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CEO of YWCA Makes a Pueblo Stop

February 18, 2019

Alejandra Y. Castillo, national CEO of the YWCA, was in Pueblo last week to visit the local facility.

As the local YWCA of Pueblo prepares to present its long-range strategic plan, Executive Director Zelna Joseph, staff and board last week received a visit of support from Alejandra Y. Castillo, CEO for the national YWCA.

“A good portion of my work is to make sure we engage all of our 210 associations, and to make sure we are supportive and collaborative in our mission,” Castillo said. “It’s a pleasure to be in Pueblo, to meet the staff and see the programs and the great work they are doing.”

Castillo praised the local YWCA’s board as being “very energetic and looking toward Pueblo’s future and how the YWCA fits into what’s happening at the local level. Many of our YWCAs have programs that reflect the needs of their respective communities, and I think that’s exactly what the YWCA in Pueblo is doing: looking at how to expand and provide greater services, especially in the domestic violence arena.”

As part of its association agreement, the Pueblo YWCA is receiving national technical assistance and support in the formulation of its strategic plan.

“We want to make sure they are successful,” Castillo said. “This technical support will help them in the next six months, as they not only roll out the strategic plan but start to implement it.”

Joseph said the strategic plan has been adopted by the local board and will be presented to the community during a press conference, slated for 10 a.m. Feb. 27 at Pueblo Community College.

“We will roll out the strategic plan and strategic vision that our organization has for the next three and a half years,” she explained.

Added Castillo, “Our goal is to make sure our YWCAs are strong. The leadership here in Pueblo is extraordinary. They are taking this task seriously as they look at what the future is. When you embark on a strategic plan, you are really putting to test a vision — and that vision is to make sure that not only are we responsive to the needs of the community but that we are viable, that we are conveners, that we are a trusted partner.

“So hopefully when you attend the press conference, you’ll see how the community is going to stand with us as we roll out this strategic plan.”

Of the plan, Joseph said, “We are excited. We put a lot of work into it and we are excited to be able to share it with the community. As for the press conference, we are approaching it from the most positive way that we can. We believe it’s about strengthening the community and about strengthening and even building our current programs, especially for women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

“We think there’s going to be some really great things happening in Pueblo. We are anxious to rebuild collaborations and build new ones, working strongly with our community partners.”

Back in October, Joseph expressed concerns that she and the Pueblo YWCA were being bullied, targeted and unfairly maligned by certain factions within the community. At that time, she maintained that a group of swimmers, disgruntled because the problematic facility pool had been drained and closed, was attempting to damage her reputation and undermine funding.

The pool remains closed and at the present time, there are no plans to reopen it.

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