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Case's 2005 Treu-Mart Youth Fellows begin youth training

Learning how to bring out the best in middle school youth and building on their strengths are on the agenda for 14 Treu-Mart Youth Development Fellows, named by Case Western Reserve University's Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations.

"This is a passionate and phenomenal group of youth development professionals. They have impressed me with the quality of their dedication, driven by the true meaning of 'KIDS are our future'," said Patricia Heilbron, the director of Mandel Center's Treu-Mart Youth Fellowship Program.

Youth service professionals become Treu-Mart Fellows after being nominated by a community organization. One can also be nominated by a member of the community at large and then complete an application that is followed by an interview with the selection committee that include Heilbron and members from the community and Case faculty.

Once selected, the Fellows attend six days of intensive classes over three months in resiliency training that focuses youth building by developing an individual's talents and skills instead of correcting problems.

Following the intensive classes, each Fellow is assigned a coach and a peer support network group that meets over six months and presents a compelling issue for discussion at each networking session. At the end of the program, each Fellow leaves with an action plan that helps them become more effective in providing youth services and a certificate and lapel pin for completing the program.

Treu-Mart Fund—a supporting organization of the Cleveland Foundation and the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland —identified youth development services as a need in Northeast Ohio and has provided for the Fellows program through 2007. To date, the program has infused youth service development training for 23 organizations that conservatively have served and reached more than 1,000 of the area's middle school students, said Heilbron.

The newest Treu-Mart Youth Development Fellows are in the second of five classes. They are: Roberta Baioni from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cleveland; Barbara Cash, Save Our Children; Erica Davis-James, Community Re-Entry/Covenant Project; Jeff Ehlert, Berea Children's Home; Connie Fletcher, YOU; Gerald Ford, YO! Cleveland; Lydia Hill, Cleveland Department of Public Health; Lamar Hinchen, City of Cleveland Recreation Department; Marissa Jewell, Goodrich-Gannet Neighborhood House; Lametris Joiner, LaDorr Foundation; Melissa Keith, Shaker Heights Youth Center; Valerie Pinkney-Duke, Center for Families and Children; Isaiah Rembert, City Year; and Clifton Sweeney, Open Doors.

According to Heilbron, Fellows from the first class have commented that "this has been one of the greatest professional growth experiences I have ever had," "I have learned all over what I love about my job," "I have seen youth in the organization communicate differently with one another," and "I have changed the way that I communicate with youth."

For information about Treu-Mart Youth Development Fellowship Program, visit


About Case Western Reserve University

Case is among the nation's leading research institutions. Founded in 1826 and shaped by the unique merger of the Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University, Case is distinguished by its strengths in education, research, service, and experiential learning. Located in Cleveland, Case offers nationally recognized programs in the Arts and Sciences, Dental Medicine, Engineering, Law, Management, Medicine, Nursing, and Social Work.