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Laura and Aldous Huxley pic

"An intellectual is a person who’s

found one thing that’s more

interesting than sex."

~ Aldous Huxley



 

PUBLISHED: DECEMBER 2013

 
 

Children: Our Ultimate Investment

4th Quarter Newsletter


Latest News


Huxley book Release!

Let's Die Healthy, by Laura Huxley, has recently been published for the first time and is available for purchase only on Lulu and the COUI website! All proceeds will help support COUI!


Welcome to our Board of Directors, Leah Manning!

Ms. Manning is passionate about children’s rights and protection issues on a personal and professional level. From volunteering with the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking in Los Angeles, to serving as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Madagascar implementing community development programs and teaching English to middle and high-school aged students, she has always been interested in supporting the needs of children. She currently works as a Program Associate for the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation supporting innovative work that improves outcomes for young children affected by HIV and AIDS in Africa. The programs the foundation supports are designed to take a targeted approach to ensuring that young children in high HIV/AIDS prevalence settings in east and southern Africa reach their cognitive, social and physical development milestones. Leah is deeply heartened by the work that the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation supports, the synergies they have been able to create, the partnerships they have forged, and ultimately that children are being better served as a result of their work. She is personally committed to this cause and to the broader cause of supporting children and youth. Thank you for joining our team, Leah!


COUI Fundraiser on December 14, 2013:

We are holding a private fundraiser in Los Angeles on December 14, 2013 in honor of Laura Huxley’s birthday, her life and her legacy. If you are interested in attending, or know of anyone you would like us to invite, please contact Karen Pfeiffer at karenp@children-ourinvestment.org or (818) 481-4737 by 12/05/13 for details. Please send a donation by December 10, 2013 if you are not attending, but would still like to participate in our 2013 Donor Raffle.


Executive Director's Note:
Karen Pfeiffer, Executive Director

Welcome, and Happy Holidays!

We are in the final stages of our Teens and Toddlers curriculum approval by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and are looking to implement our improved program come Spring semester at Phoenix High School in Venice, CA. This approval, which should be finalized in the next few months, is giving us the opportunity to integrate our program into ANY school offering the LAUSD Health “graduation requirement! The possibility of expansion is opening up vastly!

In addition, as you know, we have been forging a partnership with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) as a referral program. As a result, we have met a few people in the San Fernando Valley with whom we are discussing implementation of the Teens and Toddlers program at non-school locations.

This is an exciting and important time for us in terms of expansion, however our growth is only possible with your help! At our current level of funding, we can only sustain one program for the next 2 – 3 years. To grow beyond this depends exclusively on the new support that we are able to develop in this coming year. With the help of our Development Director, we have kept up a robust year round grant application process, and despite our “new kid on the block” status, we are receiving encouraging responses and hope to be sharing some great news with you shortly.

With your help and the help of foundations who support our cause, we hope to be able to implement four programs in two different locations this coming year, serving approximately 50 teens and 50 toddlers in the greater Los Angeles area. Your continued support will change lives!

There is still time to support COUI with your year-end donation and get a well-deserved tax deduction. Please find links to donate on the lower right of this newsletter, or send checks and money orders via snail mail: 13300 Victory Blvd. #357, Van Nuys, CA 91401.

In closing, I would like to thank each and every one of our 2013 supporters for your unwavering faith in Mrs. Huxley’s vision, and your passion for giving our youth the best possible chance at success in life.

Here’s to a new year ahead!,

Sincerely,

Karen Pfeiffer, Exuctive Director


Piero Ferrucci Leaves the Board

Welcome our newest Honorary Advisor

Piero Ferrucci Pic

Thank you to Piero Ferrucci, Co-Founder of COUI, for your valuable service as a key member of our board of directors for 36 years. We welcome you to your new position as Honorary Advisor to COUI’s Board of Directors, joining Chungliang Al Huang, Ram Dass, Margaret Martin and Butch Schuman!

Piero is a psychotherapist and philosopher, who graduated from the University of Torino in 1970, and was trained by Robert Assagioli in psychosynthesis. As a psychotherapist for the last thirty-five years, he teaches in several countries. Piero is the nephew of Laura and Aldous Huxley, and having written several books, he collaborated with Mrs. Huxley on a few of her books as well. He lives in Florence with his wife, and their two sons, both of whom were very precious to Laura, and are now grown.

Piero’s background in Psychosynthesis, as well as his expertise and authorship in human potential helped form the basis for Laura’s original vision and the development of Teens & Toddlers. When the program was updated in 1997, his insights helped guide the creation of T&T’s curriculum, which Laura and Elizabeth wrote together.


More News...




Teens Speak


Teens and Toddlers: The Key To A Better Life
By Jose Uribe, T&T Graduate
Jose Pic
Every morning I woke up thinking to myself, "Is it Friday yet?" An average 16 year old with a bright future ahead of myself. What was it that had me so inspired, you might ask yourself? Teens and Toddlers it was; an amazing program that changed the way I saw the world; a program that allowed me to get the individual attention I needed from the teachers and staff leading the way.

One day I walked into school thinking to myself, "I can’t wait to get out of here," until charming Ms. Mitchell approached me and asked if I was interested in joining a program that would help me lighten up my vision in life. At first, the thoughts running through my head were negative, thinking to myself that it was just another creative way of teaching a boring subject. That was before meeting two of the most inspirational, charming and up lifting woman I have ever come across, CJ & Karen. Not only were they my teachers, but overall they became my friends. They were there to give me the individual attention, advice, and help I needed!

My first day attending Teens & Toddlers blew my mind. It was much more than I ever expected; the atmosphere in the room, all the positive vibes, and amazing leaders teaching us about life. In that room there were people I didn’t get along with, but this program showed us how to come together. Not only did it teach us, it brought people closer, opened up our mind and made us realize the real value of life. Just the first day itself, it surpassed my expectations and made me look forward to attending school. I’ve never been so pumped about learning before.

If you ask me how this program impacted the way I see the world, well really then I would have to sit and take a couple of hours of your life, but I will break it down to the most memorable ways. One major factor that it taught me about life was that at the age of 16 we are to young to even know what we really want. We don't really give thoughts to the decisions we make therefore having kids at that early age would be a roadblock to our careers in the future. It opened up my eyes and taught me that having kids is more then just supporting them financially; they need love and affection, and a lot of attention. Having a full time job and being a full time student would leave me no time for a kid. Ever since Teens and Toddlers I pay much more attention to my decisions, and I make sure to go into detail and know how they can affect me in the long run.

Teens and Toddlers also taught me that when you think there is no one there for you, the most unexpected people will sit and give you the attention you need. C-J and Karen didn't only talk to me about school, and about what the program is about, they really care and will go above and beyond to make sure everything is okay. There were days that I was stressing and was close to loosing it, but thanks to them I was always able to stay on track and push forward. They were a major factor when it came to my graduation because they played a big roll in my final years in high school. They took the time to listen to any questions, doubts or even thoughts that were running through my head. Even after graduation I stay in touch with them for the simple fact that they build great relationships with their scholars.

Up to this point in my life Teens and Toddlers would have to be one of the most effective and efficient moments in my life, where i was giving it my 120%. I really believe that this program should keep going for many years to come. I am only one of the many students that this program has helped, and every single one of us has been helped in different ways, this isn't your average History or Math class where you only learn one subject. These are lessons you are learning and applying to your life along the way. Besides, a little bit of help and advice never killed anybody right?



T&T Success Stories


Yadira
By Elizabeth Crawford, COUI President
Elizabeth Crawford Pic

When Laura Huxley and I first began to plan the roll-out of our Teens & Toddlers program at the school in Lincoln Heights (downtown LA) with its principal, Claudia Baker, she immediately thought of a few students who would benefit – and some who downright needed it.

One such was Yadira, 17 years old and a mother already. She had a beautiful 3-year-old daughter, but also, unfortunately, a hair-trigger temper and little regard for her safety.

An ongoing concern was Yadira’s neglect to provide a car seat for her daughter; a common sight at the school was Yadira tearing up in her small car, her little girl wobbling precariously, standing up in the back seat.

Within a few weeks, however, the changes in Yadira became apparent.

"I don’t regret having my daughter," she told us, "but if I had known about this program before, I may have thought about it more; it was like growing up, from one day to the next."

Yadira’s treatment, nourishment and care for her daughter improved drastically, and safety became her top concern.

Yadira also told us how much her relationship with her own mother had deepened, as a result of the lessons she learned in Teens & Toddlers. She understands now, she tells us, the sacrifices her mother made in raising her:

"Now I understand how difficult it is to raise a child, properly."

Here’s to Yadira, and to our other 400+ graduates, and to the many more we hope to reach – with your critical support – in the coming year.

Best wishes, and thank you for everything you do for us –

Elizabeth Crawford




A Special Thanks to Our Golden Circle of Friends!


Carolyn Kleefeld, COUI Board Member

Carolyn Kleefeld Pic

As a dear friend of Laura’s and an avid supporter of Children: Our Ultimate Investment, we would like to thank Carolyn for her dedication.

Born in England, poet, prose-writer, and visual artist Carolyn Mary Kleefeld grew up in Southern California and studied art and psychology at UCLA. The author of eleven books, she currently resides, studies, writes, and paints in Big Sur, California. Her writing has been translated into Romanian, Korean, Arabic, Bulgarian, and Braille and her books have been used as inspirational texts in universities and healing centers internationally. Carolyn’s art appears worldwide in galleries, museums, and private collections.

From Autumn 2014 into 2015 her painting, "The Evocation of Dylan Thomas" will be displayed at the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea, Wales, and then will return to its permanent location at the Dylan Thomas Theater in Swansea.

Carolyn's exhibit of paintings and poems, "The Divine Kiss," in honor of David Campagna, is closing its 2-month run at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum in Santa Barbara November 30th, but will be exhibited at the Shreveport, Louisiana Karpeles Museum from May 18--June 25. An exhibit catalogue will be published in January of 2014.

In addition, we are pleased to announce that Carolyn's books, The Alchemy of Possibility, Soul Seeds and Psyche of Mirrors are now available on our COUI bookstore.

To find out more about these books and Carolyn’s other work, please visit her website or her Facebook page.


Jackie Bridgeman, COUI Supporter

Jackie Bridgeman Pic

Jacqueline Hazard Bridgeman is a reporter who authored the book "The Lonely Sky" based on interviews she conducted with her husband, Bill Bridgeman. She and Bill met when a newspaper sent her to interview him as an early American test pilot for space exploration. She is also the editor of "The Divine Within," a book of Aldous Huxley essays published by HarperCollins. In 1990, Jackie co-founded the Malibu Stage Company, and until recently was president of the non-profit company. In 2002, she graciously offered her Malibu home to COUI for a fundraiser.

We would like to thank Jackie for her support and generosity, and recommend that you find and buy "The Divine Within" through our COUI bookstore, and "The Lonely Sky" directly from Amazon.



 

Teens Speak

Highlights:


"Not only did it teach us, it brought people closer, opened up our mind and made us realize the real value of life."


"Just the first day itself, it surpassed my expectations and made me look forward to attending school. I’ve never been so pumped about learning before."


"Ever since Teens and Toddlers I pay much more attention to my decisions, and I make sure to go into detail and know how they can affect me in the long run."

Read more on the left...





President's Corner

Elizabeth Crawford Pic

"I want to study and become an FBI agent. I like kids, but they also demand attention, they depend on you for everything. Right now I don’t feel ready for that; I’m too young, I have my life to build. Look at these kids, they don’t listen, they won’t do what I ask…"

- Carol, 17


Dear Supporters:

I was just writing up my notes to update you all on our progress this last quarter when I read back over what I had written – and I was underwhelmed. I was reminded of what one of our recent Board Member candidates told us: rather than a dry, academic recital of our updates, we needed to get out the message about what our Teens & Toddlers means to at-risk teens and young adults in Los Angeles. So, I started all over.

Simply put – Teens & Toddlers provides life-changing chances to build loving, respectful and responsible relationships with children – with the key people in their lives – and with the world around them. Every single teen takes away a new vision of themselves and of their own potential.

COUI has identified many interested partners eager to incorporate Teens & Toddlers into their services, and now we need your help to build our growth for the next year.

Please read on, and our Executive Director Karen Pfeiffer will tell you about the very real strides we’ve made in the past few months. You’ll also hear from one of our students with their insights and thoughts about the Teens and Toddlers program.

And, please – join Karen, myself, our Board Members, and our newest Board addition, the dynamic and incredibly accomplished Ms. Leah Manning, in bringing our critical work to scores more young people across the Los Angeles region in the next year. Your donations are our life blood; we can’t work without you, and we can’t thank you enough for your continued support.

Here’s to the future –

Elizabeth Crawford,

President





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Thank You Column


Co-Founder & Honorary Advisor,
Piero Ferrucci
Thank you to Piero Ferrucci, Co-Founder of COUI, for your valuable service as a key member of our board of directors for 36 years. We welcome you to your new title as Honorary Advisor to COUI’s Board of Directors!

Read more on the left...



Supporter of the Year,
Marcella Meharg
We have named Marcella Meharg, Co-Treasurer as COUI’s most valuable player (MVP) and supporter of the year! Marcella tripled her donation amount this year and has not once missed a board meeting in 13 years of service. This year we would like to thank Marcella for her generous giving of advice, sustenance, and dedication to Children: Our Ultimate Investment.



VOLUNTEERS:

Chimera Duncan
Bradley Hanada
Linda Hanada
Rosemary Macedo
Jose Uribe
Yvonne Westbrook


A special thanks to the following Teens & Toddlers graduates who have written wonderful essays for our newsletters this year:
Anna D.
Domonique G.
Cecilia M.
Jose U.


Supporters:
Thank you to our Golden Circle of Friends:
Carolyn K.
Jackie B.
Bobby & Linda H.


Read more on the left...



Thank you to our Silver Circle of Friends:
George and Peggy D.
The Men's Wearhouse
Elizabeth C.
Karen P.
Marcella M.
Butch Schuman



You have ALL made an incredible impact on our continued success!





Support Us!


Teen using conflict resolution skills with toddlersFind out what T&T educators and graduates are saying!



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