Mapping Our Assets

Though people do not always realize it, Brockton is a City rich with resources and individuals who are continuously working to expand opportunities for families and youth.  After all, we were just named one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People for the fourth time!  While community coalitions like Brockton’s Promise and its wonderful partners are putting in a great deal of effort to make residents more aware of the resources that are available, sometimes it is helpful to have a visual summary of where all of these services are. I am a visual person myself so I wanted to give you a brief tutorial of how you can map out all of Brockton’s assets from the comforts of your office or home using a tool powered by Google technology and the HelpLine at BAMSI.

We’ll begin by visiting http://www.brocktonspromise.org/ where you will be greeted by a homepage that looks like this:

At the bottom of the page where it says, “Find & Map it!” click on the “Get Started” Button. If you want to skip this step, you can visit the direct link at: http://brocktonspromise.org/maps/. Both methods will bring you to a page with a Google map of Brockton, like the one pictured below.

On the right, you will see a column with a list of “Services Offered.” The services in Brockton have been broken down into 8 general categories, each of which are represented by a different color: Basic Needs, Child and Family Services, Community Services, Education, Health Care and Substance Abuse Services, Legal Services, Mental Health Care and Counseling, and Public Benefits. Let’s see what happens when we click on Basic Needs, which includes services that assist with necessities like food, water, heating, etc. 

As you can see, when we click on Basic Needs, a number of little gray bubbles pop up that match with the corresponding gray color for this service category.  Additionally, you will see bubbles with small plus signs inside of them. This (+) means that the program covers more than one service. For example, the Department of Public Health may provide assistance with Basic Needs, but it might also provide Child and Family Services. Let’s keep it simple for now and click on one of the gray bubbles that will cover Basic Needs. 

As you can see, I clicked on the Brockton Seventh Day Adventist Church Food Pantry. This might be near my home or office, but I’m not sure how to get there. To find out, I click on the title in blue letters.

Once I click on the title, a new window pops up giving me the contact information for this food pantry, which is on 235 Court Street in Brockton.  Though there is not a website or email address, I do have the phone number I can call if I have any questions.  Additionally, I can click on the tabs next to “Contact Info” to find out the Hours of Business, Eligibility Requirements, (if there are any), and other Services offered at this location, (again, if there are any).

Now, how is this tool helpful if I am looking to leave from my location right now to get to this particular service? Well, if you’ll notice below the contact information, there is a mini Google map and a section that says “Get Directions.”

In the box, where it says “From,” I type my current address, “32 Belmont Street Brockton MA 02301,” and click “Go.” Not only does the map on the left show me where I need to go to get to this Food Pantry, but I also have step by step directions on the right side to help me reach my destination. 

If you already know the organization you are looking for, but you are not sure where they are located, or if you know there are multiple locations for this organization and you want to find the one with services most applicable to you, this tool also gives you the option of doing a direct search.  Return to the original Maps page by exiting out of the Seventh Day Adventist Food Pantry window.  You will see that under the Service options on the right side, there is a search button.  First,  I “uncheck” the Basic Needs option, by clicking on the small check mark on the Basic Needs box. Then I type “BAMSI” in the search bar and click “Go,” which presents me with a map display that has the various BAMSI locations and services throughout the City.

I have the ability to browse through the different locations and see which one fits my needs. You will see that most of BAMSI’s locations are represented by the bubble with the plus sign (+) because they offer more than one service. The search bar can also be used to search with more broad terms, like “food” or “heating.”  It is meant to simplify your life and help you find the service you need and the most convenient location where it is offered.

If you want to see a list of all of the services that are represented on this map of Brockton, you can also scroll to the bottom of the map screen, and view the “Map Search Results,” along with links to view the description, get directions, contact information or the organization’s website. 

Keep in mind that when you do this, there will be over 15 pages of results so it might be quicker to go by the color-coded categories or use the search bar if you do not have as much time!  

Additionally, if you are working at an organization in Brockton that is not listed on this Service Map, or your information has changed, we want to make sure you are represented and that your organization’s information is correct! To add your agency or update information, you can click “Make a Promise” on the lower right hand corner of the map page, or click the “Make a Promise” button on the homepage at http://www.brocktonspromise.org./  Our database is updated quarterly, so you can be sure that we will do our best to make the appropriate changes very soon!

While this was a long and detailed explanation, once you get the hang of using this map, it can be a quick way to help you to find what you need in Brockton. We hope that this tool will assist both residents in the community, and providers who might be working with clients to find services that are close to their home or their child’s school. 

As said earlier, this map is powered by the database at BAMSI’s Helpline.  The Helpline is an information and referral program that operates as a free telephone community service.  If the map doesn’t answer all of your questions, the Helpline staff are available to assist you at 508-584-4357.  Or you can ask your questions here by commenting below!  Thanks for following along and happy mapping!

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“One-Stop Shop” Family Center Opening in Brockton!

The City of Champions has one more reason to be proud of the work it is doing now to ensure that the future generation of Champions have the resources they need to succeed.  The Department of Children and Families is partnering with the Children’s Trust Fund and Community Connections of Brockton to bring The Family Center to our community.  In a nutshell, this center is a “one-stop shop” for families in need of support or services.  To learn more about this wonderful opportunity, we asked Juliana Langille, (who is currently the Executive Director of Community Connections and has overseen the development of the Center), to answer a few key questions for the community.

1.) Where will the Family Resource Center be located?  
The Family Center will have two locations: The Main Site will be located at 18 Perkins Street in Brockton.  We will also have a Satellite Location at the Keith School 175 Warren Avenue Brockton Room 206 – our contact information is 508-583-5631.

2.) What kind of programs will the Family Resource Center be offering?  Will the types of services offered differ depending on the location? 
Some of our FREE services include:  
»  Assist families in navigating the systems 
»  Be a support and advocate for families
»  Help identifying community resources 
»  Provide parenting enrichment opportunities 
»  Support for family networks such as block parties and grass-roots initiatives
»  Provide meeting space for community group and much more…!

The difference of our center from any of the services provided at other agencies is that we do not require any eligibility checks or any requirements to be part of our center. All families are welcome. No referrals required. No matter what the concern is we will work with the family to find the best resources in the area to address the concerns.

3. How do you think Brockton families will benefit from this Center?
The center is a place where families can find support without eligibility requirement.  Families will be given an opportunity to work one-on-one with a family support specialist to find ways to address concerns identified by the family. 

4. Do families have to meet any particular qualifications to go to the Resource Center?
There are no eligibility requirements at the center. We will meet the families where they are and work to connect families with any resources already existing in the community.  

5.) Which other communities in Massachusetts have a Family Resource Center? How was Brockton selected to have one? 
Several communities in Massachusetts have similar family centers. Currently under Community Connections there are 4 current sites that were opened last year. The locations for these sites are New Bedford, Worcester, Athol and Dorchester. 4 new sites are opening this year including the Brockton Site. All 8 sites are coordinated by Community Connections Coalitions.

6.  When will the Center be up and running? Are there going to be any kickoff events to celebrate this new initiative?
We will have open house events for both locations. At the Keith Center on 175 Warren Avenue, the Open House will be September 22nd from 9AM-3PM and the main site at 18 Perkins Street will have an open house on October 15th from 12Pm-4PM.  This is an opportunity to meet the staff, see what resources are available at both locations and have some fun!

We would like to thank Juliana for taking the time to answer these questions!  Any family can be involved in this great opportunity, so please stop by at one of the Open Houses for The Family Center! The September 22nd event will be an informal chance to drop-in and check out the satellite location. The celebration on October 15th will have food, games and music for families to enjoy so don’t miss out!  If you would like to RSVP for the block party celebration on October 15th, or help plan the event, please email Christophanie at christophaniej@gmail.com.  You can also call The Family Center for more information at 508-583-5631.

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“Nothing to Do” ~ Says Who?

“There’s nothing to do in Brockton.” Not to be cliché, but if I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say that, I’d be a millionaire. You get the idea. Maybe it’s because I have a mother who seems to find something to do in Brockton every single weekend, whether it’s snowing, raining or tornado-ing out. You may not know Janet Trask by name, but she’s pretty much universally recognized as “The Camera Lady.” You may have seen her taking pictures at events like the Huntington School Parade, the NAACP Christmas Party, the Mayor’s Youth Summit, the Mentor Recruitment Rally, Global Youth Service Day, along with Brockton Public Library Breakfasts, Brockton Interfaith Community celebrations, various Brockton High School plays and musical shows, Brockton Historical Society programs, church gatherings and block parties, to name a few.

But I digress. Whether or not you know the Camera Lady, I think there’s something to be said for her willingness and excitement in embracing all that Brockton has to offer. Hopefully you’re not thinking to yourself, “What does Brockton have to offer?” But just in case you are thinking that, I’ll have to give a small, tiny example to prove my point. Let’s take a look at this Saturday’s agenda in Brockton:

For Youth

  • Kid Road Races – These have been going on since I was a kid and anyone 14 and under can participate for $1.00 each week. Plus, if you participate in five or more races, you get a t-shirt and a trophy! If you’re too old to participate in these, you could still enjoy the festivities and the park itself, maybe even have a picnic. Just try not to be jealous if you don’t get a trophy.
  • Textile Art – In celebration of Juneteenth, Imani McFarlane, owner, House of Tafari Collection will be conducting a workshop, “Creating Textile with Adinkra Symbols” at the Main Branch of the Brockton Public Library. Hands-on learning with culture and fashion? Sign me up!

For Tweens/Teens

  • There is Hope – This youth outreach event is for those who are feeling trapped and stressed! Seeking the Youth” Outreach Ministry, founded by Evangelist Dr. Nancy Mency, D. Min, will host the event which includes free refreshments, music and fellowship, and the opportunity to check out the new and improved Snow Field, at Salisbury Park across from 216 Centre Street.
  • Wacky Wire – The Fuller Craft Museum always has lots of fun workshops! In this one, participants will cut, bend and form thin steel wire to create a sculpted face.  Using hand tools– with safety precautions, we will cut, bend and wrap the pieces together.  2 classes on June 11 and June 18 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Members: $24 • Nonmember: $32 

    For Everyone
  • Old Colony Y Central Relaunch – Come to the Y for a FREE day of fun from 11am-3pm! A bounce house, costumed characters, BBQ refreshments, giveaways, family activities, family swim (3-5pm), membership promotions, and much more! The Old Colony Y is celebrating families at the Y, with reduced membership rates, new youth programming, more family events, remodeled locker rooms, a new family locker room, and state-of-the-art fitness equipment. I don’t know about you, but I was hooked at the Bounce House.
  • The Rural Liberian Healthcare and Development Initiative, Inc. – All are welcome to attend the 2nd Annual Fundraising Cookout at 126 Stephen Drive in Brockton from 12-8pm. Suggested donation is $12 includes choice of meat, 2 sides, cornbread, dessert and a drink OR vegetarian choice of 4 sides, cornbread, dessert and a drink.  With a that yummy food, how could one resist?
  • Brockton Rox – The Brockton Rox are taking on the Newark Bears at 7:05 PM on both Friday and Saturday. Fun for kids, young adults and families!

And that’s just Saturday! On Sunday, there’s also a flea market and craft fair at Temple Beth Emunah, a Teen Enameling Workshop at the Fuller Craft Museum, and it’s Strike Out Hemophilia Day at the Brockton Rox game! Plus, there are probably church events, youth sports activities, and lots of other things going on that aren’t even mentioned here. There’s something for everyone on this list. Whether you’re 6 or 97, Brockton appeals to as wide an age range as a Harry Potter book.

She's just as excited for Brockton's weekend lineup as she is for this Harry Potter book!

 

Still not as pumped as this girl?  Okay, maybe fitness, sports, family or religious events aren’t your thing, and that’s totally fine.  I completely understand NOT wanting to attend all of the events that the City has to offer – it can be overwhelming. So overwhelming that I can’t fathom how someone could seriously say there’s nothing to do here. I mean, I’m not the Camera Lady and I definitely won’t make it to all of these events, but you’ll never hear me say “There’s nothing to do in Brockton.”

I’ve been hearing it my whole life and I’m sure I’ll continue to hear it. Maybe it’s just that people don’t know all of this is going on. If so, please send those people here  or here and they will find something.

BUT if you’re still not convinced, then make something happen in your neighborhood and host a block party on Brockton’s Promise!   

And if you just want to get out of Brockton, but don’t know where to start, check out the discounted passes you can get at the Brockton Public Library. You can reserve tickets to Children’s Museums in Easton and Boston, Battleship Cove, the Museum of Science, and so many more! There’s all kinds of ways to explore Greater Brockton, so take a look and see what’s out there!

Hopefully, this has convinced someone that there is in fact something to do in Brockton.  I know we need more places for young adults and teenagers to go at night, and that we could use better bike paths, and that there’s probably lots of things people see that are wrong. I get it. Please know that there are many organizations and elected officials in the City trying to make these changes despite budget cuts and limited resources. But let’s not overlook what’s right about the great resources we do have just because we still want more. As Sheryl Crow said, “It’s not having what you want, It’s wanting what you’ve got,” and I’d say we’ve got a lot.

NOT one of my favorite songs, but I appreciate Sheryl's optimism.

 Did I miss anything? Comment and let me know!

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The Long History of Fellowship in Brockton

My name is Trisha Godio and I am proud to be a part of the long history of Fellows who have served at the Mayor’s Office in Downtown Brockton.  This is my second year of service as a Massachusetts Promise Fellow serving in this City.

During my first year in the Fellowship, I developed a strong connection with the people working long, hard hours to ensure that the city is safe and resourceful for their young people.  They hide behind the dozens of programs that push youth to engage in positive behaviors, ensure that they have a clear path to their education, and that they have just as much access to a successful future and life.  The mission of my role and the people in the community that I work with are to offer these fabulous young people opportunities that they need to succeed in education, healthy decision-making and dedicating their time to serve the people of their community and beyond.

I have the especially important role in developing a specific group of young people.  They are members of the Brockton Youth Council and can be found in our middle and high schools, leading their peers in positive change.  We meet weekly to discuss the issues of the city and the concerns of their peers.  We aid community groups in running successful programs that reach the most amount of people.  We create our own strategic initiatives to combat violence within the City by changing the standards of what we consider “normal” and “tolerable.”

Two years is a short amount of time in consideration of many things; however, two years is enough time to watch a young person grow from a curious individual looking to get involved and stay off the streets, to a dedicated activist involved in decision-making and planning that gets their peers off the streets and making positive decisions.  Their curiosity has expanded to action through knowledge.  The more they learn about the issues, the more they are motivated to make the necessary changes in the city and beyond.  Knowledge is an amazing resource because when it comes into the hands of the right individuals; young, talented and with a strong vision for their futures, it can make a city, state, and world of difference.  I am lucky to work with such fascinating young adults.

Trisha Godio and members of the Brockton Youth Council!

Keep coming back to read up on more of what we do and the initiatives that we are behind.  Keep up the good work, Brockton!

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Brockton is Makin’ Moves

All over the country people are obsessing over wellness.  In fact, this is probably the 137th blog you have read about this in the past month.  But I bet it’s the first blog that’s specific to all the initiatives Brockton is working on to make wellness a priority in our community. If by some chance it’s the second or third, my apologies for the repetition

For those of you that don’t know, Brockton is a Mass in Motion Community.  What does that mean? The City is the recipient of the Mass in Motion Municipal Wellness & Leadership Grant. Now, what does that mean?  Mayor Balzotti’s Office is working with the Old Colony YMCA and the other partners of Brockton’s Promise to create better access to active living and healthy eating for Brockton residents.  Unlike the Georgia Health Alliance’s recent childhood obesity ad campaign, (whose images of overweight children were seen as offensive and downright hurtful), the wellness initiatives in Brockton are not at all meant to stigmatize kids or adults who are obese.  They are, however, meant to address obesity as a public health issue. We are not here to place blame, but rather to change the environment that has helped foster an increased number of overweight and obese people, in Brockton and across America. 

Both of Brockton’s zip codes, (02301 and 02302), fall into the state’s top 20 zip codes with the highest obesity rates. Mass in Motion is one of the initiatives Brockton is working on to change this. Wellness doesn’t just mean eating nutritious foods (though it is a part of it); it’s about reevaluating the entire environment—at home, in school and at the workplace.  People don’t always realize what a huge role certain aspects of a community can play in determining whether its residents will be healthy or not.  Unsafe neighborhoods, an absence of parks for physical exercise, or lack of access to fresh foods in combination with a high density of convenience stores that tend to sell more processed, high caloric foods, are all factors that can lead to an unhealthy community. On the contrary, healthy communities typically have safe neighborhoods where people feel more inclined to walk, run or bike. They also have open spaces and organized places for recreation in the community. While Brockton is fortunate to have some of these resources in our City, we want to do more to make sure that they are available to every resident. 

While the community at large plays a role in this, the smaller communities in which we all operate on a daily basis also have an impact. When you think of healthy workplaces, most people assume this means removing soda and candy from the vending machines at the office, but Mass in Motion delves even deeper to look at the overall design of the workplace. For example, in a recent Healthy Start meeting, the Mass in Motion coordinator showed us two pictures of stairwells. 

Not so inviting...

Much better! Thanks to Mass DPH for these photos!

Which staircase would you take? The first one is dingy, sketchy and unwelcoming, while the second one has a nice, inviting atmosphere (and even plays music)!  And guess what! It’s the same stairwell; the first one is the before shot and the second is the after shot! The people who work in this particular building told the Mass in Motion coordinators what a difference this change made in the rate of employees who opted to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Similar environmental changes have been made in other communities in the stairwells, at public bus stops, etc. These are the kinds of changes we want to make in Brockton.  Diet and exercise will certainly help our residents, but structurally changing the environment will also help us significantly in the long run. 

But this is just one piece of the wellness circle of Brockton.  Not only is the City “in Motion,” but it’s also a “Let’s Move” City!  What is a “Let’s Move” City you may ask? It looks a little something like this…

Okay, well we may not all dance like Beyoncé, but just like us, she is part of First Lady, Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign to get kids moving and making healthy choices.  The First Lady launched this campaign so that children born today will grow up healthier and live longer.  No matter what side of the political line you fall on, the fact that kids today are the first generation that may not outlive their parents is a startling reality to which everyone can relate.  Mass in Motion and Let’s Move are efforts to change that, both nationally and at the local level right here in Brockton. 

With all of these great initiatives going on in our City, we have the power to make the nutritional, physical and environmental changes we want to see in the community. Both Mass in Motion and Let’s Move have tips on how you can eat healthier on their websites, like here and here. Let’s Move even has a few fun videos to help kids understand the importance of healthy eating and physical activity, too! 

It’s an exciting time for Brockton, and the beauty of it is that so many different people can get involved, from government officials and schools, to faith-based organizations and businesses. Whether it’s painting that stairwell in the office or adding a bowl of apples to the takeout booth at your restaurant, everyone has a role to play in reducing obesity rates and increasing wellness ~ you, me and especially Beyoncé.

For more information about how you can get involved with the Healthy Start team’s plans to bring wellness to our community, email brocktons.promise@gmail.com!

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Top 10 Moments from Mayor Balzotti’s Youth Summit!

As many of you know, the Annual Mayor’s Youth Summit was this past Saturday, April 2nd. This is a day dedicated to giving the youth of Brockton a voice and helping them to raise their concerns to the Mayor and other City Officials.  You also may or may not know that the kids at Brockton High made a special video inviting the Celtics to come and support them at the Summit. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out:

Sadly, even after seeing this AWESOME video made entirely by youth, the Celtics did not come. Okay, okay, they are gearing up for Playoff Season so I guess we can’t be too mad at them…I’m sure they were very tempted to participate! Afterall, amidst their busy schedules, they did manage to send a signed Perkins jersey so we’ll let it slide this time. But either way, the video has serious swag.

Thankfully, the Celtics were just one potential highlight of the Summit. Thanks to the coordination efforts of Patricia Godio and the Mayor’s Youth Summit Planning Committee, there were tons of fabulous highlights from the day!! I’ve decided to make a list of my top 10 Favorite Moments from the Mayor’s Youth Summit because it was that good!

10.) Raffle Prizes! Bertucci’s gift cards, memberships to the teen workout programs at the Y, signed Red Sox and Celtics gear, and more! There was something for everyone and I am especially jealous of those Dunkin Donuts gift cards!  

9.) DJ from Kiss 108 at lunch! Someone FINALLY taught me how to dougie!

8.)  The entertainment! ImprovBoston made us laugh and helped get us energized for the day! Also, Higher Heights Productions’ performance of “The Chronicles of Nikita Wells” took a critical look at the issues in Brockton and got youth geared up to talk about these issues in their breakout sessions!

7.) The Volunteers & Resource Fair! This day would not have been the huge success that it was had it not been for the volunteers who were there to make sure it ran smoothly! Volunteers were made up of parents, partner organizations and even sorority groups! There were also lots of great organizations that volunteered their time to host resource tables. I hope the kids took advantage of the helpful information that agencies like Maria Talks, Gateway to College and School on Wheels were there to provide!

6.) Talent Show! Youth showed off their skills! From playing the piano and singing, to drumming and beatboxing, we had it all!

5.) Breakout Sessions! Youth had the opportunity to have real talk with the peer facilitators and listen about how their needs relate to those of other youth in the City.

Just as Governor Patrick was leaving, this little boy, Kharmari Gillings, ran after him to say a quick hello! It was certainly one of the most adorable moments at the Summit!

4.) The Governor of Massachusetts! Governor Patrick came out on a Saturday to support Brockton kids. Whatever side of the political lines you may fall on, it’s important for them to see that he and the other politicians are listening to them and want to continue to support them as best they can! 

3.) The Mayor and Prominent School Officials Looking to Create Change! Mayor Balzotti, Superintendent Malone and Dr. Szachowitz were all on hand to listen to the feedback that the peer facilitators gathered from their breakout sessions.  Kudos to them for making our youth’s concerns a number one priority, especially on a Saturday!

Brockton youth share their concerns with Mayor of the City of Brockton, Linda M. Balzotti, Superintendent of Brockton Public Schools, Dr. Matthew Malone and Brockton High School Principal, Dr. Susan Szachowitz.

2.) Empowered Brockton Youth! The kids of our City took advantage of their chance to speak and share their ideas on how to improve Brockton!  They were eloquent, professional and presented real issues that impact them on a daily basis! I thank them for their inspiring words that captivated their peers and the adults in the audience!

1.) FREE! Everything was free! Okay, so maybe that’s not really a moment, but it was a real highlight to the whole event. T-shirts, food, dance parties, opportunity for change, you name it, Mayor Balzotti’s Youth Summit had it all!

Seriously though, it was a wonderful day. Even though I went to Brockton High School, I never attended a Mayor’s Youth Summit because I always had track meets that conflicted with the event. I’m glad I finally got to participate! Thank you to the elected officials, volunteers and most importantly, the YOUTH, for making this day a huge success!

The above photos are courtesy of Janet Trask. If you want to see more pictures from the event, follow the Mayor’s Youth Summit or Brockton’s Promise on Facebook!

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Keeping the Promise

Quick, in 40 seconds or less, can you name the Five Promises? Are you scratching your head and asking yourself, “What the heck are the Five Promises?” Or maybe, you’ve heard about them but you’re not really sure of all five? Something about service and helping people, maybe? Yup, there’s one like that. Something about safety for kids? Yes, we have that, too, along with a few more!  To be exact they are: Caring Adults, Safe Places, Effective Education, a Healthy Start and Opportunities to Help Others. 

Whether you know a couple, you don’t know any at all, or you don’t really understand what this all means, that’s okay because Brockton’s Promise is finally entering the blogging realm and you’ll learn about them soon enough, (hopefully). Don’t worry, we’re not here to list them off every day until they are ingrained in your brain, even though I just did that (I promise it won’t happen again…). But we are here to talk about how these five promises serve as protective factors in a child’s life and learn from you about how we can better connect Brockton youth to the resources that are out there. We are excited to share thoughts, and stay connected to the great people that are keeping this City connected and moving, whether they are adults or kids.  Additionally, we want to provide you with resources that you may not have known were available and we would like to hear about what else can be done.  Brockton’s Promise works with stakeholders like the Mayor, District Attorney, Superintendent and Police Chief, but what good are these partnerships if we don’t stay connected with the community at large to know what your needs are? 

It’s all about collaboration!

In an effort to become more intentional about its community outreach, Brockton’s Promise decided to expand its marketing efforts and coincidentally, decided to hire me! My name is Amanda and I am a Massachusetts Promise Fellow serving at the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office, which is kind of like the mother ship for Brockton’s Promise. My job is to enhance community partnerships and inform you about the resources that Brockton’s Promise has to offer.  The fellowship is one of many Americorps programs based out of Boston, MA and while many of my fellow fellows come from all over the country, I am actually from Brockton, born and raised.  I left the City for a little while, but I am back and excited to be working with some of the same community agencies that helped me grow as a youth in this City.  I will be taking the lead on this blog for now, but don’t worry because you’ll hear from lots of different people, including Promise Partners, BP team members, and most importantly, the youth that we serve! We want to feature stories about YOU, the community – the people who serve it and live in it, as well as use this blog to think out loud, so please feel free to think out loud with us

And the good news is that if you read this blog long enough, you’ll definitely be able to name the Five Promises in less than 40 seconds, maybe even less than 30!

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