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Leadership Greater Hartford Receives $5,000 Youth Leadership Grant from The SBM Charitable Foundation (“SBMCF”)

Leadership Greater Hartford (LGH) received a $5,000 ”We’re Pulling for You” grant from the SBM Charitable Foundation (”SBMCF”) in support of their Common Ground youth leadership program.

Introducing young people to the real-world application of concepts like diversity, collaboration, conflict resolution, and leadership is energizing and empowering and so needed in today’s world. Common Ground brings high school students together from urban and suburban schools to provide a forum to exchange ideas, experiences — and laughs! In this age of being constantly “wired in,” the value of genuine interpersonal connections has never been more significant.

For three decades, thousands of Common Ground students have developed new skills and understanding. The shared experiences and interactive program curriculum provide a format to directly address challenging topics like stereotypes and “isms.” Participants directly apply their new leadership skills and personal growth experiences to planning and implementing a community-focused service project that they design and organize together.

For example, the 2017 Common Ground participants partnered with the Citizens for Quality Sickle Cell Care, Inc. to organize a holiday party and collect toys to gift to the sickle cell patients and their families. The students raised toys valued at $4,636, as well as more than $900 in monetary and other gift donations, for a grand total of more than $5,500 raised!!

This service project benefitted not only the families associated with the Citizens for Quality Sickle Cell Care, Inc., but also had a tremendous impact on the students themselves. In fact, a Classical Magnet high school student shared, "The service project made me overly happy to give back to such a needy cause and also gave me time to meet and talk to great people. This program has pushed me mentally, physically
and spiritually in ways I never would have imagined. I'm forever grateful for this fantastic opportunity.”

According to Ted Carroll, President of Leadership Greater Hartford, “Our community needs to grow tomorrow’s leaders today. Fortunately, the SBM Charitable Foundation recognizes this need and has stepped up in a big way to address it. We are very grateful for their belief in young people and in the future of our community."

For more information about Common Ground, please visit or contact Andre Santiago at 860-951-6161 (x1100) or

Leadership Greater Hartford (LGH) is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization that supports and strengthens the local community by training and connecting aspiring and established leaders. For more information about how to be a participant or sponsor, or to inquire about customized training with Leadership Greater Hartford, call 860-951-6161 (x1800), email visit, or follow LGH on Facebook and Twitter @leadershiphtfd.

The SBM Charitable Foundation, Inc., perpetuating the vision of the former Savings Bank of Manchester, is committed to bettering the lives of those who live and work predominantly East of the River in Hartford, Tolland, and Windham Counties. Priorities established for the Foundation’s giving are Health, Human Services, Education, Housing, and the Arts.