Northside Planning Council - NPC
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North Star Award Recipient – John Harmelink

John was nominated by Tom Moen of the East Madison Community Center.

John was nominated for serving 25 years as a humble, dedicated worker remaining quietly under the radar. When he was hired as the East Madison Community Center’s Youth Program Manager in 1991, he inherited a well-established, yet fragmented Youth Program and turned the program into one of Madison’s most effective and diverse services for kids living on the north and east side. In addition, his work for two decades for the Madison Metropolitan School District as a Special Education Teacher in the NEON program provided specialized educational services for eighth grade students who were removed from regular school program because of extreme behavior issues, while he also doubled as a MMSD on-site supervisor. He was also recognized for implementing programs such as Alternatives to Violence, Fit for the Future, Academic Improvement through Minority Mentors (AIMM) and the Friday night Positive Options Prevention Program. In the past 25 years, youth programs such as these have earned the Center national, state and local awards. His passion and energy are the catalysts that generate the enthusiasm and effective outcomes for thousands of children. John has also served as a mentor, resource and collaborator for youth activities at Vera Court and Kennedy Heights Community Centers.

Northside Planning Council

The mission of the Northside Planning Council is to improve the quality of life and foster equity on the Northside through community organizing and economic development.

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Northside Economic Development Coalition

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