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Mary Aikenhead alive in our Sisters

0715carmel-somersA certification of recognition was presented to Sr. Carmel Somers by the Kiwanis Club of San Fernando for community involvement and outstanding service to improve the lives of children and families.   This recognized the work Carmel has done at Valley Family Center where she was Administrator from 1994 - 2005 and Executive Director from 2005 - 2013.  

Since 2013 she is involved in directing the Learning Center's after-school tutorial program, which she started in 1996, providing services to students who are failing in school and likely to drop out.

Prior to this Carmel worked with the Industrial Areas Foundation and founded VOICE - Valley Organized in Community Efforts.  In her eight years working with VOICE she developed leadership across ecumenical lines in order to address common Social Justice Issues.  She had the distinct privilege of speaking in many of these Churches and Synagogues.   As a result, a Jewish leader, Jay Goldberg is presently the Board Chairperson at Valley Family Center and one of the most generous supporters of its work.   He has brought many Jewish supporters to the Center. Valley Family Center is an independent non-profit/non-sectarian organization, which provides professional counseling and educational services to people of very limited means.  The Center has become well known for its work with Victims of Domestic Abuse as well as being one of the few organizations, which provide services in Anger Management to Perpetrators.  Presently approximately 90% of VFC clients are Latino with 49% mono-lingual Spanish speaking.

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