Increasing the Number and Value of Kenosha County Youth Service Projects

Team: H2B… Determined
Team Members: Shalonda Black, Bryan Hughes, Greg Huss
Team Sponsor: Kenosha County Youth As Resources

YAR (Youth As Resources) is dedicated to promoting and facilitating youth-led activism in Kenosha County. The YAR Board of Directors consists of youth and adults from Kenosha County who meet once a month in the Kenosha County Administration Building to discuss community issues, to provide grants to youth-led community service groups and to plan community improvement initiatives.

YAR asked Leadership Kenosha to work with school districts, nonprofit organizations, churches and other service agencies in Kenosha County to identify meaningful community service projects that youth can plan and implement.

Team H2B… Determined contacted over 75 nonprofit groups in Kenosha County and developed a list of 116 potential community projects for youth. These projects will be entered into an online database on the YAR website, and print versions will be distributed to youth groups throughout the county. The team also prepared a press release for YAR to distribute when the database becomes available.

 This project won the Leadership Kenosha “Project of the Year” award.

Building Local Partnerships for the Workforce Readiness Computer Lab

Team: Second Chance
Team Members: Tarik Hamdan, Christine Krueger, Wendy Olsen, Kim Thies
Team Sponsor: HOPE Council

In April 2011 the HOPE Council (in cooperation with the Kenosha County Job Center, the University of Wisconsin Parkside Strengthening Communities Fund, and the City of Kenosha Community Development Block Grant Program) opened a “satellite computer lab” to be used by ex-offenders with a history of substance abuse with the goal of helping ex-offenders to find employment through the use of resume building, online job searches, and employment skills workshops.

The HOPE Council asked Leadership Kenosha to help them get the word out to local businesses about the benefits to employers who hire ex-offenders by creating a campaign to reach out to employers and to develop a partnership with employers willing to help these clients.

Team Second Chance contacted the Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce to identify and contact local businesses which might be willing to partner with the HOPE Council in this community endeavor. Utilizing the Council’s existing marketing materials, the team also developed a letter to be sent to targeted businesses, explaining the program’s goals and potential benefits.

Racine/Kenosha Community Action Agency Outreach Development

Team: CSI
Team Members: Jennifer Dustman, Mary Herbert, Nyles Jackson, Raiana Mearns, Matt Nelson
Team Sponsor: Racine/Kenosha Community Action Agency

Team CSI opted to develop their own project to assist the Racine/Kenosha Community Action Agency (RKCAA) with outreach efforts, including the development of a promotional video, initiating social media accounts, and planning and implementing the open house for the RKCAA’s new community kitchen. The five-minute video provides a brief introduction to the RKCAA’s programs and services; it will be used for local presentations and will be posted on the organization’s website and social media platforms.

On May 1, 2012, over 50 community members attended to an open house highlighting the RKCAA’s newly renovated second floor, which includes a community kitchen. This kitchen will serve as a learning/teaching space, allowing the RKCAA to offer food preparation, cooking, and nutrition classes for participants of the WIC (Women, Infants, Children) program, as well as the greater Kenosha community. Team CSI was instrumental in the success of the open house, helping to identify the invitees, develop and distribute the invitations, organize the agenda, coordinate the food, and facilitate the evening.