The City of Long Beach and the Women’s Suffrage 100 celebrated Women’s History Month at Long Beach City Hall on Tuesday, March 10th. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women’s constitutional right to vote.
In honor of Women’s History Month, each of the 9 council districts selected one woman to be recognized by the Mayor and City Council as a Woman of the Year. Gretchen Swanson, Rose Park Resident since 1996 & Neighborhood Association President was one of nine awardees recognized for her commitment and service to Long Beach.
For those of you who know Gretchen, the remarks made by Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce of District 2 will certainly resonate with you. For those of you who do not, may her neighborhood work inspire and move you into action. Below is an excerpt of Councilwoman Pearce’s recognition speech of Gretchen Swanson as Woman of the Year in the 2nd District.
“While Gretchen is known as Rose Park Neighborhood Association President, she is not your average neighborhood association president. Indeed, Gretchen is the “rose” in the Rose Park Neighborhood. She is a leader who takes pride, not just in her neighborhood but in Long Beach as a whole. Time and time again Gretchen has proven she has a vested interest in bringing together all residents to make their voices heard. Her home has provided a creative space that has been the staging area for many events she has helped to spearhead. She does all of this unpaid with a smile on her face, warmth in her heart, and a wonderful sense of humor to brighten everyone’s day…”
For the past 20 years, Power4Youth faithfully served the Long Beach community through the program’s one-on-one mentoring with meeting sites across the community. Power4 Youth served over 500 mentor and mentee pairs, and fostered growth in students’ grades, interpersonal skills, and overall confidence. In December 2019, Power4Youth made the decision to end its programming and operations. Rose Park Neighborhood wants to thank Power4Youth for its long-time partnership and share a success story from Rose Park Resident and Power4Youth mentor, Sylvia Salcedo.
“Daniela and I met through Power4Youth in September 2016. I was assigned as her mentor and she my mentee. Since then, we have built a one-on-one relationship of support, trust, guidance and setting good intentions. I believe it’s important for teens to have an adult, other than parents, to support them. My goal has always been to help Daniela grow intellectually and interpersonally. Mentoring has been the catalyst to the self-confidence and esteem she has developed, and has contributed to her positive academic performance. As a result, she’s very much interested in attending college to pursue a career as a nurse or physical therapist. Helping her realize her potential has been fulfilling for me. I’m giving back to my community and have learned a lot about myself along the way. I’m very thankful for Daniela’s trust and look forward to what I hope will be a lifelong friendship. Power4Youth was such a great and much needed program. We were shocked and saddened to hear that it ended. We did not hesitate on making the decision to continue our mentor/mentee relationship.” – Sylvia Salcedo
Upon their closing, Power4Youth worked with local Mentoring Partners to transition students to other programs, so that the relationships that Power4Youth built continued to be fostered.
The historic Rose Park neighborhood is located in the City of Long Beach, California