Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Coffee and Community - Session 1

Last Friday, I sat down with Tracie Sanchez, Regina Graham, Courtney Aldrich and Dale Gauthreaux from the Institute of Leadership Advancement (ILA). Over Raisin Bran Muffins, we discussed what the ILA has been up to since last year. The Institute is based out of the Terry College of Business and develops students that have the potential to become future leaders in Athens and around the world. The Institute, and its students, participates in national days of service like Martin Luther King Jr Day, as well as many other forms of service through out the year. In one fall semester, the institute engages 90 to 100 students for service projects through out the area.

Where do Community Connections and HandsOn Northeast Georgia come into play with the institute? Through the use of our website, the ILA can send students to do service projects on those listed agencies. Not only do these students participate in much need service projects, but they come back in their senior year to help nonprofit organizations strengthen their infrastructure and business models. The ILA goals are to provide real world experience through this second, two semester project and have students gain skills in decision making, leadership and self awareness. Some of these projects include a Pen Pals program to help mentor students in local schools, the Cottage’s 5k, and building parameters for our own TeamServe. From the very start, the institute forms a cycle beginning with HandsOn Northeast Georgia posting opportunities to students from ILA fulfilling that need and expanding the agency who then posts new opportunities on the website, all with the objective to provide growth and development through students, programming and organization development.

So where does a program that has been so successful and has build such a name in the community go from here? According to Dale, stay the course of what has worked in the past and try to extend the experience to a wider student base. This year the ILA is expanding to MBA graduate students, which the organization seeks to produce the same driven, socially conscious business leaders that the undergraduate program has produced. The institute hopes to connect students to causes and projects that will keep them engaged as they become alumni. The ILA is also stepping up their media game to reach bigger audiences and raise awareness of their student programs and the Terry Leadership Speaker series. The main goal Dale says in a rough economy is to “do what we do better” without making the institute or its programming suffer due to budget constraints.

Indeed, Dale that seems a worth while goal for a program that provides much appreciated talent and volunteers for our nonprofit community. If you would like to become involved with the Institute of Leadership Advancement either as a mentor or as an agency, please contact Regina Graham, 706.542.8118, or Vikki Clawson, vclawson@uga.edu.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Exciting opportunities

Hello blogosphere,

There are some exciting things happening at HandsOn Northeast Georgia this week and the months to come. This Saturday, the 19th, is our last family service project for the year. HandsOn with Dad is scheduled at Sandy Creek Nature Center at 9 am. HandsOn with Dad is very similar to an alternative spring break idea, where you give back by spending time with your family and Dad through a service project. We will be gardening and beautifying the nature center. Lunch will be provided. Please go to our HandsOn website to learn more about this opportunity or to register:

Additionally, we are revamping our committee for FamilyServe this summer. We have three positions open. These positions focus on planning projects, coordinating resources for those projects and volunteer recruitment and PR. If you are interested in becoming involved or would like to submit suggestions for committee members, please email intern@communityconnection211.org.

Hope to see you all Saturday!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hi, I will be your hostess for the summer.

Dawn mentioned her Masters of Social Work intern in her last entry. That would, in fact, be me. I will be your blog hostess. I have lots of adventures planned for us this summer, but more on that later.

My name is Anne Marie Catanzaro-King. I was born and raised by the mighty Mississippi river in Memphis, TN with strong family ties in Mississippi. I attended the University of Memphis and Auburn University, respectively, in my undergraduate career. Currently, I am a graduate student at the University of Georgia, a wife of a soldier, and the mother of a bouncing, red-headed three year-old boy named Conner.

This summer I am working extensively with HandsOn Northeast Georgia, the 211 call center, FamilyServe, and the Nonprofit Development Alliance. At this point, I hope you can tell that I enjoy having a lot on my plate :) . When I volunteered to manage the blog for the summer, I mentioned that I had a food blog of my very own (www.socialjusticeandfood.blogspot.com) and that I really enjoyed the blog experience. When it came time to actually follow through with the new responsibility of the HandsOn blog, I strived to achieve some harmony between the two blogs. I came up with the idea of "Coffee and Community", where over coffee and homemade treats I can sit down with the partner organizations from FamilyServe, SingleServe and TeamServe. These "coffee" sessions will be used to discuss what the organizations are up to now, what is going on in the community they serve and how those partnerships with HandsOn made a difference - with a side of Monkey bread! Sounds delectable, no?

I hope you join me and the HandsOn Northeast Georgia team for our "Coffee and Community" sessions.

See you soon!