The mission of the Community Action Organization of Erie County is to promote opportunities for low-income individuals, families, and communities to achieve and sustain self-sufficiency through advocacy, partnerships, access to services, and low-to-moderate income housing developments. The CAO serves more than 30,000 individuals annually in service ranging from Head Start programs (the second largest Head Start operation in New York State), housing and neighborhood development programs, its Youth Services Network that includes a number of programs and targeted mentoring initiatives.
- Developed organizational model and strategic plan to increase quality of comprehensive career development service delivery for one of the largest social service agencies in Western New York.
- Conducted academic and field research on causes of unemployment among impoverished individuals of Buffalo.
- Analyzed data for 1000+ clients of CAO's Employment and Training Division, which revealed persistent racial and age-based employment discrimination and increasing spatial and skills mismatch.
"John is an incredible young man. He showed tremendous maturity and provided valuable input that will contribute to our organizational success. His command of logic, analysis, and other vital skills were an asset in every assignment he tackled."
Nicole Stewart, Director for Employment and Training, Community Action Organization of WNY
The High Road Fellowship made this summer the most powerful I’ve had yet. I found such a smart and passionate group of friends who I am so lucky to have shared time, thoughts, struggles, and dreams with together. I met with people carrying immense burdens of despair, neglect, trauma, and experiences I could never fully come to understand, who made me become ever more aware of my privileges and the need to use it for those for whom those privileges are systemically unattainable. I had the opportunity to do something I really believed in — helping people make a transition from joblessness, homelessness, and shame to self-sufficient wage earning and living meaningful lives.
From John’s blog post