LeaderSpark’s mission of igniting the power of youth leadership impactfully joined Homeport’s efforts to build vibrant communities, forming a unique intergenerational experience.
Framingham, Renaissance and Mariemont communities were invited to participate in an intensive 10-week collaborative leadership training. Funded by United Way, “LeaderSpark has a 25-year track record of developing youth leaders by providing practical leadership skill curriculum, coaching and training support.” said Dr. Karen Dawson, founder and Executive Director.
Adult residents partnered with LeaderSpark to train youth ages 12-18. The adult residents themselves completed 8 hours of intensive training prior and received a United Way stipend. They then helped facilitate the full 10-week series with the youth.
On May 15th, in the presence of more than 40 residents, the graduates were presented with certificates from Napoleon Bell, Executive Director of the Community Relations Commission of the Mayor’s office. After the graduation, a conversation was held among the community to address public safety and everyone participated in the ABC’s of Policing (translated in Somali and English).
Putting education to action, Homeport’s LeaderSpark graduates officially named themselves the Jr. Sparks and planned a Community Building Neighborhood Clean-up and Lunch at Framingham in June. LeaderSpark hopes to provide leadership development trainings at two Homeport sites in the fall.
Adult Graduates: Geneva Hairston, Pamela Johnson-Smith, Gail McCann and Brenda Washington. Youth Graduates: Asha Ahmed, Sira Berete, Destiny McCann and Yusuf Sheikhyusuf. Additional Youth Participants: Raeya McKenzie, Mocha Owens and Nimco Essa. The series was led by LeaderSpark facilitators Natalie Zimmerman, Linda Taylor and Karen Dawson along with Gwyn Stetler of Homeport.