History of The Legacy Center

The Legacy Center for Student Success (TLC) was founded on July 1, 2004 as a “think and do” tank. The initial Board of Directors, consisting of Dr. Gary Hughes, Superintendent of Midland Public Schools and Denise Spencer, CEO of the Midland Area Community Foundation, first met on July 6, 2004. The Board subsequently elected W. Lynn Weimer, President UniTrust, Inc., Linda Stavropoulos, Community Volunteer, and Bobbie Arnold, CEO of The Charles J. Strosacker Foundation to form the initial TLC Board of Directors. TLC received its 501(c) (3) designation on September 10, 2004.

TLC’s mission was to investigate outside-the-classroom factors that impede student learning and development, to devise programs that address the identified barriers, and to implement these initiatives through collaborative efforts with youth-serving agencies in the community. In addition, TLC rigorously measures the effectiveness of these programs to determine whether and to what extent their desired outcomes are being achieved. One of the more outstanding early and continuing successes was the implementation of Developmental Assets, a group of 40 positive and constructive character traits and attributes that all children should possess. In collaboration with the Midland County Probate Court and various partner agencies, this concept was promoted throughout the community resulting in significant and stunning reductions of multiple risk-taking activities including drug use and delinquent behaviors. TLC also developed a Model for Youth Success (originally known as the Youth Master Plan) that identified four Key Elements required for youth success, viz., Basic Needs and Safety, Physical Health, Wellbeing, and Education (including quality preschool experiences). This has become the strategic framework for youth programs in the community resulting in favorable and positive outcomes in education and health-related matters.

In 2010, TLC merged with the Literacy Council to form The Legacy Center for Community Success. This merger added literacy tutoring services for children and adults to TLC’s programming. Of particular emphasis has been the highly successful Barton Reading Program for students with dyslexia, the principal cause of low literacy skills. In 2011, TLC merged with the Midland Area Partnership for a Drug Free Youth organization (MAP). A Community Alliance for Youth Success was established to educate children and their families in order to prevent drug use. Emphasis has been especially focused on marijuana use and vaping. Community outreach has been principally accomplished through town hall meetings, presentations in schools, and through TLC’s widely acclaimed publication, “Youth Connections.” This periodical is distributed quarterly at no cost to every family with children enrolled at the secondary level in each county school. It is also available at local medical providers’ offices, coffee shops, and other public locations.

Today, TLC is an organization that is widely recognized as a valuable community resource. In partnership with community agencies, TLC is helping children and their families attain their maximum potential and to flourish and thrive.

Dick Dolinski
Richard Dolinski, Founder

Dick Dolinski is the founder and President Emeritus of The Legacy Center for Community Success. Dick also is President of Midland Kids First, a non-profit focusing on at-risk youth.
Dolinski earned a Ph. D. degree in physical organic chemistry from the University of Detroit. He was associated with The Dow Chemical Company for 32 years in various roles including research & development leadership in the US and Asia, commercial management including founding president of Dow’s global Automotive business, and as corporate vice president in Human Resources.