July 2023 Community Service
D e r r i c k C o l l i n s
M r . & M s . M e n t o r i n g
Making Differences in the Lives of At Risk Youth
Hello Director Derrick Collins! What inspired you to start Mr. and Ms. Mentoring?
As a Therapist, I wanted to fill in the voids that therapy did not allow me to provide.
Can you give us an overview of Mr. and Ms. Mentoring’s mission?
We provide mental health and case management services. Also, we provide monthly
group activities that engage the youth in a safe structured environment.
What services does the Call Me Mr. Program and the Call Me Ms. Program provides?
The programs provide 1 on 1 and group mental health therapy, and 1 on 1 case management (mentoring).
How has the lead mentors contributed to Mr. and Ms. Mentor's mission?
They have been a pinnacle of consistency and hands on for many years. We have helped several at-risk youth complete school and pursue successful careers.
How can people best support your mission and organization?
The best support is financially, but we also benefit from clothing for our urban boutique where we have nice clothes for children that can afford. We also love entrepreneurs who can provide their expertise and education to our youth. We love to expose them to new and innovative opportunities.
Are there any challenges you've had to overcome as a director?
Yes, in most cases as a smaller non-profit, my main concern is keeping the doors and lights on, and paying my staff. Things can be tight when you have to rely on one major funding source.
What kind of services do you offer at the Stress and Anxiety Center?
We provide mental health counseling to adults at the Stress and Anxiety Center. Also, we provide substance abuse and mental health evaluation to the court.
Many youths read our magazine. Can you leave them with a daily mental health tip?
Make sure to have balance in your life. Have many stress relief outlets, work out, and do things that make you happy.
What are some words of advice you can give to people who want to start their own nonprofit?
Go for the life you want. Your value can’t be seen by others until it is seen by yourself.
"Go for the life you want. Your value can’t be seen by others until it is seen by yourself".
Outside of your non-profit, what are some other hobbies that you enjoy?
I like to work out, and maintain a consistent physical activity schedule ranging from boxing, to basketball, to football.
C h i n g o n a C o m m u n i t y
Hello Rozalyn "Roz", what inspired you to start your non-profit Chingona Community?
Truly, what inspired me to start the non-profit was networking. Originally, I started the group thinking that it would be a quarterly opportunity to connect other females with other businesses, and like-minded females. Little did I know what the non-profit was going to become.
What does your name "Chingona Community" represent?
Chingona Community represents all females, no matter what race or ethnicity, who are intelligent, fearless, and can get things done. The acronym is bad ass. The Chingona Community represents all women who are united, bold, and bad ass. That is actually what the word means in slang “bad ass”.
"Chingona Community represents all females, no matter what race or ethnicity, who are intelligent, fearless, and can get things done. The acronym is bad ass. The Chingona Community represents all women who are united, bold, and bad ass. That is actually what the word means in slang 'bad ass' ".
Where is the non-profit located?
Our nonprofit is located in Southern California. Specifically, La Mirada, Los Angeles County. We represent women throughout all of California. Recently, we have grown into Northern California. We are also represented and recognized in 12 other states.
Why do you think empowering women is important to the growth of elevation of women?
I think empowering women is important as it relates to the growth and elevation of women for several reasons. Unfortunately, not only has there been a glass ceiling as it relates to careers, salaries, and just climbing the leadership ladder, as it relates to career positioning in general. There has also always been an issue as it relates to women supporting other women. This is something that I’m completely against and I promote that we help one another. If we as a female unit cannot support one another, we will never grow.
"There has also always been an issue as it relates to women supporting other women. This is something that I’m completely against and I promote that we help one another. If we as a female unit cannot support one another, we will never grow".
Can you tell us more about your book and toy drives?
As far as our book and toy drives; we hosted a book drive independently early on in which we donated books to youth out of the Mothers Club (now Families Forward) in Pasadena, CA, and most recently have joined forces with another nonprofit by the name of ABF in Santa Fe Springs, CA, that is the Abigail Barraza Foundation, in which we joined their toy drive during Covid. 2020 was the first year in which we joined forces with them and since then we have been supporting them with their annual toy drive. Not only does this allow us a chance to get back to the community but more than that work hand-in-hand with another female lead organization.
What is the Annual Family Fun Day Car Show?
The annual family fun day car show is a car show sponsored by the Chingona Community at my son’s school, St. Paul of the Cross in the City Of La Mirada. I truly set out to do the car show to do something with my Dad. My Dad has had lowriders all his life and this is something that he and I were able to do together. Not only was it fun from a knowledge transfer, culture standpoint, and networking with the Lowrider and Car community, but the car show helps the students as it relates to dollars needed for supplies, air conditioning, and hopefully sometime soon a new playground. This year's Car Show I set out to raise $20k for the school as they are struggling with funds and enrollment. This year’s car show is September 23, 2023.
What is the best way that the community can support your non-profit organization?
The best way the community can support the Chingona Community at this time is with sponsorship and funding. We truly have been operating utilizing my personal funds and personal donations, and in order for us to grow, we need access to financial means that will help us promote our new program called “The Chingona Mindset”. It is a four hour course around networking, time management along with financial literacy. In order for us to promote these programs and allow our members to take part for free we need funding.
Can you name three characteristic traits that a community activist should have?
I would say the three characteristic traits that a community activist should have include resilience, a strong ability to network and being “real.”
"I would say the three characteristic traits that a community activist should have include resilience, a strong ability to network and being 'real' ".
What are some of the professional development, workshops, and seminars the organization offers?
The professional development workshop that we are offering at this time and are piloting next month is the “Chingona Mindset”. As I mentioned above, this program offers an opportunity to help women grow as a whole unit. The three blocks of this program include what it means to be Chingona, what it takes financially to be Chingona and the importance of networking and branding.
Are there any challenges you've had to overcome as a non-profit leader?
There are several challenges that I’ve had to overcome as a nonprofit leader. First and foremost, the whole navigating and learning what it takes to get funding and grants. It’s very unfortunate that this is so difficult. For a nonprofit and its first year, this is one of the biggest challenges as the majority of the grants and funding opportunities require that you show three years worth of financial proof along with having been a nonprofit for 3 years. I understand why organizations want to make sure that you are stable, but at the same token, how can a new organization grow without someone giving them an opportunity or a chance. This has been the biggest struggle, and quite frankly one of the most frustrating ever.
Can you leave our readers with a motivational quote that can help them to tap into their inner leader?
One thing that I would add as a motivational quote would be…“Be real. There’s nothing more you can offer anyone but to be yourself. Your authentic self tells a story for others to either learn from, grow from or be inspired by….”
"One thing that I would add as a motivational quote would be…'Be real. There’s nothing more you can offer anyone but to be yourself. Your authentic self tells a story for others to either learn from, grow from or be inspired by….' ".
What are some words of advice you can give to future community leaders who want to start a non-profit?
Some words of advice to a future community leader wanting to start a nonprofit would be to network with other nonprofits. Over the course of the past 20 years, I have supported nonprofits with staff as staffing is my day job. But little did I realize now that I wish I would’ve asked them questions related to nonprofits and how they operate. Today I do this very frequently. There are three nonprofits in particular in which I use sounding boards to learn from. I ask them questions ALL the time. They are a part of my network, and more than that a part of my growth and knowledge as I navigate through this new nonprofit world.
Outside of your non-profit, what are some other hobbies that you enjoy?
My hobbies include going to the gym (every day), Dodger games, dancing, spending time with my friends and family, live music (especially Snoop Dogg, I’m a huge fan) and wine tasting in Central California.
Facebook: Chingona Community