Girlpower! 2021 - A Place Called Home skip to Main Content
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Thursday, June 3rd, 2021



A celebration of the APCH GirlPower Girls and the women who inspire us.


Our GirlPower! Auction benefitting our Programs is now LIVE.

Featured Auction Item

Two Night Retreat in Ojai Valley

A top-rated property by the Los Angeles Times, The Ojai Retreat Inn is a haven of natural beauty nestled on a five-acre hilltop with panoramic views of the Ojai Valley.  ➤➤➤

Full Bio

Sunny is a Los Angeles based singer, songwriter, and guitarist whose unique style blends the blues, folk, and punk genresto address 21st century concerns. Sunny has released multiple albums and been featured in numerous publications including Americana Highways, LA Weekly and Forbes, and performed a Tiny Desk Concert for NPR. Born Sydney Ward to a single mother in Nashville, the singer/songwriter spent her childhood moving around the United States, spending significant time in both Nashville and the Detroit suburb of Rochester. During this time, she learned to love a wide variety of music, picking up the guitar at the age of 13. She relocated to California, settling in Venice Beach where she struggled with substance abuse and poverty. During her teens, Sunny joined A Place Called Home, which helped her stabilize her life and further develop her musical skills and repertoire. Sunny has always been open and honest about her life and struggles, and her latest album, Simple Syrup touches on everything from romance to politics.

Sunny founded the Los Angeles Skid Row chapter of Food Not Bombs, organizing a network of volunteers that distribute vegan food to the homeless. Both through her music and her activism, Sunny is focused on giving back to the community and uplifting those facing hardships that she herself has experienced. Sunny often collaborates with APCH, and was featured in our music video, Without You, along with other APCH youth in our Music and Dance departments.

Thank you, Sunny, for contributing your beautiful song, If it Wasn’t Broken, to this year’s GirlPower!Awards event.

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Senior Vice President, Human Resources
DBS Bank (North America)

A truly inspiring role model, Shaneka has spent her career focused on establishing a diverse work culture where she and her colleagues are building a legacy through volunteerism to impact the communities they serve. Throughout her 21 years in Human Resources, Shaneka has helped empower and motivate many people, including our GirlPower girls and many of our APCH teen members who participated in the DBS Bank summer externship program, to realize their full potential and achieve their goals. We are delighted to honor her at this year’s GirlPower Awards!


Full Bio

Shaneka McDonald has 21 years of expertise in HR and is a results-focused leader that drives business outcomes to help companies harness the full power of their most valuable assets -their employees. She is dedicated to creating robust corporate cultures that promote continuous business growth, which empowers and motivates employees to realize their full potential. She’s supported senior teams with strategic planning initiatives to scale the business.

Shaneka started her career at Washington Mutual Bank in the Customer Contact Center. After selection into the bank’s prestigious Leadership, Education and Development management training program she found her passion interning in the HR department.

A decade ago, she worked for the (FDIC) to ensure compliance at bank receiverships while winding down the operations of the former bank. Shaneka spent a few years at a non-profit, Child Care Resource Center (CCRC) one of the largest resource and referral agencies and Head Start programs in CA. She is a highly motivated professional with extensive experience improving HR functions, providing effective change management, and serving as a strategic partner with executive leadership. She delivers strong program facilitation skills and a demonstrated track record in policy and procedure development, turnover reduction, and employee retention.

Present-day she is SVP, HR at DBS Bank, working with all levels of employees throughout the organization. Her greatest accomplishment has been her focus on establishing a diverse culture where she and her colleagues are building a legacy through volunteerism to impact the communities they serve.

Shaneka holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and an M.B.A. with a concentration in Human Resource Management. Shaneka is currently certified as a Senior Professional Human Resources.

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Vice President of Operations, Pantelion Films and PANTAYA 

Jackie is a strong advocate for Latinx representation in Hollywood, and through her work, is determined to create opportunities for the Latinx community and break down barriers to entry in the entertainment industry. Beyond her work at Pantelion Films and PANTAYA, Jackie is a volunteer mentor at APCH and, in sharing her time, talents, and wisdom, continues to be an inspiration to our GirlPower members. We are thrilled to honor Jackie at this year’s GirlPower Awards!


Full Bio

Jacqueline Jiménez is Vice President of Operations for Hemisphere Media Group’sPantelion Films, the first major Latinx Hollywood studio, and PANTAYA, the first premium Spanish-language streaming service.

A key member of Pantelion and PANTAYA’s senior management team, Jackie is responsible for overseeing the operations of the two businesses and supporting the CEO and COO in key areas. These include building Pantelion’s financial plans and P&L models for feature films, negotiating acquisition agreements, handling relationships with business partners and film producers in the U.S. and Latin America, overseeing the greenlight process, and managing the company’s library.

During her tenure, Pantelion has become Hollywood’s first major Latinx studio with a string of box office hits including Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever distributed in the U.S., How to be a Latin Lover, Overboard, and the No Manches Frida franchise.

PANTAYA is the first-ever premium streaming destination for world-class movies and Spanish-language television series and has been steadily growing its subscriber base since its launch in 2017. The platform successfully launched its first original scripted series El Juego de Las Llaves and its first original unscripted series De viaje con los Derbez in 2019 and currently has 900,000 subscribers.

Jackie is also a strong advocate for Latinx representation in Hollywood and an active member of her community. Having grown up in Compton and South Gate, CA as a first-generation Latina, she understands the unique challenges that Latinx youth face every day. Through her work, she is determined to create opportunities for the U.S. Latinx community and to break down barriers to entry in the industry. She runs Pantelion and PANTAYA’s joint scholarship program for young Latinx aspiring filmmakers at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and she helped set up a memorial scholarship with A Place Called Home in the name of a former colleague for young Latina women to go to college. A graduate of Stanford University, she has also been involved in lobbying efforts with the Hispanic Congressional Caucus.

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Oasis LA Member

A community leader and social justice advocate, Jennifer is focused on fostering relationships and building bridges between communities and institutions. Throughout her career, she has continued to serve under-resourced communities, and has spearheaded numerous initiatives in support of children’s rights, homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals, and youth in foster care. Jennifer has been an incredible partner to A Place Called Home, volunteering at, and recruiting volunteers for, our Family Resource Depots throughout the pandemic, and being a bridge for the Oasis LA community to the APCH family. We are deeply grateful for Jennifer’s impact on APCH and feel honored to celebrate Jennifer at this year’s GirlPower Awards!


Full Bio

Jennifer Perkins is a Chicago native who’s lived in Los Angeles for over 11 years. She is passionate about economic, restorative, and social justice, and sees herself as an advocate for marginalized people and a bridge builder between communities and institutions.

As the Southwest Los Angeles Area Representative for the Office of Mayor Garcetti, Jennifer builds and fosters community relationships and connects residents to city resources. In her previous role as the Community Relations Director for Oasis Church LA, Jennifer established and developed key partnerships with organizations throughout Los Angeles, including A Place Called Home, and mobilized the church in support of formerly incarcerated and homeless individuals, and youth in foster care.

Since 2010, Jennifer has served under-resourced communities through her work at Oasis Church LA both as a volunteer and staff member, and has spearheaded outreach engagements throughout Los Angeles for over 8 years. Jennifer served as a Jail Chaplain with the LAPD for more than 6 years, and on the Mayor’s Interfaith Council for 2 years. Known for her community leadership, Jennifer also fulfilled a short-term consulting endeavor with the Arthur M. Brazier Foundation where she worked on community and economic development efforts impacting the South Side of Chicago.

Jennifer’s commitment to supporting underserved people and communities is truly inspiring. She is a volunteer at heart, and for more than 5 years she has continued to serve as the Advocacy & Council Lead of the UNICEF UNITE Los Angeles team, advocating for legislative rights of vulnerable children, locally and around the world, in meetings with members of Congress. In addition, she has served as UNICEF Southern CA State Leader for 3 years, leading a delegation of state participants at Capitol Hill in support of children’s rights.

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