Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management invited Promise team members to speak to a group of professionals that work with youth and families. Joe Black, Promise Neighborhood Engagement Manager, and Quiana Singleton, Promise Ambassador, spoke at a training session for the Cuyahoga County Youth Work Institute. Joe and Quiana spoke to youth-serving professionals and program coordinators about their approach to community engagement.
They were asked to speak because of their success in building relationships with Central residents and their ability to then connect residents to resources and organizations that can help their needs.
As leader of Promise’s connection with Central residents, Joe spoke about how important it is to keep people at the center of everything you want to accomplish in a community. He stressed that before you can connect people with organizations and resources, you need to connect with them on a personal level. His advice to the group was to learn the needs of a family, build trust and then find a common ground where their needs can be met before trying to immediately connect them with programs.
Quiana gave the group a point-of-view of a resident who has turned into an engaged and involved volunteer. She stressed the importance of getting to know a community before becoming involved. She also explained how it’s important to know what people want but also what they do not want. Quiana also explained that Low attendance at programs might not be because of lack of interest. Get to know the bigger picture about what could be preventing resident attendance.