As we head into the holiday season, all of us at the John T. Gorman Foundation are, as always, inspired by the terrific work being done by organizations and communities all over Maine to improve the lives of disadvantaged folks in our State. Trying to address often complicated challenges, groups of cross-sector partners are increasingly working collaboratively to advance innovative new ways of addressing long-standing problems facing children, youth, families and seniors.
In this Fall issue of our Foundation’s newsletter, we highlight some exciting programs and initiatives that we think have the potential to truly demonstrate that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
We begin by sharing news about a successful collaboration between three organizations working with youth in the juvenile justice system in Lewiston to provide “diversion” services – intervention approaches that keep young people out of the system – and better serve families. We’ll also tell you about the Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential (LEAP) initiative, which provides older youth transitioning out of foster care with a range of opportunities, resources and supports – an important effort since only 3-percent of Maine youth who age out of foster care ever go on to earn a college degree.
We’ll highlight a social and emotional learning initiative – a major new component of Portland Public Schools and Portland ConnectED, a collaborative cradle-to-career initiative that has a new director, Matt Dubel.
And to bring it all full-circle, you’ll read about how the Foundation – along with leaders and thinkers in Maine and many other states – has become more intentional about advancing a whole family, two-generation approach to individual programs and overall systems change. It’s an approach that reinforces what we all instinctively know: that one of the best ways to prevent poor outcomes for children and youth in the future is to invest in ideas and opportunities that can help improve outcomes for parents and caregivers today.
I hope you enjoy this fall newsletter-and what’s left of this beautiful fall. On behalf of the John T. Gorman Foundation Board and Staff, please accept our best wishes for a wonderful holiday season.
Please also feel free to send me or any of our staff your questions, comments or suggestions. We’re always happy to answer!
– Tony Cipollone, President and CEO