Five Local Groups Selected for The Leadership Classroom

October 27, 2015 – Twenty-two representatives from five local community groups have been selected to begin an eight-month intensive training program through the Central New York Community Foundation. The Leadership Classroom (TLC), an initiative of the Community Foundation, conducts interactive training sessions with resident leaders to enhance the skills and leadership capacity of residents who are or want to be active in improving the quality of life in their neighborhoods or community. The following organizations are new members of the 2015-16 class:

Immigrant Refugee Youth Association of Onondaga County aims to help immigrants of all ages reach sustainability and achieve integration within their communities by providing job placement skills, English education, housing assistance, interpreting services, and wellness coordination. Focusing their efforts on youth services, the organization offers programs ranging from soccer groups to after-school tutoring. The Immigrant Refugee Youth Association’s leadership is interested in learning about what they can do to improve and move their organization forward.

Shonnard Street Outlook works to support, encourage, and enable residents on the Near Westside of Syracuse, particularly on the 300 and 400 blocks of Shonnard Street. Its goal is to help all residents achieve self-sufficiency and take pride in their neighborhood through mentoring, community programs, and activities. As a new community organization, its leaders are looking forward to gaining knowledge on running a community organization, member recruitment, collaboration and project implementation.

Syracuse Inner City Rotary Club is comprised of business owners and professionals committed to serving families living in the city of Syracuse. Their goal is to ensure access to education, develop role models for area youth and foster a community mindset that welcomes differences and celebrates diversity. Syracuse Inner City Rotary organizes several projects and events including the Hoops for Peace basketball tournament and a dairy farm trip for children from various local neighborhoods. Its current focus is to grow its membership base to include individuals of all ages and fill leadership roles by utilizing the skills imparted in TLC.

Washington Square Neighborhood Association (WSNA) is a non-partisan, community-focused group committed to building a safer, more caring neighborhood and improving quality of life in the community. The group serves all residents of the Washington Square neighborhood on Syracuse’s Northside and leads projects including area clean up and restoration efforts, security camera installation, and youth athletic, social, and educational activities. WSNA is aiming to establish a community center to encourage residents to take pride in their neighborhood.

The Well House Ministries will be providing services to terminally ill individuals in Oswego County who lack family or caregiving support. The unique home care program they envision will provide 24-hour supervision and supportive services so caregivers and loved ones care spend valuable time together. As an organization in the start-up phase, Well House Ministries hopes TLC will be the spark to put its plan in action to create marketing information and build community support.

Upon completion of the training, each group will receive a $3,500 grant to implement a project proposed and planned during the year. Each project addresses a unique and specific need in the Greater Syracuse community. The Leadership Classroom initiative has trained more than 200 resident leaders since 1993.

Established in 1927, the Central New York Community Foundation encourages local philanthropy by supporting the growth of permanent charitable endowments for the betterment of the region. The Community Foundation is the largest charitable foundation in the region with assets of nearly $190 million. It awarded $9.9 million in grants last year to nonprofit organizations and since its inception has invested more than $135 million in the community. The Community Foundation serves as the steward of charitable legacies for individuals, families and businesses through the administration of nearly 700 funds. The organization also serves as a civic leader, convener and sponsor of special initiatives designed to strengthen local nonprofits and address the region’s most pressing challenges.


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