Learning + Doing

August 06, 2020 | ,

Through our leadership programs, we work to equip Arizonans with the skills, perspectives and knowledge of issues that will shape our state now and into the future. We believe that a strategic approach to learning is the first step to making an impact in the community.

And, we’re pleased to welcome nearly 100 Arizonans who will begin learning about those issues through the lens of the coronavirus pandemic as part of Ready Together, our virtual program that begins meeting next month.

Once we’ve helped people build the skills and connections to be more effective leaders, we work to activate them in the community – strategically taking on issues that matter to the community – through our Impact Maker. And, I can tell you that the alumni, strategic partners and community champions who make up our Impact Maker have been busy this summer. Here are a just a few things they’ve been working on:

Getting PPE to Frontline Workers. Sometimes the smallest connections can lead to the biggest impact. Through a connection created by VL’s Impact Maker Covid-19 Response Team, Honeywell has donated 5,000 N-95 masks to Tuba City Regional Health Care, allowing a provider that is serving the Navajo Nation to build up their supply of personal protective equipment.

Putting 1,700+ Books in Kids’ Hands. With schools ending last year, and many starting this year, with distance learning, and many libraries closed because of coronavirus, it made slowing the “summer slide” – the loss of knowledge, particularly in reading and math, over the break – that much more challenging. In response, the members of the Education Impact Team that are focusing on early literacy have been restocking Little Free Libraries with children’s and young adult books. Education Impact Team Chair Erin Hart shared what the team is working on with Fox 10 and Arizona PBS.

Feeding Neighbors. Members of our Health Impact Team have been volunteering their time to help provide totes with fresh produce to over 200 families in need per week, but the need is great – and growing – in light of the coronavirus.

Exploring New Partnerships to Make an Impact. I’m also pleased to share that VL leadership (staff and board) have been in discussions with groups from across the Valley to explore work we can do collectively on the issue of racial justice and equity. This is just the beginning of our process to explore the formation of an Impact Maker team focused on racial justice, and we will share more opportunities on engaging you as alumni in this work.

Valley Leadership is also exploring ways we can be a resource in the community beyond Impact Maker. We’re proud to be part of Home Matters to Arizona. This public-private partnership has already committed $100 million to fund affordable housing and community projects.