Young Leaders Shape Casey’s Latest Results Count Offering

Posted November 15, 2023
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
A young black man looks at a woman as she speaks at a meeting

When the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion set out to cre­ate its first lead­er­ship devel­op­ment pro­gram for emerg­ing pro­fes­sion­als, it tapped peo­ple of sim­i­lar age and inter­ests as the program’s tar­get cohort. With the prin­ci­ple of co-cre­ation, or build with, not for,” in mind, the Foun­da­tion engaged a team of 12 — sev­en young lead­ers as paid con­sul­tants and five younger staff mem­bers — to work along­side sea­soned cur­ricu­lum design­ers and fac­ul­ty to inform what has become the Ris­ing Lead­ers for Results Fel­low­ship.

Focus­ing on Pro­fes­sion­als Ages 24 to 31

The young lead­ers envi­sioned a fel­low­ship expe­ri­ence that reflect­ed their own ear­ly career expe­ri­ences, ambi­tions and obsta­cles. They iden­ti­fied the years between ages 24 and 31 — when many young peo­ple are pur­su­ing their first or sec­ond career-track roles — as a crit­i­cal peri­od for pro­fes­sion­al growth. Rather than sim­ply guess what would res­onate with those in more junior posi­tions, the cur­ricu­lum design­ers test­ed, refined and re-test­ed their assump­tions with the sev­en young lead­ers dur­ing the plan­ning period.

Mak­ing Results Count® Work for Emerg­ing Leaders

The tar­get pop­u­la­tion for the Foun­da­tion’s lead­er­ship devel­op­ment pro­grams has long been mid-career pro­fes­sion­als who have risen to a lev­el of for­mal author­i­ty in non­prof­it, phil­an­thropic and pub­lic-sec­tor orga­ni­za­tions. Emerg­ing lead­ers are a rel­a­tive­ly new audi­ence for the Foun­da­tion’s lead­er­ship devel­op­ment work, which uses a com­pe­ten­cy-based approach called Results Count.

Many, but not all, aspects of Results Count work for both emerg­ing and estab­lished lead­ers. With this knowl­edge, the young co-design­ers rec­om­mend­ed adding skill-build­ing relat­ed to self-advo­ca­cy in pro­fes­sion­al set­tings and tak­ing an entre­pre­neur­ial approach to one’s career pro­gres­sion. The cur­ricu­lum design­ers agreed that com­pe­tence in this area would accel­er­ate the Fel­lows’ effec­tive­ness — now and over the arc of their careers — and added it to the curriculum.

We felt that giv­ing young pro­fes­sion­als the tools to nego­ti­ate their way into spaces and con­fi­dent­ly say, This is what I need to get results,’ can great­ly improve their abil­i­ty to dri­ve change and yield results,” says Eddye Van­derk­waak, a Jim Casey Fel­low and young leader who par­tic­i­pat­ed in both the cre­ation and design teams for the Ris­ing Lead­ers for Results Fellowship.

The young lead­ers also rec­om­mend­ed a build your own expe­ri­ence” com­po­nent as an adap­ta­tion to the tra­di­tion­al Results Count core cur­ricu­lum. The wider range in expe­ri­ence and longer-term objec­tives among the ris­ing lead­ers informed the group’s deci­sion to inte­grate indi­vid­u­al­ized lead­er­ship devel­op­ment activ­i­ties into the program.

A lot of times, these learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties are prepack­aged for us, but it’s neat to be giv­en the oppor­tu­ni­ty to explore and inno­vate what is of most val­ue to us,” says Vanderkwaak.

The oppor­tu­ni­ty has res­onat­ed with its tar­get audi­ence. More than 370 appli­ca­tions were sub­mit­ted for the program’s inau­gur­al 14 spots.

Meet the mem­bers of the first class of Ris­ing Lead­ers for Results

A Sup­port­ive Network

Casey views the Fel­low­ship as an invest­ment in young peo­ple who are still grow­ing into their lead­er­ship poten­tial. Accord­ing­ly, the Foun­da­tion will pro­vide men­tor­ship to the Fel­lows as well as a new­ly cre­at­ed Ris­ing Lead­ers alum­ni net­work for all who have com­plet­ed the program.

We want to sus­tain the growth and suc­cess of Fel­lows, espe­cial­ly as they face new chal­lenges,” explains Dana Jack­son, a Fel­low­ship fac­ul­ty mem­ber. “[The Fel­low­ship] empow­ers young lead­ers to work col­lab­o­ra­tive­ly with their orga­ni­za­tions and each oth­er to address chal­lenges and pro­mote racial equi­ty in build­ing a brighter future for the fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties they serve.”

Learn More About the Ris­ing Lead­ers for Results Fellowship

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