Each class works together on a project, both to give something back to
the community and as a learning laboratory to put into practice in the
real world what was learned in the Fellows' class year.
The class held a community forum at the State Capitol, attended by
approximately 120 people. The event began with the showing of a 25
minute video – a demographic snapshot of the region, that was
professionally produced for Class I, titled Land of Dreams: Race and
Diversity in the Sacramento Region. Clarence Page, columnist for the
Chicago Tribune, followed as the keynote speaker. A diverse panel of
leaders then spoke briefly then to interacted with the audience.
The entire 3-hour forum was taped, and the tape was televised over the California Channel several times. The Land of Dreams video was also broadcast twice on the public television station. The 3-hour video of the entire forum was edited to a one-hour tape. The class developed a set of questions and a study guide to go with both Land of Dreams and the one-hour edited forum tape, and made available to community organizations to help open the dialogue on diversity in the region. Thousands of kits were distributed to schools, churches and other community organizations.
A high percentage of foster youth end up in the criminal justice
system, mental health system or homeless because there are few, if any,
resources to help them when the support paid to their foster parents
ends with their 18th birthdays or graduation from high school.
Class II Fellows met with 45 foster youth and developed workshops on renting an apartment and dealing with landlords, dealing with the legal system and an inside view of the legal profession, banking and credit (those who attended this workshop each got a savings account with $200), self esteem for girls, and college financial aid.
The youth also received tours of Intel, Hewlett Packard, DST Output (cable billing company), and PRIDE Industries (employment for the disabled), along with several presentations on work readiness and applying for jobs.
A youth sports leadership conference — Creating Good Sports: The Vital
Role of Parents in Supporting Athletes and Coaches — was held November
13, 2000 at the Sacramento Convention Center for parents, coaches and
athletes of Sacramento, San Joaquin, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado, Solano,
Yuba and Sutter counties.
The class, in partnership with the Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau, California Interscholastic Federation (Sac-Joaquin Section), the Sacramento Boys & Girls Club, and many others, invited youth sports organizations, schools, and businesses to join them in putting the “good” back into youth sports experiences by recruiting parent-coach-athlete teams to attend.
The purpose of the conference was to develop positive alternatives and mutual support to help counter today’s increasingly toxic youth sports environment. At this daylong event, sports parenting experts led conference sessions that helped participants learn how they can work together to promote “good sports” within their youth sports communities. In addition, the conference also helped parents understand what kids really want out of sports, to learn to relax and enjoy the sports experience, and develop a commitment to teaching athletes how to become advocates for their own interests.
Class IV invited community leaders to challenge their views on issues
in our own region by joining an Urban Trek, inspired by the
experiential learnings from the Class’ week-long Wilderness trip as
part of the Fellows program year. The October, 2001 trek was designed
to allow participants to literally walk in the shoes of community
members with whom they might not normally be in contact, to help them
experience policy issues from ground zero, and to increase their
understanding of how our decisions as leaders affect individuals.
There were three different treks to choose from: The High School Trek, The Affordable Housing Trek, and The Health Care Trek. The Urban Trek has become a core part of the ALF Fellows' Program Curriculum.
Class V transformed the fields at Ethel Phillips Elementary School in
South Sacramento, whose student population is generally comprised of
recent immigrants, into a community park. Where once there was
only grass, new swings were installed, trees planted, and soccer goals
Renowned artist Donna Billick worked with the students and their parents to create a unique tile-mosaic bench that reflected the school's mascot and the dreams of the students. With the new community gathering spot attracting more children and families, the neighborhood is a little more closely knit.
Classmembers, recognizing the incredible value of ALF's program for
established leaders and the lack of opportunities to develop leadership
qualities in youth, took the core elements of the ALF curriculum and
applied it to the needs of high school students.
Sixteen youth from diverse backgrounds and locations were selected to participate in an orientation, four-day Wilderness Experience in the Sierras, and a commencement ceremony in the initial Teen ALF Class I in 2004. The youth helped plan the curriculum and select facilitators. The program was as powerful for the teen participants as it was for the adults during their year together, and watching the teens bond and help each other grow was also inspiring. Following its success, the program continues with the help of Sr. Fellows from other classes.