After a year of planning and organization a new collaborative effort is ready to begin.
“I brought someone to the party they brought somebody and we all said let’s make this happen,” said Bonnie Escobar, Director of Strategic Development for the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence.
The Center Against Sexual and Family Violence, The El Paso Child Guidance Center, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of El Paso and The El Paso Independent School District are all coming together to administer a $750,000 grant from the Office of Violence Against Women.
“It took us about a good 6 months to write the grant it was a real challenge. Anytime you are competing federally it’s tough,” said Escobar.
El Paso is the only city in Texas to qualify for this grant. Escobar tells me she thinks the Borderland got the money was because of the unique collaboration between 4 organizations.
E.P.I.S.D Superintendent Juan Cabrera says he’s proud of this project because of the good it’s going to bring to students.
“This is a taboo subject, its hard for people to talk about but if we get this out there in front of folks hopefully it can not only prevent any major issues that can affect our children…but even if its not prevention if its with the issues after the fact being able to have a form where we can talk about it can help kids get through it and will improve their lives and their opportunities to excel in school,” said Cabrera.
Escobar says this will hopefully help those who wouldn’t usually seek out therapy.
“It takes the services that we already have and puts them on the campus level….because that is often a hindrance if you have to think about it you don’t do it and that fear kind of sets in,” said Escobar.
This grant is good for the next 3 years but based on performance could be renewed for an additional 3 years.