“Pivot” – “unprecedented” – “challenging”: a few of the words we heard over and over again in 2020, and not usually in a positive context. One of Allegany Franciscan Ministries’ most exciting and positive “pivots” was that of the Fellowship for the Common Good.
Cohort 3 of the Fellowship pivoted and completed its year virtually: CLICK HERE to learn about Cohort 3. Instead of pausing the fourth cohort, Allegany’s staff team and our partners at AIM Philanthropy brainstormed about achieving fellowship goals in a “gap year”, while maintaining a fully virtual approach in order to ensure the safety and health of our communities. In keeping with our values, we turned to the Fellows from the first three cohorts and listened to their ideas about how they could be supported in their continued leadership journeys.
A design team of former Fellows, from all three cohorts and all three Common Good Communities (Overtown, Lincoln Park, and Wimauma), worked with AIM to build a one-year pilot program, now tagged the Fellowship for the Common Good Alumni Acceleration program. The three-pronged program launched in early 2021, and addresses opportunities for peer learning and sharing; support for each individual’s journey to increase the longitudinal impact of the program; and collaboration with alumni to build a stronger presence for the Fellowship.
The Alumni Acceleration year has three distinct efforts:
- Alumni Group Project – Fellows will collaborate to solve challenges that exist across all three communities;
- Alumni Training and Capacity Building Portal to build a learning platform for Fellowship Alumni to learn or refresh key skills; and
- Alumni Advisory Council to serve as ambassadors between their communities and the Fellowship for the Common Good.
Allegany Franciscan Ministries is funding the implementation and delivery of the Alumni Acceleration program through the Common Good Initiative.
Allegany created the Common Good Initiative in 2014 to work with people in three participating Florida communities (Wimauma in Hillsborough County, Lincoln Park in Fort Pierce, and Overtown in Miami) to build healthier, safer, more connected places where everyone thrives. The initiative works with community members, nonprofit organizations, and public and private partners to make progress on community-identified priorities.
The long-term success and sustainability of the initiative and the communities, and the continuation of progress made, is dependent upon local leadership and capacity, both in individuals and in organizations. Building community power and leadership is essential to the success of the community.
Allegany launched the Fellowship for the Common Good in late 2017 to build community capacity and sustainability through community-based leadership in all three Common Good Communities. The 12-month, leadership development fellowship program for resident leaders is intended to serve as a transformative experience for the Fellows, improving their knowledge and developing their leadership skills. The Fellowship develops civic leaders who will take action to advance their communities. Each of the first three years brought together five or six individuals from each Common Good Community, for a full cohort each year of about 15 individuals. The fourth year’s Alumni Acceleration Program continues to invest in the leadership journey of Fellows from the first three cohorts.