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Gillette Children’s Sponsors Clarissa Jaques for 2023 Leadership St. Paul

2023 Leadership St. Paul Class

2023 Leadership St. Paul Class. 

Congratulations to Clarissa Jaques, supervisor of the administrative assistants for our medical providers. Clarissa was sponsored by Gillette Children’s to participate in the 2023 Leadership St. Paul cohort, which is a program in the Twin Cities for emerging and current civic and business leaders that prepares, challenges, and engages leaders to strengthen the St. Paul/East Metro region.  

Q: In your words, what is Leadership St. Paul (LSP)?

A: LSP is a leadership cohort comprised of individuals from both private and public sectors within St. Paul. The cohort is focused on building community, networking, and deepening the understanding of the St. Paul area vitality and what makes this city unique and special while also building leadership skills. 

Q: What did you expect to learn when you started the year-long program?

A: I came into the program expecting to learn about various city programs and infrastructure. I did not know the extent of opportunities for growth, the curriculum exceeded my expectations - blew them out of the water. 

Q: What were a few of the highlights and/or fun things you gleaned?

A: Some of the highlights for me were making fantastic friends throughout the year, meeting and learning from the panelists and speakers, and being granted opportunities to really lean into my personal and professional growth.  

Participation in this program gifted me with some newfound knowledge and confidence in the ability of my impact both at work and in the community.  

My favorite days were Government Day – we got to meet and ask questions of Mayor Melvin Carter III, Human Services Day – participated in a Family Homelessness Simulation, and Healthcare Day – heard from an incredible panel about Cultural Healing Practices and received training to use Opioid antidote through The Steve Rummler Hope Network.  

Q: How did you think the program impacted your leadership skills and/or knowledge of government, and industry?

A: LSP helped me connect to incredible leaders throughout the city and to broaden my professional network. I had not previously been involved in local government but have since started learning more about my city and county leaders and what is on the ballots so I can use my vote to the fullest.  

Some of the curriculum topics weighed heavy on my heart, and others were fun and light – each day stretched my mind in new and challenging ways. I am a better and more well-rounded person after graduating from this cohort. 

Q: Tell us about the friends you’ve made and/or networking opportunity?

A: There are several connections that I made during LSP that will stick with me for many years to come. Friendships were established and became critical as we processed information together, worked through difficult topics of conversation, and grew in our understanding of many different areas of development. I feel incredibly lucky to have been connected to so many wonderful folks with extensive knowledge and expertise in many fields.

Q: Share the group project you worked on?

A: I was partnered with a group to Neighborhood House, a non-profit organization focused on community well-being with emphasis on offering free education courses for all ages and food security programs as well as housing assistance and additional programs that help members of the community build a life they can thrive within.  

Our group was able to participate in a fresh food market – we sorted through several types of fresh produce and served community members as they came to shop in a Farmer’s Market style. The day was so impactful and meaningful, making connections with the staff and community participants – it reignited my love for volunteerism and granted me a new experience to bring back to my team for future group events. 

2023 Leadership St. Paul Service Day

2023 Leadership St. Paul Service Day.

Q: If a person was interested in the program in the future, what would be a selling point?

A: I think the connections made through the cohort are the biggest selling point. The class and each day’s curriculum are what you make it, so you must decide to take part at a high level if you want to get anything out of the class. I don’t think there’s one person from any LSP year’s cohort that would say it was not a fantastic experience with lasting impact. 

NOTE: Clarissa is among several Gillette leaders who have participated in the program over the years. In 2024, Gillette has two participants who will take part in the program: Sara Berkbigler from our Foundation team and Tiffany Cobb from Child and Family Services.  

Individuals are nominated by senior leaders, asked to submit a letter of interest if they want to apply and then final selections are made by the executive leadership team. 

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