Students’ Contribution Helps Educate Impoverished Women in India - Article, Office of College Advancement

Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

By Ohlone College.

Belinda Carlisle and Sheldon Helms pose with envelope containing check from Ohlone College's Psychology Club.The Ohlone College Psychology Club provided a $1,000 donation to the Animal People Alliance, a nonprofit organization that trains impoverished women in India to work as veterinary nurses. The donation came from funds raised by the club which were unspent at the end of the year.The students decided to create the Abraham Maslow Award and to share the funds with an organization that helps provide for the basic needs of people around the world.

Animal People Alliance (APA) works with women rescued from abusive situations, including victims of human trafficking, providing them an opportunity to work in basic animal care and veterinary services. APA teaches these women marketable skills to enter the workforce and be able to support themselves. APA funds help to support animal hospitals and sanctuaries in large cities that rescue and rehabilitate India's abused and abandoned street animals, of which there are millions.The Alliance creates a symbiotic relationship…helping the women find work in a job field that provides for their needs and addressing the extreme plight of abandoned animals living in the street.

Sheldon Helms, Ohlone College Psychology professor wrote in an email, “I found out after our donation was announced that $1,000 is the exact amount it takes to send a woman through the full program! It was quite moving to imagine that a young woman will receive full training and a chance to live an entirely new life because of a donation from the Ohlone Psychology Club.”

Professor Helms advises the club, which presents the Psychology Club Speaker Series each semester. The Speaker Series raises money for the club through ticket sales for each of the events. Helms said, “My amazing students decided that, rather than spend [the excess funds] on ourselves, we should donate it to a good cause.”

APA was founded by Paul Suit and Belinda Carlisle, renowned as the lead singer for the GoGos. In the 1980s through the 1990s, the GoGos were the most successful all-female rock band, writing all their own music, singing, and playing all the instruments.The GoGos played a large part in helping women to get a foothold in the rock and roll industry, long dominated by men. Carlisle, through APA, is continuing to advance the cause of women worldwide in a profound and significant way. And, Ohlone College students are also contributing to that cause.

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