Dragon Empowerment Center (DEC) Recognized as "Exemplary Program"



Members of the Dragon Empowerment Center Advisory Committee and community partners received an Exemplary Program Award for the success of the Dragon Empowerment Center which serves students from the Ashtabula Area City Schools. From left; Laura Jones, Executive Director of Leadership Ashtabula County; State Representative Dr. John Patterson; Janice Warner, President of the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies; Judith Barris, Executive Director of Ashtabula County Community Action; Carmen Kuula, Director of Community Development Services for Ashtabula County Community Action; Dr. Mark Potts, Superintendent of the Ashtabula Area City Schools; and Paul Bolino, CEO of Community Counseling.


The Ashtabula County Community Action Agency received the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs Exemplary Program Award for the Dragon Empowerment Center (DEC) at the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies (OACAA) Legislative Conference on January 30, 2020. The Dragon Empowerment Center is a partnership of the Ashtabula Area City Schools, Community Action and host of other community partners.  The DEC serves AACS students from across the district and is located in the Huron Primary building on the district’s elementary campus.

An "Exemplary Program" is a designation awarded to programs operated within Ohio’s Community Action Network that have been expertly evaluated and determined to be innovative and creative anti-poverty programs and initiatives. Each awardee is recognized due to the successful development and implementation of the program or initiative, and for demonstrating outstanding results and outcomes. 

Superintendent Mark Potts stated “the Ashtabula Area City Schools would like to thank our lead partner at Community Action as well as to Community Counseling, Cleveland Dental Institute, ACMC, Walmart, Care Source, ASD, the CDC, local churches and others for their support in helping us better serve our students. The biggest thank you should probably go to Jennifer Bunnell for her efforts to coordinate the services and make it all work, and I would be remiss not to mention April Tapper from AACS who has been integral to this project from its inception”

Please note the attached a flyer below showing some of the preliminary data from the DEC so far this year.

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