Neighborhood Opportunity Network

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Taking The Next Step!

Posted by irakowler on January 13, 2010

For the past three months, the Wheaton Neighbor Corps has been meeting to develop and realize their vision for the Wheaton community.  The adventure has included personal relationship building, door knocking, hosting a Neighbors Exchange, and other important connections.  This past Saturday, the Neighbor Corps participants celebrated their accomplishments and looked forward to the next stage of their involvement in the Neighbors Campaign.

We spent the morning looking back at all we accomplished over the program, including watching a slide show of all our sessions and events.  Amie shared a story of personal transformation, how she has become closer to group participants and felt more comfortable opening up to others.  Miguel noted that due to his participation in Neighbor Corps, he was able to refer his neighbors to the Neighborhood Service Center.

Amie Jallah sharing her Neighbor Corps story

After lunch, we began looking into the future.  How could we use the relationships and skills learned in Neighbor Corps to begin realizing our vision for Wheaton?  One possibility was to support Tuesdays Together at Catholic Charities.  Every Tuesday night, the Neighbors Campaign will be using Catholic Charities as a community gathering space (more information coming soon!).  We brainstormed possible ideas for Tuesdays Together and many agreed to participate in continued planning.

Later in the day, some guests came to celebrate the Wheaton Neighbor Corps.  Neighbors Campaign participants from Long Branch and Gaithersburg shared their activities and learned more about the Neighbor Corps program.  Uma Ahluwalia and Kate Garvey from Montgomery County Health and Human Services came and offered their support to the Neighbor Corps group.  We all had a great time learning from each other and connecting to new people.

It is amazing to think that just three months ago, the Wheaton Neighbor Corps was a group of disconnected people, nervous to head to an overnight retreat with nearly 20 strangers.  Now I cannot wait to see what this group of neighbors will continue to accomplish.  Keep your eye out in Wheaton for Tuesdays Together and get ready for the next Neighbor Corps in Gaithersburg!

Maria Lopez and Uma Ahluwalia enjoy the Neighbor Corps celebration

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