Your Community. Your Voice. Your Summit.
By Christina Helmick
It has been about a year and a half since Prosper Waco hosted the Inaugural Event that drew more than 400 community members together to discuss the issues the community wanted to prioritize when the Prosper Waco initiative kicked off.
In September of this year, Prosper Waco is hosting its Annual Summit Event. It will be an opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate the progress we’ve made since the initiative kicked off in January of 2015 and to have integrated conversations around other issues that our community wants to undertake to work on in the future. Below is a quick outline of how the Summit will flow this year:
- Opening Session: this will be a chance for our community to celebrate the progress that has been made since the initiative kicked off in January of 2015. As the staff, we really want to celebrate the hard work that has been (and is being!) done in our community. This initiative wouldn’t move forward without the will of cross-sector community partners, which is why we strongly believe in having a celebration of the successes in the opening session!
Prosper Waco History: A brief history of the Prosper Waco initiative will be given during the opening session so all attendees can enter the integrated conversations with the background knowledge of the extensive community work the Prosper Waco initiative was built upon.
- Integrated Conversations: Many of your attended Prosper Waco’s Inaugural Event in February 2015, where education, health and financial security were split into different rooms to be able to dive deep into specific issues within those three impact areas. This year, we are taking a slightly different approach. As staff, we have heard from all levels of the community and involvement in the initiative that people who are involved in education want to learn about what is being in health and financial security, those involved in health want to learn about education and financial security….you get the idea. Community members want to know about what is being done in the areas they don’t work in or attend meetings in. By having integrated conversations with perspectives from education, health and financial security at the same table, all will be able to talk about issues our community wants to undertake with the feedback from all areas the Prosper Waco initiative is focused on. Keep reading to find out who the facilitators will be!
- Closing Session: The closing session will be a feature a dance performance from the well-known, local dance group Miriam’s Army! We are so thrilled to be working with Restoration Haven to have these talented girls perform a tap dance routine for Summit attendees. After the performance, guests will enjoy delicious food from none other than George’s Restaurant! To close the event, Dr. Tyrone Tanner will talk with Summit attendees about how systematic change happens through collaboration and partnership—exactly what is happening in the Waco community! His energizing talk will leave us all ready to head into to the new year ready for more collaboration and hard work!
At this year’s event, we will have three expert facilitators in each of the rooms to help guide the framework of the conversations. We believe having third-party facilitators will allow all members of the community—including the Steering Committee and Work Group Chairs—to have the opportunity to listen to community feedback and think strategically about how community partners can tackle certain issues as it relates to education, health and financial security. Click the links to learn more about the facilitators: Dr. Larry Hill, Dr. Tyrone Tanner and Dr. Luis Torres.
This event is truly created with the community in mind. We want each person, whether they have been involved from this initiative from the beginning or just heard about it through our Fox 44 News PSA, to know they are encouraged to come to this event!
If you have any other questions, comments or want more information, don’t hesitate to reach out to me! I’m so excited for this event and to hear the feedback from each of you at this event about what other issues our community wants to undertake.
In the wise words of Henry Ford, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”
Christina Helmick is the director of communication at Prosper Waco. She is a recent graduate of Baylor University with a BA in Journalism, Public Relations & New Media. Originally she is from Washington, D.C., but has stayed in Waco post-graduation. She is an active mentor at J.H. Hines Elementary School, enjoys spending time with her family and watching Baylor football. Sic ’em Bears!
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