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"What oxygen is to the lungs, such is hope to the meaning of life."
- Emil Bruner
Our Executive Director, Gretchen Newby, holds a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology (Marriage and Family Therapy) and a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice, specializing in delinquency prevention. Her lifelong commitment to social justice and the special needs of children, families and individuals impacted by incarceration is demonstrated by her accomplishments: the Las Comadres Program, bringing pregnant inmates together with volunteer mentors and foster moms; the Positive Parenting Program for Incarcerated Parents, an evidence based curriculum provided in all California state prisons; Fatherhood Focus for incarcerated dads, providing the opportunity to become responsible, involved dads; the Bill of Rights for Children of Incarcerated Parents, acknowledged by the California legislature and over 14 states to date; and Creative Conflict Resolutions, providing alternatives to violence and pathways to peaceful coexistence to hundreds of incarcerated men and women every year since 1992. In her words, Gretchen believes in the enduring capacity of human beings to be transformed, to change, and that it is our privilege to stand beside them during that process.
Gretchen's commitment to community service has included membership on two school boards, foundation boards, and commissions dedicated to the public good. She is currently the Chair of the San Joaquin County Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Commission.