Philadelphia transplants takeover of a Delaware nonprofit does two converse things: sustains youth college access opportunities while creating mounting agency challenges. There is an old adage, ‘You can’t fix what’s ain’t broke.’ Delaware Futures located center city Wilmington, DE at the Trinity Parish complex has operated successfully over two decades. The program expanded its enrollment and completely renovated its facility under the leadership from 2001 to 2013 of executive director M. Denise Tolliver, M. Ed. At its most recent graduation, 21 more at-risk urban high school graduates will be attending colleges and universities throughout the nation this Fall. Many of the students will be the first in their families to pursue a higher education degree. On the same day as Delaware Futures graduation which was held in New Castle County, DAPI a statewide program for teen moms held its graduation in Kent County, Delaware. The two agencies not only share common missions of empowering youth through education, DAPIs education director is Dr. Doris Patterson-Griffin; Delaware Futures executive director from 1998 to 2001. Delaware Futures founding executive director from 1994 to 1998 Dr. Katie Borland now as a college professor continues to nurture youth through education. Under Dr. Borland Delaware Futures which started as a parish outreach program was awarded nonprofit status and incorporated in 1996.
A recent newspaper article featuring Delaware Futures revealed missed opportunities pertaining to all program participants and former staff by current leadership touting only its contributions to the program; devoid of the legacy of many in making the program a success. Delaware Futures Board of Directors president took the helm in 2013. An attorney by trade has had personal issues starting with what has been recorded as bankruptcy in 1999. On his Linkedin page, his professional record is blotted with short tenure at several while notable, varying employers most recent City of Wilmington. The current executive director in her own words is from a disadvantaged background. Having been with the agency over 12 years, when she took over as executive director beginning 2013 effected a 100% staff turnover favoring more youthful workers. Most recently a class advisor with 10 years experience was abruptly let go.
For both of these leaders being affiliates of professional development organizations such as Trustees of Color or MWUL Young Professionals as well as Public Allies much more is expected in acknowledging, nurturing the continuum of agency trailblazers and their influence.
#DefiningBlackCommunity YOU CAN DEFINE SOMETHING THAT HAS MEANING.
gerund or present participle: touting
1. attempt to persuade people of the merits of (someone or something)