A Mother’s Journey [Part 45]: The collaboration realization

Editor’s note: Since September 2015, Worcester Sun has chronicled the trials and triumphs of Sun contributor Giselle Rivera-Flores as she explores ways to help her daughter and other Worcester families find affordable educational support and assistance. We used to describe her as an aspiring business owner; now, she’s an inspiring one. During her journey to establish and grow her nonprofit tutoring collaborative she has, you could say, stepped beyond the walls of her dream.

Giselle Rivera-Flores

After a series of workshops held by community leaders, endless peer presentations reflecting our leadership skills, and extensive discussions about what Worcester needs, Leadership Worcester has come to an end for the 2016-17 class.

In this joint initiative of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and Greater Worcester Community Foundation, 25 “promising new professionals” connected through their various professional and personal backgrounds to talk about the future of Worcester — and quite honestly, they couldn’t have selected a better group of motivated, strong-minded and opinionated individuals.

On a mission to keep us all inspired up to the last minute — after months of skills development, training and networking — our final project was to sum up our experience in a six-word memoir. After a few minutes of debating and battling to bring the program full circle in only a few words, I stumbled upon my “ah-ha!” moment.

I realized Leadership Worcester was never really about building leaders. Instead, for me, it was about helping existing leaders learn to collaborate with others, to be the change we want to see.

Read Giselle’s previous chapter, The one dedicated to mom, or scroll down to explore more of her story.

Mandell: Closing the book on Jane Week in Worcester

“Jane Jacobs offered us a different paradigm of development that is incremental, organic, holistic, small scale, and based on the talents and energy of locals. Some of the best examples of a taste of Jane are right here in the Canal District and in what I saw in full action on a [Jane Week] tour of Main South. Worcester is on the cusp of a true renaissance! Can’t you feel it in the air?”

Inbox [May 14]: News and notes from WalletHub, Clark, Sullivan Group, GWCF, Grafton Hill Business Association and University Park Campus School

Have news you or your group would like to share? Let us know by emailing it to info@worcester.ma. Be sure to include a link to the full release on your site or Facebook page so we can include it and send Sun members your way.

Massachusetts 6th in United States for working moms

The financial website WalletHub has ranked Massachusetts the sixth best state in the country for working mothers.

Using 13 metrics over three categories — child care, professional opportunities and work-life balance — the commonwealth rated only behind Vermont, Minnesota, New Jersey, Delaware and Connecticut.

Massachusetts ranked fourth in pediatricians per capita and sixth in average length of workday. It also rated highly in parental-leave policy score and 12th in lowest percentage of single-mother families in poverty.

Read the entire story and see the complete rankings on WalletHub.com

Clark’s Mosakowski Institute adds scholar

Clark University’s Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise works to connect both the university’s research and its teaching to the world of public policy making and implementation. The University is pleased to announce that Margaret A. Post, Ph.D., will strengthen that mission when she joins the Institute as a research assistant professor, beginning in August.

Worcester Sun, May 14-20: Mariano on church closings, thoughts on Petty and Gaffney, growing up at City Hall + Mother’s Day

What if … Worcester sees a future with shorter pregnancies. Giselle Rivera-Flores takes a look back for Mother’s Day. And a whole lot more of the best commentary and storytelling in the city in your May 14-20 Worcester Sun.

Editorial: Reaching troubled youth through art

It’s hard to imagine creating art, or looking carefully at art, without connecting it to yourself.

Maybe that’s what a participant in Arts Alternative meant when he or she said, “In art, I will always find my peace.”

That quote from a troubled youth was among several read by a Worcester Art Museum volunteer to a group gathered April 20 to celebrate an art exhibit that was displayed for several days at Worcester Trial Court.

Editorial: Summit seeks to improve Worcester graduation rates

Faced with a problem, it never hurts for educators, leaders, agencies and parents to put their heads together.

This Friday, March 17, a summit will be held at WPI to do just that.

Sponsored by Worcester State University’s Latino Education Institute, the “Language of Excellence” gathering will focus on getting more of the city’s young people — particularly those for whom English is not their first language — to finish high school.

It is a “GradNation” event, a term that’s probably unfamiliar to most in Worcester.

GradNation is the signature effort of America’s Promise Alliance and has a straightforward goal: to see the nation’s four-year high school graduate rate get to 90 percent by 2020. The foundation was created and first chaired in 1997 by former Army Gen. Colin Powell, who also served as U.S. Secretary of State.

In Worcester, as the Sun noted last week, the on-time high school graduation rate reached 81.9 percent in 2016. According to the latest figures from the White House, the national rate was 83.2 percent as of the 2014-15 school year; that year, Worcester, at 80.8 percent, was more than 2 percentage points shy of the national rate.

Blue Mass

Inbox [Feb. 22]: Applications open for early childhood development grants, Pakachoag Music seeks student volunteers, free course available for community health workers, SPM honors first responders

Interesting and worthwhile things happen every day in our community. Alas, we can’t cover them all. That’s where Inbox comes in, to offer readers an easily digestible compilation of interesting and noteworthy items you and your neighbors keep telling us about.

Applications open for early childhood development grants

The Greater Worcester Community Foundation is now accepting online applications for community grants in Support of Early Childhood Development.

The typical grant range is $5,000 to $25,000 and will support early childhood programs that:

  • Increase the quality and quantity of formal early education for low-income children;
  • Provide a foundation for lifelong development rooted in behavioral and physical health;
  • Support parents and families in their roles as teachers, caregivers, and supporters of their children’s development;
  • Help eliminate summer learning loss among low-income children in greater Worcester.

The submission deadline is Wednesday, March 1.

More information is available on the Greater Worcester Community Foundation website

Pakachoag Music seek student volunteers

Pakachoag Music has two opportunities for students who’d like to lend their support and earn volunteer hours.

Worcester Sun, Feb. 22: Hitch says Worcester doth protest too much, Belmont Vegetarian + more

State wins historic battle in war against opioid deaths. Augustine Kanjia and family grapple with realities of America. Top 5 stories. Inbox is jam-packed — and we haven’t even mentioned the editorial. It’s your Wednesday, Feb. 22, Worcester Sun.

Inbox [Jan. 11]: Maloney named Nativity School president, Worcester Public Library seeks feedback, domestic violence support group starts, GWCF scholarship applications open

Interesting and worthwhile things happen every day in our community. Alas, we can’t cover them all. That’s where Inbox comes in, to offer readers an easily digestible compilation of interesting and noteworthy items you and your neighbors keep telling us about.

Maloney named Nativity School president

From an emailed letter by Nativity School of Worcester Board of Trustees Chairman J. Christopher Collins:

“As you are aware, Patrick T. Maloney has been serving in the role of interim president at Nativity School of Worcester since the beginning of the school year. The Board of Trustees began a national search this fall for a permanent president of Nativity School of Worcester to begin on July 1, 2017. After completing that search, the Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Maloney as the new President of the school effective immediately.

Patrick T. Maloney

Patrick T. Maloney

“We have had the opportunity to observe Pat in the role as Interim President over the last 6 months. He has done an excellent job. Nativity Worcester is thriving and we believe Pat is well suited to help us achieve the outstanding elements of our strategic plan. Pat has earned the respect of our faculty and administration, our current students, our graduates, and our donors. He is very familiar with the Worcester community, which has shown increasing support to the school each year since our founding. He is also accustomed to the demands and rewards of a Jesuit education.

“Our goal at Nativity is to provide each of our students with a rigorous education that sets them on a path to achieve their full potential and to learn the joys of living a generous life focused on the well-being of others. We have great confidence that Pat will foster our goals, build on our success and lead us to a positive next chapter.”

Worcester Sun, Jan. 11: Worcester Jobs Fund, Souza-Baranowski riot, Top 5 stories + more

Top state lawmakers weigh in on Airbnb regulations, Hitch takes aim at liberal lunacy, and marijuana home-growers may feel the legal squeeze. Plus Inbox and a new Free to Read in your Wednesday, Jan. 11, Worcester Sun.