News & Views

Chicago Jobs Council Award

At its June Annual Luncheon, the Chicago Jobs Council presented St. Leonard’s Ministries with its “Partner of the Year” Award which recognized the Barlow Center staff, including former Director, Jim Zangs, for the leadership that the Center has played in creating a realistic approach to the development of a standardized green technology curriculum. Pete Baker, SLM Facilities Director and Green Building Maintenance Class Instructor, continues to play a major part in bringing about a practical and realistic approach to the greening of Chicago’s workforce and neighborhood communities.

Episcopal Charities Roundtable

St. Leonard’s Ministries was chosen by Episcopal Charities and Community Services to participate in its first Board Governance Round Table which began in May.  Board Members, Peter Daane and David Jones, along with executive director, Bob Dougherty, will participate in an eighteen month seminar series related to clarifying and energizing Board participation in the life of the non-profit which it governs.  An action plan will be created and set into motion as the Round Table continues.  This is an excellent opportunity to infuse the board with ideas and possibilities from outside the Agency.

Arts Education

On May 27, Artist-in-Residence, Michael Agnew, once again created an enjoyable evening with a Readers’ Theater Production entitled, “Of Basketball and Being Me.”  Four SLM program participants read some of their own poetic works interspersed with pieces by somewhat more well-known poets and prose writers.  St. Andrew’s Church was transformed into a rather dramatic setting for the presentation which was the culmination of eight weeks of hard work and dedication on the part of the performers and others who were part of the event.  The evening was as therapeutic as it was artful for performers and audience members alike.  The Illinois Arts Council sponsored Michael’s presence with St. Leonard’s Ministries through its Artist in Residence Educational Programming.

Pomp and Circumstance

Early in May, 23 students graduated from the St. Leonard’s Adult High School Program.  Sister Mary Margaret Pachucki, OP, President of Regina Dominican High School, the program co-sponsor, offered the Invocation and Dr. Lynn Todman, Executive Director of the Adler School of Professional Psychology’s Institute on Social Exclusion, honored the students with a challenging Keynote Address.   A few weeks later, the Barlow Center Green Building Maintenance Class graduated 18 students and the Basic Culinary Skills Class graduated 8 students.  These graduation festivities are always spirited and uplifting, but they are just the beginning for these students whose long-term goal is employment that will serve as a foundation for their continued successful re-entry into Chicagoland communities.


Board’s Annual Meeting

SLM’s Board of Directors held its Annual Meeting on Sat., June 11th.  The meeting opened with a dramatic presentation, “A Day in the Life of Stateville” presented by former Stateville inmates under the direction of the IL Institute for Community Law & Affairs.  The performance dramatically brought to life the experiences of SLM program participants.  Board members were grateful for the opportunity to learn a bit more about those whom they serve.  Additionally, board members accepted terms of office for the coming fiscal year with the following Officers elected to the Executive Committee:

President:  Peter Daane

VP/Personnel:  Anna Downs-Temple

VP/Programs:   Jim Russell

VP/Resources:   Kevin Dolan

Treasurer:   Keith Porapaiboon

Secretary:   Susie Dunphy

Board members discussed their roles as spokes-persons for SLM and exchanged successful and sometimes not so successful exchanges that they have had in trying to spread the word about St. Leonard’s to their friends and associates.  The meeting served as celebratory kick-off for the coming year – one that will be filled with its share of challenges and opportunities for growth.