It has been over a year since Kristen, Meghan, and I wrote the Public Service Grant Commission proposal for the Family Night at Perry School. Since that time we have organized six Family Night events – each filled with highlights, challenges, and lessons.
I think the key takeaway we learned is to be patient and willing to re-evaluate how we go about achieving our goals. For example, a key component to the project was parent and caretaker attendance. Attendance proved to be consistently inconsistent – a handful of parents attended month to month, however others, despite many reminders and handed out flyers, did not. There also was a persistent issue of parents arriving late (which we soon realized was a scheduling blip on our end, and adjusted the event timing accordingly).
I remember emailing De Nichols, our CGIU mentor, about this issue 3 months into the program. In addition to some general promotional suggestions, she hit us with a massive insight – embrace the intimacy of each event. This was very powerful. It both helped inform how to craft smaller group activities so to make events more personal and meaningful for participants. It also helped build connections with key parents and caretakers who’s answers to questions about scheduling and activities improved people’s receptiveness to events over the project’s six months.
The family night team will continue to play role in facilitating the events, however thanks to last years experience and increased capacity, Little Friends for Peace is now able to take on a larger role in the pre-event planning process. In fact, just last week they hosted a very special Halloween Family night!
For a detailed report of last year’s family nights here!
My Clinton Global Initiative commitment to action falls under the category of poverty alleviation. The goal is to provide beauty products and services to lower income families in lower income communities. My philosophy is that these products and services which sometimes can not be afforded by families in the DC area are essential to providing confidence and creating happiness. This increased confidence can then stretch to improve socioeconomic standing through the job market. The first part of my plan is creating a drive to gain these products and services for distribution and use. Then I hope to partner with a nearby community organization and possibly beauty or vocational school to provide a day or two of free and open services for the community. Thus far I am mostly in the planning stages but I have been volunteering with the Transitional Housing Corps. I am trying to build a relationship with this group so that in the long run I may be able to partner with them. The challenge I had been facing at first was simply finding partners and getting started. As a lone commitment maker the task can seem very intimidating. However, through CGI U I was fortunate to meet with other group of commitment makes I may be able to partner with. The group were two girls who are working with a nonprofit they already established called “A Fresh Start” which partners with business like hotels and stores to get unused beauty products to donate to homeless shelters and community center. This group was very interested in partnering with me and expanding their vision to DC and to include some of my own ideas and goals. I am working to reach out to them and hopefully build a connection and start working together in the coming weeks. I am so fortunate to have been able to go to the CGI U conference in Miami and meet so many great people and driven commitment makers such as the group I hope to work with.