December 2022: Message from Julian Rogers

Since President Kaler joined Case Western Reserve University in July 2021, he has made enhancing our community engagement a priority. He wants our university community to meet the needs of our neighbors where they are and in ways that matter deeply to them. 

The university’s FOCUS Group is among our most impactful community outreach programs for local youth. The group includes four programs: the National Youth Sports Program, a five-week summer camp for Cleveland youth; TRIO Talent Search, a program that provides academic advising and college-readiness activities for East Cleveland students who demonstrate potential for postsecondary education; TRIO Upward Bound, a similar program for students from Cleveland Metropolitan School District and Euclid High School; and School-Based Outreach programs, which include Project STEP-UP, a tutoring program that recruits undergraduate students to volunteer their time to help students in local PreK-8 schools. 

For many years, FOCUS Group has functioned as part of the Division of Student Affairs, however, effective January 1, 2023, the Group will become part of the Office of Local Government and Community Relations.  We believe that this move will create greater efficiencies and increase our overall impact in the community.. I’m excited about what this means for the programs and, more importantly, for our Cleveland and East Cleveland neighbors. 

So in this month’s newsletter, we’re focusing on one of the FOCUS Group programs—Project STEP-UP. You’ll learn more about the program from its director Janice Eatman Williams and you’ll hear about the impact it has on students from Dessie Sanders, the principal at one of our partner schools, Daniel E. Morgan School in Hough. You’ll also get to know one of our student tutors, Angel Nieves and one of our staff members who’s especially committed to serving urban youth, Arthur Evenchik. 

It’s an honor to be among such an engaged community that truly cares about the people living in the neighborhoods surrounding our campus. I look forward to growing our engagement in 2023 in ways that continue to improve and change lives. 

I wish everyone a happy holiday season and a healthy 2023. 

Julian Rogers
Assistant Vice President, Government and Community Relations