January Romero Reissman, Vice President for Community Impact at The Community Foundation, explains making an impact in three community areas:
"At the Community Foundation, we have 3 new focus areas where we are going to be investing our dollars," says January. Those include, but not limited to:
- Community Revitalization is something where we invest in communities to help make them happier, healthier and safer -- and more vibrant. Community Revitalization can be anything from investing in a community garden to helping re-do affordable housing issues in the community. It varies in spans and spectrum on what a community might need.
- Educational Attainment, we are looking at areas outside the normal K-12 day, and we are looking at what supplements what the school district is doing. So, anything from vocational training to mentoring to positive workforce development.
- Positive Youth Development is helping our kids get involved with activities that support them in a positive, social, moving them in a forward way that is either aligning youth with mentors, supporting their extracurricular activities, helping them in summer programs.
We arrived at these areas through data analysis, focus groups. We interviewed some of our nonprofit partners, and we found this was a space that was needed. And where, we, as a community foundation, are uniquely positioned to leverage our impact to make a difference.
Since these priorities are new, we are in the pilot phase, so we are starting with Community Revitalization, and then we are going to open up all three areas. It’s going to be a learning phase for all of us as well as our partners involved. So, it’s going to be evolving, and what the community needs is how the Community Foundation is going to respond.