An unexpected divorce shifted Pamela Haymon’s role from housewife to sole provider for her three children.  While working on a Bachelors of Social work degree from Western Michigan University, Haymon raised her three children in one of WMU’s modest campus apartments.
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Ms. Haymon founded Emerging HOPE  (Having Only Positive Expectations) in 2002. Inspired from personal experiences as a single parent, Ms. Haymon developed an innovative, multicultural, interactive curriculum that can be implemented in most course offerings.  After 20 years of research conducted in Calhoun and Kalamazoo Counties with African American families, Haymon has created a pioneering course of study.

The Emerging HOPE Family Strengthening Program equips parents with the skills and understanding to raise their children with a commitment to leading a healthy lifestyle.  The program serves ethnically diverse typically low income households and headed by single mothers.  A collaboration with Western Michigan University’s MLK celebration, Emerging HOPE Family Strengthening Program will host a panel discussion: “Urban Family Contributions to Risk and Resilience in African American Children.”

Contributing panelists, Patrick Naswell, Executive Director, Poverty Reduction Initiative of Kalamazoo, Reverend Sandra Douglas Westwood United Methodist Church, Associate Pastor Michael Larkins of Praise Baptist Church, Dr. Michael T. Scott, Pastor of Galilee Baptist Church, Sherry Thomas-Cloud, former Director of Kalamazoo County Department of Human Services and Founder/CEO Pamela Haymon.

These community leaders will offer their experience and advice on possible solutions on how children coming from homes with less resources are able to maintain high levels of academic and social competency despite dysfunctional homes and other underlying issues.

Parents, caregivers and persons that work with children are welcome to attend.

The panel discussion will take place January 22, 2013 at the downtown library, 315 S. Rose Street, on the third floor of Van Duesen Room. 6-8 PM.

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