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Buffalo State Leaders Serve as Mentors for Emerging Leaders

Buffalo State Leaders Serve as Mentors for Emerging Leaders

Posted: August 25, 2016

Three Buffalo State mentors had the pleasure of seeing their mentees graduate from the Emerging Leaders program on August 8.

The Emerging Leaders program is part of the West Side Promise Neighborhood initiative, which is sponsored by Buffalo State, Open Buffalo, and PUSH Buffalo. The trainers were drawn from a variety of community groups: the Partnership for the Public Good, Open Buffalo, PUSH Buffalo, and the Massachusetts Avenue Project—spearheaded originally by Gary Welborn, associate professor of sociology. Other community groups who provided trainers are the Clean Air Coalition, the Public Accountability Initiative, and the City of Buffalo Office of New Americans.

John Siskar, senior adviser for Buffalo State Educational Pipeline Initiatives, was one of the mentors from Buffalo State. He said, “The Emerging Leaders curriculum was great. The participants are already leaders and activists; the purpose of the program was to help them develop those skills. The trainers provided a lot of necessary information. Sam Magavern of Open Buffalo provided a political history of Buffalo from different points of view. Others covered food justice, tenant rights, and healthy communities. One session was about power analysis—how to figure out who can actually make a decision in an organization.” The program consisted of five full-day sessions and six evening sessions.

Jon Lindner, senior coordinator of health promotion programs for Buffalo State’s Center for Health and Social Research, and lecturer in the Health, Nutrition, and Dietetics Department, also served as mentor. He said, “It’s inspiring to see how deeply committed the participants are to improve the quality of life for the people in their neighborhoods.”

The graduates of the West Side Promise Neighborhood Emerging Leaders Program are David C. Baugh, Abbas Cali, Juweria Dahir, Robert Herndon, Debbie Lombardo, Ibeliz Maldonado, Carolyn Miller, Aung Moe, Ahmad Nieves, Jordan Pegues, Dawn Rounds, Clayton Shanahan, Thet Hnin Wai, and Hein Htet Zaw.

Provost Melanie Perreault also served as a mentor. “It is exciting to take an active role in fulfilling our responsibility as a community anchor institution,” she said. “Personally, I’m energized by the opportunities for our students and faculty that I discover when I work with community groups. I’m pleased to congratulate this inaugural class of emerging leaders on completing the program.”

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