A flurry of hiring has occurred at Bellaire-Puritas Development Corporation (BPDC) recently to expand our service capacity, academically impact the W. 140th Education Corridor, and tap and support grassroots neighborhood leadership.
Five new staff have come aboard, three full-time: Carla Hunter, Tammy Tucker and Veronica Favela. Two joined in part-time capacities as afterschool tutors: Tasha Fairley and Carmonita Williams.
Carla, the first to be hired, works as a home energy assistant, helping connect people, mostly from the west side of Cuyahoga County, to programs to reduce the burden of their utility bills. This primarily comes in the form of adjusting payment amounts and terms and utilizing the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). She uses the compassion and listening skills from her previous employment with Catholic Charities to counsel people “that help is there, be patient, breathe, ask questions, and follow-through to get through utility crises”.
Next, Tammy came aboard just as school started at Artemus Ward PreK-8 School, which is her program’s site. She is our Partners for Success (P4SS) program coordinator and organizes afterschool enrichment there for BPDC. She has five years of experience working with high students with the Academic Upward Bound program in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) to bring college and career readiness to youth. Experience taught her that career and academic success start before students gets to high school. Her role at Artemus Ward is to implement a 21st Century Learning Center by coordinating programs for 6th-8th graders there. The Center is a collaboration of the school, BPDC, and the Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Association on the south end of the W. 140th St. Education Corridor.
Tasha and Carmonita joined the 21st Century Learning Center at Artemus Ward under Tammy’s supervision as tutors, specifically in math, science, literacy, and social studies, homework assistance, and other academic enrichment, including field trips. Tasha and Carmonita are not just co-workers, they are both involved with the AmazinnMe Bridge Program. Tasha founded AmazinnMe, which brings 11-17 year old girls together in a safe, interactive, diverse group at on Wednesdays and Saturdays to focus on education, health, lifestyle, character development, and values.
In November, Veronica joined the BPDC team to increase the agency’s capacity to support existing community leadership, organize events, and engage the community more fully in BPDC’s work of community development as the events and community outreach coordinator.
Originally from California, she moved to Cleveland to do a year of service as a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, planning and implementing afterschool programs for inner-city youth and acting as the point of contact for a homeless ministry at the Arrupe Neighborhood Partnership. Since then, she added experience directing alumni outreach at St. Martin de Porres High School and doing development and programming with Facing History and Ourselves. As a sign of her passion for grassroots leadership and Cleveland, she recently completed the Cleveland Leadership Center’s Bridge Builders leadership development program herself!