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Employee Graduates from Nonprofits First Rising Leader Program

Rising Leaders

​Pam Heck, Boys Town South Florida In-Home Family Services (IHFS) and Common Sense Parenting Director, recently graduated from the Nonprofits First Rising Leader program. The Nonprofits First Rising Leader program is a 6 month long course for leaders in the nonprofit sector looking to improve on a variety of different skills.

Potential candidates go through an application process, interview and must be recommended by their supervisors in order to participate in the program.

"I decided to participate in the program because I'm always eager and willing to learn more," Pam said. "I also saw this as an opportunity to develop a network of peers within Palm Beach County."

Through classroom work, a weekend retreat, ropes course, experiential work and a service project, those in the program focus on public speaking, strategic planning and project management and many other important skills. The ropes course is designed to promote team building and help individuals learn to communicate as a team. The weekend retreat is centered on improving public speaking skills and helping leaders become more comfortable talking in front of others. The course also includes an assessment and additional instruction to help leaders implement what they learned during the course into the workplace.

"I learned the importance of networking and having key relationships within the community as a part of helping the strategic plan of building programs," Heck said.

As a result of the valuable information taught during the Nonprofits First Rising Leader program and the relationships Pam developed within the community, she was able to apply what she learned and partner with Lord's Place, a local transitional housing for families. This organization integrated Common Sense Parenting® classes into their program for residents due to the benefits of the classes.

"This has been instrumental in developing our program and has also helped to build the program at the Lord's Place," Pam said.

Participants dedicate a majority of their time throughout the course to a group service learning project. Pam's team worked for Ike Powell, the head of My Brother's Keeper, to create a new video. This organization is a coalition of public and private entities that work together to improve the life outcome for boys and young men of color through education, employment opportunities and many other initiatives.

Despite having no prior experience with video production, Pam's group utilized connections within the community to develop a new video at no cost to the organization.

"PBCTV Channel 20 was able to do the video shoot and editing for My Brother's Keeper," Pam said. "This was a great way to utilize thinking outside of the box and to know who to ask when you need help."

Heck feels the program has helped her immensely with her current role. "Completing the program is a huge accomplishment," Pam said. "The network of colleagues that I developed in the class will be a great resource in the future as I grow and develop the programs."​