October Youth Champion Award: Marion L. Robinson

Each month The Real MCCOY will be shining a spotlight on hard working Youth Development Professionals and the great work they and their organizations do. This month’s interview is with Lillian Davis Foundation, Inc.’s Executive Director, Marion L. Robinson. Founded in 2007, Lillian Davis Foundation, Inc. continues the legacy of Mrs. Lillian M. Davis by working to make school services available for elementary students both in and out of school, and improving the quality of education for children. The Lillian Davis Foundation, Inc. is working to create a neighborhood for children and families that will provide educational opportunities, safety, and economic growth. Check out the interview below to learn more about Ms. Marion L. Robinson and the organization:

1)      Why did you want to go into this line of work?
The Lillian Davis Foundation is a foundation that is named after my mother. My brother and I founded the organization because youth work was important to my mother. We chose it because it fit with our mother’s legacy.

2)      What was your first day on the job like?
My first day on the job was the day we launched the organization and it was full of excitement and the opportunity of those who expressed desires to support the community, and expressed the desire to support us.

3)      What is most rewarding about your job?
Personally, giving back. It is very rewarding to continue what my parents instilled in me by giving back to the community and being a part of that effort.

4)      What is the most challenging part of your job?
As a small organization, it’s always the fundraising. It is challenging when you have to work on volunteer support laborers. The most challenging part is to move from volunteer to hire staff.

5)      How has MCCOY helped your organization succeeded or grow?
MCCOY has helped me in many ways. As executive director I’ve been given many opportunities for leadership development because of access to workshops. These workshops have kept me current with best practices and current with other organizations. MCCOY has helped us institute summer programming and training for youth workers in summer programs and leadership programs.

6)      Where do you see yourself and your organization in five years?
My prayer and hope is that we will still be providing services to the community. I hope that our community partner relationships will grow; that we’re making a collective impact with youth with developing skills, and preparing them for life. I would like to see how the youth we’ve touched have developed and see how the work has paid off.
We’d like to thank Ms Robinson for taking the time to answer our questions. For more information about Lillian Davis Foundation, Inc. check out their website: http://lilliandavisfndn.org/.

Programs Teach Youth Attitudes & Behaviors to Keep Jobs

Written by: John Brandon, President of MCCOY
I realize that the school year is only 6-7 weeks along, but it is not too soon to talk about an important issue for young people in our community:  summer employment.  While many youth organizations don’t have the budget to actually hire youth (though some do and provide a great work experience for youth!), many youth serving agencies are in a position to help young people who participate in their programs develop the workplace skills that are absolutely necessary for success in the workplace, not only now, but throughout their work career.
Youth programs are the places where young people learn how to work with others, solve problems, develop critical thinking and analysis, communicate through writing and speaking, take on leadership roles, and develop responsibility.  Employers will say “I can teach somebody how to do the job but I can’t teach them to have the attitudes and behaviors which will help them keep it.”  That’s what youth programs do best.
If we think of summer jobs as a part of a broader strategy for addressing poverty, as the Brookings Institute suggests in an article entitled “Expanding Summer Employment Opportunities for Low-Income Youth”, we can see that summer employment not only provides a job and money in the pocket, it also serves as an encouragement to do well in school, increases individual maturity, and decreases negative behaviors.  There is even some evidence that developing workplace skills actually increases college completion rates!  That’s a good thing for youth and for our community.
These are all signs that point to the importance of a strong youth development sector in our community that prepares youth for education, work, life, and community involvement.  MCCOY is all about making sure that sector is in place for the young people of our community.  We’re glad you are working with us!

Family Access Network’s Collective Impact Work

Written by: Ashley Shufflebarger, AmeriCorps VISTA member with MCCOY
Thanks to the time and effort of many partnering organizations, Family Access Network is working collectively to bring about positive changes for children and families living in Near West.  While building a physical location will be significant, our work is most important in its collective strides to increase opportunities for families to be safe, healthy and self-sufficient.  FAN partners recognize there is work is to be done and it needs to start now!
Collective impact is defined as the commitment of a group…from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem.

In other words, collective impact takes dedicated minds from different sectors, and uses these resources to solve issues on a more involved level than mere organizational collaboration.  FAN aims to solve the issue of child abuse, neglect and delinquency, with MCCOY serving as the backbone organization to keep efforts focused and moving forward.

At present, FAN’s collective impact team has identified a few potential projects for the Near West side to promote healthy children, families and the community, including:
·         Increasing the number of residents who have health care coverage, and later increasing use of preventive services.

  • Increasing the number of Near West children in high quality child care programs.
  •  Increasing the number of families engaged in quality home visiting services such as Nurse Family Partnership, Parents as Teachers, and Early Head Start. 

If this work interests you, join us at our next collective impact meeting, on October 21, 2014 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Haughville Branch Library.    
If you would like to learn more about collective impact, please join us for any of three different webinars through the Collective Impact Forum hosted by FSG.  MCCOY will host viewing parties and a 30-minute post viewing dialogue for each webinar.  The first webinar will be held in the United Way Building, and the final two webinars in the Haughville Library.  Please contact Ashley Shufflebarger for more information or to RSVP!  


Overview of Interim Study Committees

Written by: Mindi Goodpaster, MCCOY’s Public Policy & Advocacy Director

Interim Study Committee on Corrections and Criminal Code

  • Alcohol and opioid dependence in criminal justice
  • Report concerning the Indiana Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana
  • The availability of the juvenile indigent defense
  • Concerns relating to racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system
  • Juvenile detention issues

o   The status of the Indiana Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative
o   Proposed amendments to IC 31-37-22-5 to preclude status offenders from being sent to DOC
o   Inappropriate referrals to juvenile justice system

  • The use of risk assessment techniques in juvenile delinquency dispositional determinations and case planning
  • The application of restorative justice principles in juvenile delinquency cases

o   Victim Offender Restoration Program

  • Juvenile justice caselaw and statutes

o   Recent United States Supreme Court decisions relating to juvenile justice
o   Amending statutes regarding juvenile court jurisdiction and waiver of jurisdiction
o   Expanding interrogation protections for juveniles (J.D.B. v. North Carolina, 131 S.Ct 2394 (2011))

  • Law enforcement training regarding juveniles
  • Juvenile justice reform nationally
  • Education and training for juvenile court judges
  • The Indiana Juvenile Mental Screening, Assessment and Treatment Project

Interim Study Committee on Education

  • Discussion of student discipline and the suspension, expulsion, or exclusion of a student from school
  •  Discussion Prekindergarten and Early Learning

o   The feasibility of obtaining a block grant and necessary waivers under the federal Head Start program under 42 U.S.C, 9831 et seq. to establish an early learning scholarship program or another type of alternative program.
o   The feasibility of obtaining a Child Care and Development Block Grant under 72 U.S.C. 9858 et seq. or other federal funds to fund prekindergarten or early learning education programs in Indiana.
o   Options for funding prekindergarten or early learning programs, including opportunities to partner with business, philanthropic, or community leaders.
o   Whether other state have developed rigorous accountability standards for prekindergarten or early education.
o   Parental Involvement opportunities to prepare children for education outside the educational environment, including the benefits of reading to a child.
o   Opportunities to equip parents with skills necessary to improve the parents’ ability to contribute to their child’s early education.
o   The economic benefits of prekindergarten or early learning.
·         Next Meeting: October 22, 9 a.m. in Room 404
o   Topic: Need for an Early College High School program and the Committee’s final report