You Are Special

Financial Empowerment for Widows

aka You Are Special Community Outreach   |   Orange, CA   |  www.youarespecial.org

Mission

"Times Roman";color:black">YAS is dedicated to the proposition that financial
literacy for widows is the foundation of sustainability and views entrepreneurship as a
key to empowerment.

Ruling year info

2010

Executive Director

Michelle Hensley

Main address

175 S Cambridge St.

Orange, CA 92866 USA

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Formerly known as

Christian Family Center/You Are Special

EIN

27-0323708

NTEE code info

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Senior Centers/Services (P81)

Services to Promote the Independence of Specific Populations (P80)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Did you know… that one of the fastest growing demographics are widows? That every year about 1 million women become part of this population of 12 million who already exist. And: • 70% of all married baby boomers wives will experience widowhood. • 80% of men die married, yet 80% of women die single. • The average age a wife becomes a widow is 59.4. • Did you know that the average age of those receiving public assistance is 58 and is a widow? Widows constitute a growing segment of the US population yet very little is being done to educate them about personal finance or entrepreneurship. YAS is dedicated to the proposition that financial literacy is the foundation of sustainability and views entrepreneurship as a key to empowerment. Widows are often cast in the role of victim. YAS sees them for what they are – survivors who can break the of poverty and the fears of an uncertain future through education and connection with those who are overcoming these life challenges.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Widows Financial Literacy and Micro-Grant Program

Stabilize the widow and her family if youngerEducate and Train her Our training efforts are holistic and focus on every area of a woman’s life: personal life, family life, business life, community life and spiritual life. The widows (and can be widows with children) have expressed their need for financial education in these areas and we will be committed to meeting with each woman every three weeks for training and bring in volunteer teams two times a year to enlighten them, advance and enrich their lives.  Consider a business for sustainability and skills or enhance their current skills   Connect her with like minded organizations such as Modern Women’s Club and Soaring Spirits   Lead in her community

Population(s) Served
Seniors
Women and girls

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

YAS is and has been committed to reducing poverty for others but also creating paths to self-sufficiency specifically among widows.

Work with agencies identify “widow women of potential” – individuals who have shown a commitment to improving their lives, but who need an extra boost to become truly self-sufficient.

Work on volunteer mentorships for those in financial advisor positions to work alongside these women.

Continue to build outside relationships with funders, corporations and community.

An online teachable class for finance and the issues surrounding widows, finance and business for those interested in a micro grant.

YAS will review the applications which are submitted. It evaluates the candidates, and it assesses the strengths of each proposal. It then awards grants to the individuals who demonstrate the most potential.

The average grant starts at $250– but in special cases, grants can range from $250to $1000. Maybe more depending on the situation.
This vetting process ensures that YAS selects the most worthy candidates, and the money is spent responsibly and effectively.

After the widow receives a grant, individuals maintain relationships with the partner agencies that nominated them. Through these nonprofits, they receive the mentoring, technical tools, and peer advice. This collaboration ensures that they are not merely receiving a cash infusion; they are given the support necessary to achieve their goals.

This unique structure optimizes the value of donations. YAS right now operates with a minimal amount of overhead, and it ensures that money goes toward the most worthy causes. Indeed, the numbers confirm the efficiency of the organization. For each donation, a whopping 70 percent will go directly toward grant and program services.

Michelle Hensley, the Executive Director, is an authority on widows and their financial issues. Having experienced widowhood herself, she now inspires other widows and advisors. She has several degrees and certifications that she earned while raising seven children. She also ran a successful non-profit, You Are Special, until after two years of battling cancer, her husband passed away. Michelle embraces every challenge with tenacity and determination, exploring effective leadership and helping others develop their passions. She currently frequents the local Orange Chamber, The Orange Rotary, and active in serving her local community is a finance, grief and life coach and passionate about fitness. Also started and runs a successful company, Nifty Package Co based in Orange, CA which was started in an effort to create income.

The website is up and running.

The application is created.

Salesforce is in place.

The Virtual Teachable class is complete.

The Community Class is in place and is being taught at the local community college.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Widows primarily to help them move forward confidently after loss of not just their husbands but their livelihood and economics.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Case management notes,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

You Are Special
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

You Are Special

Board of directors
as of 05/26/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Michelle Hensley

You Are Special Community Outreach

Term: 2002 - 2020

Wally Gonzales

Project Dignity

Michelle Hensley

You Are Special Community Outreach

Eydie MacInnis

Community Philanthropist

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/26/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/26/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.