If you want to give to a charity during the holidays, please consider giving to the Dallas Children's Hospital Cancer Ward in memory of our friend, Aubri

The JFS Women’s Center at PCCenter

 

Dalphna Curtis and her daughter, Channing, started the JFS Women’s Center at PCCenter in response to the needs of PCCenter students and the people in Southern Dallas County.  Through Dalphna’s contacts with women’s organizations and Channing’s media contacts, they created a hub for community help organizations to offer assistance to the working poor.  The Women’s Center provided an opportunity for over 60 organizations to pool their resources to immediately help people in need.  All services at PCCenter were offered for free to people in the community.

Curtis Honors

  • Minority Business of the Year – 2016 – Dallas Business Journal

  • Past Board Member – United Negro College Fund - Dallas Region

  • Advisor to the NFL on Domestic Violence Issues

  • Board Secretary/Treasurer – DeSoto Economic Development Corporation

  • Founder – JFS Women’s Center

  • President/Founder – Southwest Action Committee, an affiliate of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

  • Alumni Board Member – Women’s Issues Network

  • Attended World IT Conference in 2006

  • 1 of 5 technology professionals worldwide to test global launch of Microsoft Office

  • Member Texas Women and Children’s Coalition

  • Member – Women Voters Alliance

  • Member - National Association of Black Journalists

Domestic Violence Advocates

Through her experiences answering the Texas Domestic Violence Hotline, Dalphna learned that women often stayed in violent relationships because they did not have adequate job skills to support themselves and their children. She started PCCenter in 2001 to teach computer skills to help abused women.

When Channing’s friend, Kassandra Perkins, was murdered by her NFL boyfriend in 2013, Dalphna developed a relationship with the NFL where she was an advisor to the NFL President of Player Personnel in addressing domestic violence by NFL players.  One of her group’s members flew to New York to meet with the wife of Ray Rice after he publicly assaulted her.

The Home Team DFW

Dalphna became so agitated by all the negative reporting concerning local high schools in southern Dallas County that she decided to do something about it.  She created a television show with PCCenter’s multimedia animation department to highlight the positive activities at local schools.  With Channing, a Radio TV and Film graduate at UNT, as the host, The Home Team DFW went to high schools throughout the DFW area and spotlighted academic and athletic groups and the great things they were doing.  The show aired during football seasons for four years and featured school districts all over DFW.  The goal was to concentrate on the wonderful activities that news outlets often overlooked.

Highlights of The Home Team DFW shows: Friday NightsSkyline, McKinney Boyd, DeSoto, Arlington Martin

Personal Stories

Cathryn and Aubri

We learned about Aubri through a casual conversation with her aunt, a PCCenter student. While in Ms. Curtis’ office, we were discussing an upcoming event that the JFS Women’s Center at PCCenter was having.  The student mentioned what a tough time her sister was having in getting services for her young daughter who had been recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.  Upon hearing this, Ms. Curtis asked if she thought the sister could come by the following day to our JFS Women’s Center luncheon.  The student called her sister and she agreed to be here.

The next day, we met Cathryn and Aubri, a 3 year old ball of energy!  There were about 20 help agencies at the meeting who all offered their support.  Her mom had the opportunity to speak with WIC regarding the special diet that Aubri’s doctor had placed her on. There were several local pastors here who adopted the mother and child.  Reverend Corey Jefferson got in touch with an agency he was affiliated with to get Ensure for Aubri. We bought all of the cases that they had in store. 

When Aubri turned 4 the next month, JFS Women’s Center partners and PCCenter students bought gifts and presented them to Cathryn at PCCenter.  Over the next several months, we were directly involved with Aubri’s battle with cancer.  We did almost daily progress calls with her mother and several members of her family. 

The whole school adopted mom and daughter.  Unfortunately, little Aubri lost her battle with cancer.  Ms. Curtis and Felisa Williams were with the family the day that Aubri passed.  That did not stop the Women’s Center’s support of her mother.  Ms. Curtis and staff have constant contact with Cathryn

Thanksgiving Miracle for a Grandmother

 

On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, the JFS Women’s Center at PCCenter held a Thanksgiving dinner giveaway.  Ms. Curtis was in her office.  It was around 3 pm at this point and the volunteers were headed out the door.  Ms. Curtis came rushing out to tell us about a lady that had just called to see if there were any extra turkeys and/or food boxes left. 

This grandmother had phoned the school stating that she had just returned from Mississippi burying a loved one.  While there, she had a car accident that totaled her car.  She had to spend money budgeted for food and other household items to rent a car to get back to Texas.  When she returned home, she checked her answering machine.  She had a message from a Channing Curtis regarding the Women’s Center Thanksgiving giveaway.  She knew that it was well past the 2:00 cutoff but she called hoping that somebody was still there and the turkeys had not all been allocated.  Ms. Curtis told her to come on up and we would take care of her.

When she arrived at the school, she had tears in her eyes. She shared that she had just taken in several of her grandkids and because of all of the week’s events, she did not have food for them to eat.  She was given a turkey, 2 boxes of food and one of the volunteers gave her turkey to her as well.  After everybody hugged and cried, we helped carry her food to her rental car.

Woman Needing an Interview Suit

One evening, a woman and her husband walked in saying they had been out of work for a little while because of an illness.  She was trying to get back in the job market but several factors were preventing her from doing so. 

She said she had no clothes for an interview. Her husband had just suffered a serious back injury at work that required him to have back surgery.  They had also taken in his children which caused a serious dent in the household budget. Ms. Curtis put the staff right on it! We took her to our clothing closet where she was able to pick out a suit and dress shoes.  A PCCenter teacher helped her update her resume.  A pastor of a local church and his wife met with the couple and provided them with food. 

About two or three weeks later, an employee of PCCenter was leaving work for the day.  A man called out to her.  She saw that it was the husband of the lady that visited the Women’s Center.  He stated how grateful he and his family were to the staff.  Because of the efforts of PCCenter, his wife had gone to an interview and was offered a job in the school district!  Also, the food we provided was enough to tide them over until they received other assistance.

Student Involvement

One of the students at PCCenter came to a staff member at PCCenter.  She had noticed a woman had been parked in the apartment complex that she lived was in sleeping in her car with her two children.  She was instructed to give the young lady our contact information and to invite her to the school.  When she and her children arrived, they were given lunch and we immediately provided them with housing, job assistance, and other resources.   We were also able to find a service that would take the children to school.

Homeless Single Mother

One of the first women that the JFS Women’s Center had the pleasure to assist was a single mother.  She called in one Friday afternoon needing housing assistance.  She had recently gone back to work, but in the time that she was without a job, she had lost her apartment.  She had children and was living in her car. She could not go to a shelter because she had sons over the age of 6. She stated that the kids did not realize that they were homeless.  Ms. Curtis paid for her family to stay at a hotel until adequate housing could be secured.

Regular JFS Activities

JFS partnered with K104 and Radio One to publicize our annual Christmas toy giveaway.  A foster mother called in who had recently had 2 young foster children placed in her home.  She and her husband had already done Christmas shopping for their two biological children but did not want the foster children to feel slighted.  She heard about the toy giveaway on the radio and wanted to know if it was too late.  We invited her to come up and pick out something for her foster children. 

She called see if we were giving away clothing as well.  The staff checked the clothing closet but there were no coats that would fit a child.  Ms. Curtis found out the sizes for the three children and sent a member of her staff to purchase coats for the young children.

AIDS Arms offered free bi-monthly HIV and STD/STI testing on-site.  We hosted monthly Community Expos where we offered mammograms, prostate screenings, HIV/AIDS testing, STD/STI testing, and job opportunities for the community.  Through one of our Expos, PCCenter’s Account Rep’s father came to get a prostate screening.  He found out that he was in early stages of Prostate Cancer.  His doctors said the early diagnosis saved his life.

We gave free Excel classes to 20 unemployed women during the Christmas Holidays.  We also had a Holiday Happy Hour for single moms where they received free massages and hair styles and cuts.

JFS Women’s Center at PCCenter Partners

  • Women's Voters Alliance/CCTOF

  • AIDS ARMS

  • UT Southwestern Mobile Mammography 

  • Keep It Real Outreach

  • Revelations Counseling Center

  • Single Parent Advocate

  • The Chocolate Mint

  • Brand Connection

  • Methodist Mobile Prostate & Cholesterol Screening

  • Youth World

  • Poima Church

  • Dallas First Church of the Nazarene

  • Azar Foundation

  • World Vision

  • Maximus

  • City of Dallas/ WIC

  • Buckner Children and Family Services

  • Presbyterian Children’s Home

  • Bridges Safehouse

  • Cynthia Mickens Ministries

  • Stronger Than Espresso

  • Lifeline of Hope Family Services

  • Dallas Rape Crisis

  • Parkland Women's Center

  • Dallas County Health and Human Services

  • Enroll America

  • National Marrow Registry