Eureka Communities’ Education Program

Press Release: February 2, 2001

$1.5 Million Private Grant to Help Those Who Help Others

Waitt Family Foundation Funds Eureka Communities’ Education Program for Non-Profit Leaders; San Diego Non-Profit CEOs Benefit

San Diego, CA — February 2, 2001—Eureka Communities, a national non-profit organization dedicated to empowering community-based organizations serving children, youth and families, today announced a $1.5 million grant from the Waitt Family Foundation, the philanthropic program of Ted and Joan Waitt. Mr. Waitt founded Gateway Computers.

The grant establishes seven new  Eureka Communities/Waitt Family Foundation Fellowships  in the San Diego area and another 23 Fellowships nationally. The Fellowships involve training programs for leaders of community-based non-profits in San Diego, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Founded in 1992 by Deborah Szekely of San Diego, the Eureka Communities’ mission is to transform community service by building citywide networks of community-based, non-profit leaders who are positioned to improve life conditions for children, youth and families. Eureka-the name comes from the Greek word for  I found it -provides executives from non-profit organizations with ongoing opportunities for professional growth and leadership development.

The Fellows will be paired with  Mentor  organizations and leaders around the country who will help them improve their leadership and management skills, enhance their organizational capacity, and learn “best practices” in everything from fundraising to government relations to programming. Each of the seven new San Diego Fellows will receive support for a two-year program that will begin in 2001. The Fellows will also receive support and technical assistance to examine and address the effects of the digital divide, and gain access to agencies around the country that are most successfully helping inner city families gain access to computers and computer training.

Sanford Goodkin, Chairman of the Eureka Communities’ San Diego Council, said,  The Waitt Family Foundation-through this grant-clearly demonstrates the understanding that communities can and should provide an essential support structure to families in need. This grant will have a significant impact on the Eureka Communities’ San Diego program and thus San Diego’s children, youth and families.

In addition to the fellowships, the grant will allow Eureka Communities to strengthen and expand their reach in San Diego, to develop a more effective evaluation system of existing fellows and services, and to broaden existing fund raising efforts.

” The Waitt Family Foundation is about helping good people do great things. Every day, Eureka Fellows are making a difference by empowering community-based non-profit groups with information and resources. This grant is an investment in the future of families here in San Diego and across America,” said Ted Waitt.

” With the Waitt Family Foundation’s generous grant, we take the next step in helping communities better serve families,  said Deborah Szekely, founder and Chairman Emerita of Eureka Communities. “Community empowerment and progress require making informed choices. By having access to a nationwide network of Mentors, peers and best practices-Eureka Fellows become the engines for positive change they set out to be.”

For more information on the grant, Eureka Communities or the Waitt Family Foundation contact Lacey A. at (646)-658-8056

Eureka Communities
Eureka Communities, founded in 1992 by Deborah Szekely, provides executives from non-profit organizations with ongoing opportunities for professional growth and leadership development. The organization has worked with over 300  Fellows,  executives of community-based non-profit organizations, and is supported by a network of over 250  Mentor  organizations around the country. Eureka Communities has sites in San Diego, Detroit, Boston, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area and is based in Washington, DC.

Eureka Communities’ Fellows, with the support of local City Directors, set individual learning goals and design learning plans to achieve these goals. Their programs involve two week-long study trips to designated best practice  Mentor  agencies in various sites around the country. Mentor organizations have similar missions and methods to the Fellow’s own organizations and often have encountered-and successfully handled-issues and problems similar to those the Fellow’s own agency deals with in their own communities. Each Fellow spends a total of 200 hours participating in workshops, retreats, and special events, all designed to enhance leadership capacity and promote collective learning and collaboration.

Additional information regarding Eureka Communities can be found at: www.eureka-communities.org.

The Waitt Family Foundation

Ted Waitt, Founder of the Gateway Computer Company, and his wife Joan incorporated the Waitt Family Foundation in September 1992 in order to help good people do great things for families.

The Waitt Family Foundation is dedicated to building strong, healthy futures for families through their communities and believes that stable and empowered families are the building blocks of a safe, open, and prosperous world. The Foundation takes a broad and long-term view of the family that includes all its global and cultural diversity and examines its challenges from the standpoint of the Past, the Present and the Future.

The Foundation envisions a world in which every child and family has the opportunity to choose their own futures and succeed in fulfilling their dreams.

The Core Objectives of the Foundation are to:

  1. Empower Communities - Enhance the capacity of communities to promote positive social change supportive of families
  2. Leverage Partnerships - Partner with projects that show promise and are widely applicable
  3. Communicate Ideas - Help in the dissemination of new ideas to communities and families that will help them plan in the present for a better future