Transcendence is an organization that runs toward the “fire” to help build communities, enable dreams of children and transform the lives of families. We focus on the “hotspots” to support programs that will create opportunities for, and enhance the lives of, children and their families who today are under-served. We collaborate with community based partners and provide financial support of programs with similar objectives.
Mrs. Earlene Thompson became a licensed foster care parent in 1970. By the 1980′s, after she provided parenting for numerous foster children, she had a vision of establishing an agency where she could impact many more children, by pulling the weeds out of their lives and making their tomorrows better than their yesterdays. Combining her and her husband’s first names, and the focus on “pulling the weeds”, they appropriately named the organization Wilene’s Re-Growth Center.
In 1986 she left her full-time job at Lockheed Aircraft and incorporated Wilene’s Re-Growth Center. Based on her history and commitment, she received a Community Care License and opened her first group home in Fontana to provide residential shelter for high-risk males ages 10-18 on probation. She negotiated her first contract with Los Angles DCFS for payment of six children. In 1987 she obtained the non-profit status for Wilene’s Re-Growth Center. She also fulfilled her dream to open a licensed residential shelter for cocaine-exposed infants at her second group home in Pomona. Still expanding, she opened the third emergency shelter for youth age 12-18 in San Dimas followed by her fourth group home in Rialto. She became licensed to provide emergency shelter for abused toddler’s ages 0-8 in 1989 and opened her fifth group home in San Dimas.
Seeing the need to have trained foster parents, she received a license in 1994 to recruit, train and certify foster parents for children up to 18.
1994: Received $12,995 from the City of Pomona Emergency Shelter Grant for kitchen equipment and appliances for homeless mothers and their children.
1995: Received a California certification for a non-public school, K-12th grade.
1995 Awarded $389,151 from IRJD to provide housing for aged out foster youth. This was a continuation of her desire to provide transitional housing for emancipated youth.
1998 Earlene secured property in Pomona. She obtained a conditional use permit for housing for 12 homeless youth. She later negotiated a loan with a local bank and wrote grants to Kaiser Permanente Foundation and Local #399 to obtain the down payment funds.
2000 California Bank in Trust-Pomona donated a 2,700 sq. ft. building that became corporate headquarters.
These are just a few of the highlights of our talented and inspiring founder Mrs. Earlene Thomson.
Shortly after the retirement of our founders Willie and Earlene Thompson in 2004, Transcendence selected Rev LaQuetta Bush-Simmons as Executive Director. In 2008 LaQuetta approached our Board President, Michael D. Lacy, regarding a bold new vision. That vision was to be an organization that runs towards the fires in the community. The term “running towards the fire” was inspired by her father. As a child, a house across the street from Mrs. Bush-Simmons caught on fire. She noticed as everyone stood by or moved away from the fire, only one person actually ran to the fire. That person was her father who connected water hoses and ran across the street to put out the burning house.
Our Executive Director, Board President and the balance of the Board forged a new vision, mission and strategy. The objective evolved to be an organization, through collaboration and financial support, that transcends “hotspots” and transform lives. We identify areas in the community that have the most need and use collaboration with community partners as the vehicle to effect the transformation. To reflect the new mission, we changed our name to Transcendence.
Transcendence’s collaborations represent our mission to create opportunities and impact the lives of children and their families in underserved communities. Examples of our objectives include bringing technology awareness to under privilege communities, reducing recidivism rates in California, addressing challenges germane to the African-American community and creating higher education opportunities for first generation college students.
We offer corporations and foundations a great way to partner with community based programs. We also provide strategic and tactical planning, public awareness, and defining and measuring success criteria of our collaborations.
As we reflected on our proud history of over twenty years, we also see a future with immense possibilities. Our history of child advocacy has transformed from direct services to a collaborative model. And whether it’s “pulling weeds” or “running to the fire” Transcendence is in the community bringing those aspirations to fruition!