FY20 Annual Report Showcases Impact of San Mar Programs

San Mar Family & Community Services released it’s FY20 Annual Report today at our quarterly organizational staff meeting. The signature report highlights the transformational work occurring across the Jack E. Barr Center for Well-Being outpatient mental health center, Treatment Foster Care and the Bester Community of Hope Initiative, along with key organizational efforts, financials and philanthropy partners. San Mar CEO Keith Fanjoy shared,”I’m so proud to share this report that highlights the amazing things happening across the organization. When we are able to take a step back and understand how much we have  accomplished in a single year with limited resources and capacity; it really is a reflection of the resilience and shared commitment of our staff and foster parents who live our unconditional care values every single day.”  Explore the full document here: SanMarFY20 Annual Report

San Mar Family & Community Services appoints new board members

Over the past several months there have been new appointments to the San Mar Family & Community Services Board of Managers. Celebrating 137 years of continuous service, San Mar operates Treatment Foster Care and the Jack E. Barr Center for Well-Being outpatient mental health services from their Boonsboro campus, as well as the Bester Community of Hope initiative through their neighborhood-based office in Hagerstown. San Mar CEO Keith Fanjoy shared,” Board members play an essential role in ensuring that our operation remains true to its mission, while also playing an important role in the community to communicate and connect others to the efforts we pursue every day that often go unseen. Committing to be a part of the board is making a difference not with words, but with selfless action. This group is an impressive collection of local citizens sharing their most valuable asset: their time.”
Helen Mency brings a wealth of experience including an extensive career supporting young people with the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, as well as being a past staff member and foster parent for San Mar. Following her own storied playing career as a Division I scholarship athlete at Providence, she was able to return home and give back by coaching local athletes for over 26 years in track & field and women’s basketball at a variety of places including South Hagerstown High School. Helen remains actively involved in Washington County with many important local causes including supporting the work of her husband at the Greater Campher Temple.

William P. Young Jr., spent close to fifty years a local real estate attorney and has spent much of the past decade collaborating with San Mar during its organizational transformation in his role of almost twenty-five years as the Executive Director of the Alice Virginia and David W. Fletcher Foundation. Raised in Hagerstown, Young received his Bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and his law degree from the University of Maryland, before joining the military to serve as a Judge Advocate General, with decorated service during the Vietnam war and other overseas assignments. Young and his wife Frances have an extensive history of serving various non-profits, particularly those in Washington County.

Charles Burnett joins the board after making a career of service to others. He began his career with a successful ten years of military service in the U.S. Army.  Following his time as a Sergeant working in locations around the world, Burnett returned to Washington County to begin a lengthy career at the Maryland Department of Juvenile services in a variety of roles supporting the youth connected with the agency and was recognized as the DJS employee of the year in 2006. He has taken on a variety of roles supporting local youth including most recently joining Smithsburg High School as their head girls’ basketball coach.

Sila Alegret-Bartel is originally from Cuba and has lived in the United States since 1966. She is founder and president of International Corporate Training and Marketing, LLC (ICTM).

Prior to founding ICTM in 2002, Sila worked in banking, marketing and non-profit organizations in the DC area. Sila worked for Security Bank, Kiplinger Washington Editors, Kiplinger Marketing Services and Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA). ICTM is a diversified company that has been providing translation and interpretation services and corporate training in the tri-state area (MD-PA-WV) since 2005. She was a founding member of the Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, served on the board of directors of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI-Frederick), United Way of Frederick County and American Red Cross-Frederick County Chapter.  Currently, Sila is the Western Region Chapter Director of the Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Horizon Goodwill Industries, Mission and Outreach Committee Chair and Board Member of Keystone Health.

To learn more about the important work occurring every day at San Mar Family & Community Services, go to www.sanmarhope.org.

North High Students Donate Laptops to Area Children

By Alexis Fitzpatrick – Herald Mail Media

On Friday afternoon, Northern Middle School sixth-grader Leila Mielke got to take home a new laptop with the hopes of developing a handy skill — coding.

The 11-year-old was one of eight recipients of computers bought and donated by Digital Civics, a club made up of North Hagerstown High School students that aims to get youths interested in coding.

Leila, who participates with Girls Inc. in Hagerstown, said she is excited to learn more about computer programming.

Her father, Jon Mielke, supports his daughter’s interest.

“The more you can learn about computers, the better,” he said.

The laptops were handed out to the fourth- through eighth-graders at the Fletcher Branch of the Washington County Free Library Fletcher in Hagerstown.

While the facility has reopened for browsing and computer use, Young Adult Librarian Ann Shilling said the Digital Civics giveaway was the first in-person event the library hosted since closing down to the public on March 13, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shilling said the students in the club are “library kids” who frequented the teen department prior to the closure.

When North High junior Rayan Shahid contacted her about helping out, she suggested choosing local children involved with Girls Inc. and Bester Community of Hope to receive the donations.

Rayan said Digital Civics was founded on the message that coding, especially in the hands of the younger generation, could help the world.

The club already created an app that helps Spanish speakers learn about American government through vocabulary lists of government terms, interactive articles and quizzes. They also launched a website, Educación a Distancia, that provides tips about virtual learning resources for Spanish-speaking families with children in Washington County Public Schools.

Currently, the group has a GoFundMe campaign called “Bring Arduinos to Jamaican Schools” to raise funds for Joining Jamaica to help provide resources for computer science education to schools in Jamaica with little WiFi access. Arduino boards are micro controllers that can be used by students to code robots and smart devices such as thermometers and motion sensors, according to the campaign.

For Friday’s giveaway, Rayan said the group of 11 to 13 members had been planning for months, including raising more than $1,500 through a GoFundMe campaign to purchase the laptops.

“We have it so every once in a while they can report back and say what they’ve been doing, like what code-related things they’re doing … but it’s their laptop to keep,” he said.

Digital Civics members and North High juniors Anish Gupta, Musa Waseem, Mohid Basha, Ryland Mata and Ali Zia were also present to hand out the computers.

Ali, who co-founded Digital Civics with Anish, said there were “no barriers to entry” with coding being largely self-directed.

“We wanted to show them they don’t need an insane amount of resources. Sometimes you only need one laptop to completely change your life or change your career path,” he said. “You can do basically anything within reasonable bounds and expand the access to knowledge. We thought that was a really beautiful thing, so we wanted to give that opportunity to kids who didn’t get to do that.”

Ali said there was a wealth of “untapped potential” in the Hagerstown community, and encouraging a work ethic in younger children could be vital.

“Sometimes people overcomplicate the mathematics of helping people. We kind of simplify that,” Ali said.

Original article available here: https://www.heraldmailmedia.com/brightside/north-high-students-donate-laptops-to-area-children/article_821be475-1edf-5bf5-a430-36f971378b2f.html