December news & updates

December 29, 2022 | Issue 22

Outcomes Team Meetings

PECAN – January 19, 2023

High School Graduation – January 24, 2023

Whole Child Initiative (Kickoff) – February 8, 2023

Convener Meeting

Convener Meeting – February 10, 2023 (in-person)

ROC the Future is hiring!

Check out job postings on our new LinkedIn page.


Message from the New Director

Dear Friends,

My name is Brian Lewis, and I am thrilled to serve as the new Executive Director of the ROC the Future Alliance. 

It seems right that I begin this role when so many of us are celebrating the holidays. Like many of you, I am filled with gratitude and appreciation as I reflect on the challenges and successes of this past year and as I get to spend some special time with my wife and 8-month-old daughter. I am looking forward to our past family traditions like putting up decorations and listening to and dancing to holiday music and creating new traditions like picking out a tree with our baby girl. 

While we are in a mode of celebration and appreciation in our household, I can’t help but think about what the future holds for my baby girl. As ROC the Future has shown in the release of our most recent State of Our Children report, there are many steep and systemic barriers that have the potential to hold our children back and not allow them to reach their fullest and limitless potential. 


10th Annual State of Our Children Address


Thank you to the nearly 200 guests who attended the 10th Annual State of Our Children Address and Report Card Release! As a community, you continue to show up for our children in your respective roles as you learn, discover, unlearn and find new ways to create systems that work better for kids.

Congratulations to this year’s award recipients who commit their time to advancing public policy and improving the academic, social/emotional and physical well-being of our children.

The Jacque Cady Annual Advocacy for Children Award

  • Dina Faticone, Common Ground Health

Parent Leader Award

  • Maurice Haskins
  • Tina Carney
  • Latasha Pomerantz
  • Lydia Rivera

Organizational Partner Award

  • Teen Empowerment 


We believe improvement is possible when communities employ a collective impact approach. This year, our partners came together to ensure that Every Child is School Ready, Supported, Successful and College and Career Ready. The data and stories in this report help to share some of our results and remind us that there is still much more work to do.

We encourage you share these results and insights with others in your sphere of influence. We invite you to get involved to make a difference. Consider joining an Outcomes Team, aligning your organization’s funding priorities with the Alliance's goals, or advocating for policy change to create more effective systems that serve our children and families well.

Read More

Parent Advocacy


Coordinated Care Services, Inc. is a not-for-profit management services organization with more than two decades of experience partnering with customers in the behavioral health and human services fields. CCSI is pleased to welcome Kilolo Moyo-White to their Board of Directors. Kilolo is the Family and Community Engagement Specialist for ROC the Future Alliance. She serves as the coordinator of the Youth Leadership Coalition and provides oversight of the Parent Engagement Collaborative Action Network (PECAN).

Read More


“Parents have a right to understand the policies and procedures being put in place to support the protection and emotional safety of their children.”

Last month, parent leaders wrote an op/ed to address their concerns regarding incidents that transpired in the Rochester City School District. Read more to see the three ways parents would like better emotional, physical and academic support of their children. 

Read More
Network News

Youth Leadership Coalition

This month, we welcomed a new group of youth into Cohort 3 of the Youth Leadership Coalition (YLC). These students participated in an orientation with their families to learn about the goals and objectives of the coalition. During the session, YLC trainers led an interactive team-building exercise to build relationships with the families of the new members who are taking part in the third year of the training.

We are also proud to announce a new partnership with the Levine Center to End Hate and Youth Voice One Vision for the development of the 2023 youth summit taking place this spring.

For youth interested in joining the YLC, nominations are still being accepted. Official sessions start in February 2023. For more information, please contact Kilolo Moyo-White, Family and Community Engagement Specialist, at

Register for C.O.R.E.

C.O.R.E., which stands for Community Onboarding & Reboarding Experience, is a customized learning series comprised of 5 modules that will help us approach the collective work of the Alliance with more alignment. C.O.R.E. was founded because building a foundation of shared understanding is a critical step toward systems change and transformation. In C.O.R.E. Module 1, we are building relationships & trust, deepening our understanding of racial equity, and moving toward the mental model level of systems change. 


Register here for our next session on January 23rd from 9-10:30am via Zoom.  

Join the High School Graduation Outcomes Team

ROC the Future Alliance is full of enthusiasm for the new opportunities and new strategies on the horizon for supporting our scholars in the area of high school graduation. This month, HSGOT members had a chance to hear from several presenters, including Brandon Frame and Kristin Kearns-Jordan from The Urban Assembly Inc., Cameron Caputi from RCSD, and Jennifer Rees from East EPO, with a focus on critical levers for students’ success.


Contact Shawanda Evans & Nicolle Haynes, co-chairs, to learn more about the High School Graduation Outcomes Team and join us on Tuesday, January 24, 2023, from 6-7:30pm for our next session.

Attend the January PECAN Meeting

During the month of December, parents met to revisit and refine PECAN’s strategy for 2023 and beyond. At this session, we began refining the shared goal of growing ROC the Future Alliance’s parent/family partner membership and walked away with next steps for recruitment and engagement.


We want to get your input on priorities and goal setting for the upcoming year. Join us for the next PECAN Public Session on Thursday, January 19, 2023, from 6-7:30pm via Zoom. 

Register Now

Take part in the Whole Child Initiative

The Whole Child Initiative (WCI) is off to a great start. The Implementation Work Group, comprised of 6 parent/family partner consultants and 8 systems partners, has been meeting weekly to prepare for the WCI Outcomes Team kickoff. The Whole Child Outcomes Team will bring together the School Readiness and the Early Grade Literacy outcomes teams to become the Whole Child Outcomes Team. This group will work towards re-imagining systems, sectors, and professionals that adopt a whole-child, parent-led, anti-racist, family, and community-voice centered, cross-sector way of doing business in support of children, prenatal to age 8.

We are currently seeking two additional parent/family partners to work with the Implementation Work Group and filling several vacancies, including an Administrative Assistant, Continuous Improvement Specialist, and Family and Community Engagement Specialist. Apply now via LinkedIn.

Contact Sara White-Smith, Whole Child Initiative Director, at to attend the meeting on February 8, 2023.

2023 StriveTogether Offerings

StriveTogether is pleased to announce their 2023 offerings. Learn more by exploring their offerings in this overview deck. All Network offerings are developed to support progress along the Theory of Action. Some offerings that have pre-selected cohorts will be chosen as early as January 2023, so indicate your interest in those offerings here.

Read More

ROC the Future in the News

Press Coverage

RBJ: ROC the Future Names Executive Director

News 10: Education non-profit ROC the Future gets new executive director

13 WHAM News: ROC the Future gets a new executive director

RBJ: ROC the Future releases State of Our Children Report

Rochester Beacon: ROC the Future launches new initiative

Upcoming Events & Resources

ROC the Future |
Facebook  Twitter