By Delilah Goncalves
This academic semester I had the opportunity to work with Stonehill’s Office of Community-Based Learning. I was quite unsure of what I would be doing. Nevertheless, I knew what the office did and I was excited to get the opportunity to learn more about our surrounding communities. I was eventually assigned a task to find ways to enhance the Brockton’s Promise (BP) website. Fortunately, I had some background with BP from working with the Brockton Youth Council in the past. I worked with Cassie White, BP Coordinator, to think of ways to clearly translate the message of Brockton’s Promise to those who come across the website. We decided that the best way to do this is to let community members tell us themselves. I conducted a series of neutral interviews, not mentioning the name Brockton’s Promise even once. I really wanted to get an unbiased opinion of the importance of each promise.
The feedback I received was amazing. I met with both students and adults in the community. It was surprising to see the similarities in answers across the board. However, as a Brockton resident myself the areas that need improvement are quite clear. Hearing how the goal of each individual matched what he or she wanted to give back to the community was incredible. This experience has helped me to think of ways I can give back to my community.
The message I took out of this experience was that it really does take just one person to make a difference. And yet, Brockton doesn’t have just one person making a difference; it has a community of people making a difference. Check out the Brockton’s Promise website to learn more and see quotes from the interviews at http://www.brocktonspromise.org/.