Bay area men receive leadership awards
By AriBurack, Bay City News Service
August 1, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - Three Bay Area men were among the
seven California recipients of the first James Irvine Foundation
Leadership Award, recognizing solutions to some of the state's
pressing issues, the foundation reported. James Bell, 52, of San
Francisco, was recognized for his work as founder of the W. Haywood
Burns Institute for Juvenile Justice Fairness and Equity, an organization
working to improve the juvenile justice system.
According to the foundation, Bell's work with judges, attorneys,
probation officials and youth advocates has reduced minority confinement
in San Francisco, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties by about
Don Shalvey, 61, of Oakland, received the award for his work
as co-founder and CEO of Aspire Public Schools, a network of charter
schools teaching 4,000 students in low income communities throughout
California. The foundation praised Aspire as creating public schools
in urban neighborhoods "that mirror the best private schools,''
offering "smaller classes, longer days, rigorous assessment
and parent involvement.'' The foundation reported that student
performance at these schools has improved dramatically, with 100
percent of students from its first two graduating high school
classes being accepted to college.
Eric Weaver, 42, of San Jose, founded Lenders for Community Development
(LCD) to help low-income residents of Silicon Valley, including
single mothers and immigrant families, "transform their lives
by providing resources and training for financial self sufficiency.''
The foundation reported that LCD is the nation's largest provider
of matched savings accounts and the Bay Area's largest micro-lender
to entrepreneurs that are considered "unbankable.'' LCD has
allowed poor neighborhoods to receive $75 million in investments,
which has helped more than 6,000 households, according to the
According to James Irvine Foundation President and CEO Jim Canales,
"The Leadership Award recipients all faced long odds and
created significant change by focusing on what works. But they
also share a confidence in society's capacity to address problems
that might seem unsolvable.''
Canales added, "We encourage all California's leaders, whether
elected officials or community leaders, to learn from these successful
strategies as they tackle our state's ongoing challenges.''
Each recipient's organization will receive $125,000 to $150,000,
according to the foundation.
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