Helping Youth and Facilitating Leadership

February 2012

Millennia Assists Chicago Public Schools With New Social Media Campaign

The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has launched a series of innovative and comprehensive new media strategies designed to increase the availability of comprehensive sexual health education for middle and high school students. Partnering with adolescent health experts, CPS has developed a teen health website, a Facebook page, Twitter feed, and weekly automated texts to educate Chicago youth on responsible decision-making, provide them with medically accurate answers to questions, and link them to resources in the city for referral. Millennia consultants will be assisting CPS in evaluating this exciting new project. To find out more, visit the newly launched website Sex-Ed Loop. Also check and Twitter handle @sexedloop, both of which were designed by youth at the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health.

Giving Teens a "Voice"

New Millennia Senior Consultant Sue Laue is working to help expand the voice of teens in Chicago and suburban high schools through the Columbia College LINKS program. Students apply to participate in a journalism/writing class, and produce articles for their own teen specialty magazines. Teens write about issues that affect them -- nearly 50% unemployment for African-American youth in the City last summer, the cost of violence, how "sexting" can hurt relationships, doing jail-time, gang life, drug use, making good grades and rapping to stay sane. To apply, go to Columbia Links.

Succession Planning Front and Center

Executive leadership is an essential component of success for nonprofit organizations. Several recent studies have highlighted the fact that a substantial number of baby boomers, who have led our third sector organizations over the past thirty years, are reaching retirement age. With roughly 700,000 nonprofit organizations across the U.S. there is concern about an impending leadership crisis. Too few organizations have taken succession planning seriously enough. But a few are beginning to wrestle with some nontraditional approaches, namely transitioning current executives into new roles within their organizations while promoting secondary leadership.

Millennia recently guided such a transition at a Chicago area organization where the former Executive Director has become the Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer and the former Associate Director has become the Chief Executive Officer. Arriving at this arrangement required deep reflection on the part of the two principals and the Board. It also took research and planning to figure out governance and organizational structures that would strengthen and protect the organization, while allowing it to experiment with a new and untested way of leveraging of its human resources.    A recent report entitled, Table for Two: Can Co-Founders & Successors Co-Exist So Everyone Wins by Mark Leach lends credence to the notion that a trend may be emerging in which nonprofits are searching for new ways to use existing talent while making room for younger, emerging leaders. If your organization would like to explore succession planning more seriously, please contact Millennia consultant, Wendy Siegel.