Friday, November 09, 2007

Leadership at a Crossroads

There are two parts to LC, the first ten weeks are a four or five hour class once a week. The other is a group based, self-directed project to be completed by May when we graduate! This week was our last official Leadership Cville class.

I enjoyed every week (although I was sick one week and only could savor the wonderful BRIX lunch- sponsored by BartonMalow- before I went home). I am one of those annoying people who get a lot out of things, so while some are bored, I am on the edge of my seat (sidenote to my high school teachers- this happened sometime in college- I apologize for napping, doodling or otherwise not focusing in your class).

So what project idea do I have after learning so much about the Charlottesville-Albemarle region? ... I may not present an idea, I havent quite decided. Sometimes it is nice to be a member of a group, not the originator of the idea. I have a lot of energy to move a project, but I find it difficult to move people to the idea of my project and keep them motivated throughout. I am still learning about leadership.

I have one idea- I actually had this inspiration at a QCC meeting on Restorative Justice. I am throwing it out because I want someone to make this happen and I have very little time to devote to doing it right.

My idea involves offenders coming out of jail (non-violent and other qualifiers that I am not thinking of right now); recidivism rates are exceptionally high among this population because offenders find it difficult to get a job. It is hard to find a job for a number of reasons (training, depression and offender status). My hope is to have a non-profit in this community (ie OAR) to work with Chamber businesses and offenders to facilitate transition from jail to the workforce. Cville has an inordinate amount of non-profits so I dont want anyone starting another new one, and the jail here is progressive so the folks do try to help promote a smooth transition already. However, with training specific to the jobs available, mental health treatment and reasonable expectations on the part of the offender perhaps the recidivism rate would improve.

What about it? Is this possible? Is it true I dont have time or am I making excuses?

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