It is with cautious optimism for continued warm weather that I welcome everyone to the Spring edition of the John T. Gorman Foundation Newsletter!
Spring is a season of growth and renewal, and that is particularly true at the John T. Gorman Foundation – both for us as well as many of our grantees and community partners. For example, as you’ll see in this newsletter, we’re seeing growth in Lewiston via a significant new HUD Neighborhood Choice Grant that could be transformational for the Tree Street Neighborhood. Lewiston, along with Los Angeles and Philadelphia, were selected over several other cities in a very competitive awards process.
We’re also very excited to share stories of the expansion of two programs we’ve funded in recent years: Opportunity Youth Passport and Gateway to Opportunity. Both programs achieved strong results, helping older youth who face significant challenges take advantage of new opportunities that can increase their economic stability and help them succeed in the workforce and in life.
Rounding out these program updates is a snapshot of a new effort by Women United – an affinity group of the Greater Portland United Way – to take a “Two-Generation” approach to helping young children and their parents in one Portland neighborhood.
Closer to home, this newsletter talks a bit about our own expansion and introduces a new member of the John T. Gorman staff: Joy Engel, who recently became our first director of communications.
We’ll share other staffing news in the coming weeks, as well as our first-ever policy brief centered around the plight of vulnerable older youth in Maine. This brief highlights examples of local programs that make a difference and suggests potential policy recommendations that can increase the odds that these young people will successfully transition to adulthood. We plan on releasing this on May 22nd – stay tuned!
Finally, I want to refer folks to a new posting on our website that summarizes the results of our recent strategic planning process. Those who are aware that we undertook this process often ask us about what will change at the Foundation in the coming years. The short answer is: very little. Our mission, values and main priorities will remain the same, and we’re just as passionate about the work as ever before. But through some new Core Funding Strategies, we hope to get even more focused over the next five years. To that end, we hope to support more comprehensive strategies in communities where we’ve seen some success, promote strategies that address the needs of parents and children simultaneously, replicate proven strategies more broadly and fund innovative ideas to address traditional challenges facing disadvantaged Mainers. Our end game is to advance program and community success that can inform and influence system and policy change – which we believe is key to improving lives on a greater scale.
All of us who work at the John T. Gorman Foundation are immensely humbled to be able to do the work that we do. We’re confident that our new strategic plan can help us and our partners across the state be even more impactful in the years to come.
As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions, comments or suggestions.
– Tony Cipollone, President and CEO