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The White House

President Obama To Highlight Innovative Programs that are Transforming Communities Across the Nation

Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                   June 30, 2009

President Obama To Highlight Innovative Programs that are Transforming Communities Across the Nation

President Calls on Foundations, Philanthropists, and the Private Sector to Invest in Community Solutions
Today, President Obama will highlight innovative non-profits programs that are making a difference in communities across the country.   Programs such as Harlem Children’s Zone, Teach for America, HopeLab, Genesys Works, and Bonnie CLAC have developed models that are demonstrating results.  These programs and others like them have the potential to make progress in education, training, health care, and other areas in more communities across the country.
The President will call on foundations, philanthropists, and others in the private sector to partner with the government to find and invest in these innovative, high-impact solutions.  Now more than ever, we need to build cross-sector partnerships to transform our schools, improve the health of Americans, and employ more people in clean energy and other emerging industries.  These community solutions will help build the new foundation for the economy and the nation. 
The President also asked Melody Barnes, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, and her innovation team to search outside of Washington for the programs that can most effectively transform communities and change lives. 
Background on the people who will share their stories during the conversation on community solutions:
Geoff Canada, Harlem Children’s Zone
Since 1990, Mr. Canada has been the President and Chief Executive Officer for Harlem Children's Zone. Mr. Canada grew up in the South Bronx in a poor, sometimes-violent neighborhood. Despite his troubled surroundings, Mr. Canada was able to succeed academically, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bowdoin College and a master's degree in education from the Harvard School of Education. After graduating from Harvard, Mr. Canada decided to work to help children who, like himself, were disadvantaged by their lives in poor, embattled neighborhood. In 2006, Mr. Canada was selected by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as co-chair of The Commission on Economic Opportunity, which was asked to formulate a plan to significantly reduce poverty. In 2007, he was appointed co-chair of New York State Governor's Children's Cabinet Advisory Board.
Harlem Children's Zone, Inc. has experienced incredible growth, from the number of children served to the breadth of services provided. In 1997, the agency began a network of programs for a 24-block area: the Harlem Children's Zone Project. In 2007, the Zone Project grew to almost 100 blocks and serves more than 8,000 children and more than 4,100 adults. Over the years, the organization introduced several ground-breaking efforts including the Baby College parenting workshops, the Harlem Gems pre-school program, the HCZ Asthma Initiative, which teaches families to better manage the disease, the Promise Academy, a high-quality public charter school; and an obesity program to help children stay healthy.
Pat Christen, HopeLab
HopeLab is a nonprofit organization in Redwood City, California, founded by board chair and philanthropist Pam Omidyar. HopeLab combines intensive research with cutting-edge technology to improve the health and quality of life of young people with chronic illnesses. HopeLab is dedicated to finding solutions that have broad impact, and works closely with tweens, teens and young adults to create fun, innovative products that meet their needs. Among them is Re-Mission, HopeLab's groundbreaking video game for young people with cancer. Data show that that Re-Mission improves treatment adherence and other key health outcomes, which were recently published in the medical journal Pediatrics. HopeLab is also developing products to combat sedentary behavior in children as a way to fight the effects of childhood obesity.
Pat Christen is the President and CEO of HopeLab. She will share the story of Richard Ross, a 12-year-old seventh grader, who is one of HopeLab's "kid experts" testing a new product called gDitty. The product is designed to motivate middle-school kids to be more physically active. Kids wear the gDitty activity monitor, then connect it to the gDitty website to redeem activity points for rewards. gDitty is another example of how HopeLab is harnessing the power and appeal of technology to measurably improve kids' health.
Robert Chambers, Bonnie CLAC
Robert Chambers is the president and co-founder of Bonnie CLAC. His experience working at an automobile dealership, watching low-income individuals forced to pay high interest rates when they purchased cars, led him to the form the organization.  Headquartered in New Hampshire, Bonnie CLAC is an award-winning not-for-profit organization that helps people from all walks of life acquire fuel-efficient, affordable and reliable vehicles.
Bonnie CLAC’s program helps clients build creditworthiness and provides car selection and purchase assistance to help low- and moderate-income individuals create savings, improve their access to health care, and reduce carbon emissions into the environment. Since its founding in 2001, Bonnie CLAC has guaranteed over $12 million in loans for more than 1200 clients, most of whom fall below HUD low-income guidelines. 
Vanessa Nunez, Genesys Works
Vanessa Nunez grew up in a home where a single-mother raised her three girls. Since she was 13 years old, she worked to help support the family, sometime two jobs at a time. Vanessa was working as a hostess at a restaurant, called the Aquarium, when she heard about Genesys Works.  She came into the program in 2007 and went through Genesys’ Works’ rigorous year-long training program.   After successfully completing their training program, Vanessa was assigned to work with a new Genesys Works partner, Marathon Oil, a Fortune 500 company. At the time, Vanessa was only one of only two students there. This year they will have 10 students in that company. Vanessa now attends the University of Houston and is still working in the corporate information technology department at Marathon Oil.

Genesys Works is a Houston-based non-profit organization that trains and employs high school students to perform technical services for major corporations. Founded in 2002, the organization seeks to enable economically disadvantaged high school students to enter the economic mainstream by providing them with the knowledge and work experience required to succeed as technical professionals. Over 95 percent of Genesys Works graduates go on to college. Genesys Works has locations in St. Paul, Minnesota and Houston, TX and is planning to open a Chicago location in 2010.

Steve Goldsmith
Stephen Goldsmith earned a national reputation for innovations in government while serving two terms as mayor of Indianapolis. He transformed the delivery of city services; his efforts to revitalize urban neighborhoods through creative partnerships with community and faith based organizations have been held up as a national model.
Goldsmith is Daniel Paul Professor of Government and director of the Innovations in American Government Program, at Harvard’s Kennedy School where he hosts an Executive Session on Transforming Cities through Civic Entrepreneurship. He also serves as the vice-chair of the Corporation for National and Community Service.
He served as mayor of Indianapolis from 1992 to 1999. Prior to this time he served as Marion County district attorney for twelve years.

Below is a list of expected attendees at today’s event on Community Solutions:
Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA)
Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan
Budget Director Peter Orszag
Geoffrey Canada, Harlem Children’s Zone
Robert Chambers, Bonnie CLAC
Pat Christen, HopeLab
Dave Cieslewicz, Mayor of Madison, Wisconsin
Steve Goldsmith, Harvard Kennedy School
Vanessa Nunez, Genesys Works
Sara Presler, Mayor of Flagstaff, Arizona
(in alphabetical order by last name)
Raolat Abdulai, New Freedmen's Clinic
Ellen Alberding, Joyce Foundation
Rafael Alvarez, Genesys Works
Michael Anders, Morgan Stanley
Hector Avellaneda, Genesys Works
Diana Aviv, Independent Sector
Richard Barth, KIPP Schools
Josh Bekenstein, Bain and Company
Kara Bobroff, Native American Community Academy
David Bornstein, Author
Jeff Bradach, Bridgespan Group
Arthur Brooks, American Enterprise Institute
Elliott Brown, Springboard Forward 
Michael Brown, City Year
Tony Brunswick, LIFT
Andrew Butcher, GTECH
Kelley Caffarelli, Home Depot Foundation
Geoffrey Canada Jr., Harlem Children's Zone
Dan Cardinali, Communities in Schools
James Cleveland, JumpStart
AnnMaura Connoly, City Year
Dr. Charlotte Cowan, Author
Ann Cramer, IBM
Cameron Cushman, Kauffman Foundation
Carla Dartis, Tides Center
Alfa Demmellash, Rising Tide Capital
Allison Devore, StreetWise Partners
Suzanne DiBianca, Sales Force Foundation
Cheryl Dorsey, Echoing Green
Bill Drayton, Ashoka
Mallika Dutt, Breakthrough
Alex Forrester, Rising Tide Capital
Tom Freedman, Freedman Consulting
David Friedman
Mark Fuller, Monitor Group
Marilyn Gaston, Gaston and Porter Health Improvement Center
Christopher Gergen, Duke University
David Gergen, Center for Public Leadership
John Gomperts, Civic Ventures
Christine Greenhow, Admission Possible
Tiffany Gueye, Building Educated Leaders for Life (BELL)
Steve Gunderson, Council on Foundations
Chuck Harris, Sea Change Capital Partners
Ben Hecht, Living Cities
Scott Heiferman,
Philip Henderson, Surdna
Sara Horowitz, Working Today—Freelancers Union
Frederick Humphries, Microsoft
Dominique Jackson, Communities in Schools
Thomas JenkinsJr., Nurse-Family Partnership
Gladys Jensen, Jensen Foundation
James Jensen, Jensen Foundation
Alan Khazei, Be the Change
Vanessa Kirsch, New Profit
Matt Klein, Blue Ridge Foundation
Chris Koch, GTECH
Gara LaMarche, Atlantic Philanthropies
Carol Larson, Packard Foundation
Jonathan Lavine, Bain Capital
Pat Lawler, Youth Villages
Mark Levine, The After School Corporation (TASC)
Felix Lloyd, Skill Life
Gary Maxworthy, Farms to Families
Terry Mazany, Chicago Community Trust
Jim McCorkell, Admission Possible
Darin McKeever, Gates Foundation
Margaret McKenna, Wal-Mart
Bill Milliken, Communities in Schools
Ted Mitchell, New Schools Venture Fund
Vanessa Nunez, Genesys Works
Mark Nunnelly, Bain
David Olds, Nurse-Family Partnership
Pam Omidyar, Omidyar Foundation
April Osajima, Girls, Inc.
Sally Osberg, Skoll Foundation
Gayle Porter, Gaston and Porter Health Improvement Center
Alma Powell, America's Promise Alliance
Bruce Reed, Democratic Leadership Council
Chandra Ribeiro, Bonnie CLAC
John Rice, Management Leadership for Tomorrow
Julie Rogers, Meyer Foundation
Sharon Rohrbach, Nurses to Newborns
Martha Rollins, Boaz & Ruth
Nancy Roob, Edna McConnell Clark Foundation
Zack Rosenburg, St. Bernard Project
Richard Ross, HopeLab
Alex Rossides, Growth Philanthropy Network
David Saltzman, Robin Hood
Smrthi Sathe, Blue Engine Media
Paul Schmitz, Public Allies
Jon Schnur, New Leaders for New Schools
J.B. Schramm, College Summit
Eric Schwarz, Citizen Schools
Tom Sheridan, The Sheridan Group
Mark Shriver, Save the Children
Tim Shriver, Special Olympics
Bobbi Silten, Gap, Inc.
Shamina Singh, Citi
Ed Skloot, Duke University
Erik Smith, Blue Engine Media
Ralph Smith, Annie E. Casey Foundation
Alan Solomont, Corporation for National and Community Service
Jonathan Soros, Soros Fund Management
Tim Sparapani, Facebook
Ben Starrett, Funders Network
Dorothy Stoneman, YouthBuild USA
Lester Strong, Experience Corps
Kerry Sullivan, Bank of America
Kim Syman, New Profit
Luis Ubiñas, Ford Foundation
Julius Walls, Greystone Bakery
Kelly Ward, New Profit
James Washington, Harlem Children’s Zone
Diana Wells, Ashoka
Shelly Whelpton, Sheridan Group
William White, Mott Foundation
Andrew Wolk, Root Cause
Trineca Yellock, JumpStart
Kyle Zimmer, First Book