Perspectives on philanthropy, impact and our work to improve the lives of vulnerable people around the world.

Maggie Miller serves as Manager of the Hilton Humanitarian Prize.
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On July 18, 2014, at a press conference in New York City, Fountain House/Clubhouse International was announced as the 2014 recipient of the Hilton Humanitarian Prize.

The event was one that I—and I think most people in attendance—felt lucky to witness. A very impressive line-up of individuals including Brigadier General (Ret.) Loree Sutton, Nobel Laureate in brain research Dr. Eric Kandel, and Actor, Mental Health Advocate and Fountain House Volunteer Glenn Close, were on hand to honor this impressive organization, which is changing the face of mental health around the world. Two Fountain House members courageously shared their stories as part of this announcement, and there wasn't enough Kleenex to go around the room.

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Andrea Jones was an intern for the Foundation's domestic program team, 2013 - 2014.
Health care Reform

In June 2014, I completed an internship with the domestic program team at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. When I first accepted the position in October 2013, I was not quite sure where the internship would lead me. I was the Foundation's first-ever intern with no prior experience with a strategic grantmaking foundation. Yet, I was excited to embark on this new adventure and opportunity. As a graduate student at UCLA School of Public Affairs, I was interested in pursuing a career in the philanthropic sector and wanted to learn more about the intersection of public policy and philanthropy.

My main internship project was to examine the potential implications of health care reform in California on the Foundation's domestic strategic initiatives and major program areas: substance abuse prevention and early intervention, ending chronic homelessness, supporting transition-age foster youth, and overcoming Multiple Sclerosis.

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Denise Nowack is the Executive Vice President of the National MS Society, Southern California & Nevada Chapter. For more information about the Hilton Foundation's MS program, please contact Elizabeth Cheung.

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[Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic and often disabling disease of the central nervous system, which is composed of the brain, spinal cord, and optic system. The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation helped found the Marilyn Hilton MS Achievement Center to help those living with Progressive MS regain control of their lives and well-being.]

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Alexa Eggleston serves as Senior Program Officer, Domestic Programs, heading our substance abuse initiative.
2014 5 19 Natl Prevention Week

Good news doesn't sell, so it's hardly surprising that there is a scarcity of national attention on youth substance use prevention and early intervention. However, given the recent coverage of prescription drug misuse, heroin addiction, and tragic overdose deaths, it is hard not to be left wondering: when did we give up on talking about substance use prevention altogether? Almost every story starts and ends with the tragedy of addiction rather than highlighting the triumph of recovery and the hope of promising approaches in early intervention to stop use from progressing to addiction. Each tragic story is a missed opportunity to highlight the need for medical and behavioral health professionals, schools, parents, coaches, and other professionals to engage young people in constructive and candid conversations about the use of alcohol and other drugs.

Events like National Prevention Week (May 18 – 24) provide an important opportunity to highlight new prevention and early intervention approaches for adolescents. This federally-supported annual health observance is dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) have recommended that adolescent substance use be identified and addressed as soon as possible. This allows for early intervention and benefits adolescents who are not yet addicted.

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Emily Skehan is the Program Associate, Domestic Programs working on our Foster Youth Initiative.        
2014 5 6 Foster Youth

One of our strategic initiatives at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is achieving healthy and productive lives for foster youth transitioning to adulthood in Los Angeles County and New York City. Each May, National Foster Care Month provides an opportunity for us to reflect and act on the year-round needs of American youth in foster care.

In all of our strategic initiatives, we strive not only to support critical programs working on the ground, but also to learn about the potential needs, service gaps, and successful innovations that exist, so we can improve how we address these issues. As we approach nearly two years of strategic grantmaking in our Foster Youth initiative, research has been an essential tool in defining our priorities, understanding the needs of the foster youth we aim to support, and guiding our programmatic investments. Here are some recent highlights of the role of research in our work:

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