Good News from Holyoke

Recent LPV alumni, Isolda Ortega-Bustamante, reported good news about several grants that she submitted that got funded last week.

The ELL Enrichment Academies will involve a rich array of regional partners in serving 7th to 12th grade students who are learning English. These partners include: WGBY Project TOLD/Latino Youth Media Institute, CareerPoint, Westfield State University, The Western Mass Writing Project, Enchanted Circle Theater and many other outstanding providers and institutions such as HCC, the MGHPCC, the Collaborative for Educational Services, and others. It is a truly exciting program to be offered by our ELE Department with all these partners.

The Career Academies application was prepared by Amy Dopp at HCC and is a planning grant for Holyoke High School, and also includes partnerships with various institutions that will allow for an intensified focus on college and careers  at HHS.

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Leaders Go First

Earlier this month, we had a terrific trainer, Izzy Gesell, for our 2nd Challenge Day session of Leadership Pioneer Valley.  One of the main outcomes of the day was to work on group alignment skills.  Izzy presented some leadership tactics through the use of improv theater skills.  Izzy demystified some of the practice and behind the scenes work that goes into good improv.  This included full-body listening, focus, and trust.

I was really struck with the demonstration of the leadership principle that we discuss all the time, mainly “model the way”.  The idea that leaders need to model the behaviors, principles, and values that they articulate.  Everyone was a little nervous about the prospect of doing improv in front of everyone.  During the first exercise, the trainer asked for a volunteer and you could see people trying not to make eye contact.  After a few brief moments, one brave soul volunteered and everyone in the audience seemed relieved.  Just be going first, this leader was able to impact the emotions of everyone in the room.  They also gained our respect and support.  By going first, we wanted her to succeed.

This was a great demonstration of why leaders need to go first.  As leaders we are constantly judged by others who are watching our authenticity.  The exercise showed that it is harder to fail if you actually step up than not stepping up at all.

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Job Postings

Please see the 2 openings at Square One in Springfield.  VP of Finance and AD of HR.


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LPV In the News

LPV’s December article in the African American Point of View on page 14.

We are quoted in an article (page 35) on Valley Gives in the December 3rd issue of Business West.

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Why Blog??

Lora has asked me to contribute to the LPV blog. And, because I’m the Chair and feel a sense of obligation, I said I would. But that then raised the obvious question – what do I blog about? My answer to myself was, whatever I want. And so, for my first blog here’s what I want to say.

I hope everyone will contribute to this blog. And by everyone I mean past and present participants, Steering Committee members, supporters, sponsors, suppliers, faculty – anyone. because this is a place where we can all express our opinions and suggestions about how to make LPV and by extension the Pioneer Valley the sparkling jewel that all of us believe it to be.

It is the thoughts and opinions of everyone that will make it so. Do you have an opinion about the program? Say it. Do you have a suggestion for improvement? Say it. Are you pleased about something? Say it. Are you frustrated about something? Say it. Do you have an insight into one of the valley’s challenges? Say it. And so forth.

Blogs only help build when they are positive. If you have a gripe or an issue with someone, don’t post it here. Leaders don’t air their problems in public. They deal with them privately with an eye toward resolution – just what we all want our government to do right now!!

Leadership Pioneer Valley represents the bright hope for the future of our valley. This valley is home to and belongs to everyone, not just a few. It’s future is in the hands of all of us. Our job is to be a catalyst, to unlock the potential of our people and our rich resources. But no one can do that in isolation. This valley needs your voice and your creative commitment and your energy.

This blog is a great place to bring all that together and to “connect” for the benefit of the entire region. So blog away, leaders!!

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Class of 2011-12 Project Presentations

We are glad to have just posted all 6 team project presentations from the recent class of 2011-12.  Each team did a great job presenting the culmination of their 9 months working together.  Enjoy!

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Class of 2012-13 Photos

We just updated our Flickr with new photos from the kick-off reception last month.  More than a hundred people gathered to help launch our latest class of 40.  It was an exuberant evening featuring our alumni welcoming the new class and new class members getting to know one another


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