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Meet our new Board Members!

We are thrilled to welcome five exceptional new women to our team of dedicated community members charged with driving our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women forward. Since its creation in 1889, YWCA Lancaster’s board has been fully represented by female-identifying community members, and we are proud to have these women with their expansive experience, perspectives, and expertise join our ranks to help move our mission forward in 2024 and beyond!

We can’t wait to learn, grow, and build a just future with them in the coming years.

Meet our new board members!

Beth Beam, MSW
Beth is a strategic and transformational human resources leader and coach with strong business acumen and business partnering experience. She creates and delivers progressive career experiences and programs that demonstrate an unwavering commitment to igniting positive change and cultivating growth. Beth shares a unique blend of strategy alignment, a zest for transformation and an unwavering dedication to cultivating a sense of value and belonging in the workplace.
Martha A. Guaigua, CPA
Martha, a seasoned Senior Manager at Trout CPA since 2014, excels in Estate & Trust Administration, Taxation, Small Businesses, and Tax Planning & Preparation. With a Business Administration degree from Millersville University, she’s a vital part of the firm’s success. Beyond her role, Martha is a devoted Board Member at the Literacy Council of Lancaster Lebanon, showcasing her passion for education and community service, making her an invaluable asset to Trout CPA and the broader community.
Cindy Lam Guo
Cindy Lam Guo, co-owner of Silantra Asian Street Kitchen, transformed her business since 2015, expanding to three stores. Through partnerships with local nonprofits, she’s donated $35,000, 3000+ pounds of food, and 1000+ items to combat hunger, empower women, and support education. Notably, she responded to the 2020 toilet paper shortage, distributed it free, provided water for BLM rally participants, and led a fundraiser for AAPI Heritage Month. In 2023, she co-led Lancaster City’s first public Lunar New Year celebration, gaining recognition for the Lancaster AAPI Organization. Dedicated to positive change, Cindy works for a future free from racism for her children and generations to come.
Dr. Towahna D. Rhim
Dr. Rhim, Founder and CEO of TD Rhim Consulting, LLC, passionately develops authentic leaders. Backed by evidence-based research, she fosters leaders with the resilience to navigate challenges, lead by example, and own their decisions’ impact. Dr. Rhim’s approach creates psychological safety, empowering potential leaders to fully develop their skills. As a regional Director of Operations with over 33 years in healthcare, she facilitates organizational strategies, manages multi-million dollar projects, and leads facility builds. With degrees from Duquesne University, Lebanon Valley College, and a PhD from Walden University, Dr. Rhim combines her academic achievements with over five years of leadership in the US Army’s medical field.
Beth Ross
Beth Ross, former President of ECW Marketing Group in Lancaster, PA, brings extensive plastics industry experience. With roles at ICI Advanced Materials and GE Plastics, her background includes Electronics Marketing and Sales Development. Holding a B.S. in Home Economics from Hood College, Beth seamlessly combines professional expertise with community service. She has served on boards like Overlook Community Foundation, coached basketball, and volunteered for organizations like St. Joseph Health Ministries and YWCA Lancaster. Currently on the Hood College Board of Associates and Manheim Township Planning Commission, Beth demonstrates dedication to both professional and community roles.

Want to help shape our work?

We have standing committees that help guide and inform YWCA Lancaster’s work at all levels! From finance, to development, to marketing, and more, there is a committee for all interest, passion, and skill set! While our board is only available to female-identifying community members, folks of all genders are able to join committees!

Our Imperative: Your Future

Thank you for supporting YWCA Lancaster in the 2023 ExtraGive! With your support we raised more than $52,000 to support our mission. Whether it was to support our Center for Racial and Gender Equity, our Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center, our New Choices Career Development Program, our Kepler Hall Residence Program, or our YWonderful Kids childcare program, we thank you for commitment to eliminating racism and empowering women.

In a turbulent year for voting rights, reproductive justice, truth telling and victim healing, our community rallied to show support for the imperatives that moved them and we are thankful to partner with you on the things that inspire you towards our just future!

We also invited the community to join us Penn Square to share their imperative with us. We were blown away by the responses!

Thank you for helping to make the 2023 ExtraGive so successful for our mission! Did you miss the day? There’s still time to support:

Announcing the Empowering Growth Conference!

YWCA Lancaster’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center is proud to present the Empowering Growth: Childhood Trauma Care Conference on February 15, 2024, at the Downtown Lancaster Marriott! With support from Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s Community Violence Prevention/Reduction Initiative, YWCA Lancaster aims to strengthen the existing community of care in Lancaster County by presenting an opportunity for quality trauma-informed support services. The conference is designed for educators, therapists, counselors, case managers, advocates, and anyone who supports children and youth in a professional capacity.

As Lancaster County’s rape crisis center for more than three decades, YWCA Lancaster’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center will offer the Empowering Growth Conference featuring a diverse and accomplished slate of presenters for the one-day conference, as well as a keynote session from Suzanne Estrella, the Commonwealth Victim Advocate from the Pennsylvania Office of Victim Advocate. Local experts Representatives from Lancaster County’s Multidisciplinary Team who support youth during and after child abuse investigations will also participate in a panel discussion on mandated reporting.

Other topics for the Empowering Growth Conference will include:

  • The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC)
  • Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth mental health
  • Best practices for engaging youth with virtual therapy
  • Wellness for the helping professional
  • Play therapy

And more!

Up to five Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be available at the Empowering Growth Conference through Millersville University for professionals licensed through the State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors.

 

Tickets for the Empowering Youth Childhood Trauma Conference on February 15 are $50, with discounts for multiple tickets. CEU credits are an additional $25 per ticket and can be reserved at EmpoweringGrowthConference.com!

Empowering Growth:
Childhood Trauma Care Conference

February 15, 2024

8am – 5pm

Lancaster Downtown Marriott

Four ways to catch YWCA Lancaster on ExtraGive day!

YWCA Lancaster is hitting the streets for ExtraGive day on November 17! We’re inviting our community to share their imperatives to help shape our work in 2024 and beyond.

Join us at these locations throughout the day to share your ideas, build community, and give EXTRA to YWCA Lancaster’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women!

Penn Square, Lancaster City

10am – 5pm

Blue Line Lancaster (F&M Campus)

10am – 2pm

561 W Frederick St, Lancaster, PA 17603

Silantra Asian Street Kitchen

12pm – 1pm

101 E King St, Lancaster, PA 17602

Our Town Brewery

4:30-8pm

252 N Prince St, Lancaster, PA 1760

We can’t wait to see you!

The ExtraGive is happening now, be sure to give EXTRA at one of these locations or at the link below:

Coming soon: My Imperative

In 1970, YWCA’s across the country adopted the One Imperative. As the name implies, it was a simple and direct refocusing of our association and all of our sibling association’s work: “the elimination of racism wherever it exists and by any means necessary”.

More than a half century later, after leaps in racial justice, LGBTQ+ equality, and women’s rights, we find ourselves in a precarious place. The rights of women and people who can give birth are being restricted; the personhood of queer and trans community members is being attacked and legislated against; our very history is being rewritten to erase the scars of slavery and its lasting impacts to this day.

At YWCA Lancaster, we are united and strident, in not backing down to these forces, but instead redoubling our commitment to supporting you, and our community, as we have done since 1889. Our imperative remains the same.

For this year’s ExtraGive, leading up to and through November 17, we will be inviting you to share your imperative, and why it matters to you. Your imperative could be affordable housing, or quality childcare. It could be a career that you’ve always wanted, or healthcare for all. Whatever your imperative is, we want it to be part of the just future we are writing together for Lancaster County.

 

Look for more about how you can be part of the My Imperative campaign soon, and in the meantime, bookmark our ExtraGive page for fast access on November 17, and sign up to be a fundraiser to help us go the “EXTRA” mile!

Visit our ExtraGive page

 

What’s your Imperative?

In 1970, YWCA’s across the nation passed the One Imperative: a declaration that the most important priority for our associations to focus on to empower women was the elimination of racism, where ever it exists, by any means necessary. More than 50 years later, we are still pursuing that imperative, but we need your voice, your insights, and your dedication to help shape our work moving forward.

What is your imperative? What drives you and inspires you to build a just future? Your imperatives are what keeps our mission emergent, dynamic, and steadfast in the face of headwinds at all levels of our society.

We’re inviting you to share your imperative to help shape our work– it could be “affordable housing” or “supporting survivors”, “good quality jobs” or “thriving wages”. Whatever it is that drives you to build a just future, we want to support that work, as we always have, since 1889.

Check out what your community has been saying below, and submit your Imperative today! And be sure to give EXTRA to YWCA Lancaster on November 17!

Sexual Assault Hotline Meet & Greet

YWCA Lancaster’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center is Lancaster County’s Rape Crisis Center, and has been for more than three decades. As part of our services, we operate a 24-hour Sexual Assault Hotline, providing support, resources, and a listening ear to any community member who has been impacted by sexual assault, 7 days a week 365 days a year.

This hotline is powered by the community. With the help of dedicated volunteers, our Sexual Assault Hotline connects those in need with support that can help them on their journey to healing and justice. And we are always in need of more community members who can partner with us to provide that invaluable help!

Last month we were so fortunate to welcome some community members and Board members to a meet and greet about our 24 Hour Sexual Assault Hotline. It was the first of its kind, and the We gathered at Southern Market Lancaster, enjoyed a wonderful spread from A La Board & Vine, and our guests chatted with members of our Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling team.

Attendees learned about our 40 hour hotline training class and watched a video presentation that explained more in depth about training, how the hotline works, and how to get involved.

We need your help to continue to provide support to our community! Our next hotline training class starts this fall, and runs on Saturdays in October. To learn more about how to get involved, please email wehearyou@ywclancaster.org 

Be on the lookout for more meet and greet opportunities in the future. We’d love to have you join us in the movement to end sexual violence!

YWCA Lancaster Summer Recap

As the end of summer nears and a new school year begins, we reflect on what an amazing summer it was for YWCA Lancaster! Our highly successful and engaging summer enrichment activities ignited a passion for learning and exploration among its young students. These activities have not only bridged the gap from one school year to the next but also provided an avenue for students to discover new interests and cultivate their skills. Throughout the summer, YWCA Lancaster hosted our TechGYRLS Program, two Empowerment Days, and partnered with the Touchstone Foundation to host the Rise Above Youth Summit! Here are some of the highlights of our summer!

TechGYRLS

TechGYRLS is a hallmark program of YWCA Lancaster. We focus on empowering female-identifying students ages 9-14 to pursue STEM activities and careers. People of color are under-represented in high-paying jobs in the STEM fields. A lack of female-identifying folks in these fields means fewer role models, especially for young students still forming career choices. This year we offered two TechGYRLS camps, a Zoology Camp and a Tech & Robotics Camp.

Our young campers joined us for an exploration of circuits, and interior and exterior design, and they learned how robots work, and how to build animal habitats and an amusement machine! The TechGYRLS program builds not only engineering skills but also confidence and empowerment with students who share a similar interest. Our campers had an awesome time learning about each summer program and connecting with one another. With many field trips and local excursions, our campers walked away with new friends and a wealth of new tech knowledge. Our goal is to inspire our students and give them memories that will last a lifetime. We are already excited for next summer! Stay tuned this spring for info on how your young one can become a TechGYRL!

 

Empowerment Day

This summer, we were thrilled to bring back our hit Empowerment Day! Last year we had such a great time and engaged with so many awesome students that we decided to have TWO Empowerment Days this year! Our Empowerment Day camp is a free day-long experience for female-identifying children ages 9-14. The day focused on self-love and empowerment by building connections with others and exploring one’s own experiences. Throughout each Empowerment Day, students participated in morning yoga, arts and crafts, and discussions on topics such as gender roles, self-esteem, body image, and drug and alcohol prevention. They even had a local field trip each day in downtown Lancaster City!

We truly had a blast this summer with our amazing kiddos. Connecting as a group was a special experience each camp and our thought-provoking discussions and conversations shed light on important issues in the lives of children and we all had an opportunity to learn from one another. Our camper went home with many prizes, books, and a new understanding of self-worth and value. For more info on our Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center and its many programs click here!

Rise Above Youth Summit

This summer we collaborated with the Touchstone Foundation and hosted the Rise Above Youth Summit! Throughout the summer intensive, students were challenged and encouraged to understand different perspectives in relation to mental health. They also participated in creative experiences conducted by participants of our 2023 Black Artist Waystation!

Each week, our students met on Tuesdays and Thursdays at YWCA Lancaster for the summer intensive.  Each day began with a Racial Equity Institute presentation led by trainers from our Center for Racial and Gender Equity! Topics covered included implicit bias, stereotypes, mental health, and its relation to race, and much more. Students were led through the book ‘This Book is Anti-Racist’, by Tiffany Jewell. This text served as the foundation for the themes of the Racial Equity Institute presentations.

Our participants also visited local organizations throughout the city including The Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition & The Loop, the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, and the Ware Center. We also participated in workshops led by the four Black Artist Waystation participants, Keisha Finnie, Thunda Khatt, Dominic Jordan, and Kearasten Jordan. Our students learned about spoken word, creative writing, and poetry, and were guided through art and writing activities.

We were thrilled to be part of such an amazing summer experience and thank the Touchstone Foundation, the REI facilitators, and the student participants.  To learn more about the many programs hosted by the Touchstone Foundation click here!

YWCA Lancaster remains committed to providing a well-rounded education that extends beyond the classroom, and the success of these summer enrichment activities is a testament to that commitment. As students return to school, the enthusiasm for learning ignited during the summer will continue to flourish throughout the school year. This was made possible by the dedication of experienced teachers and instructors who went above and beyond to ensure that each student had a rewarding and memorable summer break! We thank them and the many families that became part of the YWCA Lancaster family this summer. We hope you have an amazing school year!

Want to join our team and help shape the next generation of changemakers in Lancaster? We have full and part-time staff and director level positions available!

View Career Opportunities

QUIZ: Test your YWCA Lancaster knowledge!

YWCA Lancaster is investing local support into emergent community needs through YForward: a reimagining of our historic Lime St. location!

This unprecedented multi-year renovation of our 100+ year space will expand our ability to pursue our mission, creating 16 new affordable housing units, curating new trauma-informed spaces for our Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center, and making our building more accessible than ever with a new full-size, ADA compliant elevator.

But making all of that exciting new space possible is…messy.

While we’re anxiously looking forward to completing the work on our lower floor (soon to be called the “Garden Level”), we thought we’d take a moment to look back on some of the unique (and perplexing) features of our reclaimed and reimagined space.

Check out the quiz below to test your YWCA Lancaster building knowledge!

YWCA Lancaster Launches New Victim Assistance Program

YWCA Lancaster is proud to announce the launch of the Legal Assistance for Victims Program in collaboration with Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County. This initiative is funded by an award from the US Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW).

The Legal Assistance for Victims Program is intended to increase the availability of civil and criminal legal assistance needed to effectively aid adult and youth victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking by providing funds for comprehensive direct legal services to victims in legal matters relating to or arising out of that abuse or violence.

This three year, half million-dollar federal grant will expand and strengthen the capacity of YWCA Lancaster’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center (SAPCC) and Community Action Partnership (CAP)’s Domestic Violence Services (DVS) of Lancaster County’s Domestic Violence (DV) Legal Center, offering civil legal services to victim survivors free of charge. To provide these services, the agencies have now hired a full-time attorney to handle civil legal matters, as well as a full-time legal advocate, both of whom began this month.

Emily Gracie will support the work of YWCA Lancaster as the agency’s Legal Advocate, and Monica Baturin will serve as the attorney supporting CAP’s DVS program.

Senator Bob Casey and Representative Lloyd Smucker provided key support for the proposed new services to highlight the need for more resources for survivors across Lancaster County.

“The launch of YWCA Lancaster’s Legal Assistance for Victims program will substantially expand the organization’s capacity to provide free legal services to Pennsylvanians who need it,” said Senator Casey. “I am proud to have delivered federal funding to help survivors of abuse overcome financial barriers to seeking the justice and accountability they deserve.”

“I am thankful the YWCA of Lancaster is the recipient of funds from the Legal Assistance for Victims grant program, enabling them to support survivors in our community. I was proud to back the YWCA’s application for funding and appreciate their efforts to expand this vital outreach to survivors. Our Lancaster community is strengthened through partnerships like this. I commend the YWCA and the other organizations that participate in this critical program to help and serve survivors in our community,” said Rep. Smucker.

“Through this cross-agency collaboration and with unwavering, bipartisan support from our partners in Senator Casey and Representative Smucker, YWCA Lancaster will be able to continue and expand its mission of eliminating racism and empowering women,” said CEO Stacie Blake, “Together, we will be supporting victim survivors in Lancaster County, advocating for justice and accountability, and building an ever-stronger movement to end sexual violence in our community.”

Join the movement:

Learn more at our Sexual Assault Hotline Meet & Greet on August 30!