It is with great excitement that I write this first update and letter to all of you, our biggest champions. My first two months at United Way Suncoast have been filled with listening, learning, and action. To all I have had the pleasure of meeting, thank you for your support and feedback. If we have not had the opportunity to connect, I look forward to doing so in the coming months.
While my priority has been to listen and learn, it’s important that we maintain momentum as well. Since our last update to you, there have been some wonderful successes in our work.
Last fall, we celebrated a grand opening at Janie’s Garden Apartments in North Sarasota and the official naming of the Earl and Mary Watts After-School program which offers multi-faceted academic support during the school year to children living in the apartment complex. We’re proud of United Way Suncoast’s partnership in this important initiative and we’re excited at the progress that’s been made since that time. While we don’t yet have quantitative results to report, we are pleased to share that the thirty-one students who are enrolled have each received ten hours of Social-Emotional Learning and Character Education during the past three months. Of these students, twenty-eight have achieved a Fair to Good rating from their tutors for their progress in reading and homework completion, and an orientation program was conducted for parents to ensure that they’re able to access information about their students in the School District Parent Portal.
We also recently launched our new investment process with community information sessions last November. Our Letter of Intent phase ended in January with great success, and we’re looking forward to reviewing the submissions as we move into the RFP phase of the process. We will continue to keep you updated on our progress.
In December, I shared my priorities for the next 18 months with our board. These include building a strong culture here with our staff team, building operational excellence, revitalizing our brand to ensure our community clearly knows the importance of our work, strategically strengthening our governance model, and launching a strategic planning process that will fully engage our community and stakeholders. I know these are ambitious goals, but I also know the time is now to take action.
I’m excited about our future and where we’re heading and I’m incredibly honored to have been selected to lead this important work and pivotal community organization. Thank you for welcoming me so warmly and supporting our mission.
I look forward to seeing many of you soon and I hope you’ll plan to join us on March 6th at the Campbell Park Resource Center for our next Tocqueville Society Speaker Series event featuring St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out. Thank you once again for your support.
CEO, United Way Suncoast