LUK, Inc. Blog

Synergy Camp: Building up youth self-worth!

By Melissa Murphy

Teaching, Reaching, and Experiencing with Kids (TREK), a program of LUK, Inc., is a therapeutic adventure-based/experiential learning (AB/EL) after-school, summer and vacation camp program for youth. Experiential education is a philosophy and methodology in which educators purposefully engage with students in direct experience and focused reflection in order to increase knowledge, develop skills and clarify values.  

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LUK – A voice for the human rights of street involved children

By Rich Hooks-Wayman

One of the core values of LUK, Inc. is that “we respect and promote the intrinsic worth, strengths and potential of each individual.” (http://www.luk.org/about/sense-of-mission)

On June 16th and 17th, I was honored to be asked to facilitate an international panel of legal experts on street involved children and youth in London.  The American Bar Association’s Commission on Homelessness and Poverty hosted the International Summit on the Legal Needs of Street Youth. (www.ambar.org/streetyouthsummit.)  

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Organizational Stewardship

by Tom Hall

Agency resources are not ours to squander but ours to preserve to assure that those who follow us have enough to continue LUK’s legacy of serving the community. Of course this includes resources such as financial and property but more importantly it includes the commitment of our collective skills, talents and energy to serve the community. This concept is known as stewardship.

Stewardship is often defined as the responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving. Organizational stewardship is the care and management of an organization in such a way to assure that its resources and services continue long past any of our individual tenures.

Peter Block called stewardship the process of choosing service over self-interest. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take great pride in our individual accomplishments – we should! But we should also be driven by building something that will last well past our involvement.

The mindset of organizational stewardship has us as caretakers, not owners, of the work we do and as a result we are not competing with each other in our work but instead we can have a shared vision of our work, a collaborative approach to our serving the community.

Stewardship is an understanding that the work we do together is greater than our work as individuals. Call this the “greater good” or the “commonwealth”. It is a belief that the sum is greater than the parts and we have a responsibility as good stewards to utilize our collective skill set to advance the mission of the organization to serve – we are all in it together.

This is not a loss or devaluing of self. In fact it is just the opposite – it is knowing your value, your intrinsic worth is so great to the mission of the organization that you constantly strive to not only provide the highest levels of service but you also make the investment in your colleagues to learn and share your skills. To share your skills requires a quiet confidence in yourself and believing that the work you do is so valuable that it is worth sharing and sustaining.

In this way of thinking we are holding in trust the resources, mission and values of the organization. Each of us is responsible for assuring that we are staying true to LUK’s mission and as keepers of that mission we are committed to its ongoing success.

If we make a commitment to individuals and the community that we will be there to serve them, than we also have an ethical commitment to assure the organization, our skills and our services are sustainable. Effective stewardship requires a vision to see beyond our own horizons.

We have been given a great gift in being trusted to continue the wonderful work of this Agency. But we are not the “owners”, we are the stewards whose job it is to take good care of the work we do to serve the community and to assure that is has a long-lasting impact.

Keeping the Passion

by Sona Klimowicz

Have you ever looked up all of the various causes or remembrances that have particular days or months dedicated to them? I found 43 different things that are remembered in June, 41 for July, (not counting holidays like July 4th or Father’s Day) and there are probably others that I missed. As Americans, we are famous for attaching a cause to a month or a day. Some of them are fun and light hearted (National Smile Month which straddles May and June) and some more serious (National Hunger Awareness Month). But each of these remembered events have something in common: they have a dedicated following, people who thought the idea valuable enough to do something about it, who championed it, and made it an “official” remembrance, either by lobbying the government to assign a day or month, or by choosing to go out on a limb and do it themselves.

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The Importance of Partnership

by Beth Barto

Does the organization ask me my ideas on how to improve its services?  This is one of eleven questions on LUK’s consumer satisfaction survey.  This question has layers of meaning underneath the written intent for feedback.  The question implies that youth, families, adults and communities impacted by LUK inc. provide helpful guidance to how the organization can improve services.  The question reflects our core belief in the importance of empowerment as an anchor to recovery.  Empowerment and partnership with the people we serve is what LUK strives to nurture in our work.  The belief is that by understanding other voices, opinions, and perspectives, LUK will improve how we are part of a person or communities’ journey.

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