Daily Point of Light # 1945 Jul 18, 2001

Success comes in many forms and is measured in many ways, but making a difference in people’s lives is a significant universal standard. For 25 years, June Perry has succeeded in mentoring inner-city men and women with few life choices to become competent, self-sufficient members of society.

In 1975, Perry and co-founder Geri McFadden created New Concept Self Development Center Inc., after recognizing a significant need for social services in Milwaukee’s inner-city. Through its programs, services and supportive staff, Perry and McFadden have encouraged many people to complete their education, open businesses or gain meaningful employment. New Concept offers an extensive list of social services, including parenting skills training for teen parents, comprehensive case management and in-home parenting assistance, first-time juvenile offender prevention and intervention, and AODA assessment and role modeling and group work services.

New Concepts’ George M. Sanders Fathers Resource Center mentors fathers, teaches them parenting skills, helps them in job searches and assists in establishing paternity and visitation rights. The center is unique in that it is the only one of its kind in the nation, and has encouraged many young men to mentor their peers to become better parents.

Today New Concept boasts an annual operating budget of more than three-million dollars, compared to its first operating budget of 35-thousand dollars.

New Concept celebrated its 25th anniversary in the year 2000. Having grown from an outpatient mental health clinic, to a multi-service agency, serving thousands of families and children, and employing more than 65 social workers, New Concept will continue its mission to help make people self-sufficient.

Perry has established the Enrichment Institute with funds received from her participation in a national social entrepreneurship program called the Denali Initiative, established by the Denali Institute. The Enrichment Institute assists charter schools and other organizations in developing social services for their staff and clients.

Perry’s social-minded entrepreneurship demonstrates how success can be found in unexpected places, through creative strategy and business acumen.