Tell us about yourself.
My name is Sean Powell and I’m the Executive Director, of Engage, The Foundation. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from VCU and am currently studying Behavioral Health.
What is the focus of your work?
The focus of my work is 1) encouraging the college atmosphere to be a positive influence within their surrounding communities, 2) addressing the need of relative, experiential, community development training for college students/recent graduates, while also 3) addressing the need for relative positive influence within the communities. We spend our time encouraging college students to become engaged in positively influencing society’s youth. We focus on strengthening families by connecting communities, schools and universities to resources designed to improve individual stability and family structure.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
What I find most rewarding is seeing the impact of relative, experiential, community development training for influential college students/recent graduates. It’s rewarding to see these influential individuals going into the communities more prepared to better serve the communities. It is also extremely rewarding to know that some of the youth participating in our youth development programs have been diagnosed with behavioral or mental illnesses and utilize our program as an intervention activity.
What are some major challenges you have faced and how you handled them?
Some of the major challenges that I’ve faced doing this work is major funding to support the programming for the youth development programs being delivered by the college students/recent graduates.
What’s coming next for you and/or for your organization that really excites you?
Our newest youth development program, The Young Business Builders Program, really excites me as we are using the process of entrepreneurship to teach resiliency to the youth through mentoring, educating participants on the process of turning passions into profit, for families to develop a more self-sustaining mindset. This program has caused our organization to expand into 3 different college campuses and communities. (VCU in Richmond, VSU in Petersburg and NSU in Norfolk)
How are you leveraging ConnectVA to achieve your mission?
We would like to leverage ConnectVA’s network to build awareness of Engage, The Foundation to increase funding and encourage more individuals to become trained as mentors within our expanding program.
Anything else you would like to share?
If there are colleges and communities interested in utilizing our Young Business Builders Program as a mentoring activity for youth development, we are more than happy to assist in duplicating the program in their area. We can be directly reached through the “Get Involved” tab on our website – engagethefoundation.org