Getting programs that work into the community is hard work. How do you change hearts and minds? Valda created a program to get the most disenfranchised women together with women who were successful. The program was called the Heart and Soul Red Dress Dinner and Seminar and it brought women out for a night of learning about their health in a relaxed and culturally appropriate setting. Over four years the Heart and Soul Red Dress event went from a beginning attendance of a few hundred to over 800 women representing 38 cultures and 18 languages. Many of the successful women became mentors for those less fortunate. Some micro-loans were given and home-based businesses were formed.
From the Heart and Soul program came the Living, Laughing and Loving series. It is fine to be successful but are you successful at life AND career or just career. Valda gives workshops and keynotes specifically designed to help career-minded people learn that “without your health” you are lacking. That can be physical, emotional, financial or psychological. Valda’s decades of experience as a Registered Nurse and nurse educator allow her to make fun and factual programs that work.
Building on the Center’s mission to reduce vulnerability Valda works to reduce infant and maternal mortality and is a frequent speaker/trainer for Healthy Start agencies. Her advanced training helps her to provide sexual literacy and relationship information to all who are interested because having control of your sexual health means you have control of your life. Her hope is that knowledge gained will be passed on to future generations and help to stem the tide of unwanted or unplanned pregnancies, problems during pregnancy and decrease the number of premature and low birth weight babies. She speaks to individuals and community groups about our responsibility to shape our communities by giving what is needed at the earliest possible point.