Unplugged Selected As Finalist For Innovation Award

Local youth organization selected as finalist for 2016 Non-Profit Leadership Innovation Award

Stewardship, creativity and innovative programs promoting healthier communities to be presented at the summit

MONTICELLO, NY (October 5, 2016) – The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan will be holding it’s 6th Annual Leadership Summit on October 18th, 2016 at Bethel Woods. The summit will begin at 8:00 a.m. and finalists will present at 1:00 p.m. This year’s summit, themed “Creative Engagement for Healthier Communities,” will include well-known speakers and panelists from all over the country. The Summit will bring together civic, business, and nonprofit leaders to discuss the region’s challenges and to identify new opportunities for improving health, individual well being, and quality of life in our local communities.

As one of the finalists this year, Unplugged, a local youth organization based in Monticello, NY, has been selected for their creative programs in Monticello High School and SUNY Sullivan. Founded in 2013 by Monticello Church Of God Youth Pastors Francheska and Fernando Ramos, Unplugged is an organization dedicated to building up youth into productive parts of the community by encouraging use of creative arts and biblical principles. In partnership with other non-profit organization leaders, parents, and school staff, they have created two official clubs within SUNY Sullivan and Monticello High School that use students’ natural inclination towards creative arts in order to change their environment in a positive way.

The main goal of these clubs is to create responsible adults within the region and create leaders and mentors that will continue the same movement in future generations. Unplugged provides programs and resources that service the poor within the community and also build relationships with at-risk youth, while recognizing the value and uniqueness of each member. These programs have created momentum among the youth that has never been seen before in Sullivan County. Collaborations have been made with school staff and with other local dignitaries to reach the common goal of making a positive change toward the preservation of moral character, especially among minority groups.

Local officials have recognized the impact in higher graduation rates, lower percentage of drug abuse, and a higher sense of purpose after the members have attended the Unplugged programs. Unplugged hopes to continue providing programs that secure the genuine interest of students to make a real change in their community. Some of the unique features of the weekly meeting include live music, poetry/spoken word sessions, drawing/painting, dance performances, and discussions about practical biblical values in relation to current events.

For questions or additional information about the Unplugged programs, contact Francheska Boria Ramos at (845) 665-1359 or visit www.monticelloyouth.com. For questions about the 2016 Leadership Summit program visit www.cfosny.org.