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Message from the Executive Director
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
It has been nine months since I have had the pleasure of taking over the reins at Stoneleigh, and I continue to be amazed by our Fellows’ accomplishments and the energy they bring to their work.
Two years ago, our Fellow Richard Greenwald, embarked on an ambitious effort to develop and coordinate a youth violence prevention strategy for the city. With Mayor Michael Nutter as a champion, Richard created the Youth Violence Prevention Collaborative.
The Collaborative brings together a broad array of public sector and community stakeholders to focus on youth safety in the 22nd Police District, one of the city’s most persistently dangerous neighborhoods. The effort has received national attention from the Department of Justice’s National Forum to Prevent Youth Violence, and has been instrumental in bringing substantial federal, state and philanthropic investmentto the community.
Nonetheless, the recent tragic death of Officer Robert Wilson III in the 22nd Police District underscores the critical need for local funders to continue to apply their resources to seemingly intractable problems like gun violence, youth safety and the systemic barriers that prevent our most at-risk young people from thriving.
Stoneleigh’s commitment to address these concerns will continue with our latest group of Emerging Leader Fellows, Abigail Thibeault, Catherine Feeley and Roger Chu. In partnership with CeaseFire PA, Abigail will develop practices and policies to prevent youth from illegally obtaining guns, with a particular focus on the 22nd Police District. Catherine will work with HIAS PA to target the needs of unaccompanied immigrant children, who are often denied access to essential services due to their unresolved legal status. And finally, Roger will work with Research for Action, to study the extent to which juvenile justice facilities make quality educational experiences available to the young people in their care.
In addition to our grantmaking, this winter has been an extremely productive one for us. With our board, we have embarked upon a planning process. Since 2006, we have invested in almost 50 fellows who are leading policy and practice change in juvenile justice, child welfare, school safety and a variety of child-serving systems that touch upon the lives of the most vulnerable children in our community. Over the coming months, we will evaluate our track record to date and determine how our resources can be used most effectively. To that end, we are delighted to welcome our new Knowledge & Communications Officer, Laura Johnson, who will help lead this effort to take Stoneleigh to the next level.
Catherine Feeley will assist HIAS PA to support the legal needs of unaccompanied immigrant children. Catherine received her law degree, with a concentration in immigration law, from Northwestern University. Read more.
Roger Chu will work with Research for Action to assess the implementation of the PA Academic Career and Technical Training Alliance (PACTT). Roger has a Master’s Degree in Urban Education from the University of Pennsylvania. Read more.