LSC’s program includes a class project, by which participants work in small teams to assist local organizations in the development of new, or in the implementation of existing, community-based projects. An experiential learning opportunity, the project allows participants to invest their individual skills, resources, and passions into efforts that aim to improve the community’s well-being. In the process, participants demonstrate their leadership capacity and cultivate meaningful experiences that contribute to their growth as leaders. The 2016 class will be working to advance the following community projects this year:
Global Learning Charter Public School – 6th Grade Leadership Academy: GLCPS strives to create students that will be successful beyond their years at GLCPS. However, success can be measured on many levels. For a school, too often, it is measured by standardized tests and letter grades. The so-called “soft” skills that employers are too often ignored or are not made an explicit part of a school’s curriculum. With that in mind, the goals of this youth leadership program will be to help students develop social and emotional intelligences, understand and practice conflict management through the continued development of interpersonal skills, how to make informed and productive decisions, and how to develop personal courage in order to appropriately and positively influence others. We are looking for the aid, energy, and inspiration of LSC participants to help develop the GLCPS Leadership Academy including developing activities and initiatives that can be part of a new leadership curriculum delivered to our 6th grade students.
Team Members: Karen Quinlan, Children’s Advocacy Center of Bristol County; Melanie Gouveia, SouthCoast Media Group; Heidi Brooks, Potter Elementary School; Angel Diaz, Our Sisters School; Craig Correia, Paul & Dixon Insurance
Homeless Service Providers Network – RISE UP for Homes: Rise Up for Homes is a collaborative campaign established by the members of New Bedford’s HSPN to raise community awareness and build capacity to meet the needs of local homeless individuals and families. LSC’s engagement will focus on strengthening the present system of care for homeless people in New Bedford by analyzing all aspects of our current system, identifying opportunities for improvement, and developing sustainable strategies to meet those needs. Since 2015, we have focused on the development of a cold weather shelter system that provides safety and warmth to people living outdoors. Unfortunately, the existing system does not meet the need. LSC’s help is requested to 1.) Identify and correct inefficiencies within the current system of care, 2.) Mobilize the community to improve and create better access to emergency shelter and 3.) Create sustainable solutions that optimize access to services that prevent homelessness and increase access to permanent housing.
Team Members: Tara Pacheco, YMCA New Bedford; Michelle Haskins, Saint Anne’s Hospital; Alison Yates-Berg, United Way of Greater New Bedford; James Daniels, Bristol Community College; Kelly Carreiras, BayCoast Bank
Community Economic Development Center – Acushnet Avenue Revitalization: A key partner in the Great Neighborhoods Initiative, CEDC engages city departments, businesses, residents and non-profits to work together to create change and stimulate economic revitalization on the Acushnet Avenue Commercial Corridor in New Bedford’s North End. To date, CEDC has facilitated several small-scale and visible beatification projects to combat blight and instill community pride. However, the community has identified several gaps in investment and basic services in the neighborhood (e.g., adult education and ESOL, after-school and recreational activities, job training and entrepreneurial incubator opportunities). CEDC would like LSC to identify and inventory underutilized open spaces, vacant buildings, social clubs and other potential spaces for community placemaking projects and incubator space for neigborhood entrepreneurs. The goal is to help advance revitalization efforts by providing innovative options to help create new small businesses, involve neighborhood residents and generate new interest in Acushnet Ave. as a safe and vibrant destination.
Team Members: Trevor Mattos, UMass Dartmouth; Shaun Van Laarhoven, Round the Bend Farm; Shelley Cardoos, EforAll SouthCoast; Dina Reis-Abreu, New Bedford Community Connections Coalition; Michael Patacao, Bristol County Savings Bank
Saving Our Sons – At-Risk Boys/Young Men Service Provider Analysis: SOS seeks to support at risk boys and young men (12-25 year olds) in the SouthCoast, a group more likely than females of the same age to suffer from addiction, be arrested/incarcerated, join gangs, drop out of school and be unemployed. SOS seeks to identify gaps in services, raise awareness of existing services, and foster communication and coordination among local service providers. LSC would be tasked with building on the work of the 2015 LSC class by, 1) Developing a plan for coordinating regular, cross-sector roundtables among leaders serving at-risk youth, and 2) Conducting outreach to, and exploring a partnership with, the United Way and its 211 system to ensure related resources are available, accurate, well publicized, and up-to date.
Team Members: Gregory Medeiros, Bank Five; Brenda Motta, Schwartz Center for Children; Sandra Letendre, Bank Five; India Russell-Pena, City of New Bedford
United Neighbors of Fall River – Empowering Young Women for Leadership: UNFR would like to develop a network and discussion/support group for High School aged women to explore women’s leadership, women in the work place, women’s changing roles, women in business, women in politics, etc. It wants to help these young women learn to harness their power and creativity to meet the challenges of the future with strength, knowledge and compassion. UNFR wants to empower these young women to lean forward, never accept second class status, and utilize their voices for social change. It is seeking LSC’s help with overall program design, structure, and curriculum.
Team Members: Ann O’Neil-Souza, People Incorporated; Janet Milkman, Marion Institute; Heather Emsley, New Bedford Public Schools; Katie Newell-Chabot, SouthCoast Health Systems
United Way of Greater New Bedford – Collective Impact in New Bedford’s South End: The UWGNB is the lead convener of a cross-sector collaborative initiative (a “collective impact initiative”) in New Bedford’s South End to address, via a wrap-around service approach, public safety, educational attainment, economic development. A vital piece of the work is resident engagement. The UWGNB has previously lead efforts to engage residents of the South End through Neighborhood Conversations. LSC’s help is being sought to build upon these events by developing and executing, in collaboration with the initiative’s partners, a comprehensive outreach plan that includes cost-effective strategies and activities for meaningful, ongoing engagement with residents in the South End. Once the plan is finalized, LSC will help the UWGNB execute the strategy over the course of their class, including participating and facilitating engagements as necessary. In addition, the UWGNB will work LSC to develop mechanisms to evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented strategies.
Team Members: David Bodah, Meeting Street; Seanna Zimmerman, SouthCoast Health Systems; Rui Campos, BayCoast Bank; Elise Korejwa, UMass Dartmouth; Michael Ziegler, Sylvia Group