Building Leaders and Strengthening San Antonio’s Nonprofit Network

Leadership Training Hosted at BCFS Health and Human Services-San Antonio Westside Community Center

SAN ANTONIO – For the next several weeks, the BCFS Health and Human Services-San Antonio Westside Community Center will transform into the site of a leadership boot camp, bringing together leaders from social service agencies around the community for the Breakthrough Leadership Training. The course is presented by one of BCFS Westside Community Center’s partners, Waiters Educational Vision, a nonprofit consulting firm specializing in helping adults become positive role models for youth.

Photo gallery of training session & activities

The Breakthrough Leadership Training helps individuals in leadership positions hone their skills to best serve people in need, guide their respective agencies, and uplift the community as a whole. The BCFS Westside Community Center is hosting the leadership training as part of its three-pronged mission, said center director Michelle Shilling.

“Serving those who serve is the third trivet of our goals here at the BCFS Westside Community Center,” she explains. “One, we expose the community to services BCFS provides; two, we identify unmet needs and find ways to meet them, either independently or through partnerships; and three, we serve those who serve. It’s truly inspiring to gather with other local leaders with the same goal – build on our strengths to better serve the children, youth and families that rely on us for help.”

In addition to staff from BCFS Health and Human Services, the American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Healthy Futures of Texas are also participating. In all, more than 30 participants from several community organizations will complete the five-week course.

The training is built on a set of core values, says the Executive Director of Waiters Educational Vision, Leslie Grubbs: accountability, balance, interdependence, empowerment and leverage.

“A lot of agencies use the excuse ‘we don’t have the time to build our leaders,’” Grubbs explains. “The truth is we don’t have the time not to.”

Grubbs is a charismatic and engaging instructor, encouraging class discussion and hands-on participation. A foundational component of the training is the idea that everyone’s worth is inherent in their humanity.

“If you’re going to impact lives, you have to see them as human beings,” Grubbs says. “Everyone has value – everyone has something to offer to this earth.”

“By the time we’re done with the sessions,” Shilling says, “we’ll learn how to implement these strategies – these ways of thinking – in a healthy way to work as a network, as a community, and to live together in harmony through improved communication. Each organization sends three to five people to the class. That’s five leaders getting on the same page, going back to the office and setting an example of working together, taking care of themselves and knowing how to care for the duties that they’ve been entrusted with.”

The Westside Community Center operated by BCFS Health and Human Services-San Antonio is a “one-stop shop” for local children and families to access free services and resources that help make San Antonio’s Westside a safe, healthier and more prosperous place to live. In addition to parenting classes, mentoring programs for youth, and individual, group and family counseling, the center offers a computer lab for community members to use for job searches or homework, space for community partners to convene meetings, and partnerships with local organizations to help meet the needs of individuals and families on the Westside.

For more information about the BCFS Westside Community Center, or to volunteer or make a donation, visit DiscoverBCFS.net/Westside or call 210-212-6508.

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BCFS is a global system of health and human service non-profit organizations with locations and programs throughout the United States as well as Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. The organization is a national leader in medical sheltering and emergency management and response, providing critical emergency support services to federal, state and local governments. BCFS also provides residential services and emergency shelters for children who are abused or neglected; assisted living services and vocational training for adults with intellectual disabilities; mental health services for children and families, foster care and adoption services; medical services; early education; transitional living services for youth who are at-risk and those in the juvenile justice system; residential camping and retreats for children and families; and international humanitarian aid for children living in impoverished conditions in developing countries.

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