Sempra Foundation grants focused on improving quality of life, resilience
The Sempra Foundation knows firsthand how investing in programs that drive climate action and resilience, diversity and inclusion, and economic prosperity efforts can help build an inclusive economy — shaping a better future for all. In its latest round of grants, the Sempra Foundation proudly selected several organizations focused on championing people through their own unique missions.
“At Sempra Foundation, it is a privilege to support the efforts of organizations dedicated to lifting communities,” said Lisa Larroque Alexander, chair of the Sempra Foundation. “By working together to champion people, we can help create a better world where all people can thrive.”
Here’s a glance at some of the organizations that received grants from the Sempra Foundation this year:
A supportive education
The Monarch School is an innovative public school in San Diego that provides a holistic education to unhoused youth as the only school of its kind in the country. Nearly 300 students attend Monarch School each day and are provided with a holistic education that nurtures resilience and empowers students to influence their own growth. Aside from earning their high school diplomas, students and their families are also provided with emotional wellness resources to help them thrive beyond school.
“Unlike traditional school settings, we focus on addressing the broad range of social challenges our students and their families face with a goal of stabilizing the family condition while providing an exemplary education,” Afira DeVries, Monarch School Project President and CEO, said. “For this reason, the more than 50 campus-accessible social care interventions that span from case management to mental health supports must be subsidized through private funding cultivated by our organization from caring community investors. In short, Monarch School is only as successful as it is supported.”
A voice for children
Voices for Children is an organization that provides Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) and other resources to children in foster care. CASAs gain a holistic understanding of a child’s situation through one-on-one outings and by speaking with family members, caregivers, teachers and child welfare professionals. CASAs then provide information to judges so that they can be better informed when making a decision regarding each youth, which ultimately creates a better life for the youth. The organization’s program has been recognized as a top CASA program in the U.S.
“With the Sempra Foundation’s support, Voices for Children will supervise approximately 1,000 CASAs this year,” Jessica Muñoz, president and CEO of Voices for Children, said. “Without generous support from foundations such as the Sempra Foundation, Voices for Children cannot do the life-saving work that our CASAs do every day. The grant ensures that more children in foster care can be matched with a CASA when they need one.”
The inclusive workplace
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation seeks to fundamentally change the way LGBTQ+ people are treated in our everyday lives. The organization creates impact through 13 programs and initiatives, working with individuals and organizations to make transformational change in the lives of LGBTQ+ people.
Since 1998, HRC Foundation’s Workplace Equality Program has helped achieve advances in LGBTQ+ equality by encouraging workplaces in the U.S. and beyond. By educating corporate entities and benchmarking corporate practices, the HRC Foundation has helped motivate employers to adopt inclusive workplace benefits and protections that directly impact the lives of millions of LGBTQ+ workers and their families.
“Sempra Foundation’s support underscores the value of companies playing active roles in accelerating equality for LGBTQ+ people,” Shawnie Hawkins, director for the Workplace Equality Program at HRC Foundation, said. “For more than 20 years, we’ve been proud to work alongside major companies to advance LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace. The next decade will require continued advancements for and commitments to LGBTQ+ workers and customers.”
A world of art
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Learning & Interpretation Department (MFAH) is one of the largest of its kind, and the Art Resource Tour for Schools Program is the cornerstone of the Museum’s educational programming. Students of all ages are introduced to the exciting world of art through an interactive, participatory approach and curriculum-relevant experiences. By having the opportunity to explore art, students develop cognitive skills that are necessary for 21st-century success. The MFAH served approximately 40,000 students through school tours during the 2022–2023 academic year.
“We are so grateful to Sempra for their support of the Museum’s school tour program,” Caroline Goeser, W.T. and Louise J. Moran chair of learning and interpretation at MFAH. “From studies we’ve done over the years, we know that these experiences awaken in students a sense of discovery and creativity as soon as they enter the immersive space of the Museum, and that students remember their time here for years to come.”
A better life
Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee on Anti-Poverty (MAAC) is one of the leading providers of comprehensive social services for all San Diegans and has worked toward equity and justice for all communities throughout the region for 58 years. MAAC currently serves more than 100,000 individuals and families annually across five critical areas of need: Economic development, education, health and well-being, housing, and advocacy and leadership development. In addition, MAAC provides scholarships to underserved youth so they can take their next steps toward higher education.
“The support we receive from the Sempra Foundation is a big part of making this scholarship program a success, providing 20 scholarships directly to the youth we serve,” Arnulfo Manriquez, president and CEO of MAAC, said. “The colibrí, or hummingbird (in English), transcends borders as it makes its annual migration from Mexico into the United States and symbolizes hope, perseverance, and personal strength — the same principles that our immigrant families possess as they seek greater economic mobility in a new land.”