Tameka Crudup first became involved with Asheville Parks & Recreation (APR) at 13 years-old as a member of APR’s Youth Employment Program, gaining knowledge and experience in the profession, learning about creative civic participation, and building innovative skills that continue to be used every day as Facility Manager of Linwood Crump Shiloh Community Center.
That desire to serve her neighbors and continuously grow as a community leader led to her selection as a member of the LA41 (41st) class of Leadership Asheville, a program that brings together people in business, nonprofit, education, and government sectors to develop solutions to local challenges. For Tameka, networking and better familiarizing herself with different community perspectives has allowed her to see how she, APR, and the City of Asheville all fit into the equation that leads to a better and more resilient city – especially for the next generation of leaders.
“It’s been a great experience,” according to Tameka. “I’ve learned a lot of things that I wasn’t aware of and have met some great individuals.”
Leadership Asheville explores different perspectives as participants fully engage with each other. It includes a team project, monthly class time, and trust building exercises over a nine-month period. Tameka is currently about halfway through the program. “The team project that I am involved in is the Lead4Change student leadership program,” Tameka says. “The goal is to provide a leadership training framework for sixth to twelfth graders, which includes a community service project to demonstrate application of lessons learned. Lessons include topics like Be Your Best Self, Create a Team Culture and Structure, and The Change is Never Over. It is currently utilized at A.C. Reynolds middle and high schools with hopes to gain momentum and introduce it to other schools in the future.”
Unique Styles, Different Perspectives
Tameka says one of the best things she has experienced in Leadership Asheville so far is the Kolbe A™ Index, an instinct test. Rather than measure personality or social style, it examines the instinctive way someone takes action when they strive.
“This was very eye opening to myself and the folks in my class,” she says. “Completing this index helped me to readjust, reestablish, and remotivate myself as it gave me a new outlook on how I respond, what moves me to act, and what makes me tap out. Knowing this has helped me to reanalyze how I work with my team and our organization. It captivated more productivity, less stress, and more excitement for coming to work in an environment that has increasingly become more complicated.”
“Learning opportunities like Leadership Asheville help make us better professionals and when we are better professionals, we provide better service to the residents of Asheville,” adds D. Tyrell McGirt, APR Director. “With over 25 years of full-time work experience with APR, Tameka is a veteran parks and recreation employee, but her desire to continue growing as a professional led her to apply for the year’s class. I am proud of Tameka for representing APR in LA41 and value her commitment to our department.”
Driven by the promise that Asheville is a better and safer place when everyone from infants to retirees has the opportunity to be supported, healthy, and successful, APR offers a variety of wellness-, education-, and culture-related programs for Ashevillians of all ages. For current opportunities, check out the program guide.