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Management Incubator Participants Help Improve Facilities at Baton Rouge Youth Coalition

A group of emerging business leaders recently wrapped up our four-week management training program with a community project to support the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition’s mission of helping under-resourced high school students succeed.

The projects were part our Management Incubator, a development program for talented individual contributors who are emerging as leaders within organizations. The Management Incubator offers rising leaders insight into their leadership styles and potential challenges, strengths and weaknesses. The program features competency-based leadership assessments, experiential learning, individual coaching and development planning — capped off by a community-based project.

For our Spring 2018 program, we partnered with the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition (BRYC), which is preparing high-achieving, under-resourced high school students to enter, excel in and graduate from college so they can become full participants in society.

Located near downtown Baton Rouge, the center pushes students to their full potential and has them discover their strengths through scheduled programs, tutoring and academic coaching, and ACT prep and testing. BRYC also offers financial aid assistance and college prep to help them enter, pay for, transition to and graduate from the college of their dreams.

Their goal is to help students develop self-awareness, confidence and knowledge to enter and succeed in college and, to connect fellows to resources within the community to become motivated peers and caring adults in society. It’s vital community work that we’re proud to be able to support through our training programs at Success Labs.

Working Together to Give Back

The Management Incubator participants were divided into two teams — Team Highland and Team Perkins. Each group was given a starting budget and tasked with working with BRYC leaders on developing ways to upgrade a room within the facility followed by implementation of those ideas. One of the participating companies, Shintech, made a generous donation to supplement the base budgets for each team.

Team Highland with BRYC staff members.

For its project, Team Highland reconfigured the organization’s Academic Success Center, a large room that is predominantly used for ACT prep. The team added modular tables and organization and rearranged the room’s layout to be multifunctional for not only ACT prep and testing but also for large meetings and even yoga sessions. The team also designated a new and more private space for the instructor’s office. Before developing its plan, the team worked with Lauren, the ACT instructor, who primarily uses the room to better understand how it could be improved.

“Lauren puts her whole heart into giving students every opportunity for success, so we really wanted to give her something she wanted,” says Team Highland member Deante Baham with the Louisiana Department of Health.

“This layout and reorganization of the room puts the “FUN” in multifunctional,” says Corrie Mackey of the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. “Lauren now has a designated, private office space AND an ACT-ready room that can be transformed in a space for decompression and yoga for the students.”

Team Perkins tackled the “Grind Room,” a narrow rectangular space often used as a study location for students, as well as a meeting space for staff, volunteers and parents. Their project added a room divider and modular tables that could be moved around more easily than the previous furniture, allowing for more flexibility. They also designed and created an art project with vision boards that highlight the organization’s various community programs.

Team Perkins with BRYC team members.

Team member Becky Majdoch with the Louisiana Department of Health says she didn’t know much about BRYC going into the Management Incubator, but through the planning process came to appreciate the organization and the impact it is having on students in the Baton Rouge area.

“We genuinely care about this organization and its success,” she says. “It’s not just a random project. Success Labs picked an organization and place that we would actually want to donate our time and efforts to – and to do it well. Working with the BRYC team has been fun and inspirational.”

Laura Hawkes, Director of Operations and Recruitment at BRYC, says the process of working with the teams allowed the organization to get a new perspective on how it could use a portion of its space more effectively.

“It was great for them to bring in other resources to our organization,” Hawkes says. “At the same time, there were things we were able to repurpose from other spaces that we never thought about until we were able to sit down with another group. There’s something to be said for having another set of eyes looking at what you do every day to expand what is possible.”

The next Management Incubator series is set for Fall 2018 and only a few open spots remain. 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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