Hello friends! It has been a busy couple of weeks, complete with community events, workshops and warm weather! Seriously though, I’m excited we don’t have snow on the ground but a little snow during the winter would be nice. I have a couple of updates for you guys.
I want to thank all of those who came out to our first Community Conversations which took place on November 11th at the Millerton Elementary School in the auditorium. We gave a brief introduction of our current community building and engagement efforts in Poughkeepsie, specifically the Middle Main Initiative and the Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory, and then the attendees introduced themselves. We then asked every attendee to share a vision they had for the region and the turnout was very successful. We have a huge, dynamic list covering many different topics like education, housing and farming. Our next Community Conversation will be focused on moving forward with these visions and brainstorming what we can do as a collective to make these visions come through.
As a VISTA, I am always looking for ways to build new skills and the perfect opportunity came along this past Tuesday, November 17th. Instead of having a normal Community Meet-Up with presenters we had instructors who taught us valuable skills when it comes to facilitating a meeting. We worked in groups to learn how to actively engage participants in meetings to promote dialogue, creating partnerships and most of all, having fun! The instructors were great and I learned a lot from the facilitation training. I will use the skills I learned there in other aspects of my life, certainly in Millerton.
In several weeks I, along with my fellow VISTAs, will be traveling to D.C. for a week of classes focused on how to engage communities in coming together and working towards a common goal. Maybe the snow will have fallen by then. I haven't been to D.C. in years!
Again, if you see me out on the street say hi and tell me about a restaurant in Poughkeepsie I should try. Also if you are in Millerton, do the same!