Leadership NOW graduates create new effort to help youth organizations

A group of nine up-and-coming community leaders have developed and compiled survey data to help local youth organizations work together, identify challenges and fill service gaps. 

The project is the final project developed by the most recent Leadership NOW graduating class. This is the fourth cohort to complete the program, an intensive leadership development program offered through the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Genesee County. 

Participants completed more than 100 hours of training and one-on-one coaching to develop their personal leadership styles and effective partnerships. One key requirement of the program is to spearhead a sustainable, collaborative community project — which led the group to compiling servey data to identify some of the different challenges faced by local youth organizations. 

Their findings will be shared Jan. 18 at Diplomat headquarters during “Challenge by Choice,” a community event that will encourage attendees representing youth organizations to build relationships, identify resources and find ways to collaborate with each other.

“There are so many people and organizations doing great work around our community,” said Ashnee Young of Flint, assistant director of the Neighborhood Services Center for Genesee County Community Action Resource Department. “By bringing the necessary players together and encouraging some powerful conversation, we believe we can help them identify ways to work together and better serve our local youth.”

The cohort included a mix of nonprofit and for-profit business professionals who work and/or live in Genesee County: 
  • Katie Curnow of Grand Blanc, marketing manager at the Flint & Genesee Chamber of commerce;
  • Ebonie Gipson of Flint, president and CEO of I’m Building Something Consulting;
  • Doug Hartwell of Fenton, director of operations at Sorensen Gross Construction Services;
  • Shay Newell of Grand Blanc, program manager for Children’s Protective Services at the Michigan Department of Health & Human Resources;
  • Valerie Popelier of Clarkston, organizational development manager at Diplomat;
  • Jason Rogers of Flint, restorative practices and school climate specialist at Genesee Intermediate School District;
  • Nicholas Sievers of Clarkston, quality systems manager at Domico Med Device;
  • Tenesa Thompson of Burton, administrator at Church Without Walls Ministries; and
  • Ashnee Young of Flint, assistant director of the Neighborhood Services Center for Genesee County Community Action Resource Department.

Leadership NOW will launch its fifth cohort in January. For more information, visit flintandgenesee.org or call (810) 600-1404.

Read more articles by Ashley Schafer.

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