community leadership programProjects & Presentations

Over nine Fridays between October and June, Community Leadership Program participants – local working professionals – join with faculty facilitators from Dominican University’s Brennan School of Business and a diverse roster of area business and governmental and nonprofit pros to further develop their acumen in the areas of project management, strategic planning, and creative problem-solving, as well as conflict resolution and staff motivation. As an essential experiential portion of this Program, participants form teams to work on projects that aim to benefit Oak Park-River Forest.

2013-2014 Group Projects

  • Cultivating Community

    CLP Participants: Kathleen Mullaney, Molly Philosophos, Rhea Yap, Michele Zurakowski
    Construction of a sustainable garden at Hephzibah, which will be utilized to help its foster children learn new life skills in relation to nurturing. The children will be directly involved in maintaining the garden and will connect to their community by donating some of their crops to the OPRF Food Pantry.

  • Volunteer OPRF

    CLP Participants: Judy Deogracias, Melanie Weiss, Jackie Werner, Anna Wilson
    Creation of a comprehensive database/search portal that community members can utilize to connect to community organizations for volunteer opportunities. Currently in the form of a Facebook page.

  • 8 to 9 Connection

    CLP Participants: David Benson, Lasheena Lee, Carol Seley, Tina Steketee
    Development of a  promotional video for the 8 to 9 Connection program, which works to improve our students’ transition from 8th grade to high school.

  • Mentoring Teens

    CLP Participants: Carmen Rivera, Amanda Sonka, Brian Yarbrough
    Development of a mentorship/leadership program for OPRF youth


2012-2013 Group Projects

  • Early Childhood Nutrition “Seed to Sprout!”

    CLP Participants: Faith Cole, Colleen DeDecker, Shanon Williams, Ellen Winter

  • CompostAble for Oak Park

    CLP Participants: Steve Nazaran, Julie Moller, Courtney Orcholski

  • OPRF Embrace

    CLP Participants: Tracy Brooker, Cristy Harris, Jill Moorhead, Max Austin-Williams

  • Rising Readers Club

    CLP Participants: Morgan Davis, Larissa Garcia, Jessica Mackinnon, Edward Redd, Victoria Scaman, Kristina Skare


2011-2012 Group Projects

  • Online Teen Calendar

    CLP Participants: Merryl Brownlow, Jennifer Hayes Thomas, Abby Miller, Leigh Tarullo

  • Water Conservation Education

    CLP Participants: Jose Garcia, Sean Olis, James O’Shea, David Romano

  • Mission Possible: Solving by Connecting

    CLP Participants: Missy Hawley, Maureen Madden, Joan Ormsby, Michael Pikowski, Viktor Schrader, Liz Visteen, Cathy Woods, Cathy Yen


2010-2011 Group Projects

  • Mapping & Shared Services

    CLP Participants: Carla Pierre Gini, Julie Mann, Tom Olis, Ellen Plourde, Karin Schindel

  • Expectation Gap: Student Advisory

    CLP Participants: Karen Faust and Lauren Smith

  • Childhood Obesity: Youth Energized in Activities for Health (YEAH)

    CLP Participants: Julie Farrell, Caleb Fields, Michael Lushniak, Sarah Niederman, Melanie Nowacki, David Parsons, Kathryn (KC) Poulos, Angie Spino


2009-2010 Group Projects

  • Alternative Activities for Youth

    CLP Participants: Michael Carmody, Tina Levy, Zach Moyer, Jim Rolff, Marc Stopeck

  • Mentoring: The Success of All Youth

    CLP Participants: Melissa Devries, Sarah Durbin, Faith Humphrey-Hill, Annese Piazza, LaDon Reynolds