Congratulations to Lamar Graham for being chosen for the Civic Scholars Program of the National Conference on Volunteering and Service in Chicago -- this was a nationally competitive process, and we in Ohio are incredibly proud of him!!
The National Conference on Volunteering and Service is the world's largest gathering of volunteer and service leaders from the nonprofit, corporate and government sectors.
The Civic Scholars Program provides 50 individuals with community involvement experience and high potential for future civic engagement with:
- waived Conference registration
- direct access to experts
- continuing education opportunities
Lamar Graham was chosen for this opportunity based upon his active civic engagement and community involvement, and his willingness to commit to this one-year initiative.
As graduate of Wilberforce University, and someone who has experienced foster care firsthand, Lamar’s desire is to help other young people succeed. His dedication towards this goal is exemplified through his actions.
- On numerous occasions, Lamar has met with foster care youth at Franklin County Children Services, Village Network and Syntaxis to share resources available through I Know I Can, the only college access program in Columbus: This national organization was founded by community and civic leaders who believed that no child should be denied a college education simply because they could not afford it – and Lamar’s vision is to bridge the gap between foster care and higher education.
As an aspiring civic leader, Lamar continues to share his insights:
- In 2011, Lamar testified before the Ohio Senate Judiciary-Criminal Justice Committee regarding a proposed bill, Foster Youth Notification Provisions, which would have required notification to the local community when a foster child moves into the neighborhood, at the same level as if that young person were an adult sexual offender.
- It was Lamar who reminded Ohio legislators to imagine what it was like to be a young person in foster care, having experienced abuse/neglected by their parents, to then feel labeled and alienated by the community as well. And it was this level of courage and diplomacy that led to this proposed bill being overturned.
Lamar's recent decision to pursue nonprofit training certification at OSU is just one more indicator of his long-term commitment towards creating lasting change.