FLINT, Michigan, March 30, 2016 – The Ruth Mott Foundation has hired Tryphena Clarke, a lifelong Flint resident with a proven ability to work at the neighborhood level, as its community engagement officer.

Starting in April, Clarke will be a liaison between the foundation and the community, and will work to identify ways to help north Flint neighborhoods thrive. She will be responsible for ensuring that foundation programming is informed by and driven by north Flint residents.

As community engagement officer, Clarke is stepping into a new, one-of-a-kind role. She will work from an office in north Flint as she maintains strong relationships with neighborhood residents, grantees and other key stakeholders.

The Ruth Mott Foundation developed the community engagement officer position as a critical element of its recently developed strategic plan, which concentrates the foundation’s grantmaking activities in north Flint – an area with significant challenges that will benefit from focused resources.

“Tryphena is an ideal hire for this position because of her wealth of knowledge of the Flint community and her commitment to effecting positive change,” said Ruth Mott Foundation President Handy Lindsey. “Her ability to organize at the grassroots level and her passion for the city will serve us well as the foundation grows its presence in north Flint.”

Clarke has a decade of experience working with social service agencies in the city of Flint, most recently as director of the Building Neighborhood Capacity Program at Metro Community Development. She previously worked at WOW Outreach, Resource Genesee and My Brother’s Keeper.

Clarke, who lives in north Flint, is a Baker College of Flint graduate pursuing her master’s degree in social work from Michigan State University.

The Ruth Mott Foundation currently grants about $6 million annually to help strengthen neighborhoods and create opportunities for residents to thrive in Flint. The foundation recently developed its new 2016-20 strategic plan with the belief that concentrating on a defined area with significant challenges will grow positive change in north Flint.