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OCCF Blog

OCCF Blog

Orange County’s issues are connected—and so are you. We invite you to get in touch with critical information, promising approaches and a growing community of partners who share your passion for our county. Already, we are making strides toward the dream we share for Orange County.

Program provides scientific roots

Hands-on instruction the key to unlocking students’ individual and national success. There is no disputing it. The United States has fallen dramatically behind other industrialized nations in the fastest-growing global industries, and we must act now if we are to regain our competitive edge. The highest-paying and highest number of jobs will be in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)—the very fields where U.S. students lag most significantly. The U.S. Department of ...
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A father’s dream builds hope for young adults with special needs

The Larsons have raised their son to adulthood. Now, at Glennwood House, he can find refuge.  More than 30 years ago, when Randy Larson, president and co-founder of the Glennwood Housing Foundation, learned that his son, Trevor, would have Down syndrome, he was overwhelmed. He thought his dreams of Trevor having a childhood similar to his own—surfing and playing other sports—would never happen. He had no idea how to prepare for what was to come.  ...
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After the homecoming, struggle continues

We should help veterans with the battles they have to fight at home. What is more moving than the scenes of servicemen and servicewomen returning from war? A young wife launches into her husband’s arms. Children cling to a long-absent parent. It’s uplifting and unambiguously joyous. And we all want to believe that, for the veteran, it’s the end of their sacrifice and the beginning of a happily ever after. If only it were that ...
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An ‘aging tsunami’ on the horizon

Issues arise as population of older adults expands at a rapid rate. The baby boom generation has defined life in the U.S. since just past World War II. If we are not part of it ourselves, we’ve likely come directly before or after. And since the boomers began to arrive, they have dominated in numbers that far surpass any other generation. The first wave of boomers now reaching age 65 represents the trickle before the ...
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Charting a course toward change

Jack Shaw chose ‘one square mile’ to try out his vision for helping families living in poverty. Avid sailor Jack Shaw knows the value of marshaling key elements— nature, skill, effort and teamwork—to navigate turbulent waters. And in life, as with sailing, the more prepared you are, the more likely it is that you will prevail. This spirit, combined with his more than 50 years in management consulting, prepared Shaw for his self-described “second career”—saving ...
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Shelter from the Storm

The ConnectOC Blog is a place for sharing insight, information and examples of how Orange County residents, donors and nonprofits are working to build a brighter, stronger, more vibrant community. We welcome you to share your thoughts by commenting below. When Kelly Thomas, a severely mentally ill homeless man, lay dying in the street after an encounter with police, it was a wake-up call that we need to set aside some of our fears, let ...
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Strong start essential for lifelong health

As a first-time father said, “There is a reason babies take nine months to arrive; you need that long to prepare.” Expectant moms are supposed to have nine months to nourish the growing life inside them. However; this ideal is not the reality for much of the world, where premature birth rates continue to rise. According to the World Health Organization’s May 2012 report, “Born Too Soon: the Global Action Report on Preterm Birth,” the ...
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Grim statistics for childhood obesity in O.C.

We’ve heard the statistics, perhaps to the point where we can’t process the information anymore. Childhood obesity is a soaring health challenge across the nation, and right here in Orange County. Children who are overweight or obese don’t just face physical and psychological hurdles today-- they are signing on for a lifetime of serious health issues. "I don't think the general public knows the deep needs of Orange County, particularly in health care,” says Mike ...
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Playing for health

Just as Susan Schober was about to complete her advanced degree in chemical engineering at USC, she was presented with two life-changing events at once: the offer of a prestigious graduate fellowship, and the discovery that she was pregnant with her first child. Determined not to let her education and career be derailed by her new responsibilities as a single mother, Schober’s family, including her mother Mary, committed to helping out so Schober could finish ...
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Can Nonprofits Meet the Challenge of Social Change?

There is a movement afoot that supports “collective impact” by nonprofits. That is, for agencies serving similar (or the same) target populations, they should consider collaborative planning and actions with government, funders, foundations, to better maximize resources. With trends that predict less government funding and an exponential need for services, proponents of this movement tend to minimize the effectiveness of individual organizations tackling a major social problem. An excellent example of this approach is the ...
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