Regional Access Project Foundation Newsletter
February 2015
In This Issue
Quick Links
 Visit Our Website
The RAP Mental Health Initiative, Prevention RFP will be posted February 4 by 5:00PM on the Regional Access Project website.
Featured Article






Left, Rhonda Morken, MA - Desert Manager/ Program Director

Right, Angelica Villanueva - Volunteer Services Coordinator


The Regional Access Project is collaborating with the County of Riverside's Office on Aging to enhance the desert region's volunteer effort.


Office on Aging RSVP Program Manager Rhonda Morken has announced the hiring of Volunteer Services Coordinator Angelica Villanueva, a Coachella Valley native. 


The goal is to expand the volunteer base to include more young people.  Not only does that help enhance services in the short term, but it also enkindles in the younger generation a life-long desire to volunteer.  They will also benefit from exposure to various sites and tasks.  The plan is to also increase the numbers of middle-aged adults, typically the hardest to recruit, thereby providing direction and leadership, while continuing to grow the RSVP program (adults 55+).

Rhonda Morken has 25 years in nonprofit management and program development to go along with her Master's degree in psychology.


"Non-profits and other organizations benefit from the wealth of knowledge of older adults, the experience of middle aged individuals and the enthusiasm and technological skills of the younger generation," she says.


Angelica Villanueva received an AA degree in economics from College of the Desert and went on to study Education-Instructional Technology at CSU San Bernardino.  She has worked with DPSS as eligibility technician and also was program coordinator for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program through Community Action Partnership of Riverside County.


"I'm excited to join the Office on Aging at this time," Angelica says. "It's a great opportunity to serve the desert region."



RAP's Technical Assistance Program (TAP) is now offering a new service which will benefit the nonprofit community greatly.  The "Foundation Directory Online Search" by Foundation Search is now available for use in the RAP office.
The Foundation Directory is an online database that searches for funding sources, with access to more than 120,000 foundations and corporate donors. It includes the option to research 990s and it is updated on a weekly basis so you know it's accurate. For more information on this very valuable service, contact Amalia Coyt, TAP Manager, to make an appointment.

TAP will also be providing upcoming training opportunities in the areas of: Grant writing, Human Resources (new California laws), Logic Modelling, and Financials. If you have any questions about these upcoming opportunities please call or email Amalia Coyt at 760-674-9992 or


For more information, visit the RAP website at





A Message from RAP CEO




I can hardly believe that it has been a year since I took over the Executive Director duties here at RAP.  It has been an exciting and productive year, learning new things, working with the RAP Board, and creating our Strategic Plan.  Working with staff, I also experienced the preparation of our first Mental Health Initiative Request for Proposals due to be released this month. 


This Mental Health Initiative RFP is the result of the Board's desire to committing a higher percentage of our resources, both in-kind, and funding to make a greater community impact on mental health-or "behavioral" health--issues.  While RAP won't be abandoning its two other focus areas, Health and Juvenile Intervention, this provisional focusing of resources on mental health is seen as crucial to shore up mental health resources.  Several community forums and focus groups were held throughout the Coachella Valley over several months to allow RAP staff to get a good understanding of the unmet needs in mental health.  Our research validated our concern about the substantial challenges nonprofits face in their attempts to deliver services to the target populations.  We also discovered significant gaps in services. 


Mental Health is an important and very complex topic.  RAP's Request for Proposals specifically aimed at Prevention will target the 12 to 24-year-old demographic. We will attempt to improve awareness and accessibility facing many young people dealing with depression, violence, bullying and substance abuse. 


Also, RAP staff attended the Clinton Health Matters Conference on Jan. 26th and 27th in Indian Wells.  We came away from the event with a good feeling that we are on the right track tackling "Behavioral" Health issues with our new Mental Health focus.   We also were reminded of the need and benefit of collaborating with not only other nonprofits, but also with the private and public sectors to be more effective and efficient with our resources. 


RAP is committed to forming partnerships and collaborations in an effort to improve services to the population we serve throughout the Coachella and Palo Verde Valleys.

In addition we are working on some new ideas which we hope to share with you in the near future.  So stay tuned.  




Leticia De Lara, CEO 



The RAP Foundation Board of Directors just got a little more representative.

In an effort to reach out to more of the community it serves, the Board unanimously approved the membership applications of Annica Meza Dawe of La Quinta and Brandy M. Cox of Blythe.


Dawe is a Community and Corporate Relations manager at the private, non-profit Brandman University in Palm Desert.  She has also worked for the U.S. State Department as a public affairs assistant at the U.S. embassy in Madrid, Spain.

She holds a master's degree in public administration from California State University, San Bernardino.


Cox is principal of Palo Verde High School in Blythe, having been a teacher at the school since 1998.  She was selected to serve as principal in 2009.


Cox holds a master's degree in education from National University.  With her addition as the first Board member from Blythe, Cox provides a valuable connection to the easternmost portion of Riverside County.


These appointments bring the total number of board members to 14.

The RAP Foundation will send out this newsletter quarterly. We encourage you to access our website for upcoming events and other information.


Regional Access Project Foundation
73710 Fred Waring Drive #102 
Palm Desert, CA 92260

(760) 674-9992