Supporting Professionals who Support Youth

When human services worker Ben Hughes was looking for ways to provide social and academic support to boys and young men, he turned to the Treu-Mart Youth Development Fellowship Program at Case Western Reserve University. Established and sustained with support from the Treu-Mart Fund—a supporting organization of the Cleveland Foundation and the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland—the program provides intellectual, interpersonal and professional support to youth-service professionals in Cuyahoga County.

With the help of his Treu-Mart coach, Hughes is currently working in collaboration with a local musician to develop a curriculum that uses hip-hop music and poetry to teach grammar to youth at the Fatima Family Center. He is one of almost 150 youth-service professionals who have benefited from the Treu-Mart Fellowship. Since is inception in 2004, more than 10,000 youths have been positively impacted by the work of the Fellows.

“Treu-Mart Fellows emerge from this program with the resources, skills and support they need to make a lasting difference in their organization, our community and, ultimately, the youth they work with,” says Pat Heilbron, director of the program. “Through the Fellowship program, the Weatherhead School of Management is helping to create opportunities that will support the growth of adolescents into healthy, responsible adults.”

During the nine-month program, Fellows—professionals who work with middle school-aged youth during out-of-school time—participate in resiliency-based educational workshops and discussions. Coaches, seasoned professionals from the community, work with the Fellows to help them incorporate their learnings into their workplaces and support them to become more reflective practitioners.

“Partnership has always been an elemental theme of the Treu-Mart Fund,” says Art Treuhaft, president of the Treu-Mart Fund Board of Directors. Grants from this fund have benefitted area residents by supporting community development, social service and health planning, among other initiatives, since it was founded in 1980. “This fellowship program has been a highly successful venture that makes a noticeable difference to Cuyahoga County’s adolescents.”