New Vision Leadership

A New Vision Leadership Foundation of Acadiana is partnering with the Close Up Foundation to offer an experiential, educational civic engagement program to the high school students throughout Lafayette Parish in June 2019. Through this partnership, we are looking to help the young people in our community become more active, effective, and engaged citizens in our American democracy.

Ms. Erica Williams, CEO of A New Vision Leadership, noted: "This partnership between Close Up and A New Vision Leadership will offer Lafayette youth the opportunity to extend classroom learning into our nation's capital and sharpen their leadership skills to help solve obstacles like poverty, crime, and failing schools, while becoming positive role models for other youth."

This year, Close Up selected A New Vision Leadership Foundation of Acadiana to be the recipient of a new financial aid pilot program which is aimed at helping under-served communities increase youth participation in their powerful civic education programming. Close Up wants to strengthen their mission reach by targeting areas impacted by lack of opportunity and students facing significant challenges in their daily lives. We hope to partner with local businesses and community leaders to match Close Up's $8,000 investment and expand the reach of democracy into under-served communities to positively impact more students in need.

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Category: Youth Development
Parish: Lafayette
St. Martin
Match Funds Available: $8,000.00
Match Provided By: Close-Up Washington, DC
A New Vision Leadership Foundation of Acadiana was established as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization on June 1, 2014, under Louisiana state laws and headed by Erica L. Williams, Chief Executive Officer.

Erica Williams has a background in law enforcement where she served as a Juvenile Correctional Officer and a Juvenile Probation Officer for many years. Her many roles in the community include Youth Basketball Coach, Youth Disc Jockey, and Substitute Teacher in the Public School System.
New Vision Leadership seeks to educate, expose and empower at-risk youth to be the best in all aspects of their lives. Through college readiness, professional development, and civic engagement; we seek to provide youth leaders with the necessary tools for future success.
New Vision Leadership began with 5 high school youth from a local church. The group was formed to address some of the noticeable issues involving at-risk youth in the community. The initial core vision for the organization was to address the educational achievement gap between affluent youth and at-risk youth.

After the first year of working with the youth group in addressing educational matters, it was quickly realized that many more factors played a critical role in the achievement gap. Our vision quickly expanded to outside factors such as family dynamics, school environment, exposure to lived experiences and self-esteem. Over the next several months in this expanded vision mode, our numbers quickly began to grow. Parents became more involved in the organization and our youth began to show signs of progress.
In 2016, our membership grew from a focus on high school youth to include a major shift into the middle school age group. This move proved critical because the enthusiasm of younger participants energized the core and our membership skyrocketed to 65 families served. Currently, the organization operates in a hierarchy amongst the youth to teach proper discipline and respect for authority. Parents and community volunteers offer their services to keep the foundation free to the youth participants.

In 2018, twelve New Vision Leadership youth participated in the Congressional App Challenge in a partnership with CGI Federal. Later that year, we learned that four of the youth won the 3rd District Congressional App Challenge and later represented the district in Washington, DC. Upon returning home the youth were honored with the Greater Southwest Black Chamber of Commerce Youth Trailblazer Award and the Founder of New Vision was honored with the Adult Trailblazer Award. The awards continued to come that same year, as the organization also received The Organization of the Year Award and CEO, Erica Williams received the State Farm Dream Achiever Award.