Park group leader wins fellowship

August 26, 2011
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(Photo Courtesy Barr Foundation/Lou Jones Photography) Christine Poff

Christine Poff is the latest in a line of Jamaica Plain-based winners of the prestigious Barr Foundation Fellowship.

Poff, a JP resident, is executive director of the Franklin Park Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to restoring and preserving Franklin Park, located on the eastern edge of JP. She and the cohort of this year’s fellows spent two weeks in Haiti, being led by a 2005 Fellow who now lives there.

“It was an intense and exciting trip,” Poff told the Gazette.

The nomination-only Barr Fellowship is awarded every other year to 12 executive directors of Boston nonprofits and provides the winners with a three-month sabbatical, a group trip to different countries and contact with the other winners.

“The fellows benefit from [being given] time to reflect and from these connections with other exemplary executives. They then leverage these benefits for the contribution to the city,” said Patricia Brandes, executive director of the Barr Foundation.

Ever since the Barr Foundation started awarding the fellowship in 2005, JP has always had at least one representative on that list.

“JP is just a hotbed of nonprofits,” Brandes said. “It’s a great place to grow activists. Keep ’em coming!”

Past winners include Claudio Martinez of the Hyde Square Task Force; Mossik Hacobian, formerly of Urban Edge; Margarita Muñiz of the Rafael Hernandez School; and JP resident Louis Casagrande, formerly of the Boston Children’s Museum.

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