July 31, 2009
Although Lisa Grogan has no kids of her own, children have always been a deep passion for her. With that kind of passion, some become elementary school teachers, others may opt for a career in pediatrics. Grogan, the Executive Director of new SDSVP Investee Tariq Khamisa Foundation (TKF), headed to the other side of the tracks: she spent a dozen years as a probation administrator for juveniles.
“I like working with a vulnerable population -- I want to make a difference,” says Grogan. “And one of the attractions of coming to TKF was the opportunity to help kids before they enter the juvenile justice system.”
TKF, as the foundation is known, aims to stop the cycle of violence among kids. The foundation was started by Azim Khamisa shortly after his son Tariq, was shot and killed while delivering pizzas to earn money to pay his way through San Diego State University in 1995. Tariq’s assailant was 14-year-old gang recruit Tony Hicks, who became the first juvenile tried as an adult in California and is now serving 25-years-to-life sentence at Pelican Bay State Prison. He will be eligible for parole in 2027, when he is 46.
Like the foundation itself, Grogan began her journey to end youth violence at SDSU, where she majored in criminal justice while taking a minor in social work. While in school she started in the Volunteers in Probation program, and loved the work.
In her former position Grogan oversaw about 3,000 probationers at a time, learning how, for many kids, violence begets violence. “It often starts with the family – often a violent offender comes from a family with a lot of violence. It really is a cycle of violence.”
In addition, Grogan says, she learned why kids join gangs. It’s a matter of protection from others, belonging to a group and being targeted to join. In fact, Hicks was ordered to shoot Tariq by an 18-year-old leader of a gang he was being recruited to after running away from home.
“We try to show that there are other ways to deal with your anger – the answer is not violence,” she says. In addition, “one of the things we teach is forgiveness. Kids think that if they are treated violently they need to respond violently.”
Since inception TKF has reached over 8 million students in 12,000 schools across the nation via a documentary created by Channel One News, more than 300,000 students via in-school presentations and more than 70,000 students in San Diego via a live program, teaching hope, personal responsibility and forgiveness.
One of the several programs run by TKF is the Violence Impact Forum, a unique and powerful school-based violence prevention education program for students in the 4th -12th grades. The assembly includes a high-impact video with powerful speakers and lively student audience participation, focusing on the personal story of Tariq Khamisa, Tony Hicks and the lifelong consequences of one deadly choice.
Grogan sees SDSVP’s support as critical to TKF’s national aspirations. “When I came here I took the philosophy of running a nonprofit as much like a business as possible, and the idea of SDSVP is to marry corporate business strategy to the heart of a nonprofit for success.”
Having helped nearly 20,000 kids so far this year just in San Diego, managing a budget of $1.8 million and a staff of 12 permanament full time and 38 AmeriCorps Mentors, Grogan is well-positioned to lead TKF to national prominence – but with the help of the experts at SDSVP. “There is a monetary component to SDSVP, but the biggest value to us is working with all these incredible people and gaining the expertise the Partners have to move us to the next level.”
Quick 5 with Lisa Grogan
What have you read lately? Good to Great by Jim Collins, Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell
What is on your iPod? Kings of Leon, Lucinda Williams, Dave Matthews Band, Bob Marley, Pink
What do you watch? The First 48, Gangland, Discovery Channel, History Channel
If you could live somewhere else for 2 years, where would it be and why? I would buy a RV, live in it and travel the country for 2 years. There are so many sights, sounds, smells, and people I would love to experience around our great country. It would be a blast!
What do you do for fun? Travel to Mexico, going to concerts and going camping and fishing.
July 29, 2009
For the first time ever, Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) San Diego sponsored a Supportive Housing Award at the San Diego Housing Federation 14th Annual Affordable Housing and Community Development Recognition Awards, with the theme of "Honoring Commitment to Community." This new award is one of the critical elements of a marketing plan that CSH developed in close partnership with SDSVP. The celebration enabled CSH to reach over 400 affordable housing developers, reinforcing our messages about supportive housing in the development community. In fact, CSH was pleased to see the committee couldn’t just decide on one winner. Two Supportive Housing Award winners were recognized at the event: The San Diego Regional Continuum of Care and Supportive Housing developer Kimberly Russell-Shaw.
The San Diego Regional Continuum of Care Council (RCCC) is comprised of broad and diverse social service providers representing local governments, community based organizations, homeless advocates, policy and planning groups, and others interested in lessening the negative impact of homelessness on individuals, families, and communities. The RCCC brought $14.2 million in annual HUD funding to the region and received maximum Shelter Plus Care and Supportive Housing Program funds in 2008. Patricia Leslie, coordinator of the RCCC and social work professor at Pt. Loma Nazarene University, received the award on behalf of the Continuum of Care.
Another deserving award recipient of the CSH Supportive Housing Award was Kimberly Russell-Shaw, Executive Director of The Association for Community Housing Solutions (TACHS). Under her leadership, TACHS developed over 140 units of permanent supportive housing for low-income San Diegans with mental illness. While successfully managing a portfolio of rehab projects, master leased units, and new construction, TACHS had to overcome significant NIMBY ("Not In My Backyard") issues. Ms. Shaw has served not only as a project manager, but also as an advocate, defender of rights, and educator for neighbors about special needs populations. She is an inspirational leader and pioneer in providing supportive housing.
What a difference a year makes!
With our first year with San Diego Social Venture Partners behind us and our operating infrastructure in place, Community Resource Center (CRC) ventured out to complete its strategic planning process and initiate goals to improve its Thrift Store revenue base and delivery of direct services to its clients. Little did we know that CRC would be facing one of its biggest challenges in 2008 with the advent of the economic crisis. After just one month of entering into a lease to relocate and expand its primary Thrift Store in Encinitas and dramatically increasing its food outreach programs, CRC experienced sharp declines in public donations and private foundations. CRC’s management was equipped to face these challenges head on and restructured many of its programs and staffing assignments which ultimately reduced annual operating costs by over $400,000.
At the same time, CRC was struggling with its strategic plan. A vision for the organization had been established the previous year yet the organization was unable to execute the vision. With the leadership of SDSVP Partner Sherri Neasham, along with the growing needs of our client base, CRC’s management had several “A-HA” moments and was able to define its strengths and a vision to define a model that assisted clients to a path of self- sufficiency using the organization’s strengths and tools that were already in existence. Even before its Strategic Outcome Plan was complete, CRC was incorporating these concepts into proposals which have already produced new funding and contract awards for the organization. With its mission and programs now aligned to provide “Safety, Stability and a Path to Self-Sufficiency”, CRC has established a strategic relationship with the County to deliver food programs and services to families in the North County and is currently poised to take the lead on securing funding for North County under the Economic Stimulus package.
July 28, 2009
The team heard from 4 industry experts in the field of Education. Then they reviewed the issues discovered and conclusions drawn from discussions with the expert panelists. Currently they are deciding how to frame SDSVP's investment offer to agencies throughout San Diego.
More details to come!
Join us for the Investment Working Group Kick-Off on Tues, Sept. 22
6:00-7:00 PM - New Partner Orientation
7:00-9:00 PM - All Partners
Partners interested in joining the Investment Working Group for the 2009-2010 cycle, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 1, 2009
Thank you to Diane and David Zeiger for hosting the SDSVP Summer Party and Annual Meeting at their beautiful home at The Bridges! Partners and guests enjoyed beautiful weather, great conversation, a delicious fresh summer fare, and updates from SDSVP.
- The Bingham Stone Award was presented to Partner, Joyce Ross to honor her outstanding leadership skills, commitment and “no BS” attitude.
- The 2009-10 SDSVP Advisory Board was introduced. Welcome new Board members, JoAnne Berg, Linda Bernstein, Peg Eddy, David Lynn, and Steve Ness.
- SDSVP announced its two new Investees serving youth and children, A Reason to Survive (ARTS) and Tariq Khamisa Foundation (TKF). Click here to view more party pictures.