Submitted by Sarah Cook, President and CEO
We strive to make 18 Degrees an organization where we regularly welcome fresh ideas and new perspectives, introduce new skills, and provide learning opportunities to expand our knowledge. In this vein, we are thrilled to launch our first agency-wide leadership cohort this fall for a rigorous nine–month exploration of leadership. Our eight participants were nominated by senior team members as vital members of the agency who contribute to our success, embody our values, and strengthen our mission. Orrin, Nicole, Sylvana, Victoria, Ginger, Kyle, Erika, and Karen are drawn from our Youth Development, Family and Child Wellbeing, Permanency, and Administrative programs. The members represent our North Adams, Pittsfield, and West Springfield sites. They are already growing their skills and representing our agency in the community, and I hope you’ll come meet them at our Annual Meeting on October 24th!
The leadership cohort is just one of the many ways 18 Degrees supports continuing education in the workplace.
We are glad to partner also with many higher education institutions that provide our staff members with tuition grants, remission, and reimbursements, including Berkshire Community College, Springfield College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and Westfield State University. It’s inspirational to know how hard our colleagues work both in the office and the classroom; I have deep respect for those who can juggle so much!
In addition, we are pleased to be a learning location for three interns this fall, who join us from Springfield College, Holyoke Community College, and Boston University. We are once again collaborating with students from Williams College, who are teaching in our Kids 4 Harmony program and helping with various research projects.
Across all of our programs and age groups, from our infants and toddlers in Early Ed and Care to our grandparents involved in our Family Resource Center, we are learning and growing together
We welcome the new beginnings that come with the back-to-school season and look forward to watching the development of our children, youth, families, interns, and staff experience throughout the year.