This category includes articles about nonprofit organizations and NGOs that are actively working to accomplish a social mission. The work of foundations that primarily work as grantors to other nonprofits is covered in Philanthropy.
This category includes articles about nonprofit organizations and NGOs that are actively working to accomplish a social mission. The work of foundations that primarily work as grantors to other nonprofits is covered in Philanthropy.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
“It’s a tough fact of life that women with disabilities face challenges many of us cannot even imagine. But the tragedy is that many of their most difficult challenges could be avoided,” says Richard Ellenson, CEO of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation.
Ellenson elaborates, “Women with cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities receive basic healthcare services that are widely and persistently inadequate, inconsistent, and substandard. In fact, many physically disabled women experience life-threatening crises, and endure life-draining experiences, directly related to deficient medical care. All women deserve recognition and delivery of optimal healthcare; for women with disabilities, efforts aimed at improving their particular requirements for optimal healthcare delivery is urgently needed, deserved, and long overdue.”
To address this crisis, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation has launched its “Transforming Healthcare for Women with Disabilities” initiative.
Ellenson explains, “CPF, with the extraordinary support of 100 Women in Hedge Funds, has put together an innovative collaboration with four leading medical institutions – Columbia, UCLA, Harvard, and Northwestern – to create an organic team approach to addressing this issue.”
“We will spend our first year developing a model, and our second putting that model in place in a beta test. We will then spend that second year refining and evolving our approaches. Eventually, all the institutions will implement these new protocols and begin to share the work nationwide,” he adds.
Ellenson shared his vision for the future that will result from the current effort, “The success of this project will empower women with cerebral palsy to expect the same standard of healthcare received by us all. And give physicians the knowledge to finally deliver it. While women with cerebral palsy are the focus of this project, the outcomes will benefit many more women with physical disabilities including stroke, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis.”
On Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at noon Eastern, Ellenson will join me for a live discussion about the new initiative, including further discussion of the problems facing women with disabilities and what he hopes CPF can do to alleviate those problems. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about the Cerebral Palsy Foundation:
The Cerebral Palsy Foundation is a 60 year old organization whose Chairman Emeritus is Paul A. Volcker. Our mission is to transform lives for people with cerebral palsy today – through research innovation and collaboration.
Our collaborative networks bring together great thinkers in science, research, and technology who work actively with us developing solutions to the most pressing problems faced by people with cerebral palsy and related disabilities.
CPF plays an instrumental role in a wide variety of initiatives – from improving basic healthcare to adapting new technologies which provide advanced access for gaming and therapies, to funding translational research and clinical application which allow individuals to leverages the enormous advances being made in the sciences.
The Cerebral Palsy Foundation is guided by a deep commitment to delivering innovations that can change lives today. We are driven not only by vision, but by experience. More than half of our Board members have children or family members with CP, or have the condition.
Richard Ellenson brings enormous vision and energy to his role as CEO of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation. In his first year there, he has launched major initiatives that have helped evolve the Foundation and ready it for significant growth in its work and profile.
Prior to leading CPF, Richard was founder and CEO of two assistive technology companies (Blink Twice and Panther Technologies) which helped transform and reimagine the field of assistive technology. Said Alan Brightman, Founder of Apple AAPL +0.86% Computer’s Worldwide Disability Solutions Group and now Vice President for Global Accessibility at Yahoo YHOO +3.23%, “The mass market mentality Richard Ellenson brought to this market was unprecedented in the history of assistive technology.”
Prior to this work, he was an advertising executive who created memorable campaigns for brands such as American Express AXP +1.32% and Remy Martin, and who penned the classic line, “It’s Not TV. It’s HBO.”
Richard has worked tirelessly to create awareness about people with disabilities and to share stories about their vibrant lives. He and his son have been featured as ABC World News People of the Year, on CNBC’s Squawk Box , in a New York Times Sunday Magazine cover story, and as a feature on ESPN’s E:60.
Richard has been honored with many awards in the field, has served on several Advisory Councils and has also been the recipient of two NIH grants. Richard is a graduate of Cornell and holds an MBA from The Wharton School. He lives in New York City with his wife Lora, Director of Gynecologic Pathology at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell, and with his two very special children, Thomas and Taite.
Mary French is a on a crusade to improve literacy around the world. Partnering with organizations like Rotary International for help, Mary French has collected and distributed 25 million dictionaries, mostly to third graders in every state in the U.S. and in other countries around the world.
“The problem is that children do not have access to dictionaries with more than 32,000 words in school. In order to be functionally literate a person must know more than 5,000 words to be able to read instructions or hear them and understand them to complete a task,” Mary explains, adding, “A dictionary is a reliable resource that makes a person self-reliant and able to think independently.”
Mary is making remarkable progress with the Dictionary Project. She notes, “To solve the problem of illiteracy we partner with people who want to put dictionaries into the hands of students where they live by giving them their own personal dictionary. Since the project began we have donated over 25,000,000 dictionaries to people in all fifty states and around the world.”
Mary has a remarkable vision of the future she’d like to create. “We would like to have more people involved to ensure that everyone will be able to enjoy the benefits of owning a dictionary so that they will be able to use the English language effectively. To solve the problem of illiteracy in every community children need to be encouraged to spend more time reading and less time watching television. By learning new words people are able to form associations with other people and create more connections to enrich their lives and make this country a better place to live for all.”
On Thursday, September 10, 2015 at 3:00 Eastern, Mary will join me for a live discussion about her inspiring work. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about the Dictionary Project:
The Dictionary Project is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that raises money to provide dictionaries to everyone to ensure that they will be able to enjoy the benefits of owning a dictionary.
Mary has a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in English from Charleston Southern University. She has been the Director of the Dictionary Project since 1995 when the organization began, founded by Mary and her late husband Arno French. She has written and published ‘The Best Dictionary for Students’, ‘A Student’s Dictionary & Gazetteer’, ‘A Student’s Dictionary & Gazetteer, Canadian Edition and ‘A Student’s Dictionary & Gazetteer, Caribbean Edition’, and with the help of Siddarth and Karan Rai, ‘A Student’s Dictionary & Animal Gazetteer’. Mary and Arno were terrible spellers. The dictionaries were a reliable and accurate aid to help them spell words correctly and expand their frame of reference. The Dictionary Project was created to provide that opportunity to all of the children in South Carolina; a state that ranked 47th in the nation in education. Improving education is a difficult challenge. South Carolina is now 42nd in the nation in education in part because of the Dictionary Project.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
Tim Stay, one of Utah’s leading tech entrepreneurs and executives, recently launched a new venture with successful entrepreneur Joseph Grenny. They’ve chosen several ex-convicts to run the new business, The Other Side Academy.
This may not be such an odd choice. You see, the new venture, modeled closely on Delancey Street Foundation, is a nonprofit that will work to really rehabilitate convicts.
Stay explained to me recently that our prisons “provide criminals with a masters degree in criminology” rather than rehabilitating them.”
He elaborates, “The problem is that there is a portion of the criminal population that doesn’t get better by doing time. Many of them are repeat offenders, spending their lives in and out of jail and prison. They usually have substance abuse problems and many times find themselves unable to secure or keep a job and eventually wind up on the streets, being involved in criminal activity, and going back to jail. And this cycle continues at great expense to taxpayers. These people are living lives of increasingly destructive behaviors to themselves, to their families, and to society.”
He says that TOSA, as everyone involved in The Other Side Academy quickly abbreviates, will “provide a two-year live-in educational program for ex-convicts, drug abusers, homeless and others that have hit rock bottom that teaches our participants how to live successful, productive lives free from crime and substance abuse.”
Dave Durocher, TOSA’s managing director, explains further, “Our mission is to address the issues of drug addiction and criminality and improve the dismal record of the rehabilitative community when it comes to addressing the issues of relapse and recitivism. We belive that a long term “theraputic community” approach is what works best. While there are mixed and often conflicting statistics in this regard we know from first hand experience that it can work.”
Durocher and his colleagues Alan Fahringer and Lola Zagey, know first hand, “We know this because [we] have over 25 combined years residing in arguably the most succesful theraputic community in the world, Delancey Street, which is the model we are replicating with a few twists that we believe can make The Other Side Academy even more succesful.”
Having already raised $750,000, Stay has a wish list for the next several months. “In the next 3 months, we are moving into our new facility in Salt Lake City and we will be launching several of our businesses so we can become self-reliant.”
“We need financial contributions to cover the start-up costs of the facility and of the new businesses. We need in-kind contributions of cars, trucks, construction tools, warehouse space, and housing supplies such as beds and dressers. We need volunteer help with things such as business plans, web design, marketing, graphics. We need champions to help spread the message through social media and with their friends,” he concludes.
On Thursday, September 3, 2015 at 4:00 Eastern, Durocher, Fahringer and Zagey will join me here for a live discussion about TOSA and their plans to create a program that will truly change lives. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about The Other Side Academy:
We provide on-the-job vocational training, education, and basic life skills along with long-term residential housing to former drug/alcohol abusers, homeless and others who have hit rock bottom. Our organization is run by graduates of the program and we are a mutual self-help organization. That means that healing occurs when we can have “Each One Teach One” and that when A helps B, A gets better. We run our own businesses so we can be self-reliant and not dependent on Government money and so we can offer the program at no cost to those that join us. Participants obtain a minimum of high school equivalency and gain the job and life skills needed to return to various communities as decent, law abiding individuals.
Managing Director Dave Durocher was arrested for the first time at the age of 13 years old. By the time he was 38, he had been to prison four times for a total of 15 years. When he was given the option to go to Delancey, he was facing 29 years in prison. Dave pleaded guilty of his crimes and went to Delancey in Los Angeles. Dave was at Delancey Street for 8 years and became the Managing Director of their 250 person Los Angeles facility for 5 of those years. Dave is articulate, humble, tenacious, interpersonally skilled, a good manager and a good public speaker. He was able to double revenues in their Training School businesses while he was there and when he left, he had tripled their earnings from when he had took over the facility. Dave has helped countless others regain their dignity, their families and their lives before he moved on to enjoy his own success as the person he had become. Now Dave is embarking on the next chapter of his new life; to help create a place, much like the one he credits with saving his life, only better. A place people can come to learn about integrity, honesty, hard work and self-respect. All the things that protect those inclined from falling prey to their addictions so as not to become the kind of person Dave was, but rather the kind of person he is today.
Alan began using marijuana and other drugs in his early teens. He spent his adult life as a “functioning addict” until he was introduced to methamphetamine. That began a thirteen year downward spiral of multiple arrests, lost marriages, lost careers and eventually homelessness. Alan’s troubles culminated in his being arrested three times in a span of eleven months for manufacturing meth. Facing many years in prison, Alan says he was rescued from himself by an empathetic Judge who allowed him to go to Delancey Street instead of prison. That most fortunate occurrence, as he calls it, saved his life, he says. He stayed two years as required by his plea bargain and another four years voluntarily to help others experience the redemption and renewal he had found. While at Delancey Street Alan worked in Corporate Development, Finance. Retail Sales and eventually found his niche in Community Relations. Alan was responsible for advocating Delancey Street as a sentencing alternative to the Judicial and Legal communities. He was a natural. He is articulate, persuasive and living proof that the process can work. Alan has done speaking engagements throughout New Mexico and southern California enthusiastically advocating for just the type of therapeutic community that he will now help foster in Salt Lake City at The Other Side Academy. “I’m so blessed. I get to help build a place just like the one that saved my life. What could possibly be more gratifying than that?”
Lola has always dreamed of making a difference in the world. Her progress was stopped dead in its tracks twenty years ago when she developed an all-consuming addiction to heroin. This new path took Lola down to a place where all drug dependent people go… to rehabs, jails, and prisons. She was stuck in hopeless desperation and after being arrested one more time, she knew she had to try something different. Lola had heard about Delancy Street Foundation and wondered if the judge would give her a chance to try this program. The judges quickly agreed to two years in Delancy Street or do five years in prison. He gave Lola a stern warning. He said he would offer this deal to her but he recommended she do the prison time. He has seen addicts like Lola before and at this point, he believed she would fail the program and end up in prison anyway. Lola had a different idea. With gratitude for this opportunity, Lola excelled at Delancy Street. She worked her way up to the finance department where she learned skills in accounting, auditing, and bookkeeping with an emphasis in rehabilitation management. Lola’s two year sentence in Delancy Street turned into a five year life changing stay. Once graduated, Lola quickly found work in the medical field as well as property management and the sky was the limit. The only thing missing was her desire to help other addicts still suffering. Enter The Other Side Academy. Now Lola can live her dream of making a difference in the world.
Over three years ago, I launched the work of the Your Mark on the World Center with the publication of my book, Your Mark on the World. In the book, I profiled some wonderful people doing amazing things to make the world a better place.
One of the most fascinating people I profiled was Rabbi Benny Zippel of Chabad Lubavitch of Utah, who had launched a program to provide spiritual help and support to at risk youth spending time in residential schools, including some who were there as an alternative to incarceration.
Three years later, I’m eager to catch up with Rabbi Zippel and his Project HEART.
“Thousands of precious young souls find themselves in Utah for 9-18 months at a time in a variety of residential treatment centers, to help them be able to better cope with their challenges in life. As one can understand, the challenges facing these young men and women are not limited to them themselves but can have a lasting impact on their families and loved ones as well,” he explains.
“As the Executive Director of Project HEART, my work focuses on providing a support system for these young people, based on the principles of Judaism and spirituality, helping each and every one of them discover how they truly are a gem, and all that is necessary is for them to uncover the beauty that exits within them,” he adds.
Operating and funding the program is a big challenge. Yesterday, Project HEART raised over $200,000 in 24 hours via Charidy in a one-day crowdfunding campaign. The success was driven in part by matches from Gail Miller, Scott Anderson and a group of other supporters so that every dollar donated became four.
Rabbi Zippel explains, “Project HEART is a non-profit organization that functions only through the generosity of the local community. We are hoping that by raising awareness of the help that our students need, people will get involved and do their part to help us change these lives.”
On Thursday, September 3, 2015 at 2:00 Eastern, Rabbi Zippel will join me here for a live conversation about the work of Project HEART.
More about Project HEART:
Project HEART was founded in July of 1992, as one of the branches of Chabad Lubavitch of Utah, the local branch of the world’s largest Jewish outreach organization. Project HEART focuses on providing love and unconditional support for young men and women who find themselves here in Utah in Residential Treatment Centers, as well as support for their families.
Rabbi Zippel’s bio:
- Born in Milan Italy, May 5, 1966
- July 1984 Oxford Institutes, Milan Italy: Advanced Degree Modern Languages
- June 1988: Rabbinical College of America, Morristown New Jersey: Bachelor Of Religious Studies
- September 1989: Central Yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim Lubavitch, Brooklyn, New York: Rabbinical Ordination,
- Married Sharonne Schochet, February 13, 1990
- Moved to Salt Lake City, Utah in July 1992 to establish Chabad Lubavitch Of Utah (Utah branch of world’s largest Jewish Outreach Organization, Chabad Lubavitch)
- December 1992: Founded Project H.E.A.R.T. (Hebrew Education for At Risk Teens) – a weekly outreach endeavor to hundreds of Jewish teens throughout Utah with acute behavioral and life threatening issues.
- February 2002: official Salt Lake Olympic Chaplain Jewish chaplain for XIX Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, UT
- August 2006: Gave Invocation at Luncheon at Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, hosted by US Senator Orrin G. Hatch welcoming US President George W. Bush.
- December 2007: Attended White House Chanukah Party in Washington D.C., as guest of US President George W. And First Lady Laura Bush.
- May 2009: Accompanied Governor Jon M. Huntsman on his 1st visit to Israel
- May 2012: Gave keynote address at National day of Prayer event at Utah Valley University
- June 2014: Received Bronze Minuteman Award by the Utah National Guard at Utah National Guard Fifty-Third Annual Dinner at Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City in recognition for work with Project H.E.A.R.T. (Hebrew Education for At Risk Teens) throughout the State of Utah
- Father of 6 children (4 boys, 2 girls)
- Speaks: Italian, English, French, German, Hebrew, Yiddish, and Portuguese.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
Carnival newest cruise line is sailing in a new direction; Fathom’s destination is social impact. Initially sailing with one vessel, the Adonia, Fathom passengers will visit the Dominican Republic and Cuba to work alongside locals as volunteers on water and other projects.
The brains behind Fathom, its President, Tara Russell, explained, “We didn’t want Fathom to be a ‘voluntourism’ company. We wanted Fathom to be so much more than that. So we found a way to leverage the resources of the world’s largest travel and leisure company (Carnival Corporation) to create a new kind of cruise that combines the love of travel with the desire to make a difference. Truly nothing like this exists today.”
“We created Fathom to give people an easy, safe and convenient way to make a social impact that is both meaningful to society and personally rewarding, ” she adds.
Russell describes the projects passengers will undertake, “In the Dominican Republic, for example, more than two million Dominicans do not have access to piped water. Fathom travelers will work with a local organization there to build water filters using clay and other natural resources to make healthy drinking water available to Dominican families.”
“Fathom will send thousands of travelers a year – more than 700 travelers on every trip – to Caribbean communities in need to work with our local partners and directly alongside local citizens on ongoing social impact programs in each community. This sustained and large-scale impact is what makes Fathom truly unique. Travelers will have the opportunity to make transformative societal contributions that will extend far beyond their individual involvement. It will be incredibly rewarding,” she concluded.
Fathom’s seven-day cruises to the Dominican Republic will start at $974 and those to Cuba will start at $1,800.
On Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 1:00 Eastern, Russell will join me for a live discussion about Fathom’s impact. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Fathom:
Fathom is a new kind of cruise that combines your love of travel with your desire to make a difference. Part of the Carnival Corporation (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK) family, Fathom is the pioneer of impact travel, a new category of travel that will offer consumers authentic, meaningful travel experiences to enrich the life of the traveler and work alongside locals as they tackle community needs. Fathom is unique in that it leverages Carnival Corporation’s expertise and scale for a one-of-a-kind business model to create long-term collaboration with its partner countries, allowing for sustained social impact and lasting development. Fathom will serve the sizable and growing market of potential social impact travel consumers – approximately one million North Americans – in addition to global travelers already pursuing service-oriented travel experiences worldwide.
Tara Russell is the president of fathom, a social impact company that offers a new category of travel, and global impact lead of Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest travel and leisure company. Russell generated the idea for fathom in 2013, and led research, design and development of the brand, business model and experience from January 2014 to launch in June 2015. She now leads the fathom team as it offers a unique experience to purpose-driven travelers who desire authentic, meaningful social impact opportunities. fathom provides the opportunity to immerse in another culture and community, and systematically work alongside that community to make relevant contributions that endure. fathom is the newest addition to Carnival Corporation, which is also the world’s largest cruise company with nine global cruise lines providing extraordinary vacations at exceptional value for nearly 11 million people around the world every year. Russell has responsibility for fathom and the corporation’s global impact programs and reports to Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation.
Prior to Carnival Corporation, Russell was Founder and CEO of Create Common Good (CCG, www.createcommongood.org), a non-profit social enterprise that provides training and employment to refugees and a wide variety of other populations with barriers to employment. Russell created CCG in 2008 in order to use food to change lives by empowering for self-sufficiency through a creative food-production social enterprise production model. CCG has delivered more than 100,000 job training hours, with an average employment success outcome of more than 90 percent, and returned more than $18 million back into the community via graduate earned wages. The organization’s noteworthy work to promote healthy eating habits through snack and grab & go production recently earned grants from Newman’s Own Foundation and the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health. Russell is currently Chairman of the Board for CCG.
In 2007, Russell was part of the founding team of Jitasa, a for-profit social venture that provides affordable financial services to the non-profit industry and has become a profitable, global enterprise serving hundreds of global social sector enterprises, including Boy Scouts of America and many other large, scalable impact entities. Jitasa is a certified B-Corporation with offices in the US, Thailand and Bosnia.
Prior to this, Russell spent four years in Thailand, where she offered pro bono small business development training to nongovernmental organizations. Russell also co-founded NightLight, an international organization that addresses the complex issues surrounding trafficking and prostitution by offering alternative employment, vocational opportunities, life-skills training and physical, emotional and spiritual development to women seeking freedom from human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Russell started her career with a number of Fortune 500 companies, including roles in product development with Nike; technical sales and marketing at Intel; and engineering and manufacturing with General Motors. While at Intel, she was selected for the Emerging Leaders program and had the opportunity to work with the executive team. During her four years with GM, she was chosen to represent Saturn Corporation in the Shanghai GM New Vehicle Build & Launch Project in 1999 in China. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with Highest Honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
The Your Mark on the World Center is partnering with Bright Funds to create the Your Mark on the World Fund. The fund supports the work of 16 nonprofits that are working to solve some of the Earth’s biggest problems.
Bright Funds CEO Ty Walrod said, “Bright Funds was built to address the needs of a new generation of donors who want to harness the power of strategic giving. The Your Mark on the World Fund is an extraordinary example of empowering donors to create impact in a variety of causes areas, ranging from environmental issues, human rights, disease research and prevention.”
“New technology and a more enriched global perspective are responsible for changing the way we view donating to causes. A generation ago, giving was somewhat reactive. Society did not have the tools or the access to causes or charities we have today, and it made giving feel very transactional,” Ty added.
“At Bright Funds, we enable donors to go beyond transactional giving by empowering them create funds and then track the impact of their donations,” Ty concluded.
On Wednesday, August 26, 2015, Ty will join me for a live discussion about the new Your Mark on the World Fund hosted by Bright Funds and the work of the nonprofits it supports. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Bright Funds:
San Francisco-based Bright Funds helps leading companies and their employees change the world through impactful social good programs, and in doing so, make their businesses more successful. Bright Funds enables employee donors to choose their cause and give to individual non-profits or exclusively available “Funds” comprised of multiple nonprofits. In one platform, Bright Funds brings together the power of research, the reliability of a trusted financial service, and the convenience of centralized contributions and company reporting. Employees, recruits, customers, and investors and worthy causes appreciate companies that use Bright Funds for employee-empowered giving.
More about the Your Mark on the World Fund:
This fund is inspired by the Your Mark on the World Center, which is championing the work of people and organizations who are actually leading the charge to solve the world’s biggest problems. Ranging from environmental issues to human rights, poverty and disease prevention, this group of nonprofits has been identified by the Center for their work in scaling global solutions to match global problems. The Center is working to see many of these problems solved before 2045.
Ty is the co-founder and CEO of Bright Funds, the company that enables employee-empowered workplace giving. Prior to Bright Funds, Ty co-founded and built OutServe into a national organization supporting LGBT equality in the US military. He previously worked for Deloitte, with the partnership’s venture capital, private equity and technology clients, followed by his work as the lead business analyst for Coverity.
Ty is also the co-founder and a board member of Startup and Tech Mixer, a bay area professional networking organization, and a board member of Sustainable Silicon Valley, an organization dedicated to a healthy environment, a vibrant economy, and a socially equitable Silicon Valley community. He is an avid runner and mountaineer.
“Everyday 8,300 students drop out of high school, costing society $292,000 over the course of their lifetime because they are more likely to live in poverty, experience poor health, and be involved in crime,” explains Kip Kint, the Director of Training for School of Life Foundtion, an organization that aims to significantly reduce the rate at which students drop out of High School.
Jack Rolfe, the CEO and Founder of School of Life, notes, “The mission of the School of Life Foundation is to assist in reversing this trend and increase high school graduation rates. This is accomplished by teaching an afterschool program to at-risk students.”
Kip explains the program’s focus on teaching life skills, “Taking ownership of one’s own life is the key to success. The School of Life empowers students to take ownership, even if less-than-ideal circumstances remain in other parts of their lives. They come away knowing they have more power than they thought they did.”
Rolfe notes that the program is highly effective, “Of the Senior students dropping out of high school that complete the program 88% turn around and graduate on time. The success rate of underclassmen advancing to their next grade level is 98%.”
As a result of the program’s effectiveness, the program launched just four years ago will operate in 30 high schools across three states this fall.
On Thursday, August 20, 2015 at 5:00 Eastern, Jack and Kip will join me for a live discussion about the program and the data they use to track their impact. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about the School of Life Foundation:
The School of Life Foundation™ is a nonprofit organization that aims to disrupt troublesome high school dropout rates throughout the United States and is committed to the social, moral and character development of youth. We donate our workbook, Learn To “School” Your Toughest Opponent™, and accompanying training program to high schools. The book offers life-guiding principles and values to help youth achieve straight A’s in the school of life™. Many of our partner schools are implementing the School of Life program as Tier 2 of their Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports (PBIS) system to enhance their school culture.
Mr. Rolfe is a retired physical therapist and girls basketball coach. He is a past President of the Nevada State Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association and also past President of the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassador group the Dixie Sunshiners. His coaching experiences consisted of little leagues, middle school, high school, college camps, WNBA camps, and traveling AAU clubs. From these life experiences Jack was inspired to write the book Learn to “School” Your Toughest Opponent which contains the Straight A’s in Life curriculum. To share the message of this workbook Mr. Rolfe created a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization the School of Life Foundation and now serves as CEO. In an effort to further the mission of the Foundation he attained a Masters of Nonprofit Administration Degree from the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame graduating in 2013. Mr. Rolfe also authored the book 27 Seconds and coauthored Life Choices: It is Never Too Late and Heart of a Toastmaster. He enjoys speaking professionally and was honored to speak at the First Annual National Youth Mentoring Summit held at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. Jack and his wife Lexie reside in St. George, Utah. They have five children and nine grandchildren. Jack’s cohort at Notre Dame named him the Silver Fox!
Kip Kint is the Director of Training for the School of Life Foundation. Kip is also the author of You Can If You Will: How to Succeed Through Commitment and Accountability. He has more than 20 years of business and leadership experience, having worked in leadership positions for large, successful companies such as WordPerfect, Novell, FranklinCovey and BNI. Kip has been an Executive Trainer and Success Coach for over 20 years. He is a Certified FranklinCovey Coach, an effectiveness expert and a professional speaker. Clients of note have come from prominent organizations such as the U.S. Department of Justice, The United Nations, Allied Waste/Republic Services, The New York Stock Exchange, Disney, Microsoft, BNI and many others.
Some people just don’t fit the mold you’d cast them in. Adlai Wertman, professor and Founding Director of the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab at the Marhsall School of Business at the University of Southern California is just such a person.
While a former investment banker becoming a business school professor is a well enough worn path, the shift from investment banking to a heartfelt passion for helping the homeless is startling.
Adlai is also the founder of Chrysalis, a nonprofit enterprise that provides employment to the homeless in Los Angeles and has helped over 1,000 clients and generated over $4.5 million in revenue.
Adlai explains his thinking, “It is unfair that historically business educations have been solely used for pursuing profit maximization. That same skill set and education must also be applied to solving the world’s biggest social challenges.”
Every year, Adlai gives his students a personal challenge, “With the world telling you that success is about making money, do you have the courage to define success for yourself?”
On Thursday, August 20, 2015 at 4:00 Eastern, Adlai will join me for a live discussion about his remarkable career switch and the social entrepreneurship program at USC. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about the USC Marshall Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab:
The USC Marshall Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab (BSEL) focuses on educating and supporting USC students, faculty, staff, and community members on using business models to address global social, environmental and health challenges. . Through coursework, education, programs, events, and career development, we provide the tools to equip and inspire the next generation of enlightened business leaders and social entrepreneurs. The Lab recently introduced a one-year Masters of Science in Social Entrepreneurship – the first such degree offered by a business school in the United States.
Adlai Wertman is a professor of clinical entrepreneurship at the USC Marshall School of Business and holds a joint appointment at the Rossier School of Education. He is also the founding director of the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab at Marshall —a center focused on educating and supporting USC students, faculty, staff, and community members on using business models to address global social, environmental and health challenges. Prior to joining the faculty at Marshall, Adlai spent seven years as president and CEO of Chrysalis — the only non-profit in Los Angeles devoted solely to helping homeless change their lives through employment. As part of its award-winning program, Chrysalis ran one of the larger social enterprises in the country — Chrysalis Enterprises — with annual revenues over $4.5 million and employing nearly 1,000 clients each year. Prior to Chrysalis, Adlai spent 18 years as an investment banker in New York and Los Angeles.
Adlai is an advisory board member of the Global Health Institute the Roberts Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), the Sydney Harmon Academy of Polymathic Studies, and a Trustee of the Jewish Community Foundation. He is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture and the USC Center on Social Innovation. He has also served as a commissioner of the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension Fund. Adlai is a frequent speaker on the issues of social entrepreneurship and social enterprise. Adlai was a senior fellow at the UCLA School of Public Affairs and a Wexner Heritage Fellow. Adlai earned his BA in Economics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and his MBA in Finance, Public Policy Management and Strategic Planning from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Adlai is a member of the Social Venture Network.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
Eric Stowe saw a problem in the developing world and did something about it. He saw a need for clean water in the slums and created Splash, a nonprofit organization, to solve the problem.
“While working in orphanages internationally, I became aware of the crucial need for clean water for kids on the periphery in urban areas,” Stowe explains. “Hotels and restaurants had access to clean water, but across the street, children at poor schools and orphanages did not. It was, and continues to be, an easy problem to fix by leveraging economies and infrastructure that already exist rather than re-creating the wheel.”
Stowe’s Splash has some audacious goals: provide clean water to every orphanage in China, every public school in Kathmandu, Nepal and every “child-serving” institution in Kolkata, India.
“We want to put Splash out of business by 2030. Our ultimate goal is to ensure local success happens on its own time, on its own terms, through its own talent, and with its own funding. Charity is a means to that – it cannot be the end,” Stowe concludes.
On Thursday, August 13, 2015 at noon Eastern, Stowe will join me here for a live discussion about his efforts to provide clean water in Urban areas where it is desperately needed. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Splash:
Splash is a field-leading WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) organization focused on urban environments and, specifically, the poorest children within them. Splash works with the public, private and social sectors in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Ethiopia, India, Nepal and Thailand to create lasting and local safe water solutions for orphanages, schools, clinics and shelters.
Eric Stowe is Founder & Executive Director of Splash. He has worked in the international NGO sector for the last 15 years and is much-watched for his leadership in international development, transparency practices, and business-approaches to solving conditions of poverty.
In the heart of one of the country’s most conservative small towns, just a few miles from the notoriously dry Brigham Young University, ensconced in the safety of a gated community, our host for the evening introduced us to the four felons he’d chosen to run his new nonprofit, The Other Side Academy.
Sitting in the living room of Joseph Grenny’s 10,000 square-foot home with fifty other guests, I struggled to grasp the full message I was being presented. I kept tripping over the irony of the wealthy benefactor who had so successfully protected himself from ever having to think about—let alone fear—a criminal choosing to enter their world in hopes of redeeming them.
Having learned of Mimi Silbert’s Delancey Street Foundation in San Francisco, Grenny, the bestselling author, who has studied and written about influencers like Silbert, decided Utah needed something like Delancey Street.
The managing director of The Other Side Academy, which will be closely modeled on Delancey Street’s proven approach, is being built with an overarching goal: scale. Grenny, and his partner, Tim Stay, not only hope to create a successful program in Utah, but to roll it out nationwide—and then internationally.
The pair have chosen David Durocher to serve as the managing director for the Utah Center. He’s the perfect choice. Before spending eight years at Delancey Street in Los Angeles, he spent 15 years in prison over four stays with very brief stints on the outside, once lasting only 59 days. His first arrest came at age 13. His last five years at Delancey Street he served as the managing director for a facility with 250 people.
The Delancey Street model has been proven successful over thirty-plus years. The system requires that those who choose to come and stay work hard, typically at low-skilled jobs that teach them how to become constructive members of society. Most participants never have been before. Delancey Street operates several small businesses run by rehabilitated ex-convicts, addicts and others who’ve hit bottom and are willing to do the hard work required to prepare themselves to lead productive lives.
Durocher will be joined by Alan Fahringer, Lola Zagey and Martin Anderson, also alumni of the Delancey Street program.
The Delancey Street program is described on the website as follows:
There is no official staff at Delancey Street. Everyone who comes in works his or her way up into some sort of position in which he/she is learning a new job from the person over them who has held that job before, and teaching the job he/she has now to the newer resident. In this way, everyone at Delancey Street is pulling together toward the same goals. No one is simply a receiver; everyone is a giver as well.
The potential harmony of the Utah Mormon leaders, Grenny and Stay, playing with the ex-cons from Southern California rings with potential. The proven business acumen combined with the necessary track record of the operational directors leads one to conclude that it is possible to relatively quickly scale up a facility in Utah and then grow the model nationally.