The Small Street Journal
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New Grant Opportunities for Nonprofits Become Available
The Eau Claire Community Foundation will launch its annual Community Grant Cycle for local nonprofits on November 1, with applications being accepted through January 20, 2022. In addition to this long-established grant opportunity, Royal Credit Union has collaborated with ECCF to create a new grant cycle to support professional development opportunities for nonprofits. Any nonprofit serving the Eau Claire area is eligible to apply to both grant cycles.
More information about these funding opportunities is available on the "Grant Opportunities" page under the "Lasting Impact" tab of the ECCF website (www.eccfwi.org).
Nonprofits are invited to attend ECCF's free grant training sessions on November 11, 2021; December 7, 2021; or January 5, 2022. More information is available under the "Events" tab of the ECCF website's home page.
Please contact the ECCF Program Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (715) 552-3801 if you have questions about the ECCF grant cycle.
UW-Eau Claire Celebrating First-Generation College Students on November 8
The decision to attend college is a reason to celebrate, especially for students who are the first in their families to seek a university degree.
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is joining other universities around the country to recognize those students on Monday, November 8, during National First-Generation College Celebration Day. The day commemorates the Higher Education act of 1965, which included initiatives for low-income and first-generation college students.
A first-generation college student comes from a family where a student's parents did not receive a four-year degree.
"Students who go first enter new and uncharted waters, and there is a courage that this requires," says Quincy Chapman, UW-Eau Claire's director of Housing and Residence Life, and an organizer of the celebration. "We celebrate the risk-taking and the commitment to a new and expansive future that our first-generation students have made."
At UW-Eau Claire, 25% of incoming freshman are the first in their families to attend college, and 28% of all Blugolds on campus are first-generation students.
UW-Eau Claire’s faculty and staff work hard to highlight resources, provide support and make personal connections with first-generation Blugolds, Felz says.
“We need to continue excelling at that — specifically letting our first-generation students know that college will be challenging, there will be times that they fail and it is perfectly acceptable to seek help when needed,” Felz says. “I didn’t have that until later in my college career, and it would have made all the difference in the world as I dealt with my first year of stress and uncertainty.”
UW-Eau Claire will host multiple on-campus activities on November 8 to celebrate first-generation students, including the following events:
HSHS Hospitals Announce Minimum Wage Increase to $15 Per Hour
Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) is increasing the minimum wage for it colleagues to $15 an hour, effective Oct. 31. This change will provide a rate increase to approximately 3,000 HSHS colleagues across Wisconsin and Illinois and is a multi-million-dollar annual investment. About half of those positions are at the current HSHS minimum wage rate. The other half of these colleagues are already earning above $15/hour.
HSHS is headquartered in Springfield, Illinois and is comprised of nine hospitals in Illinois and six hospitals in Wisconsin, including HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire and HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital in Chippewa Falls. The HSHS system also includes HSHS Medical Group in Illinois and 183 clinics in Illinois operated by Prairie Heart Institute. In total, HSHS employs approximately 13,000 individuals across two states - 8,600 in Illinois and 4,400 in Wisconsin.
For several years, the HSHS minimum wage rates in Illinois and Wisconsin have remained higher than the respective states' minimum wage. The state minimum wage in Wisconsin is currently $7.25/hour and in Illinois the state minimum wage is currently $11/hour.
"We feel it's important to raise the HSHS minimum wage rate even a step higher right now so we can better retain and attract the most engaged, committed and talented people to fulfill our healing mission," said HSHS President and CEO, Damond Boatwright. This HSHS minimum wage increase will apply to multiple entry level positions.
"We truly hope this increase helps reinforce how much we respect and care about the important work these colleagues are doing around the clock," said Boatwright. "Some of these colleagues are the ones helping to keep patient rooms clean. Some help to nourish our patients and their loved ones by preparing and serving food within our ministries. They help get our patients registered and checked-in when they arrive for care. And others help with important clinical work that allows our organization to provide the great care we do. We need additional caring people in these roles at HSHS."
Jobs in entry level roles have become increasingly competitive in the U.S. over the last year. This rate increase will continue to position HSHS as highly competitive in the labor market. To search for open positions at HSHS, please visit: https://careers.hshs.orgcareers.hshs.org/
New Grad Creates Documentary telling Stories of African Students at UW-Eau Claire
This fall, a documentary that shares the experiences of three African students living in the Chippewa Valley while studying at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will premiere during a special screening at an Eau Claire theater.
Kehinde Olu Famule, who graduated from UW-Eau Claire in May, filmed "Ndani Eau-Claire" while he was still a student. He has spent the months since his graduation editing the documentary, which he describes as a "story that needs to be told."
The film will premiere at 2:30 p.m. November 6 at the Micon Budget Cinema in downtown Eau Claire. Tickets will be available on the Micon Cinema website beginning October 23.
"As a Nigerian American, I see opportunities to tell stories that show the nuances, beauty and complexity of Black stories every day," says Famule, who graduated from UW-Eau Claire with a major in biology and minor in art. "I saw that a story about our small African community in Eau Claire had never been told before."
"Ndani Eau-Claire" - which means "Inside Eau-Claire" in Swahili - centers around three Blugolds, shining a light on the lives of a small group of African students who live in the Chippewa Valley.
"Through the documentary, we follow these three students through the ups and downs of their semester," Famule says. "The story includes themes of activism, Black experience, the impact of COVID-19, personal growth, police brutality and community."
The Blugolds featured include Paul Agbashi, a biology and pre-professional medicine major with a pre-professional health science minor who moved to the U.S. a year ago from Nigeria; Iman Dikko, an international student from Nigeria who graduated in May with a management, operational and supply chain comprehensive major; and Christabel Araba (Bella) Sackey, a Ghanian American from Middleton who has a major in public health and a minor in psychology.
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