FOCUS AREAS: Education for at-risk youth
PROFILE: Tracy Horner is an executor at the Horner Foundation. Cullen has also worked at Rutgers University and lived in Victoria, British Columbia. She has been a member of The Dock, a co-working space and center for social impact.
Cullen’s Community Council profile for 2015 shares:
The Horner Foundation is an organization that supports initiatives that work with at-risk youth, to help improve the outcomes and projections of those entering adulthood. They hope to reach a range of front-line organizations, and work alongside other community-based organizations and stakeholders to improve the overall quality of youth work in the city.
“The Council plays an important role in the community by incubating projects and championing issues that other nonprofits can't take on. They play an important convening role, a thought leadership role, and their support over the past couple of years has been really invaluable to us.” It is this kind of potential that Tracy Cullen of the Horner Foundation has been able to find in her work with the Youth Program Quality Initiative (YPQI). The YPQI is a partnership of the Council, funders, and frontline organizations that aims to enhance the quality of programming for youth in the region.
"The Council has played an important incubation role for the YPQI, which is similar to the role they have played in fostering other initiatives including the Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable (CRFAIR)." CRFAIR is a food security-based collaborative that is a coalition of organizations working to strengthen regional food security and our local food system. Started in 1997, CRFAIR has just this past year ‘left the nest’ to become its own entity.
It is an example that Tracy hopes to see repeated with YPQI in the future. The coming year will hopefully be a significant and exciting step in this pursuit. The YPQI is launching several new initiatives, including the YPQI Quality Mark for participating organizations, Youth Worker Certificate program, as well as new website. It is hoped that there will be an ongoing and positive impact on youth work in the region - For a funder, that is money well spent.