Phoenixville: The 2017 Phoenixville Community Health Leadership Academy graduated five students from its ten-week program on November 17. The graduates, all with a passion for addressing the needs of the greater Phoenixville region, include: Patricia Blank, Nilanjana Chowdhury, Lorraine Colon, Joanne Hyndman, and Kim Weaner. These additions now make over 125 graduates since the Leadership Academy launched in 2003. The Academy was designed, and is implemented, by the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation. Some of the needs that the students wanted to address during this program include hunger and food insecurity of students at Phoenixville High School, bringing a ‘nature’s place’, to St. Mary’s Shelter, the emotional-support needs of single mothers, creating a medical ID on smartphones, and playground improvement in Spring City. In the weeks between Labor Day and Thanksgiving, the students learned about diversity, ethics, citizenship, project management, planning, and public speaking all while developing an individual community service project.
The Leadership Academy was founded on the belief that the more people get involved in the community for the purpose of positive change, the stronger and healthier the community will be. 100% of the students reported they have seen a change in the way they navigate professional and personal situations. One student said: “I have a more clear view of my passions and how I want to give back.” When asked how this Leadership Academy could be better, one student said “The program is brilliant! Thank you!”. The following African Proverb exemplifies the Community Health Leadership Academy: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
The mission of the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation is to improve the health and quality of life for people in the greater Phoenixville region by increasing access to quality healthcare services and promoting healthy communities through grant-making and collaborations with health, civic, business and community partners.