When CPN Program Assistant, Nakisha Scott, traveled to Athens, GA to meet with Athens Promise Neighborhood’s Whatever It Takes (WIT) Neighborhood Leaders, her mission was to observe their highly successful neighborhood engagement team in hopes of better assisting CPN’s Community Engagement Council, but what she received was more than she ever imagined. “When I arrived, nearly an hour before the meeting, the WIT Neighborhood Leaders were already present, waiting in anticipation for the meeting to begin. I witnessed something greater than residents who care about their neighborhood. I saw transformed individuals whose life mission was to impact every block, corner and square mile of their neighborhood…and they were. With tears streaming down their faces, they each shared stories of how they were once a part of the problems of their neighborhood, but were now converted and see what they do as a form of discipleship…converting one resident at a time”, said Nakisha.
WIT Neighborhood Leaders have been trained and educated by various community partners in areas such as conflict resolution, mediation, public speaking, cultural competency, inter-personal communication skills and community advocacy. Having such a strong core of leaders hasn’t always been the case. Over time, Whatever It Takes has experienced many tears and remarkable victories in the improvement of themselves as leaders and their community. Leaders use all available resources to serve Athens’ children and create a seamless longitudinal network of support so that every child in Athens Promise Neighborhood is healthy, safe, engaged in the community, and successful in school and life. Nakisha is confident CPN’s Community Engagement Council is well on their way to becoming a model for other Promise Neighborhoods seeking to bring sustainable change to their neighborhoods!