The Gresham Smith Community Impact Player is a business community leader who lends their time and treasure to help local nonprofits. This month's Community Impact Player is Patricke Ward. Patricke is a Senior Underwriter for Selective Insurance and helps support The Academy of Goal Achievers (TAOGA) which provides mentorship and college readiness programs for Black youth. Patricke not only gives his own time but has rallied his co-workers in supporting this organization with funding and volunteer support. Read the following interview with Courtnie Coble McIntosh, Executive Director of The Academy of Goal Achievers, to learn more about Patricke's work with TAOGA:
Who is The Academy of Goal Achievers?
The Academy of Goal Achievers is a youth leadership mentoring organization. Our mission is to develop high school students into youth leaders while preparing students and parents for post-secondary success. We transitioned 100% of our students to college last year with 90% committing to Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU). We focus on the two-generational impact model, which allows us to be a service to the parent and student while providing an array of career and college readiness programming and mentorship opportunities.
Why did you want to highlight the philanthropy of Patricke Ward and what has he given to your organization?
We chose to highlight Patricke Ward, a Senior Underwriter for Selective Insurance because he opened many doors for the organization and became a sponsor and advocate for our mission within his network. While he is a financial contributor, he also shared his social capital. He provided access to individuals, companies, and other decision-makers that could help us expand our impact and grow internally and externally as an organization. Patricke is an amazing philanthropist and is very involved in the community with Leadership Charlotte, 100 Black Men, and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
How did he involve his company Selective Insurance? How have others from that company gotten involved with TAOGA?
Based on Patricke’s involvement with TAOGA, an additional 73 Selective employees were interested in learning more or serving as a volunteer. Also, a fellow colleague Wesley Riley who is the VP, Field Operations Manager of the Southern Region of Selective Insurance became a financial contributor and through the help of the team was able to raise more than $3K to support our programs.
What are your goals for this year’s Black Philanthropy Month?
This year our goal is to raise $10K for programming, supportive services, and operations. This will allow the organization to continue to provide our graduating seniors with financial support to attend college and eliminate barriers to success.