Too many of America’s children grow up without the skills needed to thrive in the twenty-first century. Low levels of performance among the most disadvantaged create long-term problems, particularly in an economy in which higher skill levels are more and more valued and the wages available to less-skilled workers are deteriorating. Inequality persists.
In the photo above, I am in 9th grade, posing with the neighborhood gang's graffiti. I grew up in Downtown LA in an 800-square foot apartment building. The kids in my neighborhood were routinely involved in drugs and gangs. Teen pregnancy was a huge issue. My family was on welfare. Ours was a five-kid, one-parent household. And I was a direct beneficiary of the programs where the city reinvested in at-risk youth programs.
When I was in 12th grade, I was hired to work at a courthouse, and I was paid through the Joint Training Partnership Act which aimed to keep at-risk youth off the streets. The courthouse positioned me in a job...
Through my work with injured workers, I was introduced to Neuroworx, a nonprofit, community-based, outpatient physical therapy clinic focusing on neurological rehabilitation for individuals experiencing paralysis from spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, stroke, and other neurological conditions.
I have found the disability community to be so naturally friendly because they like to have a positive influence on society. Many spend their lives in isolation, being ignored and not acknowledged at all; therefore having contact with other people in society is considered a blessing. This is why I was happy to tour and learn about Neuroworx. After the tour, we played a game of wheelchair basketball, which is usually played by people with varying physical disabilities that disqualify them from playing an able-bodied sport. It was a blast!
My life and outlook were changed after this experience. I realized I...
We've got a whole new year in front of us and with that comes new goals. I want to help you make this your best year yet and help you kick-start 2020.
I hope these quotes from my book will bring motivation, inspiration, or just food for thought!
Happy New Year!
The Return to Work Supplement Fund check for $5,000 does not have to be applied to school expenses.
The $5,000 check from the Return-To-Work Fund is a wage loss benefit, and injured workers are entitled to it because they have a job loss. Sometimes people are confused because the Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit starts the timeline. However, it is not a school-related benefit, so injured workers can use it to get back on their feet when they're behind on their bills, they can fix their car, put the money toward bills or rent, or even a down payment on a house. They can use that money for whatever they need. It is not for training.
We have found that many injured workers think or were misinformed by their legal representatives that the $5,000 is for training and therefore they don't want to apply because they don't want to go to school and the insurance companies end up saving millions of dollars because of this miscommunication.
In addition, many injured workers believe they...
The physician’s return-to-work form is a requirement and it triggers the Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit to be issued by the insurance carrier. The law says the voucher is due to the injured worker 60 days from receipt of the signed physician’s return-to-work form. However, many doctors are not complying, so the insurance companies are not issuing the voucher.
In a recent Decision by District Court of Appeals (*see below), it states that the insurance carriers are responsible for obtaining the signed return-to-work from the physicians or issue the voucher if no valid objection for eligibility. As it stands now, insurance companies are forcing injured workers and/or their representatives to get the form, therefore when doctors are not filling them out, the voucher benefits are delayed or simply never issued.
The solution here is for the insurance company to comply with the law and to obtain the form themselves or issue the voucher. Attorneys can send...
The insurance companies have discovered a new way to deny paying on the voucher training benefit. The regulations state that all vouchers must be used at training institutions that are state-accredited and on the list of approved schools (the Bureau for Private Post-Secondary Education) therefore have to abide by those rules. According to the Bureau, any student enrolling in school must prove they have the basic ability to benefit from training. So, they have to prove they have a high school diploma, a GED, or successful passing score on the Ability-To-Benefit-Test. Many injured workers do not have high school diplomas and cannot pass this test. The insurance companies are denying payment for training and saving themselves millions of dollars.
The solution is to get rid of this requirement or applicant attorneys could send the injured worker to a vocational expert to prove that if they are not able to benefit from the voucher and retrain themselves, they will be unable to return to...
“Dreams come in a size too big so that we may grow into them.” — Josie Bisse
Recently, I was part of a small group of Entrepreneur Women who volunteered in Cartagena, Colombia after the Women of Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) Summit in Bogota. We mentored and visited a school where the students were young women; most with infant children. They came from impoverished and challenging circumstances and are now attending school. The EO Women worked in the nursery to support the babies during our visit, visiting the classroom and much more.
I have been a member of EO for 4 years and in that time I have learned a lot about growing my business and being profitable. Recently, this organization along with its members have committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to make the world better and to solve most of the biggest problems by the year 2030. This commitment has changed my life as I have personally pledged...
“The first thing you need to do about gender norms is forget them.” - Amy Poehler
I recently attended an event and donated clothing and copies of my book to Gals Starting Over and Clothes the Deal, two organizations that provide support to low income, injured, ex-felons, and single moms who are returning to the workforce. I am proud to lend my continued support to these organizations as they align with my commitment to SDG #5, gender equality.
Why is gender equality important to economic development? Any development effort must consider the needs of all people, especially those who don’t typically have a voice in decision making, if it is to be sustainable and effective. That’s why gender equality is a critical ingredient in achieving sustainable development.
Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles is a hub for gender equality research. According to their report on the status of women and girls in California, we are among the most diverse in...