Onondaga County The Westside Family Resource Center (WFRC), operated by P.E.A.C.E, Inc., has had a long-standing relationship with the Syracuse-based business Short Enterprises and its founder, Fayetteville-Manlius '05 graduate, W. Michael Short.
As an associate of Clinton Global Initiative America and having been recently invited to join the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation’s international 20/30 Leadership Council for emerging global leaders, Short has committed to strengthening his relationship with WFRC by participating in the Clinton Foundation’s Extra10 initiative and pledging his firm to provide 10 hours in services each month to support WFRC.
The Extra10 initiative was launched this year to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.
According to Mary Alice Smothers, WFRC director, Short Enterprises has always been a ready volunteer in all of WFRC’s activities.
“Michael has been a part of this family for some time now,” said Smothers. “He has always been there for us and helping us out whenever we needed it and in whatever way he can. He prepares our funding proposals, checks in to see how some of the youth are doing with their college applications, he takes part in our cook-outs, helps us raise funds, you name it.”
WFRC provides services and support for struggling youth and families in the poorest neighborhood in Syracuse. Their programs include youth enrichment opportunities, social advocacy, community development, crisis intervention, emergency assistance, employment support, family development, opportunities for seniors, parent support and education, among others. As part of the summer program, WFRC hosts field trips for the children, around the city and elsewhere. They also host indoor and outdoor games to keep the youth busy during the day. Other activities include community service across the area and placement in educational and enrichment programs.
Now, as part of the firm’s Extra10 pledge, Short Enterprises will work extensively with WFRC to identify growth opportunities for WFRC and its programming. It will also help the center to build on its longstanding reputation in the local community in order to develop new regional and national relationships and raise awareness of the center and its important work.
The children in WFRC’s summer program are now working on plans with Smothers to develop their own Extra10 pledges too.
“I made a deal with Mary Alice that if we made this Extra10 pledge then the youth participating in her summer program would have to agree to each make their own Extra10 pledge that will benefit the community,” said Short. “Think about it, 40 kids committing to make their community a better place each in their own creative way – that’s a victory. I can’t wait to see what they come up with.”