Bloomington, IN. – January 20, 2017
Two local Boys and Girls Clubs directors and a case manager at Stepping Stones have been selected for the 2017 Journey Fellowship for New Professionals — a program meant to support emerging leaders in youth development.
Tabitha Cassani, program director at the Bloomington Boys and Girls Clubs, Oscar Gonzalez, unit director at the club in Ellettsville, and Melissa Paneto, an outreach case manager at Stepping Stones in Bloomington, an agency that assists youths and young adults at risk of homelessness, were among the 28 individuals from across the state selected as Journey Fellows.
Fellows will embark on an expedition to develop themselves and their careers in youth development. This opportunity is meant to support emerging leaders in their quest to get grounded, get connected and get going making their mark in the field of youth development and making a difference in young people’s lives throughout Indiana, according to a news release.
The fellowship was created in 2010 and is funded by the Lilly Endowment Inc.
Cassani, Gonzalez and Paneto will attend a series of residential retreats designed to create new ways of thinking about and practicing youth work within existing systems and youth programs. Fellows are awarded career advancement scholarships, and will be supported to make a difference within their local organizations or communities.
“We are thrilled that Tabitha and Oscar both have the opportunity to participate in this life changing program,” Boys and Girls Clubs Executive Director Jeff Baldwin said in the release. “The Journey will give them the tools they need to realize even greater success as youth development professionals by helping them develop practices that will ensure personal health in what can be a very challenging profession.”
Other Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington Journey Fellowship alumni include Baldwin, Neil Smith, unit director at the Lincoln Street club, and Jack Laskey, Camp Rock director.
Learn more about the Journey Fellowship at www.thejourneyonline.org.