(Birmingham, Ala.) - Thirty-eight members of 2018 Leadership Shelby County Class graduated at a mid-day luncheon Tuesday, but not before publicly presenting four sustainable projects for non-profit organizations designed to leave the County a better place.
Tom Sanders, the President of Leadership Shelby County, said all of the projects centered on helping organizations serving Shelby County more effectively. Four teams worked months on developing unique projects for existing non-profit organizations to help them be more effective.
Team One partnered with the Leadership Arts Council to provide an enrichment workshop for The DAY Program (Developing Alabama Youth). The DAY program helps at-risk students who are lagging behind academically to catch up with their peers. The Arts Council, on a quarterly basis, supplies the DAY Program an enrichment curriculum. Arts high school students designed tee-shirts for their same age peers at DAY Program. The first session featured a drum-therapy class to teach collaboration. The second session focused on local law enforcement.
Team Two produced a master plan for future development for the campus of a teen crisis center, Family Connections. A landscape architect designed a plan that improves the overall function and design of the 22-acre property. The plan included many recommendations such as sign consolidation, dumpster relocation, a landscaped and attractive front entrance, adding new seating and installing well-defined paths. In an effort to control erosion, the group took shovels to the site and planted new trees.
Team Three formed Help Shelby County and built the HelpShelbyCounty.com website to help the Shelby County non-profit community leverage resources, foster greater collaboration and engage more citizens in community endeavors. The team then staged a free day-long summit for local non-profits and churches. More than 100 attendees sat in educational sessions on topics ranging from fundraising to board development.
Team Four helped students and employers connect on its new website, ShelbyYouthWorks.org. The primary goal for this group was to provide an avenue for local employers to post employment and mentorship opportunities for Shelby County students. Group members reached out of career coaches in public schools and counselors in private schools, as well as home school programs to gauge students' needs. Working with career coaches, the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce and 58 Inc. to promote the effort, the team launched the website. The team felt many students who don't know what they want to do would benefit from being invited into the workplace to shadow workers, and added that program to its offerings. The website also posts relevant child labor laws.
"All projects are not only having an impact this year," said Sanders, "but the teams sought to perpetuate the benefit the projects are creating for future years."
Leadership Shelby County seeks to connect people who are already leaders with one-another.