stories of our community at work

Praxis alumni launch a new joint program during the pandemic.

CityLink Center

Johnmark Oudersluys, Hudson Baird & Sarah Saxton-Frump

2015 Nonprofit Accelerator

Earlier this year, as they were each contemplating a sabbatical policy for their organizations, Johnmark Oudersluys of CityLink Center was introduced to Hudson Baird of PelotonU by Jena Lee Nardella of Praxis. Through that conversation, the two learned more about each other’s work. Johnmark was intrigued by PelotonU’s innovative model that made college degrees accessible to non-traditional students. As CityLink’s model uses partnerships to create a hub of social services for neighbors in need, Johnmark expressed interest in exploring a local implementation of PelotonU programs in Cincinnati. Hudson introduced Johnmark to his Co-Founder Sarah Saxton-Frump, who outlined their typical path for a replication site.

Then the pandemic hit. PelotonU quickly pivoted to provide remote coaching and was seeing strong results. Johnmark reached out to Sarah and asked if PelotonU would consider delivering the program remotely to CityLink clients. Sarah was on board and the two teams got to work right away to design a brand new partnership model for their organizations. In just six months, CityLink and PelotonU were able to launch the program and are currently serving their first class of ten clients in Cincinnati. Through this partnership, CityLink was able to offer existing clients a next step towards increased prosperity, and bring in new clients interested in this unique opportunity during a time of tremendous uncertainty.

As leaders of organizations who went through the Praxis Accelerator program in different years, Johnmark, Hudson, and Sarah benefitted through shared language as outlined in the Redemptive Frame, the Rule of Life, and the Redemptive Nonprofit, which allowed them to quickly operate under an umbrella of trust. They have yet to meet in person, but this common foundation and mutuality of intent allowed them to launch this new partnership in pursuit of more individuals having opportunities to thrive.

Stories of our Community at Work