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Posts Tagged ‘Mentoring’

Legacy Foundation sponsors unique night of youth empowerment May 31

Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s leading philanthropic partner, invites youth from throughout Northwest Indiana to participate in a night of poetry, spoken word and youth empowerment with nationally recognized author and speaker Basheer Jones, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 31, at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster.

The evening will feature readings by Jones, a poet, youth activist and philanthropist who previously visited Northwest Indiana in January to keynote the annual Mentor Summit. Five local high school students also will be selected to read their own poetry.

Attendees are asked to dress in business attire, and will have the opportunity to view professional artwork on display in the Center’s atrium as well as experience the poetry readings and motivational comments by Jones.

“This truly is a one-of-a-kind event for young people in Northwest Indiana to experience a professional evening of arts and culture, while hearing an inspiring message from a young leader,” said Barry Tyler, Jr., Community Initiatives Officer for Legacy Foundation. “Youth services organizations would benefit from bringing groups of participants.”

The event, hosted by Legacy Foundation’s Youth Philanthropy Council, is offered free of charge. Participants can purchase a copy of Jones’ new book, “Speak for Change,” for $15 and have it signed by the author during a reception following the poetry reading.

For more information, visit Legacy Foundation’s website at http://www.legacyfdn.org/youthphilanthropycouncil.php. Youth or groups who wish to attend are asked to RSVP to Tyler at btyler@legacyfdn.org or (219) 736-1880.

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Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s leading philanthropic partner, today (May 2) held a lively Town Hall session with more than 100 representatives from area nonprofit organizations to educate them about important new resources and tools offered by the foundation.

“Legacy Foundation has been granting funds into the community and building partnerships with area nonprofits for 20 years,” said Harry J. Vande Velde III, president and chief executive officer. “We are proud to bring the area’s nonprofit sector the next level of collaboration tools, training and development opportunities and online resources that will help them raise money and build capacity. This will, over the long term, benefit the people of Lake County by enhancing the delivery of services from these organizations.”

The Think Tank at Legacy Foundation

Legacy Foundation introduced The Think Tank at Legacy Foundation, a nonprofit mentoring and resource center. Through The Think Tank, Legacy Foundation staff and partners will help the area’s nonprofit sector solve problems and enhance nonprofit organizations’ capacity to deliver services.

Resources offered by The Think Tank at Legacy Foundation include:

  • Capacity-building grants
  • Facilitation of Communities of Practice
  • Meeting facilitation
  • Free meeting space at Legacy Foundation’s convenient Merrillville offices
  • Collection of online resources
  • Referrals to community training resources
  • Research, data collection and analysis
  • Development of young philanthropists in Northwest Indiana
  • Fundraising opportunities for Lake County nonprofits via www.legacyfdn.org

A primary focus for The Think Tank at Legacy Foundation over the next year will be building communities of practice. Communities of practice bring together participants including nonprofit members, business professionals, civic leaders, religious leaders, funders and donors to build innovative partnerships that address community needs. The participants share their knowledge in specific service areas, which may include arts and culture, education, the environment and human services.

The Think Tank at Legacy Foundation is led by Director Trish Alt, who brings an extensive background in community foundation leadership and nonprofit collaboration to Legacy Foundation.

New grant opportunities

Legacy Foundation announced a new grantmaking strategy designed to strengthen the Lake County community.

“We define a strong Lake County community as one where informed and engaged citizens want to live, work, worship and play,” said Lara Kalwinski, Legacy Foundation vice president. “Our nonprofit community thrives as we dedicate ourselves to the collaborative spirit and to demonstrating collective impact.”

Legacy offers grants for:

  • Nonprofit Training – up to $2,000 for organizations seeking professional guidance on how to manage their operations, programming, and fundraising
  • Transforming Lake County – programming that relates to a measure of improved economic, social or environmental well-being
  • Informed and Engaged Urban Communities – grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Fund for organizations bringing residents together to collectively address issues residents identify as important and to take action in ways they themselves deem appropriate
  • Neighborhood Spotlight – collaborative efforts targeting local needs, coming in 2013
  • Improving Student Success – for organizations working to increase high school graduation rates, college and career opportunities
  • Supporting Hobart Seniors – grants from the Maria Reiner Senior Citizens Fund to support a vibrant senior community in Hobart

Online fundraising platform

Legacy Foundation also introduced an online donor engagement platform that enables nonprofit organizations to fundraise directly from the community with minimal effort and no cost. By simply clicking on the “Give in Lake County” button on Legacy Foundation’s newly redesigned website, www.legacyfdn.org, a 501(c)(3) organization can post and promote a need to the community.

Members of the public are encouraged to visit Legacy Foundation’s website often, click on “Give in Lake County,” and view local needs. Giving even a small amount can help an organization make a difference in the community.

$10,000 Cara Spicer Award

Vande Velde announced the application process for the Cara Spicer Award, a $10,000 one-time award to be made later this year to a Lake County organization.

Applicants for the award must have participated in Legacy Foundation’s previous Great Lake Award Initiative workshops for at least three years and must not have received the Great Lake Award for Excellence. Applications will be available via Legacy Foundation’s website June 1, with completed applications due August 1. The award will be presented in late fall.

For more details on all these programs, see Legacy Foundation’s newly redesigned website at www.legacyfdn.org.

 

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Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s leading philanthropic partner, invites area nonprofits to learn about new tools and resources that can help build their organizations at an informational session from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 2, at the South Shore Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, 7770 Corinne Drive, Hammond.

Legacy Foundation will launch its nonprofit mentoring and resource center, The Think Tank at Legacy Foundation. The Think Tank at Legacy Foundation will help the area’s nonprofit sector solve problems and enhance their capacity to deliver quality services. Participants in the session will learn how to access resources offered by The Think Tank at Legacy Foundation, including: convening and facilitation of communities of practice; a newly redesigned website; meeting space; research, data collection and analysis; and a donor engagement platform that can enhance local fundraising.

Also during the Town Hall session, nonprofit organizations will gain insight into Legacy Foundation’s updated grantmaking strategy. In addition, Legacy Foundation will announce how to apply for the $10,000 Cara Spicer Award.

Seats for the Town Hall session are limited. Organizations that wish to send a representative are asked to RSVP to legacy@legacyfdn.org or (219) 736-1880 by 5 p.m. on Monday, April 30.

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Basheer Jones, a poet, motivational speaker, radio host and activist, will keynote Northwest Indiana’s third annual Mentor Summit, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27 at the Library Conference Center at Indiana University Northwest.

The summit offers organizers of youth mentoring programs, and adults interested in mentoring youth, information about creating effective and sustainable mentoring opportunities. Registration is $25 per person, including lunch. Registration at the door is $35. The Mentor Summit is produced by the Center for Mentors co-op members and is held each January during National Mentoring Month.

At 27, Jones has achieved a reputation as an engaging and inspiring leader. He hails from Cleveland, Ohio, by way of Brooklyn, N.Y. He credits the influence of a mentoring program during high school, and its leader who became a “father figure” to him, with much of his inspiration to pursue his dreams. He went on to graduate from Morehouse College with honors, is an acclaimed spoken word artist, Essence Award winner, was the youngest news talk radio host in the country, and founded The Basheer Jones Foundation. He was a leader of youth voter registration efforts and community rallies during the 2008 presidential election.

“Like Basheer, most successful adults can point to at least one person who influenced their lives when they were younger,” said Harry J. Vande Velde III, president and chief executive officer of Legacy Foundation. “Mentoring can improve a child’s educational experience as well as opportunities for the future. We have terrific resources in Northwest Indiana to create and support a variety of mentoring programs, and this summit gives the business and non-profit communities tools to further those resources.”

 Breakout sessions during the Mentor Summit will include:

  • Elements of effective practice, facilitated by Cindy Borden, a trainer, facilitator and technical assistance provider with more than 15 years of experience in youth development.
  • Building quality mentoring relationships based on best practices, facilitated by Dr. Clara Giles Carter, Ed.D., president of Management Consultant Services, a human resource management firm that has provided technical assistance in building and maintaining collaborations directed to community outreach in preparing youth for the future workforce.
  • Attendees also will participate in a session on outcome evaluation, or tools for evaluating mentoring programs, presented by Candice Singleton of the Indiana Youth Institute.

 For more information and to register for the Mentor Summit, contact Eric Evans at Geminus Corporation at (219) 757-1883 or eric.evans@geminus.org.

New this year, Jones also will speak at a Teen Summit to be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 26, at the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, 7770 Corrine Drive, Hammond. This event is free and open to the first 100 students who register. Contact Barry Tyler at btyler@legacyfoundationlakeco.org for more information.

The Center for Mentors is an initiative of Legacy Foundation facilitated in partnership with Geminus Prevention Services. Since its founding in 2010, the Center has trained more than 150 people to work with youth through virtual and place-based strategies to promote mentoring in Northwest Indiana.

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Register now for Jan. 21 event at IUN

A mentor can help a young person improve his or her grades, build confidence and even stay off drugs. The role of these volunteers in young people’s lives is so powerful that President Obama has designated January as National Mentoring Month.

Find out more about creating and participating in mentoring opportunities at Northwest Indiana’s second annual Mentoring Summit, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 21, at the Library Conference Center at Indiana University Northwest. Registration is $25 per person, including lunch. The summit is intended for youth mentoring programs and adults interested in mentoring youth.

The Mentoring Summit, produced by the Center for Mentors co-op members, will focus on recruiting and developing quality mentors and youth mentoring programs among local businesses and organizations interested in improving their communities. The summit will feature a keynote presentation by Dr. Vernon G. Smith, Indiana state representative, professor at Indiana University Northwest, and founder and board president of the African-American Achievers Youth Corps, Inc., an organization founded to empower African American young males to take control of their lives in a positive manner.

“It only takes one person to make a difference in the life of a child. Most successful adults can point to at least one person—a parent, a teacher, a coach, a boss—who influenced their own lives,” said Harry J. Vande Velde III, president and chief executive officer of Legacy Foundation. “Quality youth mentoring can improve a child’s educational experience as well as opportunities for the future. Lake County’s business and non-profit communities have robust resources to create and support a variety of mentoring programs.”

Breakout sessions during the summit will include:

  • Mentor recruitment and retention, facilitated by Cindy Borden, a trainer, facilitator and technical assistance provider with more than 15 years of experience in youth development.
  • Mentoring Toolkit for Communities: Developing your Business/Organization as a Champion for Youth Mentoring, facilitated by Chip Cotman, program coordinator for the Hours for Ours and Club Discovery programs in the Michigan City Area Schools. Hours for Ours is a school-based mentoring program that serves students in grades K-12, while Club Discovery is an after-school program for grades 6-8.
  • Attendees will also participate in a panel discussion, featuring NIPSCO personnel and a freelance consultant, about developing a corporate mentoring program.

The Center for Mentors is an initiative of Legacy Foundation facilitated in partnership with Geminus Prevention Services. In the year since its founding, the Center has trained more than 120 people to work with youth through virtual and place-based strategies to promote mentoring in Northwest Indiana.

For more information and registration for the Mentoring Summit, contact Eric Evans at Geminus Corporation at (219) 757-1883 or eric.evans@geminus.org.

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Whether helping with homework, coaching a sport or just listening, a mentor provides crucial support and guidance in the life of a young person.

Find out more about creating and participating in mentoring opportunities at Northwest Indiana’s first Mentoring Summit, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22, at the Library Conference Center at Indiana University Northwest. Registration is $25 per person.

The Mentoring Summit, sponsored by Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s Community Foundation, will feature a keynote presentation by Bill Stanczykiewicz, CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute and catalyst for the development of the Indiana Mentoring Partnership. The statewide initiative being rolled out this month aims to recruit mentors for children.

“Research shows that quality youth mentoring improves high-school graduation rates, reduces drug and alcohol use by youth, decreases bullying and incidents of fighting and involvement in crime among youth, and helps kids feel more confident and positive about their futures,” said Eddie Melton, community initiative officer for Legacy Foundation. “Our business and non-profit communities have an opportunity to create and support a rich variety of mentoring programs.”

Breakout sessions during the summit will include one directed at businesses and other entities interested in supporting mentoring, and one directed at individuals and organizations that are currently engaged in mentoring programs. Round-table discussions and lunch also are included.

The summit supports Legacy Foundation’s recently announced strategic focus on educational attainment. Project 100% focuses resources on increasing the number of Lake County students who graduate with a quality high-school degree and are college- or career-bound.

Legacy Foundation, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana and Geminus Corporation also have launched the Center for Mentors, which aims to improve educational achievement among at-risk groups.

For more information and registration for the Mentoring Summit, contact Tiffany White at (219) 757-1835 or Tiffany.White@geminus.org.

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Lake County’s community foundation announces initiative to increase educational attainment

Project 100%

Lincoln Ellis has had many discussions about the challenges facing African-American males with the staff and board of the Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s community foundation.

As the executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana, Ellis sees firsthand the need to help transition young men from boyhood into manhood and to be good fathers. Over the last several years, the Boys & Girls Clubs’ partnership with Legacy Foundation has led to a gathering of more than 30 organizations for families and youth in Gary, generating $1.2 million in additional resources for the city; developed $750,000 in new funds for mentoring programs; and recently sent 40 young men on a tour of historically black colleges.

“I call them my partners in exceptional good works,” Ellis said.

Ellis shared his story during Legacy Foundation’s annual reception for donors, held Nov. 4 at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza. The audience included approximately 200 people, many of them donors representing business, nonprofit organizations, and the community at large. The organization also distributed its annual report to donors, featuring stories about the impact of grants into the community.

During the 2008-2009 fiscal year, despite the challenges of the local and national economic downturn, Legacy Foundation awarded more than $2 million in grants and scholarships that enhance the quality of life throughout Lake County.

“Legacy Foundation responds to community need,” President Nancy Johnson said. “This year we have responded to the increased threat of hunger by stepping up our grant making to the Northwest Indiana Food Bank and community food pantries. We funded the Indiana Reinvestment Alliance to help counsel families who are threatened with foreclosure on their homes and helped get a new home built in the ‘Field of Dreams,’ a project of Northwest Indiana Habitat for Humanity which is located in Gary. We provided the seed money to initiate the Hobart Parents as Teachers chapter, which has proven wildly successful. In just a few short months, 135 children and their families have become active in the program.”

During the reception Legacy Foundation announced an important initiative to increase educational attainment in Lake County.

Project 100% is an initiative that grew out of a yearlong strategic visioning process conducted by Legacy’s board of directors.

“Education is a critical issue to our county, whether you live in Cedar Lake or Hammond, Lowell or Lake Station,” board member Nancy Clifford said. “If we can increase the number of our students graduating with a quality high-school degree who are college- or career-bound, this will have a positive impact for Lake County.”

Key components of the effort include:

  • Helping to connect every eligible student with Indiana’s 21st Century Scholarship program, which offers college tuition to first generation low-income students;
  • Increasing the number of youth served with programs outside of school;
  • Strengthening these programs to meet the challenges of providing quality services; and
  • Helping to connect youth with caring, qualified mentors.

Legacy Foundation has begun the effort by initiating the South Shore Connection, a collaboration with Lake Area United Way and Foundations of East Chicago. This is a partnership with school districts and nonprofit agencies to share data to improve educational outcomes. At this time school systems in Gary, Hammond, Lake Station and Merrillville have agreed to participate in the project.

Legacy Foundation will be seeking additional partnerships and community commitment to develop and implement Project 100%.

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