Leading for Change Fellowship Practicums
The practicum is the experiential component of the fellowship program. Fellows are assigned to teams at the beginning of the program. The teams are then self-organized and have complete freedom on how they want to approach their projects. The fellows have to define the scope and focus of their project, select their approach, identify resources and sources of data and information and decide on their deliverables for the end of the year presentations. In addition, they need to decide on the best way to get organized and work as a team.
Below are a few examples of some of the practicums from Cohorts 1 and 2.
Cohort 1 Practicums
Finish Strong Practicum
The City of Philadelphia never has a transition plan when Mayoral Administrations changed. This practicum changed that. To ensure that advances achieved by the Nutter Administration continued to thrive under the Kenney Administration, this practicum developed a sustainability plan for a select number of priority projects/initiatives. With a detailed integrated set of recommendations and expectations, this initiative positioned Philadelphia for the future, and ensured a smoother transition between Mayor Nutter and Mayor Kenney.
This practicum designed a system for cataloguing and updating all relevant resources, data and knowledge for city employees so as not to duplicate work but, rather, build off of others’ efforts. Today, city agencies are having technology conversations and building programs and digitalizing archives.
Professional Development Practicum
Assisting the City to take a system wide approach to address professional development for its workforce, this practicum surveyed executive staff to identify what key trainings were needed and then partnered with local educational institutions to offer such trainings, which enhances the talent pool of city staff.
Youth Job Training Practicum
This practicum helped the City consolidate all youth job training programs. Prior to this, all of the City’s departments offering internships were stand-alone opportunities that would require individual inquiries. The process to identify which departments offered job training programs was confusing and not always advertised. Today, the different youth job training opportunities are streamlined through the Parks and Recreation department.
Cohort 2 Practicums
Universal Pre-K Practicum
This practicum developed a comprehensive outreach and engagement plan designed to improve and increase access to information about Pre-K enrollment support services within the Promise Zone. This team worked with and brought together stakeholders to build on the vision and ambition of the West Philadelphia Promise Zone — to expand early learning, improve K-12 education, address college and career readiness, and provide family and community supports. The result: In December 2016, a five-year $30 million U.S. Department of Education Promise Neighborhoods was awarded to the West Philadelphia Promise Zone.
Lancaster Avenue Business Development Plan Practicum
Vacant real estate in the Promise Zone presents an opportunity for business development and commercial corridor improvement. This team explored the economic, commercial, and community implications of creating a Business Improvement District, centered on Lancaster Avenue and adjacent corridors. Working in partnership with stakeholders in the Promise Zone, they teamed up with community leaders to submit grant proposals and seek funding to make this project come to life.
Access to Care Practicum
Access to timely urgent care is a problem for many Promise Zone residents. Although there are many medical institutions within close proximity to the Promise Zone, many residents do not receive regular primary care. As a result of this, residents more frequently seek care at Emergency Rooms. This practicum explored urgent care models and the best business models for creating a comprehensive, patient-friendly, and sustainable health care model for providers in West Philadelphia’s Promise Zone.