Cuban American Helps Homeless Families Get Back on Track

Meet Jennifer M. Raymond, 2020 Hispanic Woman of Distinction and Executive Director, Family Promise of South Palm Beach County

“When Hispanic women unite all things are possible. They provide a passion for greatness and the determination to accomplish all things as they embrace power, goals and objectives with ease and a sense of grace.”

Palm Beach County, one of the country’s most affluent counties, has a homeless population of almost 10 percent with more than 20 percent of those being families. Excluding those who live in cars or must often separate as they couch surf or take shelter in the homes of relatives and friends, there are almost 4,500 homeless school age children, and the number keeps rising. Jennifer M. Raymond, Executive Director for Family Promise of South Palm Beach County (FPSPBC), is working hard to help those numbers decrease.

Jennifer RaymondFPSPBC provides their homeless families with more than just temporary housing. Working with volunteers and community partnerships, they provide life skills training including job preparation, healthy food awareness, financial management, parenting skills and much more designed to help desperate parents to not only build a better life for themselves and their family, but also to learn how to sustain and improve that life.

As a National Certified Counselor and a Florida Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Jennifer has been working with non-profits during her 20-plus year career to assist individuals with their mental health wellbeing and helping them to access needed community and social services. Prior to starting her current position, Jennifer worked at the Guatemalan-Mayan Center, the American Red Cross and the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF).

Being homeless is mentally traumatic. At FPSPBC, Jennifer created the Counseling Assessments Referral and Evaluations (C.A.R.E.) program. This service enables clients to work with volunteer and professional counselors as well as Florida Atlantic University’s Master of Social Work and Master of Mental Health degree students. Guests in the program are provided with an evaluation and weekly counseling to ensure that not only is their domestic life enriched, but their mental health is addressed and treated as well.

Jennifer received her BS degree in Organizational Management and her MS degree in Counseling Psychology from Palm Beach Atlantic University, and she is working towards earning her PhD from the University of the Cumberlands.

In addition to her professional duties, Jennifer, a proud Cubana, has been a board member for the Boca Housing Authority, served as a committee member for the Homeless Housing Alliance and is active with the American Counseling Association.

She was named one of the 50 Notable Alumni from Palm Beach Atlantic University for her work in public service. Jennifer was also a recent finalist for the Esperanza Awards awarded by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Palm Beach County that recognizes outstanding Hispanic women professionals who have made a significant impact in their community and profession.

Married for more than two decades, Jennifer and her husband, Christopher, a corporate controller, enjoy spending time with their four children, Frances, Thomas, Joshua and Christina. Grand Cayman and the Caribbean are favorite vacation spots and the beach is a favorite study spot as Jennifer works towards her doctorate.

The 19th annual Hispanic Women of Distinction Charity luncheon to be held on August 28th at Signature Grand in Davie, Florida is anticipating another sell-out of up to 1000 guests paying tribute to Latina professionals who are strengthening the social fabric of this country and making inroads in the leadership pipeline for a growingly diverse America.

The annual cultural event has now grown to be the largest celebration of Latinas in Florida representing a cross-section of disciplines that are changing the face of American culture.  With over 70 nominations this year, 12 Latinas and a Latina Pioneer have been selected to join the more than 200 past honorees.

What the women have in common and is a major part of the judging process, is their American entrepreneurship intertwined with their values and traditions. The accomplishments of these Latinas stand on their own and are even more significant given the traditional roadblocks that exist for women, especially Latinas.

Presented by Latina Style Magazine, in partnership with Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Latin Biz Today, this popular high-powered exciting event includes a complimentary “mojito” and silent auction, hors d’hoerves, entertainment, and an interactive business expo on Facebook Live.

The event benefits FLITE Center, the one and only one-stop in Broward County for youth transitioning from foster care and other transitioning youth who are facing severe risks and challenges with no family support.  FLITE Center works alongside our county’s foster care placement agency, ChildNet, as well as the Judges and Magistrates who oversee their care plans.  They serve over 1500 youth per year and serve as the gap filler in the community for youth and agencies lacking the resources to help them reach full self-sufficiency.

The 2020 Honorees to from Broward, Dade and Palm Beach County are:

2020 Latina Pioneer of the Year:  RITA B CRAIG – President, Top Tier Leadership  

JENNIFER DILIZ – CEO, Founder, Midnite Communications – (Miami)

JANIE FLORES – President, Buena Vida Media – (Hialeah)

ISABEL M. GONZALEZ – Chief of Staff & Vice President of Communications & Community Relations at Broward College – (Fort Lauderdale) 

RUTH CECILIA MOGUILLANSKY – Principal Planner, Palm Beach County Office of Community Revitalization – (Palm Beach Gardens ) 

JENNIFER OLMEDO-RODRIGUEZ – Shareholder, Head of Miami Office of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney – (N. Miami Beach)

JENNIFER M. RAYMOND – Executive Director, Family Promise of South Palm Beach County – (Boynton Beach )

MARY MUNIZ-PELLICER – Director, Human Resources, YWCA of Greater Miami-Dade, Inc  (N. Miami Beach )

MONICA RIBEIRO – Vice President, Business Relationship Manager – BankUnited – (Pompano Beach)

LUZ STELLA RIOS, Phd – Managing Director, National Life Group – (Pembroke Pines) 

ESTELAMARI RODRIGUEZ, M.D. – Assoc. Director Community Outreach Thoracic Oncology, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center – (City of Miami )

ALESSANDRA STIVELMAN –Shareholder –  Eisinger, Brown, Lewis, Frankel & Chaiet, P.A.  (Hollywood)

ISIS ZAMBRANA – V.P./ Chief Quality Officer, Jackson Health System – (Weston) 

2020 Latina Pioneer of the Year:  RITA B CRAIG – President, Top Tier Leadership  

Rita formed her company more than 20 years ago helping leaders and organizations build winning cultures, deliver results and maximize performance around the world.  An award winning certified speaker and coach she has recently been appointed as one of the 21 women on the Florida Commission on the Status of Women. Rita is a resident of Palm Beach Gardens.

For more information, visit www.hispanicwomenofdistinction.com or email: [email protected].   Tickets are $95 per person.  Sponsorships begin at $1500. All major credit cards accepted.  Follow us on Facebook

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Phyllis Cambria
Phyllis Cambria
Phyllis Cambria is a freelance writer based in South Florida with an international roster of clients. As a retired, award-winning event planner, she co-authored several party planning books and has written or been the subject of articles for numerous local and national print and online publications. Phyllis writes online and print content on a wide-array of subjects including entertaining, show business, etiquette, weddings, restaurant reviews, travel, relationships and marketing materials.