In January 2010, the San Francisco Wraparound Project was awarded a Hearts Grant by the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation to fund the establishment of a new leadership academy, "The Empowerment Center." With this funding, the Empowerment Center launched its first pilot program in early 2011. Composed of three young participants chosen for their abilities and dedication, The Empowerment Center was set to enlighten these chosen individuals to become leaders and positive influences in their communities.
The first post-pilot round of Empowerment Center activities ran from August 2011 to November 2011. Six clients participated in the following:
Week 1: Workforce Development with Joanna from Goodwill
Week 2: Environmental Justice Seminar with Teresa Almaguer and youth leaders at PODER
Week 3: Wells Fargo Seminar: Managing your Finances
Week 4: Computer Literacy Module Part 1
Week 5: Hospital Tour & Computer Literacy Module Part 2
Week 6: UC Berkeley Tour
Week 7: Meeting with San Francisco City Supervisor Campos
Week 8-11: Work on Final Project
Week 12: Project Symposium and Final Reflection
The complex and unpredictable commitments and priorities of our clients make scheduling an extremely difficult task. To minimize confusion or opportunities for clients to fall through the EC framework, we think both they, and the program, would best be suited to maintain a structure that hosts events weekly on a single day and time. The aim of all of the above is to minimize the confusion and inconvenience for the client, and to streamline their involvement. Regardless, we feel that many of the participants had a wonderful and eye-opening experience.