Keynote speaker Emani Jerome gave a spirited tour of Miami's historical neighborhoods.

Keynote speaker Emani Jerome gave a spirited tour of Miami's historical neighborhoods.

Provider Meeting Mixes Miami History Lesson with Fun and Resources

Morning session gives state of Trust with provider workshops in afternoon

If the September 19 The Children’s Trust Provider Meeting at the University of Miami was your first such event, boy did you luck out! There was singing, dancing, a Miami history lesson, a communication primer and, of course, workshops addressing particular service areas, all in front of a packed house at a majestic student union overlooking a beautiful Lake Osceola.

Getting the Party (er, Meeting) Started

After CEO/President James Haj kicked off the meeting with his opening remarks, any doubt that this Provider Meeting would raise the bar in terms of excitement was dispelled immediately with Keyandra Wallace getting the crowd into a Boom Shakalaka fervor. There was hardly a body in the auditorium that did not gyrate during the opening activity.

Knowing Your Provider Neighborhood

When keynote speaker Emani Jerome, director of Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship StartUp FIU, took the stage the provider crowd was ready to be enlightened and he didn't disappoint taking them on a journey through time in what few people know as the real history of Miami. From the areas original residents, Tequesta Indians, to the first residents of Miami – half of which were African Americans working on building a railroad to the city – Jerome put the city’s current context in a historical perspective.

His message was clear: in order to serve the neighborhood where providers are located, they have to know the neighborhood. That means understanding the history of important historical locations in Miami like Overtown, South Dade Communities, Little Haiti, Little Havana and more. Jerome, who is available to spread his message of diversity and inclusion to other providers, ended by asking providers, “What is the biggest issue facing YOUR Miami?

Putting Your Trust in the Trust

After the sobering and enlightening recap of how Miami got to its current state, the meeting veered into the practical and functional aspects with Chief Programs Officer/Chief Information Officer Stephanie Sylvestre issuing kudos to providers who met 100 percent of their individual program inclusion goals and the success of the first year of the Leadership Academy. From there, Director of Programs Juliette Fabian delved into planning, metrics and contract specific issues, finishing with the introduction of the new Parent Club.

Director of Communications Ximena Nunez gave an update on marketing issues, usage of The Children’s Trust logo and online forms. Of particular interest was a reminder for providers to use the correct Trust logo on all marketing materials, contractual requirements for providers to include Trust credit on videos and social media and a reminder to follow all Trust social media platforms (and we’ll follow yours!).

Director of Research & Evaluation Maria-Paula Garcia and Program & Professional Development Administrator Carol Brogan closed out the morning session with an in-depth look at the continuous learning options for providers and the launch of Trust Academy, a one-stop shop for professional development - in person training registration, online courses, resrouces and discussion topics. 

After a lunch break, the Provider Meeting got down to the nitty gritty with three workshops grouping providers into Youth After School (YAS), Youth Enrichment (YEN) and Family Strengthening to go over individual issues and challenges.

The September 19 Provider Meeting represented the best of what The Children’s Trust does: bring together community stakeholders who are pushing for a better life for all children in Miami-Dade County. If you missed this one, make sure to sign up for the next one.