Schumacher will be leaving a significant legacy. He led the agency through a period of major organizational growth that had its most visible expression in the establishment of a permanent home at 515 West Seneca Street—the result of a successful capital campaign led by Schumacher in 2010. Less visible, but much more important to the youth of Tompkins County, were two programs that the Web established in 2008: the Youth Outreach Housing Scholarship Program, the county’s first supportive housing program for homeless youth; and a life skills program assisting adolescents in family foster care offered through its Youth Exploration Program.
Schumacher was asked if one thing stood out as a real highlight in his work at The Learning Web. He immediately pointed to the staff. “We have great programs and opportunities: from the apprenticeships to community service to life skills for children in foster care to transitional housing for youth, but none of it would be of the value that it is if it weren’t for the dedicated professionals that make it all work,” he said. “In terms of programs, I guess I’d say that the transitional housing program for youth was a rather major development. That’s not to say that the other programs aren’t equally important to youth development, but at the time in 2008 no one else in Tompkins County was willing to house homeless youth.”
Schumacher built his legacy by developing an organizational culture that combines good business and good will—the latter anchored in his dedication to staff, stakeholders, and of course, young people. Indeed, the most compelling testimony to Schumacher’s success has come from past youth participants who have visited the Web. Those past participants not only updated Schumacher on their doings, but invariably expressed their appreciation of, and gratitude for, Learning Web services.
The Board of Directors has begun a search for a new Executive Director. It is anticipated that the new ED will be hired by the fall and begin a new era at The Learning Web before the new year.