14 October 2022 • Service Geneva 2030 Aims “Back to the Future”

At the annual joint meeting of Geneva 2030 and Success for Geneva’s Children, community members celebrated Geneva’s educators and alums, and looked ahead to continued partnership.

During the annual meeting for Geneva 2030 and Success for Geneva’s Children, program highlights celebrated the engaged citizenship and philanthropy that have had an impact on literacy, high school graduation rates, school, college and career readiness.

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The year’s event theme was “Back to the Future,” a call to reflect on the achievements of the collective impact initiative and plan for the future. During his remarks, President Mark D. Gearan reflected on the historic and enduring partnership between Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the Geneva community. HWS is the anchor institution for the Geneva 2030 initiative. 

“So much has changed in every walk of life, but what is constant and trustworthy – in my estimation – is the spirit of Geneva. That doesn’t happen everywhere,” he said. “This year at Hobart and William Smith, we proudly celebrate the Bicentennial of Hobart College. And we are proud and mindful that we would not have had these 200 years of transformative education for our students without our partnership with Geneva.”  

Gearan is a founder of the Geneva 2030 initiative.

Geneva 2030 and Success for Geneva's Children

HWS and Geneva 2030 partnerships were highlighted throughout the evening. Using data compiled by Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and Computer Science Kevin Mitchell, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies Craig Talmage and Hrithik Biswas ’23 worked together to evaluate significant data points for Success for Geneva’s Children.

Director of the Boys and Girls Club Chris Lavin ’81 presented a film on the Geneva Community Center’s newest program, the “First 1000 Days Promise.” Created to support families and children during infancy, the program was initiated in partnership with Professor of Psychology Julie Kingery and Delilah Jesson ’22. Kingery is a scholar of early childhood development. Jesson is the recipient of the Community Engagement Scholar of the Year in 2022.

Since the program’s inception, service-learning students from Professor of Sociology Jack Harris’ “Intro to Sociology” class have volunteered at the First 1000 Days Promise on Saturday mornings, engaging young children in imaginative play.

The event welcomed back Geneva native Bo Wright, who now serves as the Geneva City School Superintendent and previously served as Assistant Superintendent. Focused on creating “safe positive learning environments” for Geneva’s children, Wright thanked the assembly of teachers, community leaders and volunteers that have supported and uplifted Geneva’s children.

“Every morning when my feet hit the floor, I know what the mission is: it’s making our community better. This work is incredibly complex and challenging, but each and every day matters,” Wright said. 

He also reflected on the unique qualities of today’s generation. “Our students represent the most diverse and the best educated generation the world has ever seen. And we live in an age of incredible opportunity. So many of our students have gone on from Geneva High to do incredible things,” Wright said.  

Among Geneva High’s graduates leading consequential lives is keynote speaker Dr. Brian Fowler, who began his internal medicine residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in June. Wright discussed growing up in Geneva and the significance of believing in the potential of students. Wright is the CEO of the Brian & Hannah Fowler Organization, a nonprofit whose mission is to give back to the Geneva community.

Every year, the organization awards the Brian K. Fowler, MD Health Professions Scholarship to a Geneva High School senior interested in health professions fields.

During the event, the annual Success for Geneva’s Children ‘Partner of the Year’ Award was presented to Steve Wyckoff, President of the Wyckoff Family Foundation, who received a standing ovation. The foundation's philanthropy has supported the critical distribution of resources and care to children in the city of Geneva, honoring the work and legacy of Steve's mother Margery. 

Community members also paused to celebrate this year's Youth Advocates, who have inspired and educated children in Geneva, including ELA Teacher at Geneva High School George Goga and Owner of Hwa Rang Kwan, Taekwondo Studio Micah Ehler.

For more information on data or engagement opportunities, connect with Successforgenevaschildren.com and genevacollectiveimpact.com.