Jim Collins Foundation http://jimcollinsfoundation.org Support trans health Mon, 19 Jun 2017 17:24:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 Jim Collins Foundation Announces 2017 Grant Recipients http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/jim-collins-foundation-announces-2017-grant-recipients/ http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/jim-collins-foundation-announces-2017-grant-recipients/#respond Wed, 05 Apr 2017 01:30:59 +0000 http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/?p=2483 April 1, 2017 (New York, NY) – The Jim Collins Foundation (JCF), a national nonprofit organization with a mission to fund gender-affirming surgeries, is pleased to announce our three 2017 grant recipients, and our new grant cycle, starting April 5, 2017. This year JCF awarded two general fund grants and one matching fund grant. Our General Fund grants cover 100% of the medical fees associated with gender-affirming surgery. Our matching grant is from the Krysallis Anne Hembrough Legacy Fund (Hembrough Grants) which covers 50% of the medical fees associated with gender-affirming surgery; the recipient provides the other 50% using their own financial source. Jim Collins Foundation 2017 general grant recipients include Angie and Christyna Allen, and our Hembrough grant recipient is Cael Neary. Please go to our website to read their amazing stories.

“We are pleased to support our grant recipients: Angie, Christyna, and Cael,” said Ava Arnett and Julie Thibodaux, JCF board members. “The Jim Collins Foundation continues to hear from past year grantees about how we helped change their lives, and are honored to do the same or our 2017 grantees.”

More than 200 people applied for this year’s grant, demonstrating the continued urgency and financial need. With the addition of this year’s grantees, the Jim Collins Foundation has awarded a total of 15 grants since 2011. Our organization wouldn’t be able to continue without the hundreds of individual donors, including legacies and estates from around the country, and pro-bono services provided this year by Dr. Christine McGinn.

“I feel extraordinarily blessed and thankful to have been awarded the Jim Collins Foundation grant out of hundreds of applicants. After feeling so disconnected with my body my entire life, I now know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” said 2017 grantee Angie.

Our 2017 Hembrough grantee, Cael said, “Thank you to the donors and volunteers of the Jim Collins Foundation, and to the friends and family who donated to my brief GoFundMe campaigns in the past, for making top surgery, what felt like an unattainable dream, possible in my near future. In all its forms, your support has changed and saved my life.”

“At the JCF they believe in me, they believe in us, as people. I’m thankful for the hardships I have gone through on this journey because it shows me, as well as everyone else, anything is possible if you need or want it enough,” said 2017 grantee Christyna.
For press inquiries and interviews, contact info@jimcollinsfoundation.org. For more information on the Jim Collins Foundation, grantees, the issues, and to donate, visit jimcollinsfoundation.org.

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2017 Grant Recipient Angie Torres http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/2017-grant-recipient-angie-torres/ http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/2017-grant-recipient-angie-torres/#respond Wed, 05 Apr 2017 01:23:32 +0000 http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/?p=2479 Angie is a passionate and driven LGBTQ activist hailing from New York City. Angie is a proud alumni of the nation’s first accredited LGBTQ high school, Harvey Milk High School. She’s appeared on several television shows and networks, such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, MSNBC and America’s Next Top Model, in an effort to further educate the world on the issues that plague the LGBTQ community. Angie feels extraordinarily blessed and thankful to have been awarded the Jim Collins Foundation grant out of hundreds of applicants. After feeling so disconnected with her body her entire life, she now knows that there is a light at the end of the tunnel…She now knows that dreams do come true.

“I feel extraordinarily blessed and thankful to have been awarded the Jim Collins Foundation grant out of hundreds of applicants. After feeling so disconnected with my body my entire life, I now know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”

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2017 Grant Recipient Cael Neary http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/2017-grant-recipient-cael-neary/ http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/2017-grant-recipient-cael-neary/#respond Wed, 05 Apr 2017 01:16:19 +0000 http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/?p=2475 It is commonly said that the end goal in life is to be happy. However, when my parents told me in my adolescent years, “We just want you to be happy,” their definition of daily and ultimate “happiness” did not include queerness or gender transition. When I finally made it out of the house and moved to college in Wisconsin, I could live as Cael 24 hours a day for the first time in my life. Every now and then, when I nearly forget how far I’ve come, I recall those first weeks, where it dawned on me that each day, I could simply get dressed. I am ready for the next step. I am ready for my body to be wholly my own inside and out. I am ready to be happy.

“Thank you to the donors and volunteers of the Jim Collins Foundation, and to the friends and family who donated to my brief GoFundMe campaigns in the past, for making top surgery, what felt like an unattainable dream, possible in my near future. In all its forms, your support has changed and saved my life.”

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2017 Grant Recipient Christyna http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/2017-grant-recipient-christyna/ http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/2017-grant-recipient-christyna/#respond Wed, 05 Apr 2017 01:00:05 +0000 http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/?p=2469 I wish I could tell you that I knew I was transgender all of my life. I have had bishops from church tell me I was going to hell for having such thoughts and wanting to be this way. I had family who later came around to this ideal of Christyna, instead of Christopher. At the JCF they believe in me, they believe in us, as people. I’m thankful for the hardships I have gone through on this journey because it shows me, as well as everyone else, anything is possible if you need or want it enough. If god hands you lemons make a merengue pie. It just tastes better!

“At the JCF they believe in me, they believe in us, as people. I’m thankful for the hardships I have gone through on this journey because it shows me, as well as everyone else, anything is possible if you need or want it enough.”

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Jim Collins Foundation Announces 2016 Grant Recipients http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/jim-collins-foundation-announces-2016-grant-recipients/ Tue, 12 Apr 2016 11:30:56 +0000 http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/?p=2305 April 5, 2016 (New York, NY) – The Jim Collins Foundation (JCF), a national nonprofit organization with a mission to fund gender-affirming surgeries, is thrilled to announce our 2016 grant recipients and open up a new grant cycle, starting April 15, 2016. This is the first year JCF offered two grant options for those seeking surgical grants. General Fund grants cover 100% of the medical fees associated with the gender-affirming surgery. Krysallis Anne Hembrough Legacy Fund (Hembrough Grants) cover 50% of the medical fees associated with the gender-affirming surgery, requiring each recipient to match grant monies received with their own financial source. Jim Collins Foundation 2016 Full Grant Recipients include Katrina Dawn Stewart and Bayn, and our first Hembrough grant recipient is JC. Please go to our website to read their amazing stories.

“We are pleased to share the powerful stories of our grant recipients: Katrina, Bayn, and JC,” said Dru Levasseur and Tony Ferraiolo, JCF Co-Founders. “Like so many in the transgender community struggling to survive, they are following their dreams, and the Jim Collins Foundation is excited to support them.”

Health care discrimination against trans people is known to be linked to high suicide rates in the trans community. More than 300 people applied for this year’s grant, demonstrating urgency and financial need. With the addition of this year’s grantees, the Jim Collins Foundation has awarded a total of 14 grants since its founding in 2008, thanks to hundreds of individual donors from around the country and pro bono services provided by top medical professionals.

“This grant from the Jim Collins foundation does so much for me. It helps me see the end of that tunnel and the fruition of my struggles,” said 2016 Full Grant grantee Katrina Dawn Stewart.

“I truly cannot thank the people of the Jim Collins Foundation enough. What they do is beyond amazing. It’s life-affirming. It’s life-saving. I look forward to giving back in whatever ways that I can. I encourage everyone who can to donate to this wonderful program and those who can’t help monetarily to remember that there are all kinds of ways to show your support for the trans community. Please help where you can. You may be saving a life,” said 2016 Full Grant grantee Bayn.

Our 2016 Hembrough grantee JC said, “I am a big believer in Karma. I believe if I put out great energy it will come back to me. This grant is good Karma coming to me and it’s life-changing. The Jim Collins Foundation is giving me a gift that I’ve wanted my whole life.”

For press inquiries and interviews, contact info@jimcollinsfoundation.org. For more information on the Jim Collins Foundation, grantees, the issues, and to donate, visit jimcollinsfoundation.org.

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2016 Grant Recipient Bayne http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/2016-grant-recipient-bayne/ Tue, 12 Apr 2016 11:05:03 +0000 http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/?p=2314 jcfpicI wish I could say I always knew I was a boy or at least point to a moment of epiphany when it all made sense, but it wasn’t like that for me. I just always knew I was “wrong” in some very deep but inconceivable way. I started down a path of slow self-destruction around age 10. I cut, burned, starved, refused to speak, punched walls, pushed people away, drank, etc. I finally sorted it out in my mid to late 20s. That was over a decade ago.

Being trans in the deep South is a daily struggle – from the narrow-minded perspective that is so common to the physical torment that is the reality of wearing multiple binders in high, humid temperatures. However, against all the odds, I have met and legally married the love of my life, as of March 19, 2016. We had a beautiful ceremony among both knowing and accepting confidantes and some future in-laws with no clue of my birth gender.

When I was told that I was selected as one of this year’s grant recipients, I was rendered nearly speechless as waves of gratitude and hope crashed through me. My life has often seemed like a roller-coaster ride, with fleeting highs and sickening lows. I admit that I’ve tried to exit the ride a few times and thought about it a whole lot more. But I have family (blood and otherwise). I have people who care about me and people who depend on me. And beyond that, I really do have a deep sense of purpose. I am here to make a difference. Through art, listening, caring, lending a hand, living my truth, and using what gifts I have to make things better. Being transgender has been both obstacle and experience for me. This surgery will remove a large portion of the obstacle and allow me to focus on the experience and what I have learned from it and how I can use that to help other people, whether their issues are of the same nature or something very different.

I look forward to the surgery because afterwards, I will not only be able to remove the binds, but I’ll truly be able to breathe.

I truly cannot thank the people of the Jim Collins Foundation enough. What they do is beyond amazing. It’s life affirming. It’s life saving. I look forward to giving back in whatever ways that I can. I encourage everyone who can to donate to this wonderful program and those who can’t help monetarily to remember that there are all kinds of ways to show your support for the trans community. Please help where you can. You may be saving a life.

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2016 Grant Recipient Katrina Dawn Stewart http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/2016-grant-recipient-katrina-dawn-stewart/ Mon, 11 Apr 2016 19:48:08 +0000 http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/?p=2311 NOINewYork2013Since I transitioned in 2001, I have given back to the GLBT community at the local, state, and national level through leadership, advocacy and education. This work was in response to my own need to build the safety nets of support I needed as I began living authentically. That work developed into a passion to both make the road of transition easier socially for others and to break through to create understanding in the communities I touched so as to be the change I wanted to see in the world.

While at times frustrating and challenging, this has given me joy and has satisfied my heart. At 44, I have seen my body blossom into the woman I know I am. I am quite pleased with the effects of hormones, own myself as a woman, and am quite healthy in those regards. However, I do still struggle with the fact that I have not had lower surgery. I have worked hard in saving what little I have to set aside for going those final steps towards feeling physically complete. This has been a long journey towards physical completion, and there are times I get discouraged that there is little light, because the dark tunnel has seemed so very long.

This grant from the Jim Collins foundation does so much for me. It helps me see the end of that tunnel and the fruition of my struggles. But it goes further than that. There is that idea that you are currently where you should be. This is sometimes an uncomfortable truth as we see others in our lives go elsewhere and report back of their great successes – it sometimes causes dissonance as we know what we are doing locally is important and vital, but we want greener pastures.

We don’t give enough importance to where we are, what we are doing, how we are making an impact with every breath. We become blinded by looking so much elsewhere that we don’t see the fertile opportunity where we are.

This is where help from the Jim Collins Foundation helps. By lifting me up they help me to see the possibilities of what can still be done. By helping me become whole, they allow me to re-dedicate my energies to change where I am, where change is most needed.

Thank you to the Jim Collins Foundation for bringing me solace so as to help me do more.

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2016 Grant Recipient JC http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/2016-grant-recipient-jonni-caldwell/ Mon, 11 Apr 2016 19:43:37 +0000 http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/?p=2307 My name is JC, I’m 23 years old and I live in Seattle Washington. Since my earliest memory I have always known that I was different. At pre-school age I can recall asking my mom to wear her night gowns and high heels. Not wanting to upset my dad we would always wait until he left for work.

Growing up my best friend was also my neighbor, her name was Emily, I would spend most of my days at her house playing dolls, dress up and my all time favorite game pretty pretty princess. I have two older brothers, Josh and Jason, they both excelled at sports and it was a major passion of theirs. From a young age I was forced to participate in most sports while I would have much rather been taking ballet, which i did one year and it was amazing, or singing which was and still is a passion of mine.

Not wanting to disappoint my dad I stuck it out until high school. That’s when I came out to my mom that I was transgender. My junior year I decided to be myself at school and starting dressing in female clothing. I was the first transgender student at my high school, and I got the rule changed allowing myself and future trans students to use the correct bathroom for which they identify. For me I was allowed to use the women’s bathroom. I feel so fortunate that not only at home from my family but at school, in my work place and in life I have always felt comfortable, I felt more awkward and uncomfortable before I started transitioning and being myself.

When I was 18 years old I started cosmetology school to become a hairdresser, I also built up the courage to tell my dad that I was transgender. At this time I was living full time with my mom so it as easy to conceal from him, but it was distancing us and he has always been my best friend and biggest fan so I knew I had to tell him.

When I was 2 years old my dad almost died when his kidneys failed unexpectedly due to a rare auto immune disease he had developed called Wegners. So with his declining health I always wanted to seem like the normal son he always wanted, but to my surprise when I told him that I was transgender he not only fully embraced me as who I was, and he also said that he wasn’t that surprised, but he once again became my number one fan and biggest supporter.

Last November my dad passed away leaving a giant hole in my life. We knew it was coming so we all were able to say our goodbyes and share happy memories in final days. His final request to me was that I get this surgery no matter what, and I plan on doing just that, not only for myself but for him as he watches over me constantly.

I will always miss my best friend and dad, but i know I’m making him so proud. If I didn’t have the family that I do, I don’t know where I would be or how I would survive.

At the age of 20 I started hormone replacement therapy(HRT) And while that was a major step for me I feel like the past three years have been very stagnant. I feel plateaued in this body and I’m ready to begin my life the way I was meant to be. I’ve already met with my surgeon and I absolutely love him, it feel like my puzzle is almost complete but at the same time I’m missing the biggest piece. This grant means the world to me. I am a big believer in Karma. I believe if I put out great energy it will come back to me. This grant is good Karma coming to me and it’s life changing. The Jim Collins Foundation is giving me a gift that I’ve wanted my whole life

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Barriers to Care Still Prevalent for Transpeople in the US http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/barriers-to-care-still-prevalent-for-transpeople-in-the-us/ Sat, 18 Jul 2015 14:38:13 +0000 http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/?p=2266 abc_jenner_sawyer_2_wy_150424_4x3_992The story of Caitlyn Jenner’s journey has made headlines across the world in recent weeks. However, most transpeople still face significant barriers to accessing self-affirmative health care. In this article, Jim Collins Foundation President, Kylie Aquino, discusses the obstacles to care that many transpeople still have to overcome…read full article

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Jim Collins Foundation Announces 2015 Grant Recipients http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/jim-collins-foundation-announce-2015-grant-recipients/ Tue, 31 Mar 2015 14:13:32 +0000 http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/?p=2225 March 31, 2015 (New York, NY) – The Jim Collins Foundation (JCF), a national nonprofit organization with a mission to fund gender-affirming surgeries, is thrilled to announce our 2015 grant recipients and open up a new grant cycle, starting at midnight tonight. Jim Collins Foundation 2015 Grant Recipients include Alexander, Alexandria Fresh, and Rose Groeschel who share their stories at jimcollinsfoundation.org.

“On this Transgender Day of Visibility, we are pleased to share the powerful stories of our grant recipients: Alexander, Alexandria, and Rose,” said Kylie Aquino, JCF President. “Like so many in the transgender community struggling to survive, they are following their dreams, and the Jim Collins Foundation is excited to support them.”

Health care discrimination against trans people is known to be linked to high suicide rates in the trans community. More than 300 people applied for this year’s grant, demonstrating urgency and financial need. With the addition of this year’s grantees, the Jim Collins Foundation has awarded a total of 11 grants since its founding in 2008, thanks to hundreds of individual donors from around the country and pro bono services provided by renowned surgeons Dr. Christine McGinn and Dr. Marci Bowers.

With the announcement of the new Krysallis Anne Hembrough Legacy Fund, the Jim Collins Foundation now offers two grant options. General Fund grants cover 100% of the medical fees associated with the gender-affirming surgery. Hembrough Grants cover 50% of the medical fees associated with the gender-affirming surgery, requiring each recipient to match grant monies received with their own financial source. Applicants may only apply once per grant cycle, and in their application must choose one of the grant options for which to be considered.

“The Jim Collins Foundation grant is the opportunity of a lifetime. It has given my dream of completion wings, and set the stage for the next act of my story,” said 2015 JCF Grantee Alexandria.

“Please do not give up hope. It sounds cliché, but remember, you are not alone,” said 2015 JCF Grantee Rose. “There are kind people out there who really do care and want to help. Together, everyone can make a difference.”

“It feels like I am living inside a great dream, and every time I think about it or write about it, I start crying of happiness,” said 2015 JCF Grantee Alexander. “My heart has this fullness right now that I have not felt in a long time. I will forever be thankful to the Jim Collins Foundation and everyone who has donated to make this dream possible.”

For press inquiries and interviews, contact rebekah@jimcollinsfoundation.org. For more information on the Jim Collins Foundation, grantees, the issues, and to donate, visit jimcollinsfoundation.org.

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