Alley’s House Summer of Empowerment

Alley’s House Summer of Empowerment provided young mothers five weeks of fun and education with book club, field trips to Klyde Warren Park, Dallas Museum of Art, and Aldi food store plus hands-on workshops to prepare them to return to school with parenting, college/career training, and life skills to enhance their support system.

These feats would not be possible without the support of workshop facilitators from AT&T, The Be Project, Dallas Woman’s Forum, Hope Cottage, Women Infant Children (WIC), and Alley’s House alumna Ashley Lindley. Pictured below is Alisa Thomas from AT&T, who led a workshop on Office & Professional Etiquette. This was a particularly unique experience as AT&T also brought along four of their high school and college summer interns to participate in the training.

Simone, an AT&T summer intern, said “The visit to Alley’s House was a great experience. Meeting with the teen mothers gave us a new perspective on the struggles of raising a family. The girls at Alley’s House were determined to create a better life for themselves and their families. Though they were a little shy, I felt their eagerness to learn more about the etiquette of the business world. Some of the girls were even professionally dressed and ready for the work environment. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and hoped the girls learned a lot! Through this experience these young ladies will be built for success and acquire great business skills. I wish them the best within this program and their future endeavors.”

Workshops like these make an enormous impact on our young moms as they prepare to navigate the working world. As Simone said, “Alisa’s presentation gave great insight on tools needed to be successful. The slide ‘The Ideal Employee’ […]

By |July 28th, 2015|Alley's House Volunteers, Supporters, Teen Moms|Comments Off on Alley’s House Summer of Empowerment

Cooking with Chef Gail

It is Thanksgiving Day and I can’t imagine a more appropriate time to be blogging about my experience with Alley House. Hello, this is Chef Gail Blair from Food Revelation and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be involved with this organization and these precious girls over the last 3 plus years.

About 4 years ago I was looking for a charity to get behind, a place to volunteer.   While browsing through opportunities online, I ran across Alley’s House. It hit close to home and really spoke to me. We’ve been attached ever since.   It didn’t take me long to realize what my purpose was there. It was to help teach these young women the importance of nutrition and its impact on health. In a nutshell, “We are what we eat”.  We cannot escape the fact that our bodies require nutrients that come from nature to fuel and heal our natural bodies. And the performance of our bodies must be affected by the quality of the fuel.  Good nutrition is paramount to health and can be obtained even on the tightest of budgets.   Reaching as many as possible with this message is my purpose and passion. Illness is not a natural part of life – Health is.

This past year I brought in Alida Morrill, The Colorful Chef to help mentor these young women in how to cook and eat for health and well-being.   I am so grateful for her and her specialty – “Keeping It Simple”. Alida and I added more meat recipes this year and encouraged the girls to have more input in the menus we planned.   We focused a lot on shopping for inexpensive, clean, organic produce and how to make […]

By |November 27th, 2014|Life Skills, Supporters|Comments Off on Cooking with Chef Gail

Intern Nicole Rocco is eager to empower teen moms

Nicole Rocco is a senior at the University of Texas at Arlington and is studying social work.   For two semesters, through August, Nicole will be a social work intern at alley’s house.

Nicole discovered alley’s house while searching for an internship at school. She found three organizations that she was interested in interning with, but after further research she knew alley’s house was the right fit for her.

“The word ‘empowerment’ is all over the place, and I think that empowerment is what really makes a difference in a person’s life,” she said. “If you empower someone in a few situations, they learn to apply it to other areas of their life as well. Empowerment allows the girls to realize that they do not have to be dependent on anyone or anything but can instead be independent strong mothers.”

As a social work intern, Nicole has the opportunity to shadow alley’s house Executive Director Allison Whitehead during her daily casework meetings. As the semester progresses, she will gain more and more responsibility in the meetings.

“I also work one-on-one with the girls helping them set and accomplish their daily goals,” Nicole said. “If a client has a need, I can look into the community to find resources that might apply to their need or situation.”

Nicole has the opportunity to see many of the challenges that the moms face when they come to alley’s house.

“By coming to alley’s house they are really working towards a better life for themselves and for their children,” Nicole said. “They are often balancing school, work, and their children and frequently come in quite tired.”

She is impressed with the commitment and determination that the moms exhibit on a daily basis.

“Some girls come from far […]

By |February 25th, 2013|Supporters, Teen Moms, Teen Pregnancy|Comments Off on Intern Nicole Rocco is eager to empower teen moms

Artist Steve Hamilton is participating in Incrementum on 2/2

Steve Hamilton is participating in Incrementum III, alley’s house 9th Annual Art Auction. This will be his second time in the show. Last year his painting was very well received in the silent auction. Steve is flattered to have been given the opportunity to showcase a larger painting in the live auction this year.

“I have done many charity type art shows, but the alley’s house art auction is a step above the rest,” Steve said. “Everyone involved is genuinely excited about the art, meeting the artists and raising money for a great cause.”

The care the artists have for alley’s house shows in the amazing quality of the art at Incrementum.

“The level and variety of work is outstanding,” Steve said. “There is a piece for everyone’s unique taste and it helps a great organization.”

This year, his title entitled “Every End is a Start…” depicts the passing of generations and all that encompasses.

“I focus on exploring the connection/disconnection and nostalgia with love ones in my portraiture,” Steve said.

Steve is looking forward to attending Incrementum and having the chance to see everyone’s art.

He says that Incrementum, “it is one of the most professional and genuine events I have ever had the privilege to participate in…and it’s a blast!”

Incrementum III is this Saturday 2/2 from 7:00pm – 11:00pm at the Gallery at MIDTOWN in Dallas, TX (located inside Valley View mall). Get your tickets today!

By |January 31st, 2013|Alley's House Events, Alley's House Volunteers, Art benefiting Alley's House, Incrementum, Support, Supporters, Teen Moms, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Artist Steve Hamilton is participating in Incrementum on 2/2

Meet Incrementum III Artist Linda Bourgault

Artist Linda Bourgault is painting a 36” x 48” painting for alley’s house, her first time to participate in the live auction at Incrementum. However, she has been supporting alley’s house when she attended her first Incrementum as a guest in 2010.

“The mission of alley’s house is as substantial as it is essential to empower teen mothers and their children to become independent by offering them guidance and services they need to continue their education, receive job training, and learn life skills,” Linda said. “Since I believe strongly about helping others to help themselves this is a perfect fit for being able to support such a meaningful program and give something back to the community.”

Last year she painted a 24” x 24” painting for the silent auction and was happy with the outcome.

“The buyer who wanted my painting was happy to take it home, alley’s house received their portion of the sale, and I received the other half,” Linda said. “Knowing I contributed to a program I believe in. It’s one of those wonderful experiences where everyone goes home smiling.”

People can expect a combination of natural realism and abstraction that she has been developing over the past couple of years. This year Linda is

focusing on symbols from the natural world for the subject of her painting. She is excited to see people’s response of her painting.

“It includes my love of the sea and my fascination with one of the incredible creatures you can find there,” Linda said.

“This is a unique painting because the subject matter isn’t in my usual range.”

Linda believes that the combination of the live and silent auction, the 50/50 price split between alley’s house and the

artist, as well as mixing established […]

By |January 9th, 2013|Alley's House Events, Alley's House Volunteers, Incrementum, Support, Supporters|Comments Off on Meet Incrementum III Artist Linda Bourgault

Chris Evans, alley’s house Board President

We are proud to announce that Chris Evans is the new board President of alley’s house. Chris officially became the board President in October of this year, and he is excited to take on this new role. Chris is a Dallas resident and is an attorney at Shore Chan Bragalone DePumpo, LLP specializing in patent and trade secret litigation.

Although he is new to being the President, he is not new to alley’s house. Chris first became involved with alley’s house in February of 2011, when current board member Carmen Bremer introduced him to the organization. She asked him if he would be interested in joining the board.

“I’d been looking for a charitable organization to get involved with for a couple of years but had not found the right fit,” Chris said. “The alley’s house mission and size both appealed to me.”

The mission of helping young mothers really made an impression on Chris as well.

“I was a new parent so I had a great appreciation for the difficulties facing teen mothers,” Chris said. “And I liked that I would be able to make an immediate impact because of the organizations size.”

The best memory that Chris has at alley’s house so far is when the teen moms spoke at the 15th Anniversary Luncheon this past October.

“What impressed me the most about the moms was their poise and desire to become social workers to help others,” Chris said.  “It was inspiring to see that we’ve broken the cycle of poverty and created a new positive cycle of assisting others in need.  I got goosebumps.”

Chris has high hopes for the future of alley’s house.

“I want us to grow and expand our fundraising so that we can serve more […]

By |December 19th, 2012|Alley's House Volunteers, Supporters|Comments Off on Chris Evans, alley’s house Board President

Chad Willis lends teen moms a helping hand

Chad Willis is CEO of Texas Energy Holdings, Inc. and is also currently one of alley’s house’s biggest supporters. Willis became involved with alley’s house six years ago when a friend invited him to one of the charity’s annual art auctions. Willis was immediately struck by the need of the young mothers, and consequently began to not only buy up artwork at the auction, but become an active donor and partner in helping alley’s house make a difference.

Willis forged a friendship with Allison Whitehead, Executive Director of alley’s house, and started a scholarship program for teen moms. His goal was to attempt to send approximately six of them to college. One of these scholarship winners, Loida Garza, went on to be an intern at Willis’ firm. After her internship was complete, she was offered a position, along with the privilege of sending her children to childcare while she finishes college.

“For a small non-profit such as this, seeing a girl who you meet when she’s maybe fifteen years old and totally clueless with a young infant, and then seven years later seeing a twenty-two-year-old and the outcome of that, is immediate gratification for any philanthropist,” Willis said.

Willis hopes that more people will open up their hearts and give to alley’s house to make an impact in the lives of teen moms. He will continue to be a “strategic partner” in the successful development of both the charity and young mothers’ lives.

By |November 8th, 2012|Scholarships, Support, Supporters|Comments Off on Chad Willis lends teen moms a helping hand

Sonia Semone donates art to Incrementum for the second time

Sonia Semone is participating in Incrementum, Art Auction benefitting alley’s house for her second time this year. She will be contributing a 36” x 48” painting, however this year she is just contributing to Incrementum as an artist. Sonia has also been an integral part of the Artist Advisory committee that helps alley’s house prepare for the art auction.

“When Frankie Garcia asked me to be on the committee, I could not say no,” Sonia said. “I really appreciate the model they use for working with artists to raise money for charity. It should be the gold standard.”

Sonia has enjoyed her experience working with alley’s house.

“I think alley’s house is a wonderful organization and I know the team works around the clock to help young mothers become integral, working members of society,” said Sonia.

She is thrilled to see so many people from the artist community reaching out to alley’s house this year.

“Artists have a really giving nature and I am so happy to see so many of them stepping up to help.”

Sonia is an advocate of alley’s house and believes that everyone should come to the art auction this year. This is what she projects for the art auction.

“It is going to be an amazing good time. The artwork, everyone needs new original art, and last but definitely not least, the cause,” Sonia said. “Helping young mothers. I think alley’s house provides an invaluable service to girls that could easily be forgotten about.”

Although Sonia isn’t quite sure what she will be creating for Incrementum this year, she is thinking that it will involve a lot of color.

Sonia describes her artistic style as, “abstract, color oriented, sometimes minimal, and sometimes linear.”

Sonia is also the founder of […]

By |November 7th, 2012|Alley's House Events, Art benefiting Alley's House, Incrementum, Support, Supporters|Comments Off on Sonia Semone donates art to Incrementum for the second time

Bishop Dunne Students Help Make Luncheon a Success

Last Thursday, over 32 Bishop Dunne students volunteered with alley’s house to help make the 15th Anniversary Luncheon a success. The students performed a wide array of duties ranging from directing traffic, serving food, and helping clean up after the event.

Bishop Dunne first got involved with alley’s house last spring when Executive Director Allison Whitehead came to visit the Bishop Dunne campus. Allison met with Mark Clifford and Judy Porter.

“Mark Clifford, our Student Council Moderator, and I liked what we learned about alley’s house and later we asked the Student Council if they wanted to help and it was unanimous – YES!” said Judy Porter.

Will Smolka, the Senior Class President at Bishop Dunne high school, was thrilled to be working with alley’s house for the first time ever.

“This is our first event – we are very excited about it!” Will said.

The students were eager to get involved with alley’s house.

“Everyone wants to help!” Will said. “We love to get involved in the community and this gives us an opportunity to help other teens in our area.”

Most of the student council members signed up to volunteer for the luncheon.

“We have 32 signed up, which is almost 75% of our council,” Will said. “Some students felt they had to stay at school to attend classes they couldn’t miss, but they want to help in the future.”

Bishop Dunne students volunteer frequently in various capacities throughout the Dallas community. This year the students are working with Kip Petroff at the Empowerment Center on Zang, raised money for Soul Church on Zang, and the Falconettes drill team raised money for Breast Cancer Awareness. Last year the students came together and gave Christmas gifts to 60 underprivileged children and […]

By |October 18th, 2012|Alley's House Events, Alley's House Volunteers, Support, Supporters, Teen Moms|Comments Off on Bishop Dunne Students Help Make Luncheon a Success

Frankie Garcia III helps grow art auction

Frankie Garcia III, the Creative Director of the Gallery at MIDTOWN, also serves on the alley’s house special events committee for the annual art auction. Frankie first became involved with alley’s house in 2010 at an art exhibition entitled “I AM WOMAN” at RISING Gallery that benefited alley’s house.

“I was introduced to Allison Whitehead during the preparations for that show and we began discussing ideas for an official annual art fundraiser for alley’s house,” Frankie said. “The night of the exhibition, Allison asked if I would be interested in assisting with a concept that stood apart in the Dallas art auction world that would benefit not only alleys house but also the artists who participated.”

That conversation resulted in forming Incrementum, the annual art auction benefiting alley’s house. Frankie began getting to know alley’s house and the mission behind the organization.

“I took a tour of alley’s house and Allison shared with me the mission of alley’s house as well as the day-to-day activities at the center,” Frankie said. “I was enthused and motivated to drive our concept forward and we have been ever since. This is now my third year as art advisor for Incrementum.”

“Our art auction has grown in sophistication every year, and our submitted art works are gaining more and more interest from a collector’s perspective,” Frankie said. “We are fortunate to have such a committed art community who continually give back through their art and annually commit to Incrementum.”

The enthusiasm that the art community has for alley’s house and the art auction is what makes the event such a success each year.

“Our goal was to secure 100 art works for this year’s auction and we’ve exceeded that, 4 months in advance,” Frankie […]

By |September 24th, 2012|Alley's House Events, Alley's House Volunteers, Art benefiting Alley's House, Supporters|Comments Off on Frankie Garcia III helps grow art auction