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2021 Team Project: D.E.I. Intentional Outreach Community Project

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While in the Ottumwa Leadership Academy, class members come together to complete Team Projects. These projects are community-based initiatives that pair participants with local organizations or initiatives serving Ottumwa or Wapello County. 

Team projects provide the opportunity for organizations/initiatives to: 

1. Benefit from a diverse team of dedicated community leaders 

2. Meaningfully address a current issue or initiatives

3. Explore creative solutions to problems

4. Grow your civic network among team participants and other class members 

5. Nurture leadership that embraces new ideas and taking risks

Team projects also provide an opportunity for the Ottumwa Leadership Academy (O.L.A.) program participants. As participants work with local organizations or initiatives, they can: 

1. Apply and enhance their leadership and communication skills

2. Help common goals and objectives 

3. Engage community leaders 

4. Experience team-mentoring 

5. Leverage the dynamic backgrounds and perspectives of class members 

6. Facilitate the development of long-term relationships and solutions

The United Way of Wapello County (UWCC) identified an organizational need to better fulfill their mission to fight for every person in the community and create an opportunity for more diversity, equity & inclusion in their services.

O.L.A. class of 2021 members Lindsay Cale (Ottumwa Job Corps Center), Patty Galvan Ramos (Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation), Ryan Miller (Ottumwa Job Corps Center), Maggie Sauer (Indian Hills Community College), and Daniel Terrian (Indian Hills Community College) partnered with the United Way of Wapello County to help the organization bring identified, under-represented community members “to the table.”

The D.E.I. Intentional Outreach Community Project provided the dual-opportunity of helping the community learn about United Way and having United Way learn from its community. They connected with over 30 local organizations as part of their intentional outreach efforts. They then organized a hybrid listening session focused on bringing underrepresented community members to the table to learn more about their perceptions of the United Way of Wapello County. “We were able to have a successful first event, and hope the foundation laid from this project will provide the opportunity for sustainability with future events and progress towards increased diversity, equity, and inclusion within our community,” said Maggie Sauer. 

Lindsay Cale reflected on her class project experience, saying, “Learning about the United Way of Wapello County allowed me to share with our community and partners about the great work that UWWC does and the lives that they change. I believe with further listening opportunities, UWWC will not only educate but get greater participation and volunteerism. Ottumwa Leadership Academy has helped me grow and develop professionally as well as make lasting relationships I will cherish.”

Does your organization have a project or initiative that serves Wapello County that would benefit from working with a diverse team of dedicated community leaders? Interested organizations with team project ideas are invited to submit a project proposal by Tuesday, September 9, 2021. 

Email htometich@leadottumwa.org for application forms.