Class 30 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s Core Program. The views expressed here represent those of class members and not those of Scottsdale Leadership.
“I am doing this because it’s personal” –Ted Taylor, Executive Director, Family Promise of Greater Phoenix
On September 25, 2015, Class XXX witnessed the collective efforts of Scottsdale Social Service Superheroes in action. Their goal: create more effective organizations, build stronger communities, and promote equity and opportunity. Day Chairs Justin Boyd and Lisa Randall kicked off our first topic day with an introduction to our host site – the Paiute Neighborhood Center (PNC). PNC is a unique community resource in that serves as a hub to numerous collaborating agencies including a charter school (Hirsch Academy), Boys & Girls Club branch, a bike apprenticeship program (Handlebar Helpers) and a family center (Scottsdale Prevention Institute), just to name a few.
Throughout the day, although the details shared by each storyteller varied, a recurring theme surfaced – these are individuals invested in what they do because it resonates on a personal note. Danny Gallegos, Recreation Coordinator, originally focused on the management of Scottsdale parks. One day, he was asked to help with the operations of the Vista Del Camino food bank, but was unsure if he was the right man for the job. Today, he lends a helping hand to hundreds of individuals and families in need – individuals that could be your neighbor or co-worker. Ted Taylor, Executive Director of Family Promise of Greater Phoenix, is a former business owner, consultant and social entrepreneur. Driven by personal values of inspiration, simplicity and purpose, today he helps find shelter for over 100 families a year, including their pets! Commander Aaron Minor, Kelly Wills (Crisis Intervention Specialist), and Police Detective Robert McCabe shared their struggles and successes in keeping Scottsdale citizens safe from criminal activity while simultaneously serving as pillars of support for them during times of crisis and death, through the efforts of the Family Advocacy Center.
The stories heard on this day are too many to share in a single blog entry – the impact that they will have on the individuals lucky enough to hear them is yet to be determined. Hopefully, a social service seed has been planted in each of us. How personally that seed resonates may help determine the beauty of its bloom.