Jackie Campbell will begin working as ROC the Future’s new alliance director Sept. 8, succeeding Dr. Leonard Brock, who left in early June to become director of the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative.
Campbell will assume her new duties as part of ROC the Future’s backbone organization, The Children’s Agenda, officials from the organization stated.
ROC the Future is an alliance of Rochester-area institutions, and community partners, which works with the Rochester City School District (RCSD) to promote alignment of strategies, resources, and accountability for improving the academic achievement of city youth.
“Jackie was the unanimous choice of our search committee,” Jennifer Leonard, chair of ROC the Future’s convener group, stated. “Over the past several years, ROC the Future has quietly gathered strength, and we are starting to see some improvements for children. We couldn’t be more excited to have Jackie usher in the next stage of our collective impact.”
In addition, “I’m very pleased to have been chosen to lead the next phase of ROC the Future, and am eager to use my skills and experience to build upon the strong foundation laid by Dr. Brock, and the ROC the Future conveners, and work groups,” Campbell stated.
Campbell worked for the city since 1991, and, until recently, had been the assistant commissioner of Youth Services in the city’s Department of Recreation and Youth Services.
She has also spent the past year as youth service manager, in charge of the Rochester Public Library’s Teen Central, digital learning lab, and literacy team. Campbell earned an associate’s degree in business administration from Monroe Community College, and a bachelor’s degree in management from SUNY Empire State. In addition, she also has a master’s degree in management sciences from Keuka College.
As an active community member involved in efforts that support the engagement of parents and families, Campbell said she also hopes to increase their involvement in ROC the Future, as well as that of other community members, including business and faith leaders.
“Part of the role of the alliance director is to support the work that’s already going on in terms of the collaborative action groups that are already working around specific topics,” Campbell stated. “But, the other piece of it is really looking at what works, in terms of improving student outcomes for children and young people. I see my role as asking, how do we communicate that to the larger community? What is the next level down, in terms of informing people about what works, in terms of how we can work better in the community? I’ve been involved in youth development for a long period of time, and part of what’s happened in the past is that, if you don’t have the buy-in of the community, it’s harder to reach those outcomes that you know can materialize with the community’s buy-in and support. How do you communicate what ROC the Future is to the larger community? Some of it has to do with how we align our resources, to move in the right direction; some of it has to do with how we define what are successful outcomes for our kids. So, I think that’s one of the first things that I’d like to see happen; that ROC the Future is more well-known, and that people are able to identify what it is, and its accomplishments. The other piece is, how do we actively engage parents and families around what the work is?”
According to Campbell, ROC the Future has already built a strong framework in an effort to tackle the challenges which surround youth in the city today, and, once the organization has an opportunity to share its research and data with the larger community; hopefully, the city will begin to improve its academic and career outcomes for children and youth. In addition, she stated, the city will also begin to avoid incidents like the Aug. 19 shooting at the Rochester Boys and Girls Club, which recently claimed the lives of three young men.
“We have to ask ourselves, as a community, if we have done all that we can do to embrace our young people,” Campbell stated. “I would say that I’m not sure that we have. My feeling is, my heart goes out to those families, because; I don’t know, when my kids were young, they could have very well been coming from a basketball game at the Boys and Girls Club. I live two blocks away from where this happened. So, I’m devastated from what is happening in my community. But, I’m very concerned, because, I don’t think we are doing all that we can do to embrace our young people. My other feeling is, if we are not thinking about how to do more right now, we are going to be dealing with more of these kinds of events. Young people who see violence as a means to an end are planning the next thing. And, young people are traumatized. So, I’m hoping that our community, and, when I say ‘our community;’ I’m really talking about the black community, not just people that are paid to do this work, can come together and work together. How do we come together to work, so that we can stop this kind of event from happening? It’s got to stop someplace. I’m of the belief that it can stop. But, everybody has to play a role.”
Campbell grew up, attended public schools, and continues to live in the city of Rochester. She and her husband, Michael Campbell, have a blended family of six adult children, four of whom are graduates of the Rochester City School District, and 11 grandchildren.
According to a press release, since it began in 2011, “ROC the Future has established shared, common community priorities, developed and released two annual comprehensive report cards of data to measure progress on key outcomes for children from cradle to career; and engaged more than 50 different organizations.”
This fall, the organization said it plans to roll out a $700,000, multi-year initiative for comprehensive physical and developmental screenings of three-year-olds in Rochester.
ROC the Future’s current conveners include leaders from RCSD, Monroe Community College, the New York State legislature, Monroe County, the city of Rochester, Rochester Area Community Foundation, United Way of Greater Rochester, Rochester Business Alliance, Center for Governmental Research, Children’s Institute, Rochester Education Foundation, Action for a Better Community, Ibero-American Action League, and others.
Visit www.ROCtheFuture.org for additional details regarding the organization.