Dear PolicyWorks family,
I will start my first letter as the President of PolicyWorks wishing everyone a prosperous and fulfilling 2020. 2019 was a year of great challenge and transition for PolicyWorks as our leader and President Barbara A. Butz transitioned her life’s work and passion to join PolicyWorks co-founder Susan M. Daniels as PolicyWorks’ mentoring angel team.
Nine years ago, Susan, Barbara and Jeanne Argoff founded PolicyWorks to develop and apply innovative practices to make policy work for people with disabilities. At the time, I was just getting my toes wet in the disability rights and advocacy community as ‘VP of logistics and Support’ with Daniels & Associates, a title bestowed by Susan and Barbara that meant nothing more than first, I was part of the team and second, my job was to support them in every way including schlepping the luggage. I was definitely down for the job.
Today, I am honored and humbled to continue their legacy as President of PolicyWorks. A legacy that taught me collaboration “works” and passion and intention are the means to the end and:
‘To Be of Use’…meant to ‘jump into work head first without dallying in the shallows’, and to ‘submerge in the task was to go into the fields to harvest and work in a row and pass the bags along…in a common rhythm when the food must come in or the fire be put out.’ From Marge Percy, “To Be of Use”.
PolicyWorks continues to collaborate with our partners to support projects and initiatives that include mentoring and professional development as a means to independence through employment for youth and students with disabilities. These projects and initiatives include: The Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center (WINTAC) and its’ Workforce Innovation Peer Mentoring Pilot Projects (PM WIPPs); Lights! Camera! Access!; the continued support of the CareerACCESS policy initiative; Peer MentoringWorks, a platform of tools, training and certification for peer mentors of students with disabilities; building on the Kessler’s Foundations C2C (College to Careers) projects in California and Florida, and as a founding funder and full participant in the National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC) and the Susan M. Daniels Hall of Fame.
Standing on the shoulders of humble giants, I see how far we have come and the path ahead. Join Us, the PolicyWorks mentoring angels and our collaborative partners as we lead forward toward our shared passion head to head, shoulder to shoulder and arm in arm. In the words of Margaret Mead, “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”
Thanks to each and all who have offered up and continue to share your thoughts, prayers and support.
Steven Allen, President of PolicyWorks