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Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation Creates Fund To Promote Diversity In Leadership Positions

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John Nguyen
/
SDPB

The Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation is establishing a fund to inspire leadership in the city’s diverse population. It’s called the Bridging the Gap Fund.

The Community Foundation has teamed up with Leaders of Tomorrow, a 12-week leadership program designed to instill leadership skills among diverse backgrounds, to form the Bridging the Gap Fund.  

                      

Andy Patterson is the president of the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation. He says he looks forward to seeing positive changes as a result.

“The investments from this fund are going to be guided by a group of individuals who are graduates of this program," Patterson says. "and wonderful examples of what the future of Sioux Falls looks like as far as leadership.”

The foundation is forming an advisory committee of diverse city leaders to award the grants to programs and organizations that train and mentor leaders from diverse backgrounds, provide resources for inclusion, and build connections through media, art, and storytelling.  

Antoinette Jensen is an Executive Office Complaints Manager for Wells Fargo in Sioux Falls, and a member of the committee. She says learning leadership skills is important to achieve other life goals outside of work.

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Credit John Nguyen / SDPB
Antoinette Jensen is part of the Advisory Committee for the Bridging the Gap Fund.

“I now have the confidence that I once lacked to go after things that I’ve always aspired to do," Jensen says. "Being a fitness trainer was one thing. I had completed the training outside of Leaders of Tomorrow, but after attending Leaders of Tomorrow, I had that confidence to go after actually applying for that position. Now, I’m happy to say that I’m in the fitness industry at this time, outside of my corporate world.”

The Bridging the Gap Fund has already received a $50,000 gift from Midcontinent Communications.