Kiwanis Club of Tracy

Kiwanis member Olinga Yarber-Alexander and Mary Graham Children's Foundation director Emily Ballus pose for a photo at the club's Sept. 16 meeting.

Kiwanis Club of Tracy welcomed Emily Ballus, the new executive director of the Mary Graham Children’s Foundation, at the club’s noon meeting Sept. 16.

Ballus spoke about how the private nonprofit foundation, established in Stockton in 2000, supports children in foster care and young adults transitioning out of the foster care system.

According to the foundation, more than 1,400 children in San Joaquin County are placed in foster care each year because of neglect, abuse or abandonment. With the foundation’s support in the form of trade school and college scholarships, the graduation rate for former foster youth is eight times higher than the national average, and many graduates return to the community to work in nursing, teaching, social activism and other professions.

“Ballus brings a combination of strong ties to the community, energy, compassion, and proven leadership to work with partners and funders to expand their scholarships to help foster youth thrive in life,” club member Dianne Colon-Montalbo reported.

Kiwanis is a service organization that serves the children of the community and the world. The Tracy club meets on Mondays. 

Members of clubs in Tracy or Mountain House are invited to share news about their groups. Send email to, call 835-3030 or leave a note at the Tracy Press, 95 W. 11th St., Ste. 101.

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