Wean Foundation Announces Updates on Community Engagement
WARREN, Ohio – In a third quarter marked by a flurry of activity, The Raymond John Wean Foundation has several updates that include Community Investment awards, ongoing resident engagement in the Mahoning Valley and an expanded staff.
At its September Board of Directors meeting, Economic Action Group (EAG) was awarded funding in support of its commercial property revitalization work. EAG’s mission is to provide equitable access to economic support services for public, private and nonprofit stakeholders to continue revitalization and investment in downtown Youngstown.
This fall marks the 10-year anniversary of the foundation’s successful, resident-driven neighborhood Success Grants Program. Developed to improve the quality of life in Warren and Youngstown neighborhoods, grants of $500 to $5,000 have been made to 485 resident-led projects representing a decade of investment totaling more than $1.6 million.
“Becoming a viable and credible resource to the community goes beyond grant disbursements. It’s evident that the credit goes to our neighborhood leadership,” said Wean Foundation President Jennifer Roller. “The program’s grantees represent 236 organizations developing resident leadership, promoting collaboration and building upon existing community resources.”
Additionally, the foundation’s Emerging Leaders Program will launch its 2018 sessions with an opening retreat this weekend. This class of emerging community leaders will participate in a three-month program designed to cultivate leadership and foster radical imagination, building their capacity for realized change. Participants represent a broad range of Mahoning Valley organizations, including The Links, Inc., Trumbull County Land Bank, United Returning Citizens, Youngstown Areas Goodwill Industries and Inspiring Minds Warren.
Since 2013, the Emerging Leaders Program has developed the unique potential of 61 resident leaders. Past participants continue to collaborate through an alumni association; additional training; civic engagement and volunteerism; public leadership appointments; and entrepreneurial endeavors.
The Wean Foundation has also recently hired Tiara Williams. Serving as program associate beginning mid-September, Williams joins the foundation after working most recently with Inspiring Minds Youngstown. Her focus will be supporting the health and vitality of the foundation’s capacity building initiatives, its various grant programs and administration. Williams is a graduate of Youngstown State University where she received her bachelor of arts degree in sociology in 2018.
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