Leadership AA Projects
Leadership Anne Arundel’s Flagship program is focused on Community Leadership and Community Engagement. One of the methods we use to establish that focus is the class project.
Each year, we reach out to area non-profits and county programs to identify how the current Flagship class might solve a problem or satisfy an unmet need that is faced by that organization. The projects must meet the following objectives:
· Strategically impacts the organization and the successful achievement of its goals
· Provides education about the organization and how it works
· Provides opportunities for the class to enhance leadership skills, and experience team building/team mentoring
· Has a definite objective that can be achieved within an 8-month (or so) timeframe, but is flexible enough to be adjusted if other directions emerge. The deliverable may change, may take longer or may not be realistic; the path will become clear because of open communication during the process
· Represent a challenging and reasonable undertaking for a group of 5 – 9 people
· Represent many interests in the community
· Will demonstrate evidence of organizational support, including timely, accurate, and frequent communication and coordination with the LAA project team
Further, the project may not be a fundraiser or involve seeking monetary funds or grant money and may not be suggested by religious groups, for profit companies, sports teams, or political organizations.
We also reach out to the current class for ideas that individual class members or groups of class members wish to pursue.
The primary measure of whether a project is worthy of consideration is the opportunity it provides LAA Flagship class members to grow from the experience. How will the project enable them to meet new people, experience a new environment, learn to manage project, and have impact on an organization.
LAA program and staff members review the submitted project proposals for suitability, allowing for adjustments by the organizations, and the projects are formally presented to the Flagship class members at the Opening Retreat. At the retreat, class members, in a marketplace atmosphere can speak with organization representatives and choose which project they wish to work on (understanding that the project teams can have no fewer than 5 and no more than 9 class members).
Selected projects have been one-time experiences or have developed into sustaining programs, with LAA Flagship class members continuing engagement long after their Flagship experience has ended.
Here are some examples of those sustaining programs:
Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis & Anne Arundel County (BikeAAA) started in 2013 as a project of the Leadership Anne Arundel Flagship program. A team of six volunteers set out to determine what efforts were already underway to promote biking in Anne Arundel County. Led by FLG13 class member, Jon Korin, it has blossomed into a vibrant all-volunteer advocacy group for bikers of ages and abilities, with over 700 members and more than 2,000 followers committed to safe cycling throughout Anne Arundel County.
Inspired by FLG97, Teen Court is a program that offers teenage offenders an important second chance – a chance to learn from their mistake without the high cost and stigma of a criminal record. The program is run by teens for teens who have committed a misdemeanor crime. The teens appear before a jury of their peers.
The HeartSmart Foundation was begun as a FLG00 project. The original mission was to raise funds to put an AED in the County Council Chambers in honor of former Councilman Cliff Roop, who died from a heart attack during a council meeting. They ended up with three AEDs that first year. They were so successful that they continued on to create the Cliff R. Roop Cardiac Support Education Foundation in 2002, with a mission to make the county a heart-safe community. The group is aware of at least seven people who are alive in Anne Arundel County because of the AEDs put in place by the Foundation.
In coordination with Anne Arundel Medical Center and the Anne Arundel County and City of Annapolis Fire Departments, FLG15 launched PulsePoint, a free-to-download mobile app that alerts CPR-trained citizens of cardiac events in their vicinity, so they can administer aid while professional responders are in route. The app also informs responders and emergency dispatchers of nearby public AEDs.
Supported by FLG17, Pass, Pick, & Play is a sports equipment collection and donation initiative to benefit local Annapolis/Anne Arundel County area families in need. Gently-used sporting equipment is collected and sorted to give to area youth.
A product of FLG99, Battle of the Bands, was an annual competition for rock bands from Anne Arundel County High Schools. In its 17-year run, it showcased 851 performers for 14,000 patrons, and raised over $110,000 for music programs in Anne Arundel County high schools.