Submitted by McGaw YMCA
The McGaw YMCA is proud to announce that employees Alicya Dennison and Melissa Franada have been chosen to participate in two prestigious national YMCA leadership networks focused on multicultural leadership development.
These leadership networks are two of the six staff-led Employee Resource Groups recognized by the YMCA of the USA at the national level. These groups are part of the Y’s multicultural leadership development efforts to grow and support a network of diverse cause-driven leaders at all levels and to ensure that the Y leadership reflects the diverse communities served by YMCAs. Employee Resource Groups are open to all YMCA staff and volunteers.
“At McGaw YMCA, we believe that everyone has the potential to be a leader. We are committed to providing our employees with the resources they need to grow and develop as multicultural changemakers,” said Monique Parsons, President/CEO. “We are proud of Alicya and Melissa for taking this step in their professional development, for demonstrating their commitment to our Y and the Evanston community as a whole and are hopeful that their involvement encourages other employees to participate.”
Alicya Dennison, executive assistant to the president/CEO, is among only 28 Y staff members nationwide chosen for the Hispanic Latino Leadership Network Professional Development Program. The HLLN is a six-month leadership development program designed to increase the engagement and professional growth of YMCA staff and volunteers who identify as Latina/o/e. As part of the program, participants focus on identifying issues that are important to Latino communities, assisting YMCAs to reach and serve Latinos, and building a network of supportive Y colleagues.
Dennison plans to use her HLLN experience to further exemplify the McGaw Y’s mission and strategic plan through the cultivation of her whole person with transformational experiences that uplift the mind, body and spirt with the intention of being developed and retained. With her dream of becoming a senior-level leader, she has taken advantage of many opportunities to volunteer within the YMCA, and to professionally develop through planning committees, leadership networks and certificate courses.
Melissa Franada, marketing director, represents McGaw YMCA as one of eight YMCA staff members nationwide chosen for the 2022-23 Asian and Pacific Islander Leadership Network-International Leadership Institute. This program is focused on providing leadership development opportunities for Y employees and volunteers who identify as Asian and Pacific Islander, with an additional focus on being part of a knowledge-building international leadership experience.
As part of the 12-month program, participants took part in a 10-day global immersion experience in March that connected them to the work of the YMCA in South Korea and the Philippines. Read more about her experience in this blog post. Additionally, Franada will complete a capstone project focused on understanding the experiences of API-identified people in Evanston and their connections to the McGaw YMCA as staff, current members, supporters and members of the larger community.