ACCORD is pleased to announce new funding generously provided by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. Because of the 21st Century Community Learning Center funding loss, this opportunity has been designated to forge a comprehensive effort in the 2017-18 school year to implement effective sustainability efforts for area youth programing. Part of that plan engages youth. For over a decade, The Teen Advisory Board (TAB) has been an integral part of adding youth voice to our community- sparking social change.
TAB, ACCORD’s youth leadership program will continue this school year. Thirty high school students representing each district in the county comprise the board. Students displaying leadership attributes and influence with their peers are nominated by school day staff, community members, or district administrators. The program develops leadership abilities, creates connections, and allows youth to impact their communities. Participants meet monthly for ten months to complete community service projects and participate in leadership training while working throughout the year to plan and conduct youth events. Annually TAB students plan and facilitate the Youth Summit which hosts more than 250 students from every Allegany County district. Students devote a morning to service projects and the afternoon to a town hall meeting for youth. Panelists include youth who have struggled through and overcome adversity. TAB also coordinates an annual multi-district lock-in which promotes teen wellness, healthy relationships and alternatives to drug and alcohol use while providing an evening of student recreation.
It is a great honor to be working with the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. The Foundation is a grant making organization dedicated primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life of the people of Southeast Michigan and Western New York. The two areas reflect Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.’s devotion to his hometown of Detroit and greater Buffalo, home of his Buffalo Bills franchise. Prior to his passing in 2014, Mr. Wilson requested that a significant share of his estate be used to continue a life-long generosity of spirit by funding the foundation that bears his name. The foundation has a grant making capacity of $1.2 billion over a 20-year period, which expires January 8, 2035. This structure is consistent with Mr. Wilson’s desire for the foundation’s impact to be immediate, substantial, measurable, and overseen by those who knew him best. For more information, visit www.rcwjrf.org.