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.

No comments:

Post a Comment