Promise honors “Champions of Central” with holiday ceremony

Promise honors “Champions of Central” with holiday ceremony

IMG_20181114_170020Over the last several years, the Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood has worked alongside residents and partners to focus on improving outcomes for children and families in Central. At the final Promise Advisory Council meeting of 2018, the Promise team recognized several individuals who have been instrumental in helping to create change in the community.

Called the “Champions of Central,” these individuals were nominated by organizations where they work or volunteer. They were identified as team members who help ful fill the missions of these organizations and contribute to the vibrancy of the Central neighborhood.

More than 75 people attended the November 14 celebration that included a brief Promise meeting, dinner and an awards ceremony. MVIMG_20181114_173444

“Traditionally, our November Advisory Council meetings center on a theme of gratitude and thanksgiving,” said Richaun Bunton, education performance manager. “This year, we wanted to offer special thanks to all of the residents who are helping to cultivate a vibrant and dynamic neighborhood through their contributions and hard work.”

Each Champion of Central received an engraved plaque, two tickets for an event of their choosing at Karamu House and entered into a raffle to win a new laptop.

“We work to support our residents to be independent change agents,” Bunton said. “Digital independence is necessary to get a leg up in our highly technological world, so we were proud to be able to offer the gift of a computer.”

Champions of Central included:

  • Anesha Lynn-Coleman, nominated by Cuyahoga Community College
  • Annie Glover, nominated by Promise
  • Belinda McPherson, nominated by Promise
  • Bryanta Spencer, nominated by Nurse Family Partnership
  • Charmaine Jordan, nominated by Promise
  • Colandra Humphrey, nominated by Cleveland Metropolitan School District
  • Delores Gray, nominated by Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority
  • Dr. Erin Murphy, nominated by the Boys and Girls Club
  • Eloise Smith, nominated by Promise
  • Gwendolyn Garth, nominated by Neighborhood Connections
  • LaQueta Worley-Bell, nominated by Promise
  • Leroy Carter, nominated by Promise
  • Lillie Hunter, nominated by Burten Bell Carr
  • Louise Buchanan, nominated by Burten Bell Carr
  • Mildred Lowe, nominated by St. Vincent Charity Medical Center
  • Nefertiti Peterson, nominated by Nurse Family Partnership
  • Precious Smith, nominated by Friendly Inn
  • Quiana Singleton, nominated by Promise
  • Renee Wren, nominated by Promise
  • Tameika Stuart, nominated by Cleveland Metropolitan School District
  • Tarajuana Crowell, nominated by Cuyahoga Community College
  • Twila Norris, nominated by Burten, Bell, Carr and the Children’s Museum of Cleveland

Promise staff members Joe Black and Dawn Glasco were also honored for their work in the community. Joe was nominated by Jan Thrope, and Dawn by Friendly Inn. Louise Buchanan won the laptop.

Congratulations to all of this year’s Champions of Central. Keep watch for our program updates in spring of 2019.

Seeking nominations for Champions of Central

Seeking nominations for Champions of Central

The Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood and the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland want to acknowledge and honor those individuals who help our partnering organizations fulfill their missions and contribute to the vibrancy of the Central neighborhood.

We need your help in identifying these Champions of Central.

We are seeking nominations for individuals who exemplify at least 3 of the following criteria:

  • A passion for the Central community
  • A commitment to the mission and vision of your organization
  • Has made a significant impact in the Central community by way of leading or participating in an activity or program in the area(s) of health, education and/or advocacy
  • Serves as a leader in the Central community
  • Serves or has served as a change agent within your organization and the Central community
  • Serves as an ambassador in your organization for programs or projects that directly impact the Central community
  • Serves as a Cleveland Central Promise Ambassador

You may nominate up to two individuals from your organization. Please submit all nominations by Wednesday, November 7.

 Selected champions and nominating organizations will be notified via email on November 9. Champions and nominating organizations will be honored at the Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood Advisory Council meeting:

  • Date: Wednesday, November 14
  • Location: Friendly Inn, 2386 Unwin Road
  • Time: 4 – 6 p.m.

If you have someone in mind, please complete the nomination form and submit to Richaun Bunton, education performance manager, Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood:

Thank you and we look forward to receiving your nominations.

Ambassadors celebrate Central’s ‘unsung heroes’

Ambassadors celebrate Central’s ‘unsung heroes’

On June 24, Promise ambassadors and residents of the Central neighborhood gathered to honor those who have contributed to Central’s rich history and future.

Notable attendees at the event included Cleveland mayor and Central resident Frank Jackson and Cleveland city councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland. The gathering, called the “Unsung Heroes Awards” was supported by Burten Bell Carr Development Inc., Neighborhood Connections and the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland.

Honorees in each category included:

Unsung Heroes of Central – Past

  • Leola Wilson
  • Geraldine Hunter
  • Mildred Lowe
  • Bernice Ford
  • Pernel Jones Sr.
  • Inez Thompson
  • Mary Gray
  • Sarah Divens
  • Paul Arnold

Unsung Heroes of Central – Present

  • Jerome Calloway
  • Ramiasha Muhammad
  • Andrea Nadine Gray
  • Thomas Norris
  • Denise Jackson
  • Edwina Jackson
  • Leroy Carter
  • Richgina Jeff-Carter
  • Betty Worley
  • Jerome Baker
  • Theodora Baker
  • LaQueta Worley-Bell
  • Harold Alexander
  • Rose Alexander
  • Tim Willis

Unsung Heroes of Central – Future

  • Milian Wilder
  • Abyssina Jones
  • Wannetta Allen
  • Lametris Joiner
  • Pamela Caldwell
  • Beverly Collier
  • Richard Brown
  • Dawanna Brown

Congratulations to all of Central’s “Unsung Heroes!”

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Magazine Recognizes Ambassador

DeloresGrayWomanofDistinctionOur own, Delores Gray, was featured in a recent issue of Women of Distinction Magazine. Delores is a tireless community leader in Cleveland Central and one of the original Promise Ambassadors. She was recognized with a plaque featuring the article at the Promise Advisory Board meeting in January. We’re glad to see Delores recognized for all her great work!

Welcome and Thanks to Advisory Board Leaders

Welcome to Woodrow Whitlow, former director of NASA Glenn Research Center, as the new chair of the Promise Neighborhood Advisory Board and Latisha James, executive director of local government and community relations at Case Western Reserve University, as the new vice chair of the board.

Special thanks to Dr. Giesele Greene for her service as chair of the Promise Neighborhood Advisory Board.

Foundation Triples Funding for Collaborative “Promise Neighborhood” Planning

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland has tripled its funding to plan effective educational support systems for children in the city’s Central neighborhood.

The foundation, which was unsuccessful in attaining a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education, is moving forward with a planning effort for a Promise Neighborhood in Central by increasing its funding commitment from $65,000 to $195,000.

“The federal Promise Neighborhoods grant program was very competitive, with only 21 awards out of 339 applicants nationally,” said Susanna Krey, president of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland. “While federal funding would have been great, the true benefit of our application was that it catalyzed organizations across Cleveland to help create a Promise Neighborhood here. We are appreciative of our partners’ support and we are moving forward with a significant commitment.”

Adapting the model
The federal Promise Neighborhoods program is inspired by the comprehensive anti-poverty efforts of the Harlem Children’s Zone, a neighborhood-based program that provides disadvantaged children a chance to succeed academically by providing a “pipeline of programs” – a seamless series of free, coordinated programs that focus on the needs of children at every developmental stage, including ensuring proper prenatal care. The Harlem Children’s Zone also provides programs to improve the children’s family and neighborhood environments.

“The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland’s plan to develop a Promise Neighborhood is commendable to say the least,” said Eugene Sanders, Cleveland School’s CEO. “The time has come to rebuild and revitalize our communities, our youth and our city.

“It is apparent that the Sisters of Charity recognize the timeliness and importance of a project of this nature, and CMSD is grateful to have it being developed in collaboration with three of our schools.”

The federal program offered a total of $10 million in competitive planning grants to help design a pipeline of social, educational and health supports in poor communities across America. The 21 chosen communities were awarded as much as $500,000 each to design their own initiatives.

“Although we are disappointed that we did not receive the grant, the work of Promise Neighborhood is really what the Sisters of Charity Foundation is all about,” said Geoffrey S. Mearns, provost of Cleveland State University and chair of the board of directors of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland. “We believe that where others see hopelessness, others see enduring promise, and that is why we are still moving forward.”

Envisioning a plan for Central
Committed to addressing root causes of poverty, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland continues to bring together a number of local organizations to plan a Promise Neighborhood for the Central neighborhood of Cleveland, where three quarters of the nearly 5,000 children live in poverty, 66 percent of the residents live in subsidized or public housing, and the three pre-K through 8th grade schools are in academic emergency.

The Foundation has focused on the Central Neighborhood, already working to reduce health and education disparities in that community. The Foundation selected Central because of the commitment of its sister ministry St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, which has provided health care and services in this community for more than 140 years.

The portion of Central neighborhood identified for the Promise Neighborhood is defined as East 22nd to East 55th streets and from Euclid to Woodland avenues in Cleveland. Initial programs will be designed for the children going to three Cleveland elementary schools in the Central neighborhood: Marion Sterling, Carl and Louis Stokes Central Academy and George Washington Carver.

“Receiving support for planning a Promise Neighborhood is an exciting step toward enacting real, tangible changes that will lift up Cleveland and give Central neighborhood children a fair and equitable opportunity to achieve their dreams,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson of the City of Cleveland.

Next year, the foundation hopes to compete for potential funds from the U.S. Department of Education to help implement the programs and activities planned to improve the academic success of the nearly 1,500 children attending the three schools.

Collaborating for change
The foundation’s funding partners in this effort include The George Gund Foundation, the Cleveland Foundation, Cuyahoga County, the City of Cleveland, RPM International, Key Bank and US Bank. Collectively, the foundation raised $332,500 in support and is now asking its partners to commit those funds to the continued effort. The Department of Education had required organizations to raise at least $250,000 to be eligible to apply for a $500,000 planning award.

“As the founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone has noted, improving the odds of underserved children is hard work — it takes dedication, determination and a clear sense of where you’re going,” said Krey. “We are devoted to working together with our partners to support the Central community with resources and opportunities to help children of Central achieve their full academic promise.”

The collaborators have put together a 32-member advisory board, including Central neighborhood residents and youth, who will spend the next year developing programs to promote children’s school success. Participants on the board include local foundations and organizations and agencies that have successful programs, such as Cuyahoga County’s Invest in Children, which offers home visiting for expectant parents and for families with children younger than three years old, as well as offers services and programs, like Head Start, until kindergarten to prepare children for school.

The new board will also work with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to help the transformation school plan succeed, which includes improving local schools in this neighborhood and also offering “wrap around” programs for children before and after school to improve academic achievement.