were served in this year with college scholarships and mentoring.

And the good work continues. A fall mentoring breakfast allows scholar-mentees to meet their mentors as well as the other women being served. During the course of the academic year, scholar-mentees attend individual and group mentoring meetings, as well as occasional workshops on topics of interest. The annual Night of Heroes Gala is typically held in the spring of each year, and honors the East Valley Man and Woman of the Year.  As of fall 2020, the organization had served 76 women with ongoing scholarship support and individual mentoring, while offering services to hundreds of other women.

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