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  • Strawberry Fields

The Robert M. Stern Fund's Lasting Legacy



In 2009, Strawberry Fields launched the Robert M. Stern Fund in honor of Robert M. Stern, a founding father of the organization. Stern was a dedicated volunteer and member of the Board of Directors from 1972 to 1997. His leadership helped Strawberry Fields grow from inclusive camps on a small farm in Yarnell to providing 17 residential and community-based programs to over 600 children, families, and individuals. 

 



The Fund's primary mission is to provide Strawberry Fields' staff with grants for professional development, ensuring that the team remains at the forefront of best practices to deliver exceptional services. With over $25,000 in educational grants disbursed to 75 employees, the Fund has significantly impacted staff skill enhancement and service quality: 

 

  • "As a new Compliance Officer, attending The Basic Compliance Academy was informative. It allowed me to network, answered many of my questions, and provided valuable resources to utilize on behalf of Strawberry Fields and our quality and compliance efforts," shares fund beneficiary Tom Sutherland, M.Ed., CRC, director, quality and compliance.  

  • "Two of us from Good Day Café were able to attend Coffeefest. It was an amazing opportunity to take barista and leadership classes with experts in the coffee industry, network with other coffee entrepreneurs, and sample up-and-coming coffee and food products, helping us remain up-to-date on the coffee shop experience," shares Katie Feliz, social enterprise operations manager.  

 

These experiences and training made possible by the Stern Fund bolster individual professional growth and enrich the organization's capabilities in serving children, families, and individuals with disabilities.  

 

This year, Strawberry Fields awarded $1,700 in grants to help our team get better at their jobs. This money will help some of our staff attend a medical advocacy conference, and three of our Early Interventionists will get special training on how to help babies born early or with medical problems, and treat infants and toddlers with a neck condition called torticollis. These trainings will aid our efforts to provide our community the highest quality care and services. 

 

This strategic approach to professional development, fueled by the Stern Fund, not only honors the legacy of Robert M. Stern but also propels Strawberry Fields into the future with a well-prepared workforce. The Fund stands as a testament to Stern's vision and dedication, ensuring that the organization remains a beacon of excellence and innovation. 

 

The Robert M. Stern Fund continues to flourish, thanks to the generosity of individuals dedicated to enhancing the Fund's impact. For further details on how you can contribute to the growth of the Stern Fund, please visit www.sfionline.org.

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