Introducing the 2019 Alden Fellows
We are excited to announce the individuals selected for the 2019 Alden Fellows Program, an initiative developed out of our belief that Louisville’s nonprofit organizations are strengthened when more nonprofit leaders have access to high quality professional development opportunities.
At the fifth annual luncheon, held on December 6, this year’s class gathered with Fellows of previous years to share their professional development plans, engage in meaningful conversation, and explore potential opportunities for collaboration. Da’Marrion Fleming shared during his presentation the importance of perseverance in his work, saying “[You have to] endure the process because that means it’s growing. . . An opportunity like this is surreal. It’s not by accident that I am here, and I am thankful.”
Thanks to the generosity of Mr. William O. Alden, Jr., a donor at the Community Foundation of Louisville, each fellow receives a $5,000 grant to pursue either a self-directed program or a world-class leadership and training program over the next 12 months. A Fellowship Selection Committee, comprised of leaders of local nonprofits and the CEO of the Community Foundation, recommends and selects the candidates.
The 2019 Alden Fellows are:
Jeannette is the Executive Director of Young Authors Greenhouse, a Louisville writing and tutoring nonprofit that inspires students to grow their imaginations through writing. Alongside trained volunteers, students ages 6-18 from traditionally under-resourced neighborhoods write and share their thoughts, experiences, and fictional worlds through: published books of poetry, essay, and story; performed and recorded songs; podcasts; film and stage scripts; and magazine and newspaper articles. During her Alden Fellowship, Jeannette will travel to Finland, to study new teaching techniques in the country’s education system, and England, to learn from an organization like Young Authors Greenhouse.
Kish Cumi, Ph.D.
Dr. Kumi is the Executive Director of the Smoketown Family Wellness Center (SFWC) where she manages their innovative health care delivery model. In collaboration with Smoketown community residents and her staff, she identifies and implements community initiatives that promote physical, mental, and spiritual wellness for youth and their families. During her Alden Fellowship year, Dr. Kumi will take part in a coast-to-coast wellness tour as she visits wellness centers (e.g., Harlem Children’s Zone and The Children’s Clinic) to examine best practices. Simultaneously, she will feed her own spirit by engaging in spa, meditation, and dance retreats.
Da’Marrion is the president and founder of Sowing Seeds with Faith. As president, he is responsible for creating and implementing strategic curriculum for out-of-school programs. In the past two years, Sowing Seeds with Faith has become the largest out of school enrichment program in West Louisville. The organization offers services to approximately 250 young students in more than 15 different zip codes. During the Fellowship year, Da’Marrion will travel to Paris, France to study a successful model of academic enrichment, specifically in the areas of accountability and expectation.
Kevin has served as the Managing Director of Actors Theatre of Louisville since 2016. During this time, he has led the organization to embrace a new set of core values and a strategic plan focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Actors Theatre seeks to unlock human potential, build community, and enrich quality of life by engaging people in theatre. As an Alden Fellow, Kevin will take part in the James P. Shannon Leadership Institute, a program designed to help community service leaders reconnect with their core values and redefine their purpose so they can rededicate themselves to their work.
Evon is the President and CEO of OneWest, a community development corporation focused on commercial development growth in West Louisville. Centered on the mission of elevating the entire city of Louisville by developing commercial real estate in the West End, Evon is directing the implementation of OneWest’s five-year strategic plan, which includes commercial and mixed-use development efforts beginning at the 18th Street and West Broadway corridor. Through the Alden Fellowship, Evon will study best practices of cities that have undergone revitalization efforts by visiting several model sites. She will also take the opportunity to attend the Art of Living Retreat Center to re-center her mind and body.
The Alden Fellows program gives the Community Foundation of Louisville the opportunity to strengthen the capacity of Louisville’s nonprofit leaders. “We believe that providing capacity building opportunities for our nonprofit leaders is crucial and we are proud to work with Mr. Alden to honor this year’s recipients,” said Susan Barry, President & CEO of the Community Foundation. “All of our 2019 Alden Fellows embody what it means to be a force for good in community. We thank them for their hard work and look forward to seeing what this next year brings for their future.”
Since the inaugural class of Alden Fellows in 2014, the Community Foundation has invested more than $100,000 in 28 leaders. As the program grows, the Community Foundation will bring the fellows together to network and share their experiences with one another and the nonprofit community – creating new connections and ideas that will strengthen our city. We look forward to seeing the growth of each Fellow this year and for years to come.