About the Foundation

The John F. Kennedy Memorial Foundation, established in 1984, is an independent 501(c)3 organization.

The physical, emotional and intellectual well-being of the next generation of local children is the focus of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Foundation.

John F. Kennedy Memorial Foundation was founded in 1984. In the late 1990’s, the organization formally organized the Board of Directors. Under the leadership of William Powers, Founding Board Chairman, and a group of community dignitaries, a strong Board was assembled. They envisioned and prioritized the development of a one stop health care facility to serve the unmet needs of underserved children and families of the Coachella Valley. In 2002 JFK Memorial Foundation built and opened our Healthy Family Clinic. Today the Foundation operates all of our community programs and activities from the clinic. In addition, the building houses a full service pediatric clinic run by Jasmine L. Ramos, M.D., Diplomate American Board of Pediatrics.

JFK Foundation programs & services include:

  • Home Visitation for families with young children focusing on child abuse prevention
  • Family screenings, assessments and referrals to community resources
  • Parenting Skills and Parenting Education programs
  • Reach Out and Read early literacy program
  • Ophelia Project National Headquarters – A team-mentoring program for girls in middle and high schools

While these programs speak to the Foundation’s commitment, the proof is really elsewhere. It’s in a young mother and father prepared to parent, it’s in a mother who understands the meaning of nutrition, it’s in safe, healthy homes, it’s in a teen girl understanding the importance of an education, it’s in health options for families with meager resources. Mostly, though, the proof is in the twinkling eyes and happy smile of a healthy child. It’s in the feeling of pride in a young girl’s heart as she graduates from high school and heads off to college to earn her Associate Degree, the first one in her family to do so.

With the support of dedicated donors, funders and community partners, JFK Memorial Foundation is truly making a difference in the lives of Coachella Valley families and children in need!

Special Acknowledgment

The term “About John F. Kennedy Memorial Foundation” cannot be written without acknowledging and saluting the following individuals.

John Shields, Founding Executive Director.

A passionate, intelligent, caring man, John Shields throughout his professional life made himself available to others who needed help guidance and encouragement—with a sharp, deep focus on the health and welfare of children.  His 30-year career was defined by leadership and advocacy for children, in non-profit, legislative, and clinical settings.  John looked upon his time with the JFK Memorial Foundation, as the most rewarding time of his career.  He is a source of great pride for all who knew and worked beside him.  Though he left us too soon, John left us with a wonderful legacy that will be forever felt by those who serve or are served by the Foundation.

Patrick M. McCarthy

A loving man with a quick wit, Patrick was always ready with a joke or story to bring a smile to everyone around him. Over the years thanks to Patrick’s generous philanthropic giving, the Foundation was able to serve thousands of children and families in need throughout the Coachella Valley.  Patrick took great pride in providing opportunities for parents to learn the skills needed to provide a safe, loving home environment, making all the difference for their children.  The JFK Memorial Foundation Board, Staff and the children and families we serve will always be full of gratitude for Patrick’s commitment and generosity.