Providing What Our Community Deserves – Access, Equity, Empowerment & JOY

By: Teshanda Middleton, Interim CEO & Chief Program Officer

Six months ago, I graciously welcomed the opportunity to step into the interim CEO role for our organization. It was a major transition at a crucial time in our planning for the start of a new school year. While CISM has remained focused on our core goal of eliminating barriers to success for the students and families we serve, our team has embraced fresh ideas and envisioned new opportunities. As we enter a new year with a renewed sense of excitement for our work, our aim is still clear, but an important shift in our approach from support to empowerment will help us deepen our impact.

The CISM mission has two parts: 1. To surround students with a community of support; and 2. To empower them to achieve in life. Now in the second year of our four-year strategic plan, there is no doubt that we are living up to our name and fulfilling the first part of our mission by bringing community resources into schools to increase daily student attendance, improve behaviors, and support stronger school climates. However, to deliver on our full promise, we have to be more intentional about expanding opportunities for empowerment.

Truly empowering programs should be people-focused and have a multi-generational impact that directly, powerfully, and rapidly transforms entire families and communities with long-lasting influence.

I emphasize the word rapidly because I believe our community deserves immediate results. That’s why my personal focus in this new role as interim CEO has centered on internal “efficiency vs wasted motion,” a concept borrowed from the movie “Founder” which documented the rise of McDonald’s as the world’s fastest operating restaurant. Their rapid success was attributed to reducing time to market and creating a new customer experience. I believe the same concept applies to CISM’s operations and programming. With intentionality and synergy across all internal efforts, the foundation we’ve established for achieving and sustaining long-term impact will be elevated further through empowerment.

In order for young people and their families to experience true impact and transformation, our mindset has to shift from “doing for” to “doing with.”

We’ve made a difference for many students through charitable acts, such as financial support, gifts, and essential services. Yet, the benefits are significantly greater when we equip others with the capacity and power to create opportunities for themselves and become self-sufficient during their foundational years and throughout adulthood. That’s empowerment.

 

How will we get there?

  • By bringing authentic voices to the table where decisions for Black and Brown children and families are being made
  • By sharing our “magic” knowledge with others to build lasting developmental relationships with other people-focused nonprofit organizations
  • By diving deeper into data and root cause analysis to continue our understanding of what the people we serve need most from CISM
  • By working to have influence within other nonprofit organizations whose missions are centered on people as well

As we look ahead, CISM will keep building on our intentional efforts to ensure a vibrant internal culture and a high bar of excellence, and an unwavering commitment to access, equity, empowerment, and contagious joy – because our community deserves the best and nothing less.

Updates.

SA100210
Good News

The Need has Never Been Greater: Helping Families Regain Faith in Education

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Insights

Beyond Race and Gender: Creating Youth-Friendly Work Spaces

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Case Story

CISM Receives National Accreditation — Recognized as a Model by the Federal Government

318362752_5687413374677836_4762944951478108045_n
Update

DEI Is More than a Buzzword. It’s Core to Your Mission – and it Starts with Hiring.

SA100210
Good News

The Need has Never Been Greater: Helping Families Regain Faith in Education

beyond-race-and-gender-jameko-williams
Insights

Beyond Race and Gender: Creating Youth-Friendly Work Spaces

national-accredidation-cism
Case Story

CISM Receives National Accreditation — Recognized as a Model by the Federal Government

318362752_5687413374677836_4762944951478108045_n
Update

DEI Is More than a Buzzword. It’s Core to Your Mission – and it Starts with Hiring.

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Learn how you can help us make an impact through a powerful partnership.

By: Teshanda Middleton, Interim CEO & Chief Program Officer

Six months ago, I graciously welcomed the opportunity to step into the interim CEO role for our organization. It was a major transition at a crucial time in our planning for the start of a new school year. While CISM has remained focused on our core goal of eliminating barriers to success for the students and families we serve, our team has embraced fresh ideas and envisioned new opportunities. As we enter a new year with a renewed sense of excitement for our work, our aim is still clear, but an important shift in our approach from support to empowerment will help us deepen our impact.

The CISM mission has two parts: 1. To surround students with a community of support; and 2. To empower them to achieve in life. Now in the second year of our four-year strategic plan, there is no doubt that we are living up to our name and fulfilling the first part of our mission by bringing community resources into schools to increase daily student attendance, improve behaviors, and support stronger school climates. However, to deliver on our full promise, we have to be more intentional about expanding opportunities for empowerment.

Truly empowering programs should be people-focused and have a multi-generational impact that directly, powerfully, and rapidly transforms entire families and communities with long-lasting influence.

I emphasize the word rapidly because I believe our community deserves immediate results. That’s why my personal focus in this new role as interim CEO has centered on internal “efficiency vs wasted motion,” a concept borrowed from the movie “Founder” which documented the rise of McDonald’s as the world’s fastest operating restaurant. Their rapid success was attributed to reducing time to market and creating a new customer experience. I believe the same concept applies to CISM’s operations and programming. With intentionality and synergy across all internal efforts, the foundation we’ve established for achieving and sustaining long-term impact will be elevated further through empowerment.

In order for young people and their families to experience true impact and transformation, our mindset has to shift from “doing for” to “doing with.”

We’ve made a difference for many students through charitable acts, such as financial support, gifts, and essential services. Yet, the benefits are significantly greater when we equip others with the capacity and power to create opportunities for themselves and become self-sufficient during their foundational years and throughout adulthood. That’s empowerment.

 

How will we get there?

  • By bringing authentic voices to the table where decisions for Black and Brown children and families are being made
  • By sharing our “magic” knowledge with others to build lasting developmental relationships with other people-focused nonprofit organizations
  • By diving deeper into data and root cause analysis to continue our understanding of what the people we serve need most from CISM
  • By working to have influence within other nonprofit organizations whose missions are centered on people as well

As we look ahead, CISM will keep building on our intentional efforts to ensure a vibrant internal culture and a high bar of excellence, and an unwavering commitment to access, equity, empowerment, and contagious joy – because our community deserves the best and nothing less.