A Maturing Legacy Program

By Mr. Jeffrey Paniati P.E posted 4 days ago

Three years ago we began the process of creating a formal giving program at ITE. While prior, there had been a number of individual efforts, there was no organized way for organizations and individuals to support the charitable works of ITE. The Legacy Program was launched in October 2016 with a goal of helping develop the next generation of leaders within ITE and to advance diversity and inclusion within our profession. I am pleased to report that the program is fulfilling its vision and at the same time continuing to grow.

Annually, the Legacy Program provides two scholarships to ITE’s premier leadership development program—LeadershipITE. Yung Koproswki and Zaida Rico-Rolon were selected as the 2019 recipients of the Fred Gorove Memorial Scholarship and the Legacy Fund Scholarship, respectively. Yung benefited from a generous organizational donation made by Gorove-Slade in memory of one of their founders and Zaida benefited from the many small donations made by individual members to our Legacy Fund.

The Legacy Program is also supporting Student Leadership Summits (SLSs) being held at student chapters around the United States and Canada (and in 2018 for the first time, in Australia). SLSs are typically 2–3 day sessions organized by students for students, with a focus on leadership and career development. Successful SLSs in 2019 have already been held at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of South Florida, and Clemson University, collectively reaching more than 250 students. Additional SLSs are planned for Canada and Washington University in St. Louis, MO, USA in June. While the students raise the vast majority of money for a SLS, the Legacy Fund provides a small—but important— amount of seed money to help them get the ball rolling. To date, the Legacy Program has supported nine of these events in which nearly 900 students have participated.

In 2018, the Legacy Program supported the establishment of the Matson-Hammond Mentoring Program. The program funded the purchase of a virtual mentoring platform for the ITE e-Community, which supports the matching and interaction of mentors and mentees from around ITE. This is a great way for experienced ITE members to share their wealth of knowledge with younger members. Currently, we have more than 150 mentors enrolled in the program and more than 65 active or completed mentoring sessions.

Most recently we announced the establishment of the Diversity Scholars Program. Through the leadership of ITE Past President Ken Voigt, this new program will provide financial support, mentoring, student chapter engagement, and internship opportunities for a deserving student from an underrepresented population in the transportation profession. The deadline for applications recently closed, and we expect to make an initial selection this month for a student enrolling for the fall semester.

While we are proud of the impact the Legacy Program is having, with your generosity and ideas we can do more. I encourage you to consider donations to the Legacy Fund and Diversity Scholars Program as you plan your charitable giving for 2019. And if you have a good idea on how to expand our Legacy Program efforts don’t hesitate to contact 2019 Legacy Program Chair, Michael Sanderson, ITE Past President, or as always, you can reach me at jpaniati@ite.org and on Twitter at @JeffPaniatiITE.

This blog post is from the Director's Message in the April 2019 issue of the ITE Journal