YNPN Detroit Board Member La’Leatha Spillers up for a national award!

You may have seen it come across our facebook or twitter streams, but we’re just so excited we wanted to share it on our blog too. YNPN Detroit Board Member La’Leatha Spillers is in the running for a Classy Award! These awards recognize great social impact work across the country, and if La’Leatha is selected as a finalist she’ll be invited to a celebrity-filled event in San Diego where she’ll find out if she won. To make it easy for you, we’ve copied and pasted the nomination below. We hope you’ll be motivated enough to check out La’Leatha’s nomination page and show your support with a “like!”

La’Leatha Spillers works hard on behalf of children with parents in prison

La’Leatha Spillers is a champion for children with incarcerated parents, helping to ensure they have access to caring adults through mentoring. La’Leatha leverages her talents and experiences to recruit participants, successfully implementing innovative initiatives to mobilize the community in support of these children. Though programs serving this target population face significantly reduced federal funding, La’Leatha remains a determined advocate for children with incarcerated parents.

La’Leatha Ryan Spillers is a resourceful strategic thinker with proven skills in community collaborations and partnerships, fundraising and development, event planning and communications. With more than ten years of experience in the nonprofit sector, La’Leatha has demonstrated success both in academic and community settings, working closely with parents, youth, volunteers, board members and other key community constituents.

Currently, La’Leatha uses her talents and experiences as the Program Manager of Youth Outreach and External Engagement at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Detroit (BBSMD). As part of her responsibilities there, she has developed strategies to ensure that those children most in need of caring adults – those whose parents are unable to be a part of their children’s day-to-day lives while they serve time in prison – are able to access mentors through BBSMD. These efforts have personal meaning to La’Leatha, since her husband experienced the absence of his own biological father due to incarceration. This, in combination with the results of the mentoring partnerships she has helped to facilitate, drives La’Leatha to look for new, innovative ways to match children in this target population with caring adults.

La’Leatha heard about efforts at BBBS of North Texas to recruit mentors at barbershops, and seeing a tremendous need for African-American male mentors, she sought to replicate these efforts in Detroit. With a team of supporters, La’Leatha and her husband went into area barbershops, seeking to educate customers about the opportunity to serve as mentors. In addition to successfully recruiting new volunteers to the program, they were able to garner the attention of the local news media.

Though federal funding to support the mentoring of children with incarcerated parents has been slashed, La’Leatha is determined to meet the needs of this population. She seeks to mobilize the community not only to volunteer, but to advocate for the funding necessary to ensure these children receive the supports they need to be successful.

Now that you’ve read about her great work, please take a moment to check out La’Leatha’s nomination page and show your support with a “like!”

To donate to BBBSMD, please go to http://bit.ly/BBSMDdonatenow.

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