Del Norte

Humboldt County rich with female inspiration, community activists

Humboldt County rich with female inspiration, community activists

EUREKA, Calif. - March 8th is International Women's Day and there are many women in Humboldt County that serve the community on a day to day basis.

They all come from different backgrounds and they all help in different ways. Some take care and motivate the youth in the community and some take care of the homeless and families in need. While others help those who are oppressed and marginalized.

Betty Chinn, founder of the Betty Kwan Chinn Day Center, has been helping those who are alone and families in need for over three decades. She said she was motivated to help since she's been through struggles herself.

"This goes all the way back to when I was a child." Chinn said. "When I was seven years old to 11 years old I was homeless because of political reasons not because of the economy. And I see the passion for the poor and for the needy by being rejected by the society."

Chinn said International Women's Day is special for her since in her native country of China, women are treated like second class citizens.

"Now I can do something and I got support from the community." Chinn said. "So that's why I feel like very special right now."

Rose Baker, the director of the non-profit Youthability, helps children, mostly teenagers, get their lives back on track. She said she works with foster children as well and has helped over 430 children for the past 34 years.

Baker said her son, who passed away at the age of 19, is the reason she works hard each and every day.

"He said to me mom whatever you do don't give up your dream of helping the children in the community and so that's what I've done." Baker said. "And most of the time it has been teenagers."

Baker said she truly believes in everyone, especially the youth, since they still have a future ahead of them.

"I just want to see everybody have an opportunity no matter what the circumstances, no matter what their circumstances, I want them all know that they can believe in themselves and do better." Baker said.

Liz Smith, the executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of the Redwoods and the vice president of the NAACP chapter in Humboldt County, said she loves to serve the youth and those who might not get the shot they deserve.

"Well I think we are all put on this earth for a reason." Smith said. "We all have a purpose and I think for me it's currently service and particular to serve those that don't have a voice, those who feel oppressed or marginalized. And in this case through boys and girls club being able to service youth."

Smith said this day highlights some of the struggles that women face internationally.

"I think about young women and I think about education." Smith said. "And being able to have the same opportunities that young men in villages or communities are able to have. To be able to strive for that themselves."

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