Posted: Thursday, May 19, 2022. 9:52 am CST.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.
By: Dr. Kendra Flores-Carter; California Baptist University, Professor of Social Work
For the last 4 years, Dr. Kendra Flores-Carter has been a Professor of Social Work at California Baptist University (CBU) in Riverside, California. Dr. Flores-Carter indicated that when she interviewed for the position and met with the University Provost and President she expressed an interest in developing a partnership in her home country of Belize to help the community in whatever capacity she could to impact change. She was impressed that neither shot down the idea rather very encouraging. Eventually, she met with the Dean of the College of Behavioral Sciences Dr. Jacqueling Gustafson to gain guidance on how to develop an international partnership.
So, over the last 3 years, she’s been working with the institution to help establish a partnership with the University of Belize (UB). There were a series of several zoom meetings with the UB Department of Social Work Chair Fermin Olivera and Lecturer Azalia Larrieu to iron out details of the MOU. Finally, her hard work paid off and recently Dr. Flores-Carter and her boss Social Work Department Chair Dr. Charles Lee-Johnson visited Belize and met with their UB colleagues including the Dean Dr. Lisa Johnson to officially sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the 2 institutions.
With the MOU now in place the CBU social work department was able to establish a scholarship fund for students attending UB pursuing Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degrees. California Baptist University, Department of Social Work has pledged to sponsor 2 students for the Fall 2022 semester to attend the University of Belize Social Work program. Dr. Flores-Carter is extremely filled with gratitude that CBU was willing to give her the opportunity to lead and establish this partnership. She explains that her goal now is to continuously raise funds for our established scholarship to help students in Belize on a consistent basis to get their BSW degrees. Dr. Flores-Carter notes that “as a Belizean, I am proud to work for a university committed to the Great Commission, CBU’s mission is to produce students who are (1) academically prepared, (2) biblically rooted, (3) globally minded and (4) equipped to serve.” Additionally, she expressed that “as a professor, I get to teach and prepare students to enter the world and become independent stewards of the community. I am extremely happy that I get to help students in Belize to gain a quality education and become self-sufficient. Most importantly become a social worker that helps the most disenfranchised and vulnerable in our communities.” Dr. Flores-Carter indicates that “being a part of this great legacy is me living my God-given purpose.” My commitment to Belize runs deep as I know what it is like to want an education but am not sure it’s reachable. She declares she’s so happy to be a part of this moment in both CBU’s and UB’s history by establishing this partnership for many years to come.
Dr. Flores-Carter is graciously sending an open call to all Belizeans in Belize and Abroad to be the change for Belize through education. For those interested in donating to the University of Belize Social Work Scholarship Fund, here is the direct link https://calbaptist.edu/university-advancement/school-give-now/cobss once on the website select “other” and enter “20-2210 Belize Partnership” in the box. Your donation will go directly into the established fund for the UB students. If there are any organizations interested in making a tax-deductible contribution, please reach out to me directly for further assistance at [email protected].
Dr. Kendra Flores-Carter is a Published Author, at California Baptist University, a Professor of Social Work, and a Researcher in the social and behavioral sciences field specifically women’s and child health. An advocate for social justice and change, she has dedicated her career to bringing educational awareness to disparities/equity concerns in healthcare experiences and various other psychosocial issues affecting marginalized women and children. A former Medical Social Worker for over 10 years Dr. Flores-Carter worked to provide services to children suffering from Trauma related to Child Abuse/Neglect and women experiencing significant life crises such as Intimate Partner Violence, Substance Abuse Complications, Incarceration, Homelessness & Mental Illness. Dr. Flores-Carter is recognized both locally, nationally, and internationally as an expert educator in women’s and child health. Dr. Flores-Carter is the founder of the Janet Don’t Cry Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing education, support, & resources on mental health globally.
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LinkedIn: Dr. Kendra Flores-Carter
Facebook: The Janet Don’t Cry Foundation
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