The Rural Outreach Center (ROC), serving the rural areas of southern Western New York, was honored to be selected by the Aspen Institute to participate in a national program to examine successful organizations utilizing a 2-Generational approach to reducing poverty. The Aspen Institute, based in Washington, D.C., is a national center for values-based leadership and the exchange of ideas for finding solutions to poverty in the United States.
Of over 50 applicants to the program, only 15 from across the U.S. were selected. Frank Cerny, executive director of the ROC, said that it was “humbling to be among a select few, and even more so to be recognized as a successful model of a 2-Generation program.” Organizers were impressed with the ROC’s program that was developed outside of the Aspen Institute’s programming. The event was held in Garrett County, Maryland, an impoverished rural area.
The 2-Generation approach to poverty reduction recognizes that to be successful, the needs of both parents and children must be addressed. Implementation of the 2-Generation approach involves providing assistance to stabilize families and targeted programs for children to break the cycle of generational poverty. The ROC’s program assists families as they set goals and works with them to attain self-sufficiency.
The ROC provides opportunities for children from birth to 16 years to deal with trauma, social isolation, limited educational opportunities, unstable housing and other issues related to rural poverty in parts of Erie, Wyoming, Alleghany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties in Western New York.
Participation in the Aspen Institute program provided an opportunity for the selected organizations to learn from one another, promote networking and connect with progressive private and public agencies that support 2-Generation programming.
For more information on the ROC’s 2-Generation program, please go to their website at http://theroc.co or call Cerny at (716) 240-2220. The ROC is located at 730 Olean Road in East Aurora.