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Business Leaders Give a Facelift to Salvation Army Center For Baton Rouge Children

The Salvation Army of Greater Baton Rouge’s Corps Community Center is a safe haven for at-risk youth in our community, offering after-school tutoring, recreational activities and mentoring throughout the year.

Recently a group of Baton Rouge-area business leaders in our Management Incubator program implemented a series of facility enhancements at the center to help the organization’s vital mission of assisting students.

The Success Labs Management Incubator is a development program for talented individual contributors who are emerging as leaders within their organizations. The Management Incubator offers rising leaders insight into their leadership styles and potential challenges, strengths and weaknesses.

The four-week program features competency-based leadership assessments, experiential learning, individual coaching and development planning — capped off by a community-based project.

For this round of the program, we partnered with the Salvation Army, with a specific focus on the impressive youth programs at their Corp Community Center, where many children of our community go after school to receive academic help, socialize with peers and get a healthy snack.

A Place For Ideas

For the community project, the Management Incubator participants split into two teams — Team Highland and Team Perkins. Each group was given seed money (read more about our L.A.B. Grant here) from Success Labs and tasked with working with Salvation Army leadership to determine how they could best serve their needs.

Team Perkins, which included Jessica Morris, Reed Varnado, Rosanna Carter, Matthew Doland and Ashleigh Anderson, focused on improvement to the facility’s after-school STEM tutoring room. 

The team painted the previously wood-paneled room a bright white, installed new lighting to replace old fluorescent bulbs, added additional electrical outlets for devices, replaced damaged ceiling tiles, and hung colorful educational posters to brighten up the space. The team also installed a white board and added new desks, chairs and computer stations. Finally, they stocked the room with an array of fun STEM learning supplies, such as games, circuit boards and crafts.

“When we first walked in it was really dark and dreary,” Morris says. “We thought about how we can make it a place that will spark ideas in kids? We wanted to make it a space that is motivating and inviting — a little refuge to build ideas.”

Team Highland, which included Crystal Martin, Sean Wade, Ben D’Abadie, Colton Morrish and Ginny Engholm, focused on the music room where the organization holds its School for the Performing Arts sessions with students.

The team painted the entire room, restored the acoustical ceiling tiles, added new baseboards, and upgraded the lighting. They also added a white board to replace an old chalkboard that had bothered some of the students’ allergies, mounted a television on the wall to play educational videos, and brought in new tables and chairs.

“It’s just a complete overhaul — this way it’s a nice space and stocked up with good materials for the kids to come in and enjoy,” Wade says.

Both teams really embraced the spirit of the challenge, working closely with Salvation Army leadership to give them upgrades that will truly help the youth they serve. As we continue our work helping companies develop leaders, Success Labs is proud to connect them with organizations such as the Salvation Army of Greater Baton Rouge that are truly benefiting our community. 

Management Incubator participants leave with an understanding of the competencies they’ll need as they take the next steps in their careers and action plans to help develop those competencies. The ideal candidate is a successful individual contributor who was recently promoted or is being considered for promotion to a supervision or management position. Contact us to learn more.

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