Introducing No Doubt, Inc. Essay

Abstract
No Doubt, Inc. is a youth-led 501(c) 3 organization, empowering, encouraging and developing young leaders between the ages of 16-24. No Doubt, Inc.’s mission is to daily advocate education and develop youth implement life skills, leadership and social responsibility through dynamic academic, social and business focused programs that equip young people with tools to successfully plan their own futures. No Doubt, Inc. provides educational support to reduce the high dropout rate among high school students and focuses on social issues that can prevent or delay the emotional growth and development of teens. We want our youth to have No Doubt about their future. (Denson, 200x, p. ).

No Doubt, Inc. provides youth unique life coaching and mentoring services that aim to promote awareness about education, financial planning, independent living, social justice, career awareness, and entrepreneurial and supportive services. We offer a package of programs designed for youth to set individual goals for educational and/or career advancement and plot a course to achieve those goals. Our goals are to have youth implementing their lives and not just planning it. Our program centers on real life issues to produce tangible, bottom-line outcomes. Services are offered after school Monday to Friday, 4-6 p.m. and on Saturdays 10-4 p.m. for extra assistance, special events and field trips. For those youth that are not in a conventional school setting, our services are open to them during the organizations’ business hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday. (Denson, 200x, p.).

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Introducing No Doubt, Inc.

I. Introduction

Majority of youth feel that the programs they are directed or mandated to take produce a sterile environment. They are less likely to open up, express themselves, and bring to light the issues that actually delay their development. These make guidance for plausible alternatives that will benefit youth difficult. Thus, we base No Doubt, Inc.’s atmosphere on a nurturing environment both mentally and physically. We provide a more intimate atmosphere that encourages dialog, promotes interaction between students and educators, and creates a personal approach to counseling (Denson, 2004). The mandates of No Doubt, Inc. includes:

·         Help ensure equitable access to appropriate social services for our clients;

·         Preserve and strengthen linkages/ integration between community services and programs from both the private and public sector;

·         Identify strategies to enhance the transitional relationship for our clients; and

·         Raise awareness to activities, support, and aid that our clients are entitled to.

As the needs of our children and their families change, we respond by developing new initiatives and by strengthening existing programs to better prepare the next generation. We create a holistic approach for dialog and find unique ways to bring school and life lessons into the real world. (Denson, 200x, p. ).

II. The Organization: History

No Doubt, Inc. has provided young people in Queens, New York with valuable academic and social programs. We have a history of producing successful graduates and forward-thinkers who go on to higher forms of education and/ or Corporate America and continue to make positive contributions in their communities. Our organization has a solid history of working with youth to provide mentoring/coaching services, workshops, trainings and referrals for both youth and families.  In 2002, research indicated that the graduation rate in New York City was at a staggering low of 40%. An article in USA Today stated that New York was one of fourteen school districts with an on-time graduation rate of less than 50% (xxxx, 200x). A certified K-12 teacher with a background in entertainment marketing, Executive Director, Ms. Jacqueline T. Denson vowed to support and increase the graduation rate among minority high school students in New York City. Denson said that: “It is my task to positively impact the societal ills that low graduation rates undoubtedly produce.” Since its inception in 2002, No Doubt has provided assistance to more than 500 youth and parents. (Denson, 200x, p. ).

II. The Organization: Mission

No Doubt, Inc. is an Army of youth motivated, inspired, empowered and engaged in their entitlement to an education. It has an environment where the instructor and instructed are passionate for one another. No Doubt’s shared purpose is a national investment that raises the bar of the graduation rate and supports the long-term growth and wealth of our nation. As a network of youth, we feel supported, encouraged and excited about our futures. We teach the youth to think strategically while utilizing their potentials. Thus, creating a blueprint and positive attitude toward admirable choices in their lives. No Doubt trains the youth to seek actionable goals and constructive resources as viable professional candidates in a social, economical, political and technological world. No Doubt is a renaissance of No Limit learning—which brings change, renewal and reconstruction in our lives. The end results are—that we are now innovative in implementing our own vision into the world (Denson, 200x, p. ).

II. The Organization: Management Philosophy/ Style

Administrations need a rational role for taking action and making decisions through various forms of managerial styles (Neugeboren, 1985, p. 39). The three basic managerial philosophies are: the Classical, the Human Relations, and the Structuralist models. The three model styles reflect the views on where the goals of the individual within an organization are congruent with organizational goals. They also reflect different views on the roles of conflict and rationality in organizations. Although the managerial styles are distinctive and appear mutually exclusive, they are in fact integrated (Etzioni, 1964, pp. 20-49). The three basic philosophies can be valid depending on the organizational tasks involved. These are:

The Classical Model asserts that organizational members are primarily economically motivated. When an organization provides economic incentives to individuals, these same individuals will strive and work for the organization’s goals. (Neugeboren, 1985, pp. 40-41).
The Human Relations Model emphasizes the importance of the human elements in organizations. The stress is on the unplanned and non-rational elements in an organization due to the influences of staff needs. (p. 46).
The Structuralist Model highlights the importance of the environment in influencing the activities and purposes of organizations. It assumes conflict is unavoidable in an organization. (p. 48).
Analyzing all three management styles, No Doubt, Inc. strongly reflects the Human Relations model in the management of its staff. We pay our consultants, who provide specific skills, a minimal fee while those who identify with our cause comprise our pool of volunteers. Thus, No Doubt, Inc.’s management style closely resembles the Human Relations model.

II. The Organization: Internal Systems Strengths and Weaknesses

Neugoboren (1991) defines an organization as having an identity of its own which makes it independent of the people who have founded it. Rather than their physiological or psychological characteristics as individuals, people with observable regularities in behavior that are due to the social conditions in which they find themselves in characterize an organization.

No Doubt, Inc. relies on this definition when establishing its human resource network. Our purpose for establishing clear organizational structure is to insure that each staff’s behavior will conform to the organization’s purpose. Due to the budgetary factors within our organization, there is limitation in our staffing, requiring us to call on consultants, volunteers and the youth we service to play a large and fundamental role in our day-to-day functioning.

We function through meeting the primary needs of the individuals who work with us. Although we are at this time unable to pay our staff their economic worth, we understand the importance of the social processes in the work setting (Greenberg & Baron, n.d., p. 10). We produce a safe and clean environment for them to work in. Our working atmosphere is nurturing to both the youth we service and our consultants and volunteers. We give them a sense of belonging and our staffs labor for a genuine cause. They are part of a group that forms friendships and associations and they are happy with one another. We treat them with self-respect and they exhibit a sense of self-esteem when they assist others in recognizing the opportunities that are available. Individuals that make up No Doubt work towards implementing our organizational vision and structure. They are self-developing and they desire self-actualization and self-fulfillment. It is apparent that economic incentives are not the primary motivation of individuals that work for No Doubt, Inc. This is the main reason why we identify our managerial philosophy under the Human Relations model.

Although we basically manage through the Human Relations Model, you can witness elements from all three basic managerial styles throughout our organizational structure. This contributing factor results from the organizations’ revolution stage we are currently in. We are a fledgling institution of five years with a measurable, progressive performance. Due to our primitive stage, we are highly concerned with the survival of the organization as a whole. Therefore, the staff of the organization works for the organization’s goals. As the Executive Director and leader, I set the norms that produce productivity. The passion I exhibit produces the staff to the performance standards I raise.

We work around little division of labor even though we give certain individuals specific tasks to perform. They understand that the ultimate role structure revolves around them doing any task that is required to reach organizational purposes. More than economic rewards, social appreciation, recognition and status motivate the leadership—the executive director and the staff. I am able to lead and manage individuals on the basis of a symbolic reward of meeting a necessary need in our society or community. Our staff performs integrated tasks. They invest their labors in the overall organizational structure not just for a specific skill that might limit their social makeup. Our staff structure consists of the passion and empathy they bring to the organizational structure. Through group effort and consensus, we solve the problems of the organization. I understand the organization as primarily a social unit that influences through the processes of communication and participation of its members. (Neugeboren, 1985, pp. 46-47).

No Doubt, Inc.’s management and leadership style will evolve into a more stable stage of development where we will give more attention to the effects of the environment and our authority structure. We look towards the practice of identifying and integrating staff and organizational goals although we understand that this is more closely connected to a larger organizational base.

We at No Doubt, Inc. are beginning to exemplify various characteristics of a structuralist form of management. Our leadership, through the executive director, is beginning to view conflict within the organizational structure as a pattern of growth than deficit. We are now reorganizing our managerial style to identify problems and incongruence of the organization structure from which we can start to promote solutions from. The environment within our organizational structure has various administrative and organizational roles that relate to the external environment. “Thus the role of instructional leadership requires the executive to be active in influencing the environment” (Selznick, 1957). Taking this model of management into consideration, we are exhibiting various characteristics of a system model of management.

We have a Production Subsystem established in areas of purpose, process, person and place (Neugeboren, 1985). No Doubt, Inc. is not a bureaucracy of where we overemphasize. We do recognize there are openings within our organizational structure which makes us susceptible to forms of discrimination. The practice of a maintenance subsystem would help limit the presences of forms of discrimination within our construction.

Our staff consultants are knowledgeable and have expertise in various skill areas. We are currently amending our procedure and policies so that we have equitable and effective treatment of staff and client. We are aware that structural problems can arise if there is a lack of clear polices regarding organizational goals and rules. Our goals in regard to our consultant and volunteer staffs are to provide a solid organizational structure where a systematic procedure is in place to establish accountability and control. We distribute clear role expectations and job descriptions to our staff and also provide an objective basis for evaluating subordinates’ performances.

We help our staff feel supported in the workplace by providing them feedback on their job performance. Our staff must exhibit a dedicated commitment towards a progressive social change and be willing to be involved with the education and empowering of our youth. In order for them to be highly effective within our organizational structure, our staff must possess the characteristics of being self-starters.

No Doubt, Inc.’s staffing plan for provision of care is as follows:

·         Executive Director/ CEO

·         Assistant Director

·         Social Worker/ Case Manager (MSW)

·         Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist

·         Counselor (CASAC)

We need a number of support service staff to ensure that we deliver client-care as designed. Likewise, we need to continuously train and re-train competent staff that are knowledgeable in adolescent development, therapeutic crisis intervention, conflict resolution, independent living skills, cause management, teen/ adolescent counseling, as well as community affairs. This is to keep them abreast of changes that will impact and affect the quality of care that we provide.

The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors. She is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the organization including budgeting, accounting and fiscal management. She is also responsible for policy and program development and implementation and also human resource administration covering background screening of potential mentors, the hiring and firing of staff, and conducting performance evaluations. Moreover, the Executive Director is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with city, state and government agencies that serve as referral sources for program participants and serve as the primary liaison to such agencies.

The Assistant Director reports to the Executive Director. The Assistant Director is responsible for interviewing clients and prospective mentors and for overseeing the administration of databases that: [1] match mentors and mentees; [2] track progress of clients; and [3] track referral sources. The Assistant Director also: [1] conducts personal interviews and telephone follow-ups to ensure the continuing progress of each coach-mentor relationship on a regular basis; [2] analyzes data gathered to report to the Executive Director and the Board; [3] delegates work to consultants and volunteers; and [4] assists the Executive Director in program development and implementation. The Assistant Director also serves as Interim Director in the event that the Executive Director is absent for a prolonged period of time such as during vacation or business travel lasting longer than three days.

The Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist focuses on and prepares clients to be job-ready. The VR Specialist must assess, train and develop aggressive programs that meet the client’s vocational needs as well as mandate requirements stipulated for clients whose parents are public assistance recipients.

The Social Worker/ Case Manager (MSW) plans, coordinates and assumes responsibility for all client admissions. The MSW identifies, screens and assesses clients’ families and/or significant others who request admission into the No Doubt organization. The MSW works along with the VR Specialist and oversee all caseloads. The MSW also makes necessary referral to ensure that the client receives continuous care before, during and after admission to the program. Moreover, the MSW serves as a liaison among the client, the No Doubt interdisciplinary staffing team, the families and the surrounding communities.

The Psychologist, in collaboration with the organization’s management team, evaluates the case management team staff to identify specific planning needs for each individual case. The Psychologist provides inputs on psychological concepts that are pertinent to the adolescent/ teen population served as well as evaluations that determine the mental health status of clients. This ultimately enhances the quality of care provided possibly leading to proper and necessary referrals for the client and/or their families/significant others.

Staff Competency. The program has made education opportunities available for staff on all disciplines through technical assistance and capacity building granted through various funding. Individuals are encouraged to improve their required knowledge to serve our client population well and enhance their performance. We have in place performance evaluations and a competency review that address staff performance deficiencies and provide avenues for improvement. We tailor staff development activities to assess staff training needs and we design a plan to meet those needs effectively and efficiently.

No Doubt, Inc. is in the process of revamping its Board of Directors. Currently, we have three active out of the five board member count. The board members who are currently in place are the following:

Jacqueline Denson – Founder and Executive Director. Jacqueline Denson has dedicated herself to positively impacting the lives of young people. She graduated from Norfolk State University in 1995 with a B.S. degree in Education and is currently seeking a Master in Public Administration with a concentration on nonprofit management. Ms. Denson is NYC/NYS certified and taught grades K–1 2 in the New York City public school system. Noticing a need for academic and social support for her students, Ms. Denson established No Doubt, Inc. Ms. Denson continues to teach in the public school system periodically as a substitute teacher. She also works with the Queens Public Library providing support to school-aged children in the Hollis community. Her professional background in entertainment marketing has helped tremendously in designing the organization’s programs and reaching influential personalities who inspire her young charges.

Lambert Shell. Lambert Shell is the program coordinator of youth and community services for the Queens Public Library system. He oversees the after-school services in the Queens School Library system. He is the co-chair of the South East Queens Neighborhood Network that consists of over 50 community-based organizations. In addition, he is the liaison on the new initiative with the Queens Public Library and New York Department of Education of establishing an information technology high school. He has been very influential in establishing No Doubt, Inc.’s legitimacy and need within the community as well as in assisting us create partnerships with the library and other agencies.

Carolyn Rudder. Carolyn Rudder is a 10-year veteran teacher of the New York City school system. She is skilled in comprehensive education planning, educational and school budgets, as well as corporal punishment issues. She holds an M.S. in School Administrator Supervision/ Supervision District Administrator. She is highly instrumental in assisting with our policy and procedures and evaluations of our organizational structure.

Responsibilities of No Doubt, Inc. Board of Directors

1.  Determine the Organization’s Mission and Purpose. A statement of mission and purposes should articulate the organization’s goals, means, and primary constituents served. It is the board of directors’ responsibility to create the mission statement and review it periodically for accuracy and validity. Each individual board member should fully understand and support he organization’s mission and purpose.

2.  Select the Executive. The board must reach consensus on the executive director’s job description and undertake a careful search process to find the most qualified individual for the position.

3.  Support the Executive and Review His or Her Performance. The board should ensure that the executive director has the moral and professional support he or she needs to further the goals of the organization. The executive director, in partnership with the entire board, should decide upon a periodic evaluation of the executive’s performance.

4.  Ensure Effective Organizational Planning. As stewards of an organization, the board must actively participate with the staff in an overall planning process and assist in implementing the plan’s goals.

5.  Ensure Adequate Resources. One of the board’s foremost responsibilities is to provide adequate resources for the organization to fulfill its mission. The board should work in partnership with the executive director and development staff, if any, to raise funds from the community.

6.  Manage Resources Effectively. The board, in order to remain accountable to its donors, the public, and to safeguard its tax-exempt status, must assist in developing the annual budget and ensure that proper financial controls are in place.

7.  Determine and Monitor the Organization’s Programs and Services. The board’s role in this area is to determine which programs are the most consistent with the organization’s mission and monitor their effectiveness.

8.  Enhance the Organization’s Public Image. The board is an organization’s primary link to the community, including constituents, the public, and the media. Clearly articulating the organization’s mission, accomplishments, and goals to the public, as well as garnering support from important members of the community, are important elements of a comprehensive public relations strategy.

9.  Serve as a Court of Appeal. Except in the direst of circumstances, the board must serve as a court of appeal in personnel matters. Solid personnel policies, grievance procedures, and a clear delegation to the executive director the discretion to hire and manage employees will reduce the risk of conflict.

10. Assess Its Performance. By evaluating its performance in fulfilling its responsibilities, the board can recognize its achievements and reach consensus on which areas need to be improved. Discussing the results of a self-assessment at a retreat can assist in developing a long-range plan.

We conduct formal group meetings with staff consultants, staff volunteers and the board regularly. Our staffs also attend various informal group meetings via networking events on various occasions to decompress and be around other like-minded individuals. We are currently reconstructing our website and doing consultations on implementing a new high-capacity database system to bring better efficacy to our organizational structure.

II. The Organization: Relationship to External Systems

We are beginning to pay attention and respond to changes occurring in our external environment. This would be identified as a boundary subsystem which has us exhibiting a production-supportive system (Neugeboren, 1985). We are constantly increasing our linkages with other agencies through affiliation agreements and other coordinating procedures. An example of this would be our linkage with Queens Public library where we conduct programs to a larger audience of youth as well as make referrals to the youth we service to their services, i.e. homework tutors, tutor.com, youth counselors and social workers. The Child Center of New York is where we prepare our youth for the interview process through their paid internship program and The Door is where we expose them to their GED Preparation, job readiness and professional development programs. Having these linkages with sound organizations, as those mentioned above, allows us to adequately meet our clients’ needs more productively.

However, we are in need of a more solid institutional system of obtaining community support and validity. We are currently undergoing a reconstruction of our board of directors. While we do have a healthy relationship with the councilman of our community district, we still are in need of more influences among our constituency in the community. Due to budgetary limits, we are incomplete in our staffing, requiring us to use consultants, volunteers and the youth we service to play a large and fundamental role in our day-to-day operation. We are currently not at a fiscal level to institute an adaptive subsystem to our organizational structure although the leadership can see the benefits of instituting this type of subsystem.

Moreover, No Doubt, Inc.’s managerial and leadership style allows us to coordinate and integrate the different dynamics of our organizational structure. We are not yet structural enough to resolve conflicts among the hierarchy through the use of authority. We do coordinate subsystems through compromise and adjudication as well as coordinate with the external environment to increase resources and as necessary restructure the organization (Neugeboren, 1985, pp. 82-83). We essentially understand that we can use our managerial styles to protect the goals of our human service organization objectives—that is to serve the client needs.

We consult case managers to work in concert with the Queens Public Library system of which we have an inter-organizational relationship. They identify and ameliorate personal and/or familiar issues that threaten to impede students’ social, academic and vocational goals. No Doubt, Inc. in return provides these students with individual counseling, group work and case management services.

Our primary constraint is in the area of funding. We need to factor the support of a general operating budget into our overall support for administrative costs to enhance the services and resources we provide. We have a good community relationship within our neighborhood and community district. We are highly regarded as a positive fixture with in our community district. This is evident from the support we receive via our councilman and in-kind services from businesses within the community. We also build relationships with solid entities, i.e. 103 and 105 Prescient, Queens Public Library; Queens Economic Opportunity Center (QEOC), York College, Accredit Child Services (ACS) and Big Brother Big Sister (BBBS Queens Chapter).
IV. Services Provided

V. The Consumers

VI. The Needs Assessment

References
Denson, J. (n.d.). Brochure. In Eye Graphics Printing (Ed.), No Doubt, Inc. Academic and Social Guidane for teens.

Denson, J. (2004). No Doubt, Inc. Retrieved March, 2008 from the No Doubt, Inc. Web site: http://www.nodoubtinc.org

Denson, J. (200x, March 1). No Doubt, Inc. Catalyst for Success and Social Change [Press Release] Denson: No Doubt, Inc.

Denson, J. (200x, June 1). No Doubt, Inc. Challenges Students to Graduate or Die [Press Release] Denson: No Doubt, Inc.

Etzioni, A. (1964). Modern Organizations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. pp. 20-49.

Greenberg, J. & Baron (n.d.). R. A. Behavior in Organizations. Prentice Hall. p. 10.

Neugeboren, B. (1985). Organization, Policy, and Practice in the Human Services. Haworth Press. pp. 39, 40-41, 46-47, 48, 82-83.

Selznick, P. (1957). Leadership in Administration. Evanston: Harper.

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